Tech & Work

Facebook to provide digital training in 30 US cities to close the tech talent gap

Specific trainings may range from using social media to grow a customer base for SMBs to internet literacy and safety.

Amidst a tech skills shortage, Facebook is venturing to 30 US cities to provide digital and social media training to unemployed people and SMBs throughout 2018, the company announced Thursday in a blog post.

Called Facebook Community Boost, the program will provide programming targeted to different audiences to better equip them to compete in an increasingly digital economy. Four types of trainings were outlined in the blog post: Those for people looking for work, for entrepreneurs, for SMB owners, and for people new to the internet.

SEE: Job description: Digital campaign manager (Tech Pro Research)

People looking for work will get training to boost in-demand digital and social media skills. Around two-thirds of SMB leaders using Facebook said a candidate's digital skills are an important consideration in the hiring process.

Internet newcomers will be able to gain knowledge on online safety and general digital literacy, getting additional information on how they can stay connected to their communities on Facebook using event and group features.

Business owners and entrepreneurs can learn about growing their online presence and customer base using Facebook. They may also learn how to turn a business idea into the real deal. Over half of SMB leaders on Facebook said the platform has helped them increase sales, according to the blog.

A recent report from Robert Half Technology found that 77% of job candidates lack the digital media skills that businesses need. Some of the most in-demand skills include social media management and marketing, which overlap with what Facebook plans on teaching. However, it is unclear if Facebook plans on offering skills trainings that don't pertain directly to Facebook itself.

Facebook will work with local organizations to administer the training sessions in cities including Houston, St. Louis, and Des Moines. The full list of cities wasn't released, but a link for interested cities was included in the post.

Other tech giants have invested in similar education programs. For example, in October, Google put up $1 billion in grant money to support nonprofits working to close the education gap.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Facebook will provide digital and social media training to people in 30 cities in 2018.
  2. Sessions will be tailored for unemployed people, internet newcomers, business owners, and entrepreneurs.
  3. The trainings can benefit SMB owners looking to grow their business and people looking to pick up skills to jump into the tech industry.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/golubovy

About Olivia Krauth

Olivia Krauth is a Multiplatform Reporter at TechRepublic.

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