Illinois Tech to Help Boost Careers and Skills Through TechReady Illinois Initiative



By Casey Moffitt
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Illinois Institute of Technology has joined the TechReady Illinois initiative to help Illinoisans upgrade their technical skills and boost their careers.

As a member of the TechReady Illinois initiative, Illinois Tech is offering professional certificate programs in cybersecurity, software development, software engineering, and distributed and cloud computing. Tuition rates for these graduate-level certificate programs are greatly reduced through the initiative to help those who may have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m excited that the College of Computing can provide these programs for the residents of the state of Illinois to prepare them to push their careers forward in these difficult times,” says Lance Fortnow, dean of the College of Computing.

The TechReady Illinois initiative was announced on Monday. It connects universities across the state with nonprofit organizations to help people train for new careers in tech or advance in their current tech careers. Founded by Discovery Partners Institute and P33, TechReady Illinois is a collaborative, statewide effort that brings together Illinois’s top-tier academic institutions, leading employers, and local tech-focused nonprofits.

“The data show us that jobs with a tech and analytics lens consistently see higher demand than those without, and come back quicker after economic downturns,” says Brad Henderson, chief executive officer of P33. “People are facing unprecedented challenges, and Chicago’s tech community is stepping up to help. Through this program Illinois residents will be able to build valuable skills, create a portfolio of work for future employers, and grow Chicago’s technology talent pool.”

Courses offered through TechReady Illinois have value to both experienced technologists looking to sharpen their skills and novices interested in pivoting to a tech career for the first time. The TechReady Illinois team will be intentional about reaching underserved individuals to increase access to these learning opportunities. All Illinois Tech courses will be taught by faculty of the university’s new College of Computing and will be offered online. Credit hours earned from many of these courses can be applied toward a future master’s degree program.

TechReady Illinois offers other benefits to enrolling students, including weekly study groups through video conferencing, career coaching, and access to industry experts who can help as guides into a tech career.