Created in response to a widening talent gap in the informatics and computing fields, NEXT draws inspiration from UC’s leadership in cooperative education. The program will prepare candidates by offering flexible, paid educational and work-integrated learning opportunities.
That includes by bringing the jobs to the students. The NEXT program will be launching a remote work and employer learning center, which will allow students and employers to virtually connect.
NEXT provides funds to support related technical instruction, on-the-job training, supportive services for participants and wage subsidy for small employers. In addition to two-year and four-year degree and graduate certificates, NEXT also incorporates nationally portable, industry-recognized credentials, which are critical for advancement in the industry. The program aims to serve more than 5,000 participants during the four-year life of the grant.
“The NEXT apprenticeship model is an excellent opportunity for employers,” says Helen Chen, associate provost and executive director of Career Education. “The industry partners we’re working with see the value of immersing students in their culture and their methods.”