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High-tech job training, one employer at a time

Posting in Education

A news item on cloud-computing provider Rackspace's plans to add 1,000 new employees has two notable angles to it.

First, it points to the continuing shift of opportunities to the burgeoning cloud-computing space -- at the forefront of of the developing online, on-demand, do-it-yourself economy. Technology resources are increasing becoming available in a utility-like fashion, which enterprises and consumers can plug into from anywhere, anytime.

Second, a local government is pitching in to help provide the training for all the new hires RackSpace needs, providing funds, instructors and classroom facilities to ensure that the new workforce is technical proficient.

There's been a huge gap between the skills employers desperately need and the availability of these skills in the global workforce. Paradoxically, during a time of high unemployment, many technology-focused job openings are going begging.

ComputerWorld's Patrick Thibodeau reports that the state of Texas, Rackspace's home state, is pitching in $2.5 million to address the education and training required to get the new hires up to speed with cloud technologies:

This may be an example of highly targeted efforts that will define public-private training programs going forward.

While most of the jobs will be technology-focused, the training program will also help develop skills in  human resources, marketing and administration. Technical skills to be emphasized are for Rackspace's "cloud-specific IT needs, which, for instance, may involve taking a Java programmer and teaching that person the Python or Ruby programming languages," the report states.

Most of the Rackspace training will be at Northeast Lakeview College, near Rackspace's headquarters in San Antonio.

(Photo: U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce.)

— By on February 16, 2013, 11:56 PM PST

Joe McKendrick

Contributing Editor

Joe McKendrick is an independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. He is a co-author of the SOA Manifesto and has written for Forbes, ZDNet and Database Trends & Applications. He holds a degree from Temple University. He is based in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure