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New initiative offers job shadowing, internship and more for students

Applications now open for tech accelerator program to help students get experience and jobs
By: Ryan Churchill
November 17, 2020
Four young people sit at a table with presenter standing in front, speaking about post it notes on white board.

TechTalent Accelerator includes top industry partners Hewlett Packard, Intel, Lenovo, offering students opportunities to connect for career development. Photo: Olah Mojuuk/Unsplash, external link.

A new partnership aims to help prepare students for exciting and challenging careers in the tech industry. Launched this month, the TechTalent Accelerator invites students to apply for two programs to get experience in the industry.

With investments of $175,000 and $350,000 respectively, the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development have partnered with Ryerson University to establish the new programs. 

“The TechTalent Accelerator allows students to have real world interactions with real world companies,” says Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of CompTIA, one of the IT industry’s top trade associations with millions of IT professionals and thousands of tech companies counted among its membership.   

“It’s a cutting edge program, something that we would like to see created as a scalable, sustainable, and replicable model, where students coming out of an academic program will have this additional basis as well.”

Two programs are available to students.  TechTalent Accelerator: ExploreTech and ExperienceTech. ExploreTech is open to all students in all faculties that want to learn more about, and get exposure to, the tech industry. 

Applications for the ExperienceTech program are open now

ExperienceTech is a training and internship program open to students in the final year of their undergraduate and graduate programs. The accelerator programming consists of monthly, industry-led seminars exploring and explaining the technology industry and the skills currently sought by employers; a three-week hackathon event where participants provide solutions to challenges presented by the tech industry; and a series of experiential learning opportunities, including job shadowing, CompTIA certification, and internship. Coordinating with its partners, the accelerator will also help standardize internship experiences for students, ensuring companies provide them with meaningful tasks, expectations and accountability. 

Gordon Pelosse, chairman of the CompTIA Board of Directors and vice president of Global Support Delivery at Hewlett Packard, emphasizes that “we encourage students from all backgrounds to participate in this program, not only people with a background in STEM.” He notes that an important measure of success will be “100 per cent placement of students who go through the accelerator, with all students offered positions within the company once they complete their internship.”

“The TechTalent Accelerator will make the transition into the industry easier for students,” says Adnan Syed, director, MedTech and TechTalent Accelerator, and manager, Research Programs, Partnerships & Strategic Initiatives at the Faculty of Science. “They will have a clear picture of the tech industry, a clear vision of the path they wish to take in their career, and be ready to make an impact in their new job on day one.”

“Ryerson’s location close to the Canadian business technology community, its broad faculties and thought leadership, as well as its reputation for innovation and promotion of technology in transforming the future of work, were all big factors in creating the TechTalent Accelerator at the university,” says Rita Loncar, channel leader at Veritas Technologies LLC, vice-chair of the  CompTIA Canadian Business Technology Community, and chair of the TechTalent Accelerator Advisory Board . “The program is created by industry, for industry - in support of a pipeline of future job-ready talent to flow into these companies” she adds. “It’s a win-win for all involved.”

Companies that have already partnered with the TechTalent Accelerator include AMD, Benchmark, Cybersecurity Compliance Corp., Datex, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Lenovo, ProServeIT, The Winning Practice, and Veritas.

To apply to, or learn more about the TechTalent Accelerator, or to find out how you can become an industry partner, please visit the accelerator’s main site, or join the accelerator’s LinkedIn page, external link.

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