The needs of American industry are changing. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, more than a billion jobs, or a third of all jobs worldwide, will be transformed by technology over the next decade, worsening an already difficult shortage of workers. qualified with computer skills. In 2020, a survey of 500 human resource managers published by cloud computing company Citrix found that 62% believed that workers will need to retrain or upskill each year in order to maintain a competitive edge in the market. current changing work. Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum valued in 2018, 133 million new jobs would be created by the end of this year “to meet the demands of the fourth industrial revolution”, where remote working and technological skills will become a new labor norm.
To prepare students for these sweeping changes ahead, Columbia State Community College in Tennessee is working with workforce training company Upright Education to offer 10- and 12-week courses. Coding and UX/UI Design Bootcamp classes this spring, teaching skills related to software development, programming, and user-centered design.
Upright CEO and Founder Benny Boas noted that many rural community college students remain without professional development opportunities that could help them in the future job market, despite the recent popularity of tech bootcamps in more urban areas. . He said the online education and programs offered by Upright aim to help more students “engage with the state’s growing tech economy from the comfort of their homes.”
He added that the company has recently focused largely on providing immersive education to students at smaller state universities and community colleges, such as Norwich University and the Community College of Vermont.
“The only way to make a dent [in the skills gap] it’s if the community colleges get involved. If we don’t involve these smaller, more regional schools, there’s no way to access these rural regional populations,” he said, noting that Upright bootcamps are currently offered at about 20 locations. colleges in Tennessee, Massachusetts, Colorado, and Vermont. “What separates us from all other programs is that there are no – and I mean zero – offers for community colleges, small state universities and state schools to have one of those kind of very tactile white glove programs on the market today.
The partnership announcement of Columbia State and Upright Education is part of an ongoing workforce development initiative in nearby Nashville, where city leaders hope double the tech workforce by 2025.
Dear Lampley, vice president of the college’s Williamson campus and external services, said that goal will be best achieved by attracting students outside of urban metropolitan areas who seek accelerated training programs as cost-effective alternatives to degree programs. diploma.
“Depending on the stats you look at, there’s somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 computer stations open in the greater Nashville area, so that’s really a big need,” he said. “It seemed like a great choice to fill that void.”
Boas said the training teaches translatable skills for work in the tech industry and serves as a gateway to a variety of high-paying professions, such as software and web development, tech support and digital strategy, among others.
“Even if they don’t become software developers, they learn the skills they need to get jobs in technology in general,” Boas noted, adding that their software development education has a rate of placement of 91% and an average of 40%. salary increase percentage for trainees who complete his courses.
“It’s important to see bootcamps not just as a stepping stone to a specific career path, but as a stepping stone to an entire industry,” he continued. “The idea is that we try to widen the network of what students can do after taking our course.”
According to Columbia State’s Director of Workforce and Continuing Education, Melody Murphy, the college began holding its first information sessions for prospective students earlier this week to explain the benefits. from the boot camp.
She said students seem to be drawn to the program’s high placement rates and Upright’s industry-specific career mentoring that helps students find jobs after they complete their training.
“They work with industry employers when they’re done,” she said. “Students have a place to go when they complete these programs.