PwC Seeks To Boost Employees’ Blockchain Knowledge, Creates Digital Skills Programbr>
‘Big Four’ auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is launching a two-year training program to enhance the digital skills of its employees.
Called Digital Accelerators, the program will begin in January 2019 with 1,000 employees. PwC will reportedly replace the usual workload of these employees with digital technology-related projects and weekly classes on everything from cleansing data and blockchain to 3D printing and drones for two years.
Sarah McEneaney, PwC Digital Accelerators head, said that the move is part of a wider effort to help increase the company’s subject-matter expertise.
“My job is to future proof our workforce,” said McEneaney. “It just seems table stakes at this point that people should have more technology skills. It’s needed for us to remain competitive and to be responsive for what our clients are also going through.”
The program has three primary focus areas. The first is data and analytics and will include classes on collecting and cleansing data and blockchain. The second area focuses on automation, including classes on cybersecurity, drones and augmented reality. The third is focused on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Participants will also take coding, user experience and design thinking classes that deal all these topics.
“Part of the time, these classes will be led onsite, but the majority of classes will be taught virtually and are group-focused, so an employee in Boston could easily work with an employee in San Francisco if they want to,” said McEneaney.
PwC said that out of 3,500 employees who applied, PwC selected 1,000. These selected employees will work with clients while taking roughly 10 hours worth of courses each week.
“For every employee participating in the program, their previous responsibilities are stripped away and they are now required to spend upwards of 10 hours a week in Digital Accelerator classes, with the rest of their work week comprised of new digital-intensive projects,” said McEneaney. “It’s not that these employees will not have any client work; their responsibilities will now focus on client work that is digitally-focused. It’s basically like a new role for them.”