Cognizant awards $70m to boost tech education for diverse communities

three women using laptops, smiling and talking to each other | Cognizant awards $70m to boost global tech education for diverse communities

Cognizant has awarded $70m in philanthropic funds to 77 organizations after the company launched initiatives, community partnerships and volunteerism to help 300,000 people make successful career transitions into technology and future-forward AI jobs.

The company’s global milestone, which has been in the making since 2018, builds on Cognizant’s Synapse initiative created to train one million individuals for “the jobs of the future” by the end of 2026.

The Synapse initiative also aims to prepare and equip individuals from diverse backgrounds worldwide who have lacked access to technology skills to participate as more jobs become dependent on technology knowledge.

Cognizant has set out its strategy based on the belief that a key ingredient in sustainability is investing in training and upskilling so that workers are empowered with the technology skills to maintain their livelihoods and communities. 

Commenting on the initiatives, Tobi Young, SVP and chief corporate affairs officer at Cognizant, said: “Cognizant launched Synapse as part of our commitment to skilling and preparing the workforce for AI and the digital economy. 

“We are proud to invest with our non-profit and community education partnerships to equip individuals with new technology skills, to sustain communities as the digital economy grows and to improve economic opportunities for all.” 

The organizations Cognizant is partnering with include companies providing early access to learning and networking, such as Girlstart, which supports year-round STEM education for girls; Raspberry Pi Foundation, which offers free and accessible opportunities for young people to learn how to code and create with digital technology; and Year Up, which supports innovative workforce development programs.

Another element of the partnership includes organizations that create pathways for individuals entering and advancing their careers in tech, such as Blind Institute of Technology, which delivers industry-relevant technical skills training and credentialing to disabled job seekers; and Code Platoon, teaching veterans and military spouses, 74 percent of whom have found a job within six months of graduation.

Some other collaborations include companies among ReDI School of Digital Integration, which empowers individuals who might otherwise be excluded from the tech landscape; and ICT Academy, which trains underprivileged women graduates with advanced tech skilling by establishing a Centre of Excellence for Women Empowerment in 71 colleges across the Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.