With tech positions dominating the market for open and remote jobs, Kansas residents now can enroll in a free, government-funded certification course on IT, cybersecurity or IT project management through SnapIT Solutions, said Neelima Parasker.
SnapIT — an Overland Park technology solutions and training company — received funds from the federal CARES Act grant, which allows the company to train 250 Kansans in various tech programs by the end of 2020, said Parasker, the company’s CEO.
Along with training, students will receive a free laptop, a voucher for certification exam fees and money for a hotspot, she added.
“It [sounds] too good to be true, but we are in a too-bad-to-be-true situation,” Parasker said, noting that the need for tech jobs in the United States is much greater than the pool of qualified applicants.
Click here to read more about the CARES Act grant for Economic Development & Connectivity in the state of Kansas.
Click here to read about additional CARES funding being distributed through the Enterprise Center in Johnson County.
Students can choose between four tech-based courses: IT Support Specialist, Cyber Networking, Cyber Security and Certified Associate of Project Management. Upon request, a student can choose to take more than one course, Parasker said.
“We want to have students all throughout the state of Kansas; we would love to see those students who are interested [in tech], but may not have had the resources before, sign up,” she said, acknowledging how providing free resources will allow for a more inclusive group of students.
There are only three requirements for applicants: 1) They must be a Kansas resident who is eligible to work in the United States; 2) They must be 18 or older; 3) They need to have the ability to set aside 100 hours for online training.
The virtual instructor-led training sessions begin Oct. 19, but students are eligible to join for self-led courses starting Nov. 2, Parker noted. The deadline for students to complete their course is Dec. 20.
“We will be able to see each student’s progress, and we will have open office hours for students to ask questions and get help from our trainers,” she added.
SnapIT training does not stop once students earn their certification.
“SnapIT is also tasked with helping students prepare their resumes, create LinkedIn profiles and guide them on where they can apply,” Parasker said. “We also plan on hosting career fairs in January, February and March.”
Click here to check out how SnapIT has been hustling through COVID.
Signups for the program began Oct. 14. Within the first two days, Parasker said that 98 individuals have enrolled — leaving 152 more open spots. Those eligible can enroll here.
Parasker encouraged people to consider learning tech skills, as more businesses and programs have had to shift online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We already got a very rude awakening that our jobs can be disrupted at any moment,” she said. “A lot of our jobs will be dependent on how technology savvy we are.
“I call on more people in the United State to consider technology jobs and consider how we can add technology to our lives to make our communities more sustainable and anti-fragile,” she continued.
On a local level, the opportunity will have the potential to increase the quality of jobs in Kansas, Parasker said.
“I sit on the workforce board for Gov. Laura Kelly, and the numbers for unemployment in Kansas were not bad [before COVID], but the quality of our jobs is still pretty low,” Parasker explained. “What these certifications do is give residents that boost in their job salary requirements. This experience makes a difference.”
Click here to learn about SnapIT’s prolonged work with training students in IT.