November 3, 2022

Florida University Launches Training Program To Help Latinx Students

Florida International University (FIU) has launched a new initiative to give students the necessary skills and credentials to excel in high-demand tech careers. 

The gap between the Latinx community and the tech industry 

The university has more than 32,000 students who identify as Hispanic or Latinx enrolled in their courses. However, despite the Hispanic community making up one-fifth of the U.S. workforce, only a tiny percentage of them find their way into the tech workforce. 

According to reports, the absence of Latinx people within the tech industry stems back to the 1990s and 200s when American households first gained access to computers and the internet. Latinx people lagged because access to the internet was seen as a luxury only few could afford at the time. 

Fast forward to today, the tech industry has grown to become highly competitive, making it harder for underrepresented communities to break in. Many Latinx people who venture into the tech space experience biases while dealing with classic stereotypes during the hiring process. Barriers like these force communities to turn away from the industry or put more pressure on employees to “overperform” despite facing a herd of disadvantages. 

Florida International University’s Tech Program 

To help bridge that gap, FIU has partnered with the leading tech platform, SkillStorm. Through the partnership, FIU students can enrol in courses that lead to credentials from tech companies such as AWS, Salesforce, CompTIA and Pega.

“Our work is rooted in the belief that closing skill gaps and creating pathways to economic mobility are, in many ways, two sides of the same coin,” said Joe Mitchell, COO at SkillStorm. 

“Together with FIU, we’re enabling more students to learn the skills that lead to success in today’s world of work and expanding access to economic opportunity for those who stand to gain the most from the promise of higher education.” 

SkillStorm aims to close skill gaps and boost economic mobility. They have adopted new training approaches that will help diversify the tech talent pool. 

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.