I predict that more software companies will adapt and adopt the vocational training model that’s used successfully in Germany. The idea is to directly connect software education to a job. German companies hire students right out of high school for work-study programs. Those apprenticeships often lead to full-time positions with the company once the student graduates.
In the U.S., carpenters and a number of other important craftsman trades have used an apprenticeship system to teach and build expertise for hundreds of years. So far, few U.S. companies are even familiar with such a system for software professionals. With more press attention, we’ll see a tailored German model gain momentum in the U.S. Once employers gain a better understanding, they’ll be lining up for apprenticeship programs.
While businesses are just beginning to grasp the program, a growing portion of the academic community is already pulling together. A number of community colleges have lined up to offer software courses as part of trailblazer apprenticeship programs. More and more software education will be geared toward applied subjects, which have a direct bearing on the career being pursued by the apprenticeship. New partnerships will be established between universities, schools, and business which will enable U.S. citizens to be more successful, especially in their early formative and competitive ages of 16 to 23, an age that for many presents a prolonged and problematic transition from school to career.
[Editor’s Note: This post is part of the annual “Cutter Predicts …” series.]