YSU IT Workforce Accelerator

IT Workforce Accelerator

Youngstown State University, in partnership with IBM, has launched an IT Workforce Accelerator to help better align the workforce with industry in-demand skills. The goal is to provide greater access to industry 4.0 skills and jobs through alternative educational pathways like apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship.​

The IT Workforce Accelerator will regularly convene employers, workforce intermediaries and other ecosystem partners who are interested in being a part of the workforce and education conversation by learning about, implementing or supporting apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. Members of the IT Workforce Accelerator will get access to IBM playbooks, competency frameworks, and thought leadership around apprenticeship. Additionally, members will get access to available IBM IT pre-apprenticeship training for prospective apprentices.

Program Offerings

What is pre-apprenticeship?

YSU is offering the IBM IT pre-apprenticeship program, short-term credentials and other skills training as an alternative educational pathway to gain access to industry in-demand skills like programming, cybersecurity, data science and IT support. These alternative educational offerings will be open to students, alumni and the workforce as a pathway to learn in-demand professional and technical skills. Visit the pre-apprenticeship training program to learn more. 

What is apprenticeship?

YSU is a nationally registered apprenticeship sponsor through the United States Department of Labor. While we are focused on expanding opportunities within our region, YSU has the ability to sponsor employer programs across all 50 states. As an apprenticeship program sponsor, our staff can help companies accelerate program design, provide technical assistance and streamline administration. Visit the apprenticeship program to learn more.

YSU is offering the IBM IT pre-apprenticeship program, short-term credentials and other skills training as an alternative educational pathway to gain access to industry in-demand skills like programming, cybersecurity, data science and IT support. These alternative educational offerings will be open to students, alumni and the workforce as a pathway to learn in-demand professional and technical skills. ​

Pre-apprenticeship is a training program designed to prepare individuals without any prior knowledge or experience with the minimum professional and technical skills needed for consideration into a registered IT apprenticeship programs. ​

Through an online self-paced learning journey, students will earn digital badges to demonstrate important soft skills like teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. Additionally, they will learn new ways of working with Agile and Design Thinking. Lastly, they will build technical foundational knowledge around in-demand skills.​

Each program contains curated learning, skills labs, assessments and digital badges. Upon successful completion, each student will receive a certificate of completion, earn a minimum of four IBM credentials, and be eligible to apply available apprenticeship job openings. ​

Software EngineeringCybersecurityData Scientistz/OS supportIT support specialist

YSU is currently offering IBM pre-apprenticeship training programs including: Software Engineer, Cybersecurity Specialist, Data Scientist, IT Support Specialist and z/OS. To learn more about each program, please visit IBM’s digital certification website.  Additional roles can be added based upon employer demand.

YSU is a nationally registered apprenticeship sponsor through the United States Department of Labor. While we are focused on expanding opportunities within our region, YSU has the ability to sponsor employer programs across all 50 states. ​

As an apprenticeship program sponsor, our staff can help companies accelerate program design, provide technical assistance and streamline administration. ​

Apprenticeship programs provide an "earn while you learn" opportunity to build skills while getting hands-on experience and mentorship; and, is often referred to as the "gold standard" of work-based learning, given structured approach to learning, hands-on experiences, and direct connections to employment. This program is available to both degree and non-degree pathways.

Benefits for Workers

  • Apprentices can earn a living while learning in-demand skills
  • Nationally recognized credential
  • Career advancement
  • Greater pathway to employability
  • Access to dedicated mentor to help accelerate the development of skills

Benefits for Employers

  • Ability to recruit and develop a skilled workforce-ready pipeline
  • Increased retention and engagement
  • Increased productivity and knowledge transfer
  • Greater opportunity and access to those in under-represented communities
  • Ability to train for skills needed
  • Access to training grants and wage offsets