Learning and Development Strategies for Tech Employees in 2024

People attending a meeting in an office.

Working in tech, you can always count on change, evolution, and the need to adapt. For hiring managers and other leaders in positions to hire new talent, the need for tech workers necessitates a continued shift in traditional hiring approaches and learning and development strategies as we head deeper into a new year.

To expand and diversify talent pools, companies like Apple, IBM, and others are eliminating degree requirements for new hires. Others are exploring new training methods, such as reskilling internally, to tap into their existing team’s talent, company knowledge, and drive to learn and grow.

Below, we’ll take a look at both strategies so you can determine your best path toward an energized tech team in 2024.

The Value of Eliminating Degree Requirements

In software development, it doesn’t necessarily take a four-year college degree to become a successful software engineer. Many professional teams consist of a mix of engineers from a variety of backgrounds, including college graduates and those from non-college training programs. but team-building of this sort requires companies to reevaluate their degree requirements.

Expanded Talent Pool

The Harvard Business Review refers to workers without college degrees as the “new collar workforce,” noting that “millions of people are locked out of promising job opportunities because too many companies default to hiring workers with four-year degrees.” Consider the untapped potential of expanding your talent pools to these individuals.

Tomorrow’s leading organizations are already taking action. According to U.S. News and World Report, Apple, Google, IBM, and Accenture are just some of the most recent companies to drop degree requirements for certain jobs. This is a positive development that’s grown over the past decade. It enables a diverse range of individuals to get into tech and broadens the possibility for different and valuable perspectives on teams across industries.

Increased Productivity 

Due to traditional expectations, jobs like “software developer” were previously believed to fall under the “degree required” category. But according to research from Accenture and Harvard Business School, “middle-skill” jobs – or, jobs that require post-high-school training but don’t necessarily require a Bachelor’s degree – see no differences in productivity when these jobs are performed by college graduates vs. non-degree workers.

Transferrable Skills

Many non-college candidates excel after being hired through skills-based programs focused on capabilities rather than diplomas. This expanded hiring effort helps the new hires and the companies simultaneously, as they move together toward the common goals of long-term growth and sustainability.

“Adopting a skills-focused approach can help employers to reduce bias and increase diversity; fill skill gaps at their organization; support career growth and improve retention; and open the door to employees from diverse backgrounds and industries,” according to a report from Markle Foundation, whose work aims to improve the economic security, national security, and health of all Americans.

New Training Methods to Reskill and Upskill Current Employees

In the software development space, employers are often looking for tech talent to help meet goals and push the company forward through innovation. However, according to an extensive report from the consulting firm Korn Ferry, the ongoing skills gap – and specifically the skills gap in technology – could force the U.S. economy to “lose out on $162 billion worth of revenues annually unless it finds more high-tech workers.”

That’s a lot of unmet potential – but there are ways to fill the gap. Employers can provide opportunities for current team members to learn the tech skills needed to take on new and different roles within the company. And those internal team members likely want this sort of training and opportunity. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, 77% of employees are eager to learn new skills or completely retrain.

As employees learn, they’re more engaged, and research shows that engaged employees are nearly twice as productive as disengaged ones. Not to mention, when employees feel like they’re being invested in and like they belong, job retention tends to rise.

Companies looking to reskill members of their teams can do so by developing in-house initiatives for training, or they can partner with a reskilling expert who comes in to evaluate their needs and provide training accordingly.

Either route is worth the investment. These are team members who’ve demonstrated an aptitude for and interest in tech-centered work; they’re already onboarded, and they know your company inside and out. Plus, they know the consumer pain points, as well as internal pain points experienced in their previous role or roles. Who better to potentially work on software to improve company operations and/or customer service? 

Start exploring your next talent solutions. 

Every company is a tech company now, whether your organization is focused on retail, medicine, research, banking, or beyond. You need a robust technology team to maintain your competitive edge.

As we go deeper into 2024, it’s a great time to consider your options – and then act on them accordingly. Either solution mentioned above is a viable way to increase your tech talent, enrich career opportunities for your team, and work toward ambitious goals.

For more information on how we can help, explore our site to learn more about Tech Elevator’s Workforce Solutions.

Reskilling - Meredith HendershottWritten by Meredith Hendershott
Tech Elevator’s Director of Accounts and Delivery