First Class of Tech Fellows to Connect High School Students to In-Demand IT Jobs

July 27, 2021

On Friday, July 23, NOVA and Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) proudly recognized their first class of Tech Fellows. This group of 15 local high school information technology (IT) teachers successfully completed an innovative professional development program. Projections estimate the region will see around 11,000 IT vacancies per year in the foreseeable future, and these teachers are vital to communicating information about in-demand IT jobs to their students and also helping to expand the talent pipeline for IT jobs in the region.

Tech Fellows Group Certificate photo

The Tech Fellows delivered capstone presentations and participated in a certificate ceremony at the end of a multi-week program that included classroom instruction designed to prepare them for the CompTIA A+ credential exam, and they met with local technology employers and leaders to learn more about emerging trends within the industry. The teachers will now take the critical information and experience they gained through the program back to their high school classrooms, where they can pass it on to young adults who may want to pursue an IT career.

“Technology guides us through our daily lives, from the smartphones and GPS-enabled cars that direct us to our destination to the computers we use for school lessons and work projects,” said Steven Partridge, vice president of strategy, research and workforce innovation at NOVA. “But we need skilled IT professionals to keep these technologies secure and functional. The Tech Fellows program will help meet the growing demand for IT talent in Northern Virginia and give high school teachers the tools they need to guide interested students to high-wage and in-demand IT careers.” The Tech Fellows program is part of the Talent Ready Initiative, an effort to increase IT skills, knowledge and educational opportunities for high school students with a specific focus on equity, diversity and inclusion of underrepresented students in IT. Generous support from the Greater Washington Partnership, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bloomberg made it possible for NOVA and FCPS to offer the Tech Fellows program at no cost to the teacher participants.

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