For years, many in the United States have viewed the traditional four year degree as the only path to a successful career. In late July, a new bill was introduced on the Hill that recognizes the need to change that mindset -- the New Collar Jobs Act.
What exactly is a “new collar” job? According to IBM, the original advocate for building new collar career skills, new collar jobs are “roles in some of the technology industry’s fastest growing fields — from cybersecurity to digital design — that require technical training or some postsecondary education but not necessarily a four-year degree.”
With the projected workforce shortage of 1.8 million by the year 2020, it is encouraging to see a growing number of Fortune 500 companies support the “new collar” job concept. Cybersecurity has many positions within the field that could be considered “new collar.” If passed, the New Collar Jobs Act could help build up the cyber workforce to meet the rising demand.
According to The Hill, the bill “would establish incentivized tax breaks for employers offering cybersecurity training, increase funding for a cyber scholarship program and establish a student debt relief program for cybersecurity job takers” and is a step in the right direction to growing America’s cybersecurity workforce.
Hiring managers and business leaders need to be open to alternative education pathways – including certifications – as a way to address the skills gap. This new bill helps to validate a new way of thinking.