New York’s burgeoning array of tech training programs

Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in New York.
Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in New York.
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Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in New York.

New York’s burgeoning array of tech training programs

The city's range of tech education offerings has expanded to keep up with its growing tech sector.
June 11, 2019

From Cornell Tech to City Tech to Pursuit, New York City’s range of technology education offerings has expanded to keep pace with the city’s growing tech sector. The city’s skilled workforce is, after all, what many proponents of Amazon HQ2 credited with helping to attract the internet retail and cloud computing giant to Long Island City. While the city – and really the state – is not without shortages in particular skills, and while there are doubtless geographic pockets (or huge swaths upstate) where the tech talent pipeline doesn’t flow seamlessly from classroom to corner office, New York has reason to be proud of its “talent engine.”

Apart from behemoth undertakings like the $2 billion Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island, the city has also broadened its offering of tech training programs that are designed for specific populations, like MotherCoders, which provides child care during coding education, or the aforementioned Pursuit, a nonprofit four-year training program that aims to provide a path to the middle class for low-income people. Combined with the city’s mainstay educational institutions – New York University, The City University of New York and Columbia University – expanding their own tech departments, facilities and classes, these efforts to develop the city’s homegrown workforce has leaders in education excited about both the opportunities ahead and the diverse competition they face.

“I think that we are in a point of transformation for higher education, which is both exciting, but also complicated,” said new CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez in a conversation with City & State. “Technology is creating all kinds of new opportunities that we need to sort of seize and make them work on behalf of the students that we serve, and the communities that we serve. There’s also a lot more, because of technology and other forces, a lot more entities doing similar work,” he said, acknowledging the need for CUNY to distinguish itself in a crowded field of promising players.

For the rest of today's tech news, head over to First Read Tech.

Annie McDonough
is a tech and policy reporter at City & State.
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