About the Capital CoLAB
The Capital Region is one of the nation’s leading tech employment hubs. Employers across all industries—from government and healthcare to the arts and energy—hire workers from an array of educational backgrounds to succeed in today’s increasingly digital economy.
However, regional employers risk 60,000 digital tech jobs going unfilled annually through 2025 unless they expand how they source talent. To keep pace with the region’s demand for digital skillsets and do so in a way that enables inclusive economic growth, employers must clearly signal their talent needs and proactively invest in their workforce pipeline.
About the Digital Tech Credential
The Capital CoLAB Digital Tech Credential (DTC) allows the region’s leading businesses and academic institutions to collaborate in scaling a coordinated response to critical workforce needs. The program helps CoLAB university students gain the digital skills needed for in-demand tech and tech adjacent jobs in the Capital Region. Students who complete coursework aligned with entry level jobs in Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, Machine Learning, and Generalist (or tech adjacent) roles are awarded a digital badge that employers recognize as a differentiator in the hiring process.
Digital badges are markers of academic and professional achievement that you can publicize across a broad range of professional mediums (including LinkedIn, Handshake, and a traditional resume).
The CoLAB’s Digital Tech Credential is accepted and recognized by all CoLAB companies as a marker that you are well prepared to step into positions that require foundational digital skills, such as data analysis, data visualization, and data security, cybersecurity, and AI/machine learning.
The Generalist credential prepares students in the knowledge, skills, and abilities for job roles that require an understanding of data analysis and visualization as well as data security.
The Specialist credentials prepare students in the knowledge, skills, and abilities for job roles involving specialized technical skills. Tracks include cybersecurity, machine learning, and data analytics.
It is projected that 60,000 digital tech and tech-adjacent roles will go unfilled annually in the Capital Region through 2025.
TalentReady program aims to address this demand for tech talent by exposing thousands of high school students, primarily from diverse backgrounds, to the competencies that employers are seeking.
This initiative brings together K-12 and higher education leaders from five communities—Baltimore City, MD; Fairfax County, VA; Montgomery County, MD; Prince George’s County, MD; and the District of Columbia—to partner with each other and employers on designing pathways that connect high school curricula, postsecondary degrees, certifications, and real-world work experiences to in-demand IT careers.
Beginning in high school, students enrolled in TalentReady IT pathways will take a series of courses embedded with the competencies that employers in the region prioritize for entry-level jobs. At the same time, the CoLAB will leverage its employer network to explore new ways of advancing project-based and work-based learning opportunities to students enrolled in IT pathways. The partnerships developed through this initiative will connect more young people from diverse backgrounds to economic opportunities, provide employers with the talent they need to thrive and strengthen the broader regional economy.
By providing students with meaningful training and workplace exposure, CoLAB aims to broaden the aperture of students gaining the skills and industry experience needed to successfully start a career in the digital tech economy. Check out CoLAB’s Digital Tech College & Career Readiness Series, a free video collection for students looking to launch their careers in digital tech.
- Increasing student enrollment in demand-driven IT pathways that extend from high school through postsecondary education
- Ensuring more regional employers hire youth with credentials from key K-12 jurisdictions and higher educational institutions in the Capital Region
- Providing more information for the Employer Signaling System to empower educators to design and scale career pathways aligned to current, regional workforce needs
- Connecting learners, educators, and employers across the work-based learning spectrum and coordinating efforts.
TalentReady is funded by:
About the Employer Signaling System
The Capital CoLAB’s Employer Signaling System (ESS) combines labor market information with employer insights and educator feedback to develop and refresh the knowledge, skills, abilities, and credentials (KSACs) needed for entry level IT roles in the Capital Region. The ESS is designed to provide educators with a snapshot of the KSACs and professional development opportunities that will prime students—starting in high school and continuing through post-secondary education—for some of the most in-demand jobs in our region.