Chicago-based IT trade association CompTIA, best known for its vendor-neutral IT certification programs, is launching its first IT professional organization this spring.
“We absolutely hope that through this formalized association and the resources we are offering we can have an impact on the skills gap and encourage folks to enter the industry,” Nancy Hammervik, senior vice president of industry relations at CompTIA, said.
As a part of this initiative, CompTIA has acquired the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP), a global association for IT professionals founded in 1951. The new organization will be named CompTIA AITP.
“There’s a lot of synergy between the organizations, but what we liked most about AITP was that they have a strong existing chapter infrastructure, where they have student chapters at universities and colleges, and professional chapters in different geographic cities and locations,” Hammervik said.
Hammervik envisions CompTIA AITP helping members along their “resume-to-retirement” journey. Membership will be open to anyone who works in the IT industry and also to high school and college students.
Bolster student interest in IT careers, support IT professionals
CompTIA research indicates that interest among high school students for pursuing a career in IT and getting a degree in computer science is waning, which in turn will contribute to widening the skills gap in the IT industry, Hammervik said.
“What they need is an influencer, a mentor that can spend a little bit of time with them,” she said. “We highly encourage CIOs to give back to the industry … to get involved in any community program where they can be mentors and where they can build internships [for students].”
CompTIA AITP will primarily target the pool of 1.2 million certified CompTIA alumni in the U.S. for membership, Hammervik said.
“We have already established some trust and rapport … this was a natural progression to extend the relationship beyond just training,” she added. “If we could leverage these relationships and stay close to them throughout their career it will help to build a more solid industry.”
Some perks of the paid membership include access to a customized career portal to help individuals write resumes and plan out a career roadmap coupled with networking opportunities, and discounts on CompTIA’s certifications and continuing education programs.