Cognizant's new program will aim to improve the lives of workers around the world, training one million individuals for gainful employment by 2026
TEANECK, N.J., Oct. 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) today announced the official launch of its groundbreaking training initiative, Synapse, aimed at empowering more than one million individuals with cutting-edge technology skills—like generative artificial intelligence (AI)—for the digital age. Together with governments, academic institutions, businesses, and other strategic partners, Cognizant's program will leverage evolving AI technology and the company's premier tech services to up-prepare individuals for the future workforce. Cognizant also intends to build a consortium of partners for training and jobs which then will employ individuals who are upskilled through the Synapse program.
The initiative draws on Cognizant's longstanding expertise on training and educating a global workforce and expansive expertise across global geographies and digital technologies. By reaching underserved communities, marginalized groups, and individuals with limited access to traditional education, the initiative was created with the goal of driving meaningful change and create pathways to success that were previously unreachable for many individuals. Cognizant's Synapse will provide training ranging from basic digital literacy to generative AI, and will achieve this 1,000,000-person tech training milestone through:
- Skills Accelerator: The Company anticipates equipping 200,000 jobseekers with in-demand tech skills through innovative, sponsored upskilling programs. Upon completion of online coursework followed by an assessment to gauge how well they have mastered the material, learners will possess the skills needed to pursue a career in technology. High-scoring participants will be shortlisted for a specialized Cognizant "train-to-hire" program or interview with Cognizant or one of its Synapse partners for a job opportunity.
- Technology Partnerships: Enabled by the technology ecosystem in which Cognizant operates—including organizations like India's NASSCOM and the Cognizant Google Cloud AI University—Cognizant expects to provide training to 200,000 people to help open up the technology market to a new workforce pool for the first time.
- Apprenticeships: Working with universities, community colleges, and workforce development groups, Cognizant expects to support thousands of individuals as apprentices and equip them with the experience and capabilities that incorporate emerging technologies such as generative AI. Aimed at entry-level individuals and mid-career professionals, Cognizant apprenticeships are designed to help people launch their careers in technology. Our apprenticeship program—together with a new employer consortium to be convened by Cognizant and partners—is expected to produce a "Talent Pipeline as a Service," or TPaaS, aimed to both build the future workforce equipped with the experience and capabilities in emerging technologies; and to drive impact in their communities.
- Community Education: Cognizant's corporate social responsibility efforts reach hundreds of organizations worldwide, impacting millions of individuals. Through philanthropic grants, volunteerism and mentoring, and education partnerships, this focused effort is expected to reach 300,000 individuals.
- Employee Skilling: Through Cognizant's award-winning learning and development platform, the company expects to upskill more than 200,000 of its 345,000 own employees over the life of the initiative, pulling on the most relevant technologies including generative AI.
The balance of the Cognizant Synapse skilling commitment will be met through a combination of apprenticeships, corporate philanthropy grants, and new hire training.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. businesses alone have nearly three million positions they are unable to fill with those numbers set to grow in the coming years if the problem remains unaddressed. Cognizant set out to discover why. Repeatedly, Cognizant heard from government officials, educators, community leaders, clients, and fellow tech providers that many of the three million open jobs are not being filled because the workforce lacks specific skills and capabilities. Simply put: There is a wide technical divide between new jobs and workers. And recent research published in Forbes also indicates that U.S. executives and employees believe nearly half of the skills required to succeed in today's workplace will not be relevant just two years from now, requiring employers to invest in the reskilling of the working population and the future generations of employees.
That's where Cognizant's Synapse comes in. The Synapse initiative is designed to revolutionize and rebalance the landscape of tech education and workforce development by redefining opportunities for more than one million individuals around the globe and resulting in a new, employable talent pool for the future digital economy by 2026. The initiative draws upon Cognizant's heritage as a tech re-skiller, the company's deep industry and government partnerships, and its expansive expertise across global geographies, industries, and digital technologies. Since 2018, Cognizant has worked closely with global organizations to invest in training opportunities for those in the tech field and has awarded $70 million to support 70 leading global organizations and non-profits committed to skilling. Earlier this year, Cognizant expanded its partnership with Google Cloud to provide robust training resources for tech talent development on Google Cloud and promote the responsible use of AI.
"Our world is changing at an unprecedented pace, and the demand for creative, tech-savvy individuals is skyrocketing," said Cognizant CEO Ravi Kumar S. "Through this sweeping reskilling endeavor, we are striving to equip one million individuals with the skills and capabilities they need to thrive in the digital economy. Cognizant's Synapse initiative is not just about education; it's about empowering people to shape their own destinies and creating employment pathways that meet the needs of tomorrow's employers."
Kumar continued, "The traditional skilling model isn't keeping pace with the evolving workforce —Synapse is designed to chart a new course for employees and employers to succeed. We cannot rely on the status quo to prepare workers for the jobs of the future. Instead, we need to radically transform our path to employee—and employer— success."
"The millions of people employed in the technology industry today and the new entrants in the talent marketplace will require upskilling and skilling to become job ready for the opportunities of tomorrow," said Kirti Seth, CEO, Sector Skills Council, nasscom. "Through the FutureSkills Prime program, a joint initiative with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India, we are focused on equipping learners from diverse backgrounds with cutting-edge skills essential in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. By partnering with industry leaders like Cognizant, an expert in this space, and their Synapse, we are contributing to an impactful industry driven skilling program aligned with our collective vision to make India a digital talent hub."
"We applaud the Cognizant team for launching this ambitious new initiative," said Dane Linn, Senior Vice President of Corporate Initiatives at Business Roundtable. "Synapse is a great demonstration of Cognizant's commitment to build and support a global workforce equipped with skills to succeed in high-demand technology sector careers.
"Our society and economy is becoming increasingly reliant on technology and we are committed to working with key partners to help young people adapt and be ready for work, said Tom Keer, Senior Head of Corporate Partnerships at The Prince's Trust. "The Prince's Trust is proud to partner with Cognizant to build young people's confidence and skills, supporting them into a digital-focused career."
Cognizant's Synapse has been designed to deliver accessible, comprehensive, and high-quality skilling experiences to participants from all levels of society. The initiative—the first of its kind—is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in tech education.
Tobi Young, Cognizant's Senior Vice President for Sustainability, Corporate, and Regulatory Affairs added, "Cognizant's Synapse initiative recognizes and responds to the anxiety created by an increasingly digital economy. Tech skills are a fundamental currency for success and Cognizant is committed to equipping individuals to thrive. Synapse is designed to deliver accessible, comprehensive, and high-quality skilling experiences. Our goal is to build a consortium of industry leaders, educational institutions, and philanthropic organizations to sustain the communities where we live and work by closing the digital skills gap, fostering a culture of continuous learning, and enriching the future pool of technology talent with one million trained-and-ready employees."
Cognizant (Nasdaq: CTSH) engineers modern businesses. We help our clients modernize technology, reimagine processes and transform experiences so they can stay ahead in our fast-changing world. Together, we're improving everyday life. See how at www.cognizant.com or @cognizant.
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This press release includes statements that may constitute forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the accuracy of which are necessarily subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions as to future events that may not prove to be accurate. These statements include, but are not limited to, express or implied forward-looking statements relating to the effectiveness and results of our new [Synapse] initiative, including our ability to build a consortium of partners for the training program and the number of individuals we expect to reach with each component of the initiative. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied include general economic conditions, the competitive and rapidly changing nature of the markets we compete in, the competitive marketplace for talent and its impact on employee recruitment and retention, and the other factors discussed in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Cognizant undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities law.
SOURCE Cognizant Technology Solutions