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Jens Erik Gould Analyzes the Skills Gap Bridge: Bridging the Divide Between Education and Industry Needs in IT

Updated: Apr 9

Originally posted by New York Weekly


The digital age is upon us, with companies in every sector demanding products that are fueled by technological innovation. According to entrepreneur Jens Erik Gould, this need has increased the demand for skilled IT professionals who can create such technologies.


Unfortunately, there is a major skills gap bridge in the United States. The workforce does not possess the requisite skills to meet the demands of the industry.


“The gap between the skills taught in traditional IT education and the real-world needs of the industry continues to widen,” says Jens Erik Gould. “Filling that gap necessitates an innovative approach.”


Below is a description detailing ways students can equip themselves with the practical skills and experience they need to thrive in today’s IT workforce.


Skills Boot Camps


Traditional classroom education is only sometimes the most effective way to teach new skills. According to Jens Erik Gould, this is especially true in IT. While some classical approaches are necessary and still work, there must be more of a focus on applying what’s learned through texts and lectures to actual hands-on work.


That’s where skills boot camps come in. These can be set up to teach any number of different practical skills, some of which have only recently been developed in the real world. Camps take them out of the typical classroom environment and place them in computer labs, where they can then put what they’ve learned into practice.


“One of the most effective ways to teach IT skills is to let students explore those skills on their own,” says Gould. “Professors and industry professionals can guide them in this work, showing them how the knowledge they’ve gained is applicable in real-world scenarios.”


Apprenticeships


Speaking of real-world scenarios, Jens Erik Gould believes IT students can gain a working knowledge of the skills they need by spending time at IT companies. Apprenticeships and internships have been around for ages—and for good reason.


Skills are developed and refined faster when students can learn from others in their field. When students can see the payoff of their hard work, they are better able to grasp concepts and put the skills they’ve learned in the classroom to use. 


But these apprenticeships must be refined.


“Students need to gain meaningful experiences at these apprenticeships,” says Gould. “They need to work hands-on and be guided through actual work.”


Industry-University Partnerships


Providing IT students with early exposure to the industry is essential. It’s important for students to not only understand the skills that are needed to complete tasks but also to experience how technologies work in the real world. That way, they will better understand how specific infrastructure drives the industry.


By bringing professionals from respected local IT companies onto campus, universities can deliver that experience to their students.


“An IT education should be a combination of classroom learning and practical, real-world learning,” says Jens Erik Gould. “There’s no better way for a university to do that than by partnering with professionals and companies in the industry.”


About Jens Erik Gould


Jens Erik Gould is the Founder & CEO of Amalga Group, a Texas-based nearshore outsourcing company specializing in providing highly qualified talent in IT, software engineering, and contact centers. Previously, Gould spent over a decade reporting on topics such as business, politics, and energy in the United States and Latin America for esteemed media outlets like Bloomberg News, The New York Times, and TIME Magazine.


Published by: Nelly Chavez

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