No bachelor's degree required. In fact, it's not allowed.

Looking to address a growing skills gap and offer young adults a viable alternative to the typical college path, an apprenticeship initiative is underway in New Jersey for aspiring engineers in the area.

The apprentices, 33 in total right now, are learning the ropes for Clover, a business management/point-of-sale system from Fiserv.

Fiserv, a financial technology company, recently expanded its footprint into the Garden State, with a new office in Berkeley Heights offering nearly 2,000 jobs.

The 15-month training is tuition-free and fully paid.

"Our only prerequisite is that you do not have a four-year college degree, and you're fully committed to the length of the program," said Sophie Ruddock, of Multiverse, a partner in the initiative.

Multiverse partners with more than 500 clients in the United States and United Kingdom. According to Ruddock, more than 90% of their apprentices stay in full-time employment at their companies upon completion of their training program.

If an apprentice doesn't land a job at the same company, Ruddock said, they have at least developed a suite of durable skills that can launch a career in today's tech-heavy world.

While there aren't any current open roles for this latest initiative, new spots are expected to open in 2023.

And, according to Ruddock, Multiverse is exploring partnerships with other New Jersey-based organizations.

Many young adults are being left behind, she said, given the commonly shared thought that a college degree is "the only way to get a great career." At the same time, businesses are struggling with a widening skills gap, particularly in the area of technology.

"To be able to provide really viable alternate routes is really exciting for us in the New Jersey area," Ruddock said.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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