NextGen Program: Providing training and opportunities in tech

  • ServiceNow Blog
  • Life at Now
  • Culture
  • 2021
April 05, 2021

ServiceNow NextGen Program creates equitable opportunities in technology.

Imagine you spent the last decade as a helicopter mechanic and now you’re back in civilian life asking yourself, “What do I do now?” Imagine your family immigrated to a new country and it’s been hard to make ends meet—never mind chase your dreams. You could use a break. You just need a chance.

For many, the ServiceNow NextGen Program is that break. The program is part of our global impact efforts to create equitable opportunities and empower the workforce of the future with people traditionally excluded from technology. Participants receive no-cost technical and soft skills training to navigate the corporate environment. Graduates apply for roles with the thousands of companies in the ServiceNow ecosystem.

Ebony was the perfect candidate: She had the ambition to break into tech and just needed the chance. Ebony’s story is more than a journey. It’s an inspiration. Her experience includes everything from pursuing a career in psychology to being a mom living paycheck to paycheck. But when Ebony eventually found her way to the ServiceNow NextGen Program to work in IT, she says it changed her life. Let’s meet Ebony and hear her experience firsthand.

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Meet Ebony

I took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test in high school to see what career would be the best fit, and they told me IT. At first, I thought it was a joke. When I was growing up, my family didn’t even have a computer.

I went to college, got my degree in psychology, and started graduate school in psychometrics. With school loans piling up, I had to stop and find work. I went from working as a 911 dispatcher to a pharmacy tech. I even sold apartments. One day, I was looking at jobs and came across a posting that offered 16 weeks of training in tech, and it was free. That was the TechBridge Program for ServiceNow. I said to myself, “You know what, I’ll give it a shot. Why not?” I was one of 25 participants from 200 applications. I felt pretty special.

Training “was no joke”

TechBridge was pretty intense. Imagine knowing very little about web development and then being completely immersed in it. We started by learning HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, jQuery, and JavaScript in three weeks. Classes were nights and weekends. It was tough.

There was a moment when I had $2 to my name. I had one child at home who was just surviving, and my other child unfortunately passed away when she was only two months old. It was around the time of her birthday and I was in grief, but I still had to go to class. I cried in the parking lot because even with all that was going on, I knew how badly I wanted this.

I knew what I was doing would change my life. But I had doubts if I could make it. A classmate saw me crying and came over and gave me $20. I just broke down. He said, “Just keep going. You got it.” That act of kindness made me stronger and showed me I could do this.

4 certifications in 5 months

And I did! I earned four certifications in five months. I’m so grateful for the many people at TechBridge and ServiceNow, and classmates who encouraged me.

I took my first role at a big consulting company. Then, COVID-19 hit, and I was out of work. Now, I’m a system administrator at Wellstar. I work with performance analytics, which I love.

This is the first field I’ve worked in where everyone is on your side. We’re all working together to make sure we’re able to live better than we did before, that we’re not worried about being one paycheck away from being homeless, that we know our families are OK and don’t have to struggle anymore.

"Opportunity for all, not the privileged few...that's what defines the ServiceNow NextGen Program." Faez A., senior director, training and certification

“Give us a chance”

I think businesses should really look at the capabilities people have to offer and not just look at the last couple of positions they had, because they probably worked their butts off to get where they are right now.

Give us a chance to show our skills, what we’re capable of. We have the willingness to learn, the willingness to try. You can have a great candidate who was like me—I just needed the access and opportunity to do well.

Before ServiceNow and TechBridge, I'd never had the opportunity to show my skills or afford things. Being able to get my daughter a savings account, that's big for me. Eventually, I will buy a home because I can actually do that now. All my journeys and hardships I experienced helped develop and mold me. I know I've been through the worst. If I can go through the worst, then there's nothing but up from here.

Learn more about NextGen.

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