Auditing giant PricewaterhouseCoopers is set to train 1,000 of its employees in the realm of blockchain and complementary technologies, according to a report by Digiday on August 30.
Named “Digital Accelerators,” the training is scheduled to take two years, and will commence in January 2019. Through the entire duration of the training, the participants’ usual workload will be replaced with tech-saturated work, including blockchain technology, 3D printing, drones, and other similar technologies.
Remaining Competitive And Responsive
Sarah McEneaney, head of the Digital Accelerators program and a digital talent leader at PwC, said that one reason for this is that they are putting up more effort to cut costs for its clients. Clients would be served better if the firm can cut down billable hours on projects when its employees can accomplish tasks faster, brought about by the skills and insights that they have acquired from the two-year training program.
“My job is to future-proof our workforce. 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.”
Of course, McEneaney believes that since the firm is not primarily recognized for its marketing consulting work, its services are “having to compete directly with other consultancies and ad agencies for a larger share of clients,” the Digiday article read.
This is one of the largest single investment areas for PwC this year, the firm admitted, even though it didn’t disclose how much it is appropriating for the overall program.
The application for Digital Accelerators was brought forward to 46,000 of PwC’s nationwide employees in March of this year. However, only 3,500 applied for a spot. McEneaney said that this is due to the fact that the participants had to sign a two-year contract stating their devotion to the cause, even though it was an opportunity for the employees to advance within the company.
PwC then selected 1,000 out of those who applied, with 100 of them working directly with clients in the marketing consulting sector. Sixteen were also handpicked to work specifically on PwC’s very own marketing and sales team,
All the previous tasks of the employees are removed, as they were tasked to focus on the Digital Accelerator classes. At least 10 hours a week were spent on the classes, while the rest are dedicated to new tech-saturated projects.
The program has three distinct areas. The first is data and analytics, where participants are taught on collecting and cleansing data and blockchain. The second prioritizes automation, and includes classes on drones, augmented reality, and cybersecurity. Finally, participants are engrossed in machine learning and artificial intelligence. They will be tasked to code as well, and study user experience and design thinking classes that deal with all the aforementioned topics.
These will be taught onsite, but most of the classes will be lectured virtually and will be group-oriented. This way, employees would be taught to work seamlessly with an employee from a different location.
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