Inside A Next-Gen Apprenticeship


Tia Rose Shares her Experience with On-the-Job Learning in Software Development

CENTRAL OREGON — In 2018, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) received a State Apprenticeship Expansion Grant from the Department of Labor, with the goal of expanding registered apprenticeship into new industries. As a direct recipient of these funds, East Cascades Works, in partnership with Apprenti, was able to create a software developer apprenticeship program to address the growing demand of the tech industry in Central Oregon.

Tia Rose was a participant of this innovative program, and had much to say about this learning experience and the doors it opened for her.

Tia Rose

“I was working in the banking industry and was making $38,400 a year. I realized I wanted something more, a career where I would be constantly learning and solving problems,” she says. “That was when I heard a commercial about Apprenti. I decided to apply becuase of my two and a half-year-old daughter. I wanted to show her that if she puts her mind to it, she could accomplish anything she wants. So, I took the plunge, leaving behind the world of banking and becoming a part of a whole new world of programming.”

“Programming was completely different from what I was accustomed to learning. The training scheduled was 40+ hours a week for five months. My experience with the training was different from most. Not only did I join with very little programming experience, but I also was taking care of my daughter by myself while my husband took a job in another state. Without the guidance and patience of my instructional staff, I would have not been able to complete the training. Whenever i had questions or concerns, I knew I could go to them.

“I started my on-the-job training in August with Five Talent and am applying the concepts I learned from my training. Five Talent allowed me to study to get my Amazon Web Services (AWS) Solutions Architect certification, something that is highly sought for in the tech industry. Five Talent works very close with AWS, so having the ability to practice with all the services AWS offers will be crucial to becoming a better developer as cloud computing becomes more and more relevant.

“After I complete the Apprenti program in August 2020, I hope to be hired on permanently with Five Talent. I would like to be a mentor to other women and minorities that are considering getting into the tech field. My colleagues at Five Talent have not treated me differently from other developers and are instead focused on getting me these learning opportunities to become a better developer. I am grateful to work with a company that understands the need for diversity and is so supportive. I hope I can continue to share my story so that others can learn from my experience and get into a career that they truly enjoy.”

About Author

Endi Hartigan is the Communications Director for the State of Oregon's Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC). The HECC envisions a future in which all Oregonians—and especially those whom our systems have underserved and marginalized—benefit from the transformational power of high-quality postsecondary education and training.

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