Increase in digitization has affected hiring practices creating applicant tracking systems that collect, sort, and rank thousands of resumes automatically identifying top candidates for any role. Chatbots can engage, source and screen candidates based on predetermined metrics. But with all the advancements one thing remains stagnant: credential requirements. Most companies require a college degree but industries like technology where skills rapidly evolve credentialing as a criterion creates a barrier.
The reality is traditional hiring practices can’t keep pace with the tech industry’s increasing talent needs. Some aspiring tech applicants take the conventional education to job path by getting a degree. Only 60,000 graduates enter the talent market each year. That is a tiny pool for companies to compete over. Educational institutions take more than a year to gain approvals to change curriculum. Other tech program like online courses and in-person boot camps more quickly pivot their curriculum to match industry trends equipping students with the right skills to meet startup needs.
With alternative skill programs ability to accelerate curriculum and graduate qualified programmers in months, startups would be wise to consider this overlooked talent pipeline. These programs give students the basic skills they need to jump into a tech role which can be an advantage for any startup looking to shape skills from student who came out an agile learning environment.
What else do these perspective applicants offer? Graduates from nontraditional backgrounds usually offer:
- Unmatched life experience often coming with college degrees in nontechnical fields
- Life experience that gives them perspective and soft skills
- Built-in tenacity and grit to finish a program while either already employed or working another job
- Risk-takers changing careers
Alternative training programs tend to be more nimble in curriculum development and often consult with companies on what skills they need today and tomorrow ensuring students are learning the ones most needed. Startups should consider both traditional and nontraditional education as a key component in their hiring criteria.