The jobs of the future are in the high technology industry, and the traditional American education system has been slow to respond to the skills gap that exists between workers and jobs. The education startups that are trying to solve this problem are targeting young digital natives who are skipping college and instead learning how to code. The goal is to get an entry level job at a tech startup, and continue to learn the hard skills of software development on the job.
The problem with this approach is that not everyone wants to be a software engineer. Many of America’s unemployed and underemployed workers are baby boomers who want to be useful in the workplace. These workers often have family and financial obligations that prevent them from going back to school full-time to study computer science. A St. Louis company called Onshore Outsourcing is solving this problem by providing an alternative to both software development programs and traditional education programs.
Onshore Outsourcing offers classes that teach technology skills like data management, help desk, and software testing in addition to software development.
These skills are critical as the consumer internet industry continues to grow within the overall technology industry. Help desk skills are especially helpful to have in the current economy. Consumer internet startups need workers who can provide timely and friendly customer service while knowing enough about technology to be the interpreter between software developers and customers. Often, a small startup with just a few employees will be serving millions of customers. The ratio of customers to workers is changing, and the help desk is the first line of defense when it comes to identifying customer confusion and dissatisfaction. The help desk skill classes provided by Onshore Outsourcing are technology focused, so the training covers the specific software that workers will use on the job.
Onshore Outsourcing’s mission is to prevent foreign outsourcing by encouraging companies to outsource jobs to rural areas where jobs are needed the most. The jobs that Onshore Outsourcing brings to small towns fight the “Walmart effect” that happens when big box stores score tax breaks to bring jobs to rural America. While big corporations have used rural America as a dumping ground for low quality, low skill work opportunities that suppress wages and shutter local businesses, Onshore Outsourcing wants to prop up rural Americans by teaching employees new skills that are in demand in the new economy.
Onshore Outsourcing was founded by CEO Shane Mayes. The company recently relocated to the University of Missouri-St. Louis Innovative Technology Enterprises center.