BCBS Tennessee launches educational institute to address need for IT workers

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has launched its BlueSky Tennessee Institute, a college degree and training program aimed at fostering new IT talent for the company, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The first class of 32 students met with BCBS executives at the payer's Chattanooga campus Aug. 1 to begin preparing for the 27-month program, which will be made up of classes and in-person IT applications.

Though the year-round program will take place on the BCBS campus, the students are enrolled at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City and will receive a bachelor's degree in computer science once completed. Curriculum will be based on ETSU's ABET-accredited Bachelor of Science in Computing with a concentration in information systems.

The program is free and offers paid internships in the second year. Students will be assigned a student success officer and an individual executive and IT mentor from BCBS. Upon completion, BCBS is looking to hire the graduates in IT positions, which have been difficult to fill.

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