The tech sector’s need for employees is rapidly outpacing the existing educational and training system’s ability to train students for tech sector jobs. Providing federal support for tech sector apprenticeships is a good way to support non-traditional paths into the industry. Supporting apprenticeship programs is also a good way to help students for whom college isn’t the right fit secure well-paid jobs even without a four-year degree.
Expanding apprenticeships in the U.S. tech industry faces several challenges — including their steep cost, apprentices’ relatively narrow skill sets in comparison to college-educated workers, and doubts about their mainstream appeal. Given these headwinds, it may make more sense to invest federal dollars towards supporting existing educational routes, such as four-year colleges and vocational programs, instead of creating new apprenticeship programs.