Today, the information technology (IT) sector is booming. Companies are investing more in IT services, as the management and exchange of information have become essential to both internal and external business operations across sectors. At the same time, educators charged with teaching IT to up-and-coming workers must ensure that the material being taught reflects the constant innovations and changes in the IT sector. Colombia’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MinTIC) recently analyzed 171 IT companies across four sub-sectors (hardware, communications, software, and IT services), which were heavily concentrated in Medellín and Bogotá, and identified a rapid and constant growth in IT in these two cities—between three and four percent annually.

Against the backdrop of increasing demand for IT workers and the pressure to better align educational offerings with labor market needs, and made possible with support from Google.org,  IYF in local partnership with COMFENALCO and UNICAFAM, developed a scholarship program to certify 760 young people in Colombia with the Google IT Support Professional Certificate.

The goal for this two-year program is to equip participants with the skills, confidence, and exposure necessary to secure and effectively perform an entry-level IT support role to vulnerable young people in Colombia, between the ages of 18 and 29, who have already earned a high school diploma or equivalent degree.

The program consists of integrating a Coursera-hosted curriculum in IT support skills into its offerings in the Bogotá and Medellin technical vocational education and training (TVET) systems. To address the holistic needs of participants, scholarships, instructional IT support, and wraparound services for workplace insertion are also offered. To this end, participants will undertake the Google Professional IT Support Certificate online training program complemented by virtual technical support sessions, life skills training, career orientation, and job placement services.