Rise of the New Collar Worker

There is no “correct” way to prepare for the 21st century workforce.

That’s something we’ve known for years here at Tallo. In fact, it’s the entire reason we exist! But it’s a concept that many businesses have just begun to realize.

Ginni Rometty — IBM’s Chairwoman and CEO — made headlines in 2016 when she coined a new buzzword while describing her organization’s talent crisis: “new collar.”

In a digital age defined by AI and cloud computing, IBM — like many companies — found itself desperate for young talent who could fill critical roles such as software technicians, database managers, and user interface designers. These are jobs that do not require a four-year degree.

So IBM put their money where their mouth is; $1 billion to be exact, which they have invested in apprenticeship and training initiatives designed to build a workforce of “new collar” employees; workers who have technology skills, but have opted to bypass the traditional four-year university.

But it’s not just tech companies like IBM who need new collar workers. Organizations in the healthcare and manufacturing industries are also faced with critical shortages. These are jobs such as ultrasound technicians, pharmacy technicians, medical assistants, dental assistants, mechanics, and service delivery analysts. The U.S. Department of Labor is predicting millions of these jobs going unfilled over the next few years.

What does this mean for today’s students? It means that pursuing a four-year degree isn’t the no-brainer decision that many people think it is. Obtaining a four-year degree takes, well, four years; that’s a long time. And the costs can add up quickly, even with financial aid. After all of that, it isn’t even a guarantee that graduates will get the job they want!

What are these new collar workers choosing instead? They’re training through high school technical education, community colleges, vocational schools, software boot camps, technical certification programs, apprenticeships, and internships.

No matter the path, there’s a place for everyone on Tallo, including the aspiring new collar professionals! We match students engaged in CTE with in-demand jobs across the country. Organizations like ACE Mentor Program of America and HOSA – Future Health Professionals provide Tallo students with professional development and practical training. And Project Lead The Way empowers students to put their skills to work with hands-on experience and training.

So let’s hear it for the future radiologists and robotics engineers, the next generation of nurses and network administrators. Because new collar doesn’t mean less education. It means less uncertainty. It’s about grabbing education by the horns and forging a career as one sees fit. And Tallo will help out along the way.

7 Ways to Kick-Start Your Tallo Profile

So you’ve just created a Tallo student account. Good move! But now — as you stare at your blank profile page — you’ve got a bit of writer’s block.

No worries. Here are 7 quick steps to help you kick-start your profile;

Upload a profile pic

This one is super simple. Swipe through your photos and pick your favorite. Your profile pic should reflect your personality, but it should also be professional (so, maybe skip the Snapchat filters here).

Fill out the basics

Now that you’re off and running, go ahead and plug in the basics. Adding your address will help organizations locate you, and including your demographic information may qualify you for certain opportunities and scholarships.

Add your Next Step

What’s on your horizon? Planning on learning a trade? Going to college? Serving in the military? Add whichever Next Step fits you best! We know plans change, so you can always change your Next Step at any time.

Include your standardized test scores

Tallo allows you to share your scores from a wide variety of widely-recognized tests, including the ACT, SAT, NOCTI, and even AP tests! These scores are important information, and will help colleges, universities, and organizations decide if you’d be a good fit for them.

Show off your Accomplishments, Extracurriculars, and Experiences

But of course, there’s way more to you than just test scores! Now is your time to shine. What experiences and accomplishments make you stand out? What are you most proud of? Don’t be modest! Even if you don’t think it’s relevant, include it anyway. You never know what organizations may be looking for.

Upload a video of you being you

People can learn a lot about you by reading your profile, but a video lets you showcase your skills, talents, or anything which can’t be conveyed by words alone. Whether it’s a championship game, your violin recital, or how handy you are with a monkey wrench, let the camera roll!

Add projects and other documents

Did you know that you can upload files to Tallo? This is a great way to let others see the great work you’ve accomplished. It could be a resume, a research paper, a class project, or even a certificate or license that you’ve earned. Sharing these are a great way of rounding out your profile.

Remember, this is just to get you started. Like most things, the more you put into your Tallo profile, the more you’ll get out of it. Do your best to fill out your profile as completely and accurately as you can. The best way to get noticed is to make your profile complete, comprehensive, and dynamic!

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Letter from the CEO: Tallo’s New Space

Talent should be found far before college graduation.

College athletic recruiters figured this out a long time ago, and here, at Tallo, we recognized this too. In just six years this realization has moved us in ways we could have only dreamed. 

For a long time, platforms that allowed for the discovery of young talents only existed within the world of sports, allowing colleges to connect with their prospects earlier and earlier. 

However, there was no system, app, or website out there that was able to find a future welder, technician, engineer, or nurse. We saw this as a big problem. So, we began to ask ourselves how we could use technology to level the playing field and really democratize the process of recruiting. Regardless of where a student lived, or what they were interested in, we wanted to connect them with the right opportunities. 

We envisioned a platform that allows students to showcase their skills and abilities that weren’t necessarily on the football field or the basketball court, but in the classroom as well.

We envisioned a platform that would do away with mailing brochures and career fairs that companies and colleges previously used to seek out students in well-connected high schools. What we envisioned was a platform that allowed companies and colleges to get to these students earlier, and help direct them into the pathways that they needed. That platform didn’t exist.   

Until, that is, we created what was then called STEM Premier, a digital platform showcasing the success and talents of traditional STEM students and connecting them to opportunities in their field of interest.

Our platform was great for STEM students, but we soon realized the concept was great for all students. 

As we grew, our population of students with diverse skills and interests grew as well. We realized that in order to better represent them, we needed to change our name to make it more inclusive and inviting. 

We weren’t just STEM students, we were all students, and we needed our name to be representative of that. 

So, we changed our name to Tallo — meaning “talent” + “locator.” 

I can say that expanding to the point of a name change was a major milestone, but since our inception in 2013 we have crossed many of these.

Getting those first students to come onto our brand new platform was a challenge. From what started in just two high schools on the outskirts of Charleston, SC has now expanded to over half a million users. There are students on Tallo in nearly two out of every three high schools in the country. We have Tallo students in all 50 states and in over 3,000 different colleges.

As our user population has grown, our Tallo Team has followed suit. It still amazes me that less than a year ago we were a lean 16. Our team now consists of over 30 employees, who came to Tallo with a wealth of experience, knowledge, and raw creative energy to push this company past the next big milestone: one million users.

It’s been exciting to see significant growth both internally and externally; our expansion into a new office space is proof of that. It’s been even more exciting to watch the transformation of a company that was once a start-up comprised of dynamic generalists become a company of specialists connecting talent with talent seekers anywhere in the country. 

This is more than just a move into a new space for the Tallo Team. I think this move signifies the next step. A new office with spaces to work collaboratively and continuously expand is what’s going to take us to the next level. 

Because we’re not a start-up company anymore. We’re a real company. We’re a fast-growing company. 

And it’s time to tell the world truly who Tallo is. 

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Tallo Spotlight: Marianna Moawad

Networking, a day off from school, and free BBQ. When applying for the 2018 STEM Signing Day, Marianna Moawad, an upcoming sophomore at Clemson University, was originally expecting the very least from what remains a very memorable experience. 

Through her Tallo profile, which allows her to showcase her unique skills and interests, Marianna was part of a select group of students chosen by Boeing, BMW, and the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance to attend the second annual South Carolina STEM Signing Day. Onstage at the event, Marianna signed a letter of intent to pursue a STEM degree at Clemson University.  She made connections with students who held similar interests, and received affirmations from elected officials and leaders in business and the community that solidified her success and future plans. Still, her love for computer science began well before her STEM Signing Day experience. 

From building her first website to learning about the world of coding, as the years have gone on Marianna has found herself becoming more passionate about the field of technology. 

Now, in a college setting, the Computer Information Systems major is experiencing firsthand the lack of women in her field ⁠— a discovery that she finds to be disheartening. In her own words, “We are the minority, and there’s not a lot of women in technology. And it’s very sad.”

Her advice to students in general was simple: “Life is hard, it’s not going to be easy,” Moawad says. “If you don’t get an A, that’s fine. Just make sure you’re learning from those experiences and trying to think in a different way.”

Good luck with all of your future endeavors, Marianna. We look forward to seeing all of your success on your Tallo profile!

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Tallo Spotlight: Jocelyn Holman

When one of our Tallo students finds that perfect fit — whether a particular school, opportunity, or organization — we get excited. It’s what we live for, and it happens every single day (so we pretty much stay excited 24/7)!

But in Jocelyn Holman’s case, she found more than a perfect internship; she may have just found her true calling.

Jocelyn H.

High School Student in Lakewood, CO

Jocelyn’s Tallo story began thirteen years ago during her preschool graduation. While her classmates excitedly shouted plans for their future selves, Jocelyn made a rather prophetic announcement to the audience.

Many years – and LEGO sets – later, her passion for robotics inspired her to get involved with her local FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team, The Highlanders. With lots of hard work, dedication, and of course, their robot “Blitzar,” The Highlanders powered their way to the FRC World Championships in Houston, Texas.

It was during the last day of the competition when Jocelyn’s Tallo profile made an impact on the global aerospace giant Lockheed Martin. Following an interview at our Tallo booth, the rising high school senior was awarded a Lockheed Martin Radio Frequency Engineering Internship, where she recently began working this summer alongside some of the industry’s best minds. We guess you could say that she made a great FIRST impression!

Although Jocelyn is still exploring her career options, she is already confident about her plans after high school.

Don’t be fooled by her modesty! The Colorado School of Mines is only one of the best applied sciences and engineering schools in the country! We know she’ll fit right in.

We asked Jocelyn what advice she would give to her younger peers who are still figuring out their own life path. Without missing a beat, she delivered.

Jocelyn Holman, ladies and gentlemen! It’s certainly safe to say that she has followed her own advice.

Good luck with your internship Jocelyn! And keep following your heart. We’ll help you figure out the rest.

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The World Speaks Tallo

When your third-period French teacher told you that learning another language is important, she wasn’t just trying to make you pay attention. It’s true!

Being proficient in multiple languages is a huge advantage for students and job-seekers as the world becomes more global and interconnected. Not only can it help you land a nice gig, but it will also pay off over time, literally! For example, studies show that people who can speak both Spanish and English in the state of Florida earn about $7,000 more per year than those who don’t.

This comes as no surprise to us, which is why Tallo’s platform is searchable by language. From Albanian to Welsh, there are thousands of student users who can talk the talk.

If you’ve followed us closely, you know that “tallo” is the Spanish word for “stem”; a nod to our previous name. So we were a little curious, and wanted to know how the world says “Tallo!”

Check out the translation as well as the number of Tallo users who speak some select languages:

Arabic:    ‘iiqaf (1,000)

French:    tige (3,600)

Russian:    stebel’ (500)

German:    stengel (1,300)

Haitian Creole:    tij (350)

Chinese:    gàn (1,700)

Japanese:    kan (500)

Afrikaans:    stam (750)

Korean:    julgi (650)

Latin:    caulis (600)

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Choosing a Career: No Clue? No Problem

“What do I want to do as a career?”  

A ton of people, including us here at Team Tallo, have asked ourselves this question a hundred times. But coming up with a good answer isn’t so simple, is it?

NBD, we’ve all been there. It’s an important question, and definitely not one that should be taken lightly. Unfortunately, many students feel pressured to come up with an answer too quickly, and so they make a decision before they’ve truly explored the world of possibilities out there.

Tallo can help with that too. Don’t know what you want to do with your life yet? Good for you. That means you’re putting a lot of thought into your future. Actually, maybe the profession you’ll choose is one you haven’t even heard of yet!

So we put together a little list to get your imagination flowing. Here are a handful of actual professions which actual Tallo users are interested in. Any of them sound intriguing? Click them to find out more!

FYI, we included the number of Tallo users pursuing each profession, in case you were wondering…


Mechatronics Technicians – 218

Think: a type of engineering involving the design and production of automated equipment, like robots!

Set Designers – 247

These professionals literally “set the scene,” and plan the backdrops for movies, television shows, and theatrical productions!

Speech Language Pathologists – 873

Compassionate and dedicated individuals who help children and adults overcome speech impediments.

Diesel Technicians – 451

Don’t mind getting your hands a little greasy? Diesel technicians keep large machinery like trucks, bulldozers, and farm equipment running smoothly.

Budget Analysts – 906

Number-crunching gurus who ensure that businesses and organizations are spending their money wisely.

Medical Transcriptionists – 286

These administrative professionals are medical experts who handle important business work so doctors and nurses can focus on their patients.

Urban and Regional Planners – 172

For creative individuals with grand ideas! Urban and regional planners design, develop, and revitalize entire communities and urban areas.

Geoscientists – 535

Nobody understands the Earth better than geoscientists, who observe and study the planet’s vast ecosystems.

Public Relations Specialists – 651

Got the gift of gab? PR specialists are the public mouthpieces for businesses, organizations, and government offices.

Wildlife Technicians – 837

Imagine a career exploring the great outdoors and interacting with animals of all shapes and sizes; A nature lover’s dream!

Foreign Service Officers – 1,363

Foreign service officers (or FSOs) represent the U.S. government all over the world in foreign embassies and consulates.

Choreographers – 397

Performance artists who create the routines and dances for shows, concerts, and music videos…like Beyonce’s!

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#LifeHacks: The Tallo Student Dashboard    

We get it. You’re busy. And when you’re busy, you need every life hack you can get.

That’s what the Tallo dashboard is; it’s a life hack designed just for you. Using information from your profile, it generates a virtual heads-up display which gives you the skinny on opportunities that match your interests. It’s pretty nifty, which is why we wanted it to be the first thing a student sees when they log-in to Tallo.

Here’s a few of the things you’ll find:


Financial aid powered by Redkite puts $20 billion worth of scholarships at your fingertips. Take the stress out of your scholarship search, and let Tallo do some of the hard work for you.

There are even more tools, such as events and suggested academic majors, all based on your profile information. Which reminds us…the more complete your Tallo profile is, the more useful your dashboard will be!


The “Explore Organizations” module connects you with schools and businesses which align with your education and career aspirations. So give them a browse. The organization that’s perfect for you may be one you’ve never even heard about before!


The “Majors” window in the lower left is a good reminder that you’ve got options. Tallo takes a look at what you’re interested in and serves up some related fields of study you might want to consider.

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Five Pretty Cool Things You Can Do With Your Tallo Profile

We’ve been in this business for awhile, so we’ve learned a thing or two about what students need. Sometimes there are simple things that can fly under the radar. As we’ve grown and evolved, so too have our app and digital platform. Each day, we are working to make the Tallo experience as useful as it can be.

Here are just a few of the things that make Tallo…well, Tallo!

Geographic Preferences

It’s a big world out there. Perhaps you’re ready to jet off and start your own adventure somewhere new. Or maybe you want to stay close to home. Either way, you can set your geographic preferences so colleges and organizations know whether you’d be interested in packing your bags or staying put.

Digital Badges

Let’s be real. Even if it’s just logging 5,000 steps on their Fitbit, everyone loves showing off their accomplishments! Showcase your unique credentials and qualifications with our digital badges. Achievement unlocked.

Profile Exporting

You’ve worked hard filling out your profile, so share it everywhere you can. However, it may not be the best idea to pull up Tallo on your phone when an interviewer asks for your resume. But you know what is a great idea? Export your profile into PDF format, print it out (or email it) and be prepared for those face-to-face situations!

Next Steps

The future can be uncertain, and that can make life’s big transitions a little nerve-wracking. That’s what our Next Step feature is all about. Whether you’re headed to a four-year college, two-year college, the military, or the workforce, selecting your next step icon will help schools, businesses, and organizations find you! And you can always change your mind later, so take a few deep breaths and relax.


Resumes are important, but can a piece of paper really tell the whole story about YOU? We didn’t think so. Our video feature gives you the ability to truly stand out amongst the crowd. Can you dance? Sing? Play the guitar? Handle a miter saw like a pro? Flip that camera into landscape mode and start recording!

Four Scholarships That May Be Perfect for You

There are literally hundreds of thousands of scholarship opportunities in the United States. That’s a lot.

Extra cash to pay for college is great. But searching for the right scholarships seems like it could be a full-time job! Where do you even begin?

No worries. We’ve got your back.

Our partnership with Red Kite, a scholarship matching engine, allows Tallo student users to match with over $20 billion in scholarships. And it’s really easy. We give you a Tallo profile to show yourself off. Red Kite reviews your profile in order to plug you into the right scholarship opportunities. Great teamwork, right? Like I said, we’ve got your back.

And speaking of your profile, here’s a tip: the more complete it is, the better scholarship matches you’ll get with Red Kite. There may be a scholarship somewhere out there that was created for someone just like you. So be sure that your profile is telling your whole story!

What kinds of scholarships? There are all kinds! Just check out the financial aid info on our Tallo dashboard to find a whole list of them. To give you an idea, here are a few examples:

Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation Scholarships

This one’s for all my girls who love cars. This scholarship is awarded by the Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation (AWAF) to females who are passionate about the automotive industry.

Horatio Alger National Career & Technical Scholarship Program

Horatio Alger was a 19th-century author whose characters worked hard to overcome challenges and achieve their dreams. Applicants for this scholarship must be committed to career or technical program and demonstrate financial need.

E.C. Hallbeck Scholarship Fund

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night, right? This scholarship is awarded by the American Postal Workers Union to high school seniors whose parent, step-parent, or grandparent served as U.S. postal worker.

National Collegiate Cancer Foundation Scholarships

A scholarship for courageous young adults whose lives have been impacted by cancer. Applications for 2019 will open this month.

Do any of these opportunities sound like a perfect fit for you? Go ahead and apply — someone’s going to win them, why can’t it be you?