Creating Career Pathways for Tech
Written by: | Posted Oct 7, 2015

DC here we come! Next week members of the NTC’s education team will particpate in the Close It Summit focused on “the power of and national shift towards employment technology and competency based hiring and training”.

It’s almost as if the organizers built a conference just for us! (We nerd out on this stuff)

For years the NTC, its members, and many of you as individual leaders in our community have voiced concerns about and gotten involved in efforts to improve the pool of tech talent grown here in Nashville. That has taken a number of forms… Advisory Boards with area undergraduate programs, homegrown bootcamp the Nashville Software School, internship programs, youth labs at developer events like PyTennessee, company partnership with the Academies of Nashville,  I could go on for ages.

However, many of those things continue to happen in separation, with a few key leaders acting as the dot-connectors. Beyond connecting the programs, it continues to be a challenge, not only in Nashville but around the country, to map career pathways: connecting those education programs, experiential learning opportunities, and support services to advancement through education and into or through jobs.

We Build Tech

A key component of the NTC’s work with the State through the LEAP Grant and with the White House’s TechHire program is our forthcoming We Build Tech platform. We chose this name deliberately – it works with anything the NTC wants to do or support. In every geographic region, “we build tech”. In your companies, user groups, school clubs, and hack events, “we build tech” rings true.

This platform will be a place to bring together the opportunities available in Middle TN and connect them to career pathways for tech. Which education opportunities and skills/knowledge connect over the lifetime of a student that could lead to a senior level architect positions? to user experience designer roles? to network, database, tester, security, analyst roles? And where can a student, career changer, or professional find the opportunities they need to grow right here in Middle TN? The work we’re doing will give us the data and the opportunity to work with and move employers in our region towards competency-based hiring or hiring for skills, instead of pedigree, and a platform on which to try it.

As we expand We Build Tech over the next few years, our goal is to create those connections, share the great work happening in our community – in businesses, classrooms, or community groups, and to be a central place for education and employment in tech that lifts the whole community.

No one else is working on a project quite like this in the employment technology space, particularly with a community building and community participation as a guiding principle.

Close It Summit

The NTC is traveling to DC to share this vision for our work with leaders in employment technology and workforce development, including White House teams, Amazon, Udacity, General Assembly, LinkedIn, IBM, and many more. These groups want to tackle this problem in partnership with communities around the country and we look forward to taking them up on it.

This exciting opportunity in DC comes on the heels of speaking at the Code for America Summit where TechHire team members let us know that Nashville (paraphrasing here) is perhaps the only region taking a “community approach” to tackling its tech workforce problem.

We couldn’t imagine doing it any other way.

Look for updates on our trip to DC coming soon. If you want to know more about We Build Tech or get involved with the work happening in education or workforce development at the NTC, contact Colleen Hoy at