With a new, exclusive focus on youth programming and a single-purpose commitment to helping young people unlock their potential through technology, Creating IT Futures has changed its name to CompTIA Spark, the social impact nonprofit organization announced today.
CompTIA Spark will focus on delivering high-quality tech education and resources to middle schoolers through an innovative online learning hub. Building on the success of TechGirlz, a program that provides tech-centered learning opportunities for girls ages 11-14, CompTIA Spark aims to make technology engaging, accessible and inclusive for middle school students who are at a critical age to explore their interests.
"Our mission is to spark an interest in tech because in today's digitally driven world, tech fluency is just as important to future success as reading, writing, and math, Young people have their sights set on big and varied dreams, but what's clear is that whatever path or passion a young person chooses, technology education will play a critical part in their journey."
- Charles Eaton, chief executive officer of CompTIA Spark
The CompTIA Spark middle school program, scheduled to be piloted during the 2022-23 school year, will be delivered through an online learning hub that can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. The hub is designed as a one-stop shop for students and teachers to access a range of fun, inspiring tech-related courses and resources, spanning topics from artificial intelligence and cybersecurity to mobile app development, podcasting, graphic design and more. Programs serve a diverse range of learning preferences and interests and can be taught by any adult who wants to bring high-quality tech education to their students or community, whether they have tech experience or not.
A unique feature of the learning hub allows content to be mapped to students' existing interests and curated across different "careers clusters" — from finance to manufacturing and marketing to the arts. Students can discover career paths and future learning opportunities that align with their passions, strengths, and growing capabilities and confidence.
Nearly every career is a tech career in today's digital world. There are so many great job opportunities out there that require tech knowledge and not enough skilled people to fill those roles. Thousands of rewarding, well-paying jobs will go unfilled unless an expanded pipeline of new, diverse talent is created, That's why CompTIA Spark's middle school programming will have a big impact on thousands of young people's lives regardless of whether they ultimately choose a career in the tech industry. We want to show students that tech is for everyone — and about so much more than just coding or computer engineering, said Eaton.
Alongside the middle school program, CompTIA Spark will continue to support other programs with a focus on youth, including TechGirlz, acquired by CompTIA in 2019, CyberPrep Explore and CyberPrep ITF+.
While an independent nonprofit, CompTIA Spark operates as the social innovation and impact arm of CompTIA — the leading nonprofit association for the IT industry and workforce— which founded the organization. This unique connection to CompTIA means CompTIA Spark is plugged in to developments in the industry, keeping pace with its constant evolution. Additionally, its curriculum has ties to real certifications, helping to provide clear future pathways for students who want to take their interest to the next level.
About CompTIA Spark
CompTIA Spark is a social impact organization that works to unlock people's potential though technology. It aims to bringing high quality tech education to youth — whatever their background — making tech exciting, accessible and inclusive, and building skills and confidence for life. The organization was founded in 1998 by CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the IT industry and workforce. Formerly known as Creating IT Futures, CompTIA Spark is a registered 501 (c)(3) nonprofit.