In a bid to diversify the IT talent pool, the Linux Foundation and the Blacks in Technology Foundation are teaming up to offer a new scholarship program that aims to get more African Americans in the field.
According to the foundations, Blacks in Technology will award 50 scholarships per quarter to promising individuals, and the Linux Foundation will give each recipient a voucher to register for any Linux Foundation-administered certification exam for free.
Those Linux Foundation programs include the Linux Foundation Certified IT associate, Certified Kubernetes Administrator, Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator and more.
Online training courses will also be available at no cost when available for each exam selected. Recipients will also receive one-on-one coaching with a Blacks in Technology mentor each month to help them stay on track in preparing for their exam.
This helps remove the financial barrier to entry for Blacks in Technology members, said Dennis Schutlz, executive director of the Blacks in Technology Foundation, in a statement.
“By offering training and certification options for all experience levels, we can meet people where they are in their technical journey and provide support along the way for long term success,” he said.
Clyde Seepersad, senior vice president and general manager of training and certification at the Linux Foundation, said the program is an expansion of a partnership with Blacks in Technology that will make quality open source education and certification more accessible to black IT professionals.
“While we have taken steps at The Linux Foundation to increase diversity in the open source community, there is a long way yet to go,” Seepersad said.
“There is so much potential talent out there, but without the resources and opportunities to nurture it, much will remain unfulfilled. We hope this program will help scholarship recipients start on the path to becoming successful IT professionals who can go on to mentor the next generation.”