Each day it seems there’s a brand new gadget, app, or network ready to connect us. It began with communication, but over time it’s evolved to include wearables that track health and fitness, household integration, and security innovations in addition to advances in industrial, automotive, and surveillance technology. Data is gathered, shared, and processed, enabling devices to perform remote actions and enhance functionality. The remote network that makes this all possible — the Internet of Things (IoT) — is growing exponentially: from 10 billion connected devices in 2018 to a predicted 64 billion in 2025.

Which makes the question of who is going to manage the IoT for your business an increasingly urgent one. It’s a challenge troubling the minds of industry leaders, too, according to a recent report from Microsoft in which 47% of IoT adopters believe that there simply aren’t enough skilled workers available to keep up with the ever-growing needs.

It was also the focus of a recent article in Forbes, which provided a number of excellent suggestions for closing the IoT skills gap with one oversight: considering ways in which modern digital apprenticeship programs can play a vital role in each step of the process. In just twelve months (or less), digital apprentices earn wages as full-time employees while obtaining the skills required for industry-recognized certifications. From there, they can grow into various IoT roles while building on a solid and comprehensive foundation.

Apprenticeships as a Way to Train and Upskill

Finding the most effective way to train and upskill in the face of advances in IoT can be daunting, which is what makes modern apprenticeship programs so attractive. Participants continue to receive a paycheck while gaining structured training and focused education culminating in an industry-recognized certification. Employers gain highly skilled workers through an affordable, structured, and scalable program built to meet the growing digital needs so critical to economic success.

Franklin Apprenticeships currently offers Franklin Digital and Missouri Digital, two innovative programs designed for participants to receive CompTIA and/or Microsoft certifications in just one year.

Apprenticeships as a Way to Find the Right People

Finding the right mix of skills, talent, and potential in the face of ever-changing digital needs is complicated.

Modern apprenticeship programs are designed to help you develop employer-specific training, which allows candidates with in-demand soft skills to gain technical proficiencies quickly within the digital and IoT ecosystems.

What does this mean for recruitment? Instead of scanning each resume and application for IT  and IoT experiences that may soon be outdated, recruitment can focus instead on aptitude, drive, curiosity, communication, and problem-solving as building blocks crucial to assembling — and maintaining — a nimble and cutting-edge workforce.

It also means that recruitment for IoT might begin with those already working within your organization. Upskilling those already in your company benefits everyone involved: you don’t need to recruit someone completely new, but rather you can select from trusted employees and train them in the skills your business needs to thrive.

Apprenticeships as a Way to Keep the Right People

What makes your company appealing? Why should people want to work for you, and to keep working for you?

It all comes down to showing employees that you value them, which could be as simple as investing in them and in their future (and therefore in your company and your company’s future) through training and upskilling.

Apprenticeships allow you to bring in a new worker who begins earning competitive wages while learning the skills they need to receive industry-recognized certifications within a single year. You can also motivate existing employees by offering this career development opportunity, as well. Given that over half of workers who feel that their digital skills are stagnating are willing to go elsewhere, investing in their ongoing training also builds loyalty and increases employee retention.

According to the Digital Marketing Institute, “A recent study concluded that 91% of apprentices remained employed or continued their education six months after the apprenticeship was completed. 75% of those that completed the apprenticeship remained employed with the same company.”

Apprenticeships as a Way to Grow Talent

One of our early partners in Franklin Digital, Frank Valdivieso of Gryphon Consulting, provided key insights into why he chose to invest in modern apprenticeships, and chief among them was consistent access to quality talent. The need for skilled workers grows right alongside the IoT, which means demand for digital workers will continue to rise.

Modern apprenticeships offer businesses of all sizes an affordable format in which to train — and keep training — the talent necessary to keep the IoT strong and secure. They’re also an investment in your local community, and in the broader viability of the U.S. economy as we work together to close the IoT skills gap, one apprentice at a time.

What are you waiting for? Contact Franklin Apprenticeships today to learn how we’re changing the American workforce, one apprenticeship at a time.