How NextGen Program partners help underrepresented groups get tech jobs

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  • 2022
August 25, 2022

NextGen Program helps underrepresented groups get tech jobs: 3 women and 1 man gathered around conference room table and laptop

Finding good, qualified talent in the tech industry can be challenging amid today’s skills shortage. The ServiceNow NextGen Program was designed to help tackle this challenge by empowering underrepresented groups with skills to secure meaningful employment in the industry.

The success of the program relies on a wide range of employer and training partners. Training partners help shape NextGen participants into qualified graduates who feel ready to enter full-time employment in the tech field. Employer partners hire and place NextGen participants upon graduation.

Creating adaptable training

Nayab Sayed, director of training partner Hibdigital, has been helping develop the next generation of talent for years. When introduced to ServiceNow and the NextGen Program, he felt he'd finally found a way to make a positive impact with his career, something he always wanted.

“I can make a difference by working directly with underrepresented people through the NextGen Program and helping them get into the tech sector and forge long, successful careers,” he says.

When the pandemic hit and increased demand for online courses in digital technologies, Sayed partnered with NextGen to create a new training course for participants. That meant confronting numerous challenges.

“There’s a diverse mix of dynamics and personalities in NextGen—from adults fresh out of school to those with over 40 years of work experience, and even those with limited English skills,” he explains. “So, we had to think long and hard about how best to build a program and a team that really connects these incredible individuals.”

I can make a difference by working directly with underrepresented people through the NextGen Program and helping them get into the tech sector and forge long, successful careers. - Nayab Sayed, Director, Hibdigital

Sayed took an empathetic approach to understand participants’ needs and build their confidence and trust. Because NextGen participants come from various backgrounds where they might have full-time work or families, the NextGen team eliminated the rigid structure of traditional classrooms, lowered barriers to entering the program, and ensured interactive sessions.

“We can change the course material quickly and easily if the instructor finds it necessary,” Sayed notes. “If a subject becomes too dry or too complex, for instance, the instructor can swap out modules, bring in real-world examples or relatable content, and come back to the former content later.”

Focusing on diversity

Digital transformation company whyaye prioritizes diversity when recruiting talent and found the NextGen Program appealing as a means to help with that.

“It was described to us as a way to get in touch with and potentially place candidates who otherwise might struggle to get opportunities in the industry,” explains Shane Finch, platform and program delivery lead at whyaye. “We knew immediately we wanted to get involved.”

Whyaye is helping moms returning to the workforce and people without computer science degrees join the tech industry. The company has hired three NextGen graduates so far, one of whom used to work in an optician’s office.

“You might not think it, but having that customer service experience, though not necessarily tech-related, is really valuable when it comes to working with clients,” says Rachel Thompson, customer delivery lead at whyaye. “There’s real value in these soft skills, and the NextGen Program is a great way to meet talented people who have a diverse and often unexpected range of them.”

Providing opportunities

Whyaye enthusiastically recommends the NextGen Program to other employers in search of passionate, talented candidates.

“For us, there are no downsides,” Finch says. “We’re not only giving extremely deserving people an opportunity to start a career in technology, but we’re also bringing fresh new perspectives into the business.”

Sayed agrees. “The NextGen Program is about providing fresh perspectives and new opportunities so that students build confidence in using technology while getting the support they need to see the course through and beyond into their career,” he says. “Only then can they move forward to the next stage of their career and a better life for themselves.”

Find out how your organization can get involved in the NextGen Program.

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