Mission: To close the workforce skills gap in the high tech economy by building a path for diverse workers to access training, support and tech jobs across the Greater Minneapolis Region.
Should you require a reasonable accommodation in order to fully participate, or information in an alternative format, please contact 612-673-5001.
Para asistencia 612-673-2700 - Rau kev pab 612-673-2800 - Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.
About MSP TechHire
In response to the rapid growth in tech jobs in the Minneapolis Saint Paul region, the City of Minneapolis along with three high-quality accelerated learning programs: PRIME Digital Academy, Creating IT Futures Foundation – IT Ready, and The Software Guild came together with 60 regional employers with the purpose of training and placing diverse workers into tech careers. The innovative work of this collaborative continued to gain momentum and in March of 2015 received national recognition when the President of the United States named the Minneapolis area one of the first TechHire regions in the nation. The initiative continues to grow with more than 150 employers engaged to date offering internships and employment opportunities for TechHire students and graduates. Follow MSP TechHire on social media using #MSPTechHire and #TechHire.
Outcomes to Date
In its pilot year, MSP TechHire has achieved the following:
- 431 trainees have completed accelerated programs (July 2016)
- Over 290 graduates have been placed in full-time positions, with salaries averaging $48,364 (July 2016)
- Graduates are 32% women; 24% minorities
- Employers range widely across industry and sectors including: C.H. Robinson, the City of Minneapolis, Wells Fargo, Target, the Nerdery, G5 Solutions, Allina Health, Ceridian, Analysts;
- Over 150 engaged employers
Below is a snapshot of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul-Bloomington labor market demand for tech talent. These are the most demanded skills and occupations from September 2016. Sources: Burning Glass Technologies
Open IT Occupations
Software and Programming Skills
Top 5 Occupations
Fastest Growing Occupations (2015-2020)
There are more tech jobs than tech workers in the metro. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) predicts that there will be more than 200,000 tech jobs available in Minnesota in the next decade (not including health care tech jobs). One of them could be yours!
MSP TechHire prepares you for a job in tech by offering
- Accelerated training online or in the classroom,
- Instruction in workplace communications and interviewing, and
- Connections to over 150 engaged employers.
The tech field is very diverse and the skills you learn will apply to different tech jobs. Below is information on the IT and Software/Developer tech pathways and the available MSP TechHire training options that will help you get started in these careers.
Examples of Applicable Job Titles
Support Technician, Help Desk Support, Desktop Support,Configuration Technician, Service Desk Analyst [BLS Code = Computer User Support Specialist, 15-1151.00]
Developer/Engineer, Computer Programmer, Quality Assurance Engineer
Median wages for this position are $49,766/year (Source). Entry level wages average $15.00/hour (Source: Creating IT Future Foundation) and half of all computer user support specialists pay within the range of $19.91 to 31.80/hour (Source).
Entry level candidates graduating from TechHire developer programs have typically seen starting salaries between $50K and $60K. With five years of experience there is a range of $71k to $136k with a $92,000 average (Source: Payscale.com)
• Best Buy
• UnitedHealth Group
Note: MSP TechHire graduates are often hired by smaller, local tech companies.
Paths for Advancement
An IT-Ready graduate can quickly move up the career ladder through the Service/Help Desk Career Pathway that begins with three tiers of Help Desk/Desktop Support and moves into analyst, technician, administrator and manager occupations. Starting as a Tier I help desk support professional, trainees can move to Tier II and then Tier III, or move laterally to Desktop Support Analyst or PC Technician. From there, trainees can become a Systems Administrator or a Manager of Technical Support Services. On the Network Administration Career Pathway, trainees can move up to Network Administrator and then a Network Manager. From these positions, they can move on to roles as Systems Security Administrators and Network Security Administrators with added training and certifications.
Software Developers can advance into positions such as Senior Software Engineers, Software Development Leads, and Software and Solution Architecture. Management tracks include Software Development Team Leads and Software Development Managers. Other paths include: Development Operations, Quality Assurance and Security, Interactive Project Management, Business Analysts, and Database Administration.
Provide technical assistance to computer users. Install and troubleshoot hardware and software. Answer questions or resolve computer problems for clients in person, or via telephone or electronically. May provide assistance with printing, network connectivity, operating systems, and the use of computer hardware and software.
Design, installation, testing, maintenance and integration of software systems. Working with computer code to manipulate applications, websites and systems. Working with stakeholders and teammates to develop software to solve problems, automate workflows and support business goals.
“Day in the life”
As a computer user support specialist, you will constantly working with other people. In this role you help internal customers (co-workers) or external customers answering questions and fixing their computer problems. Most computer user support specialists work in an office environment, 40 hours per week, during a set shift. Computer user support specialists do not usually work face-to-face with the customer. They respond to telephone calls and email messages from customers looking for technical assistance. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are key to successfully troubleshooting problems. Every day and each interaction with a customer could be completely different, but the troubleshooting and communication aspects are the same. The computer user support specialist needs to listen carefully, ask clarifying questions, patiently walk customers through steps to resolve the problem, and document the resolution.
A software developer is the person responsible for picturing how the average person will access a website or application, and then develops or maintains code to create the best possible user experience. He or she needs to be creative and like problem solving in order to find solutions that are efficient, utilize the resources available, and stand the test of time. They are often asked to tackle problems without pre-defined solutions that require research and planning to solve. A developer is someone who likes to constantly learn new technologies in order to overcome project obstacles. Developers collaborate with designers, project managers, quality assurance engineers, and clients/stakeholders as well as work independently to develop software projects.
BLS title Computer User Support Specialist (15-1151.00) is in high demand in the Twin Cities with 800 job postings in Q4 2015 – a 109% increase over the previous year. The State of Minnesota’s Occupations in Demand lists this occupation 26th in current demand (5/5 stars) and projected growth above average (Source) Job outlook is very good as the demand over the next 10 years is reported as high (5/5 Stars) by the State of MN. (Source).
Job outlook is very good as the demand over the next 10 years is reported as 5/5 Stars and ‘High’ by the State of MN –(Source)
MSP TechHire Programs Available
CITFF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to "connect the dots" to ensure that people get the training they need to be successful in career-track jobs in the IT industry. Formed in 1998 by CompTIA, the global IT trade association, CITFF brings the promise of well-paying IT jobs to those who are unemployed or underemployed with an emphasis on communities that are underrepresented in the IT workforce – including women, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and veterans. CITFF provides trainees not only the IT skills, but the communication and business skills that can lead to lifetime careers. By providing access to IT jobs, CITFF is not only helping the IT industry grow and prosper – it is supporting the long-term health and welfare of underserved communities.
Minnesota Computers for Schools is a nonprofit organization that provides technology access and skills training to individuals in need. Since the organization began in 1997, MCFS has placed more than 80,000 computers in the hands of individuals in need. As part of its CORE I.T. program, MCFS offers a variety of training programs designed to improve academic success and economic stability by teaching them digital literacy and in-demand technology skills. Programs range from 8 – 14 weeks and a variety of classes are offered including: Digital Foundations, to Cisco IT Essentials, CompTIA A+ and website design and development. The current class scheduled can be viewed here.
The Software Guild prepares students for entry-level software development jobs. With more than 200 employers in our network, graduates have a 95% job placement rate within six months of graduation.
Students can choose from an intensive, full-time 12-week course or a part-time, 9-month online program. They can learn either .NET/C# or Java, two of the stacks in the highest demand at small and large companies alike in Minneapolis. Both the in-person and online program include instruction from teachers with more than 10 years of experience as well as a focus on hands-on application to build a strong portfolio. The alumni network helps graduates stay in touch and keep refining their skills even after graduation.
The Takoda Institute of Higher Education trains students for the occupation of computer support specialist. The program takes nine months to complete and tuition, books, and fees are fully covered by grants and scholarships for qualifying students. All students are provided with one-on-one assistance from a certified career counselor to secure an internship, develop a cover letter, résumé and LinkedIn profile, and search for jobs in their field and graduates enter the workforce making an average salary of $34,000 per year. The Takoda Institute offers numerous opportunities for continuing education and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges and is a CompTIA Authorized Academy.
Additional Tech Classes
Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) – MCTC’s Information Technology program prepares students to work in the ever-growing information technology arena. Students can earn A.A.S. Degrees in Computer Forensics, Software Development, and Computer Support and Network Administration; Diplomas to become a Software Developer, Mobile Developer in Android, Apple, and Microsoft, Computer Support and Network Administrator, and Information Assurance Professional; and Certificates as a developer in Java, Visual BASIC .NET, Visual C#, Open Source, network administrators in Cisco, Linux, Microsoft, Wireless, Database, Macintosh Support and Network, specialists in Database and Computer Security and a certificate in Information Technology Fundamentals.
MSP TechHire offers additional technology training options and a variety of supportive services for students interested in tech careers.
EMERGE – Based in North Minneapolis and Cedar Riverside, EMERGE helps people facing significant obstacles redefine themselves. Every year, we help thousands of adults and youth access jobs, financial coaching, supportive housing, and other key services, along pathways to brighter futures. We are committed to creating better jobs, better lives, and better community. EMERGE offers basic computer skills courses and IT courses in partnership with Minnesota Computers for Schools and Creating IT Futures Foundation.
Jewish Family and Children’s Service - Serving people of all backgrounds since 1910, JFCS works with each individual to develop a customized career and training plan in our IT Pathways program. Our services also include: career planning assessments and guidance, access to a variety of online technical and professional courses, Math for IT and Writing for IT classes to improve basic skills, customer service training and certification, job search assistance and coaching, resume and cover letter writing assistance, interview preparation, access to our Employer Breakfast and CAFÉ Networking series, and ongoing one-on-one support throughout the training and job search process.
Takoda Group is not-for-profit staffing firm that specializes in placing entry-level technology candidates into employment in their field. Individuals working with Takoda Group will receive one-on-one guidance from a certified career counselor who will assist with developing a cover letter, résumé and LinkedIn profile, practicing behavioral interviewing techniques, and connecting to positions in the field. Takoda Group has helped over 1,700 individuals obtain employment at hundreds of metro-area employers since its founding in 2012. The firm’s services are provided free-of-charge to candidates. More information can be found at takoda-group.com.
Support Services for Tech Companies
Minnesota High Tech Association – The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) serves as a liaison and industry representative for Minnesota technology companies in the Twin Cities area and beyond. MHTA supports providing individuals with training and placement opportunities in the high-tech fields represented by our member companies.
TechHire Tuition Assistance
Catabriea White - PRIME Digital Academy
Victor Chege - Creating IT Futures Foundation - IT Ready
Chelsea Okey - PRIME Digital Academy
Chad Rehm – The Software Guild
What are employers saying about their experience working with MSP TechHire training partners and having graduates as employees?
"Kaitlyn was fully capable of making a contribution on ‘day one!’ Our new hire is a pragmatic problem solver who is capable of leading projects, working in teams, and communicating well with both our staff and customers. The experiential learning and real-world projects provided during Kaitlyn’s training made the difference in our hiring decision. We hired based on this training, and not on a requisite college degree. We would recommend TechHire candidates to companies searching for top-tier talent!” - Tom O’Neill, President of the Nerdery.
“Prime teaches students how to think like a developer in ways that can't ever be taught in a traditional classroom. The methods of collaboration they learn is incredibly well aligned with a professional position and with those skills, they can quickly come up to speed on any technology they may appear 'light' in.” - Empulse “That this was a great experience and seeing so many folks truly interested in development because of what it allows them to do and how it allows them to solve problems is a refreshing change to the average 4-year program candidate.” -CRC Marketing Solutions“100% worth your time. It was one of the most positive recruiting experiences I've ever had - in any field, not just tech - and I'll be singing its praises and telling my friends (who are also on the prowl for solid development staff) about Prime.” - Mall of America
“The IT-Ready workers came in with some excellent technical training, as well as soft skills training that they need in order to quickly integrate into our company,” said Becky Ryan, senior manager, Enterprise Support Centers, HealthPartners. “After experiencing the success of IT-Ready graduates, it became clear that IT-Ready training was exactly what we are looking for in new entry-level hires. Not only are these employees technically trained, they have a wonderful attitude and are totally engaged in their work environment.”
“Our experience with IT-Ready grads has been very positive,” said Rachel Wittrock, human resources generalist, Virteva. “Since Virteva is a managed services provider, our new hires can face a steep learning curve. But because they’ve gone through the rigors of the IT-Ready program and certification process, graduates have already demonstrated an aptitude for the work, as well as the ability to quickly learn and assimilate new skills.”
“I was looking for candidates or potential training grounds for tech support candidates, and saw IT-Ready,” said Bryan Altman, OurWizardFamily.com chief operating officer. “I was thrilled to learn IT-Ready certifies both the technical and soft skills we are looking for. Because we're a relatively small company, we call on each team member to wear a lot of hats.”
- Visit a class
- Attend a graduation
- Set up an informational meeting with a MSP TechHire team member
- Speak to a current MSP TechHire employer
- Join our MSP TechHire Business Advisory Group
- Offer an internship/apprenticeship
- Hire a graduate
To learn more about any of these options contact Tammy Dickinson from City of Minneapolis Employment and Training.
Last updated Oct 4, 2016