Interview: Bridging the technology skills gap

Is access to technology the solution to inequality within education in the US? According to a former United States Secretary of Education, it’s clear that not everyone is winning, learning and thriving in today’s economy. And, the missing piece is a national imperative to increase productivity and close the tech skills gap.

Watch Arne Duncan and Pluralsight’s CEO and founder Aaron Skonnard in this interview from our Washington D.C. summit. Both Aaron and Arne focus on ways that tech leaders can:

  • Overcome the added stress and anxiety felt at the national level
  • Work to solve the skills gap by giving everyone access to technology training
  • Create the future of jobs growth and a stronger economy for both sides of the political spectrum

Both Aaron and Arne discuss creative solutions to the challenges every organization, educational institution and government agency face today.

In the interview

Arne Duncan

Having served as the U.S. Secretary of Education from 2009 to 2016, Duncan is one of the most notable and highly regarded thought leaders of 21st century education. One of the longest-serving education secretaries and arguably the most influential, he guided a rapid expansion of the federal role in the nation’s 100,000 public schools and saw 40 states adopt key policies. Aligning with Pluralsight’s mission to democratize professional learning for all, Duncan championed significant education causes to equalize learning opportunities while a member of President Obama’s Cabinet, including Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that preserved 350,000 teaching jobs through $100 billion in stimulus funds. Pluralsight is the first board that Duncan has been appointed to since leaving office in early 2016.

Aaron Skonnard

Aaron is a co-founder of Pluralsight where he serves as the Chief Executive Officer.

Aaron has spent years developing course materials and teaching professional developers throughout the world. He has presented at many popular developer conferences like PDC, TechEd and VSLive! Microsoft recognized Aaron as an MVP in the "Connected Systems" developer community for eight years.

Aaron has written numerous books, articles and white papers, including the Essential XML Quick Reference (Addison Wesley, 2001), Essential XML (Addison Wesley, 2000) and his popular columns in MSDN Magazine.

Aaron lives in Utah with his wife, Monica, and their five children: Michelle, Michael, Nathan, Gisela and Emma.

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