By Tebogo Moleta, Founder and MD of Think Tank
In today’s rapidly evolving digital-first job market, the need for industry-specific skills is paramount. University education, while valuable, often falls short in preparing graduates for the fast-paced and technology-driven world of work. The Talent Acceleration Program by Think Tank addresses this gap by focusing on enhancing employability through industry-specific IT certifications.
Dire skills shortage in South Africa continues
According to the report titled “Africa’s Tech Skills Scarcity Revealed” by leading software company SAP Africa, the persistent scarcity of diverse ICT skills in South Africa remains unchanged. Notably, this shortage in ICT skills is impeding ongoing digital transformation endeavours across the continent. Sought-after skills include proficiency in emerging technologies, cloud, cybersecurity, data analytics, application development, software development, project management, digital transformation and change management.
Rerouting modern ICT skills development
Many university courses, including those in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), offer broad curricula but lack the specific focus on what companies seek. The challenge lies in aligning academic curricula with the rapidly evolving needs of the ICT industry, which is dominated by global vendors adhering to distinct standards and technologies. This mismatch between static academic courses and dynamic industry requirements is where industry-specific certification programs play a vital role and it is imperative for organisations to invest in such skills enhancement initiatives and training programs to enable South Africa to fully leverage job creation opportunities and contribute to the growth of Africa’s digital economy.
Rapid certifications key to addressing skills shortage
The Talent Acceleration Program offers a range of certifications from leading global tech companies, including Cisco CCNA Enterprise, Fortinet Cybersecurity, Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud practitioner and AWS solutions architect associate as well as Huawei HCIA in routing and switching. By completing these certifications, individuals gain practical knowledge and skills aligned with the technologies used in real-world business environments. This specialised knowledge not only enhances immediate employability but also addresses the critical skill shortage in the ICT sector with the urgency it is due.
Disrupting the skills development timeline
The journey towards technology proficiency doesn’t necessarily require a three to four-year commitment at a university. A highly effective IT program such as the Talent Acceleration Program can equip individuals with substantial skills within just one year, presenting a more time-efficient path in skills development.
The impact on a graduate’s ability to secure employment is significant. The program directly addresses the employment challenges faced by many graduates, allowing them to acquire industry-relevant skills and certifications, making them more attractive to potential employers. This, in turn, vastly improves their prospects of finding suitable job opportunities, with many being head-hunted before completing their certification.
Stacking up the benefits of accelerated certification
One key advantage of industry-specific certifications is the immediate value they bring to employers. Graduates certified in technologies used by the hiring company save time and resources for employers, as they require less training. This translates to quicker integration into the workforce and increased productivity.
Moreover, the Talent Acceleration Program stands out by offering online, industry-led, and instructor-based training modules. These training models ensure accessibility and effectiveness, enabling students to learn at their own pace while receiving expert guidance in a learner-centric environment. The online nature of the program, coupled with instructor-led sessions and recorded materials, makes it flexible and accessible, allowing learners to balance their education with other commitments.
Fast tracking industry growth and development
The transformative impact of these certifications is profound. The Talent Acceleration Program provides an expedited pathway to career growth by aligning with current industry demands. It equips students with the necessary skills and certifications to excel in the ICT sector and positions them as attractive candidates for employers both locally and globally.
Individuals and companies alike can benefit from this program. “Individuals passionate about ICT can apply to the program, ensuring their rapid entry into the job market with relevant certifications. For companies, the program offers a cost-effective solution to upskilling employees, improving overall team capabilities, and potentially attracting tax incentives and rebates, while providing reporting to the company on the progress and development of their employees.
For more information on the Talent Acceleration Program and how it can enhance employability and address the skills shortage in South Africa through industry-specific IT certifications, visit https://tap.thinkt.co.za/