Originally appeared on Technically – May 4, 2021
As a pandemic that has brought job losses enters its second year, a program launching in May is offering IT training to Maryland residents affected by the economic downturn.
National online certification training provider MedCerts and the recently-formed SkillUp Coalition are partnering to provide free classes designed to reskill underemployed or unemployed Maryland residents of select counties for IT careers.
Through grants, the SkillUp Coalition is funding Maryland residents’ tuition for MedCerts’ IT certification classes. These certifications, which will be offered for technical support or network technician, can lead to jobs with starting salaries as low as $43,000 or as high as $79,000, depending on the position.
The program is open to residents of Baltimore County, Fredrick County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and the Southern Maryland counties of Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s.
Reskilling is often a topic in economic downturns, as career switches become common. In the COVID-19 pandemic, IT has been a particular area of focus for such efforts, given the growth in tech over the last year as society’s digital shift accelerated. At the same time, there have long been more open tech roles than people qualified to take them. An influential report by Korn Ferry found that, by 2030, there could be 85 million open tech roles worldwide if there aren’t enough people with the skills to fill them.
“Our programs will give those who couldn’t otherwise afford to shift careers the opportunity to do so and help build the Maryland workforce back stronger than before,” Sandy Mead, national director of workforce development at MedCerts, said in a statement.
Tuition prices for IT certification classes at MedCerts range from $2200 at the lowest to $4000 at the highest. With the funding from the Coalition’s SkillUp Together Fund, grants are covering training, equipment and special support services. The eligible residents will also be provided financial incentives to complete milestones throughout the program, up to $1,000 per student. With the funding, the Coalition is aiming to support residents who are making less than $40,000, and don’t have a bachelor’s degree.
The classes begin in mid-May, and can be completed within 3-6 months.
Those interested should look at MedCerts website for details on the IT programs available, then should apply for the grants through their local workforce office. MedCerts is partnering with the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development, Frederick County Workforce Services Division, WorkSource Montgomery, Employ Prince George’s, and the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland.
The partnership between the SkillUp Coalition and MedCerts is among programs that arose over the last year to provide IT skills for those hardest hit by the pandemic. In 2020, CompTIA and EARN Maryland partnered to launch an online IT training course, and a group of businesses led by Baltimore-based Catalyte launched Retrain America to focus on reskilling.
To learn more about MedCerts, please visit medcerts.com