Upright, Columbia offers programming and design bootcamps

Upright, Columbia offers programming and design bootcamps

The needs of American industry are evolving. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, more than a billion jobs, representing a third of all jobs worldwide, will be transformed by technology over the next decade, exacerbating an already difficult shortage of qualified workers with IT-related skills. In 2020, a survey of 500 human resource managers published by cloud computing company Citrix found that 62 percent of them believed workers would need to reskill or reskill annually in order to maintain a competitive advantage in today’s changing job market. Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum estimated in 2018 that 133 million new jobs would be created by the end of this year “to meet the requirements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” as remote work and technical skills will become a new standard for the workforce.

To prepare students for such drastic changes to come, Columbia State Community College in Tennessee is partnering with workforce training company Upright Education to offer 10- and 12-week courses in coding and UX/UI Design Bootcamp this spring, teaching skills related to software development, programming and design that Focuses on the user.

Benny Boas, CEO and founder of Upright, noted that many rural community college students are still denied professional development opportunities that could help them in the future job market, despite the recent popularity of tech boot camps in more urban areas. He said Upright’s online training and programs seek to help more students “engage in the state’s growing technology economy from the comfort of their homes.”


He added that the company had focused a lot recently on providing comprehensive training for students at smaller public universities and community colleges, such as Norwich University and Vermont Community College.

“The only way we’re going to make an impact [in the skills gap] It is if community colleges participate. If we didn’t involve these smaller regional schools, there would be no way to reach these rural, regional populations,” he said, noting that Upright bootcamps are currently available at about 20 higher education institutions in Tennessee, Massachusetts, Colorado, and Vermont. Another program is that there are no — and I’m talking zero — offers to community colleges, smaller public universities, and public schools to get one of these types of high-touch white glove programs on the market currently.”

The partnership announcement from Columbia State and Upright Education comes amid an ongoing workforce development initiative in neighboring Nashville, where city leaders hope to double its technology workforce by 2025.

Deer Lampley, vice president of the college’s Williamson campus and external services, said the goal would be more easily reached by attracting students outside metro-urban areas who are looking for accelerated training programs as cost-effective alternatives to degree programs.

“Depending on the stats you look at, there are between 4,000 and 5,000 IT jobs open in the greater Nashville area, so it’s really a huge need,” he said. “This seemed like a perfect fit to fill that void.”

Boas said the training teaches translatable skills to work in the tech industry and serves as a gateway to a variety of high-paying careers, such as software, web development, tech support, and digital strategy, among many others.

“Even if they don’t turn into a software developer, they are learning the skills they need to land a technical job in general,” Boas noted, adding that their software development training has a 91 percent employment rate and an average 40 percent salary increase for trainees who complete its courses. .

“It’s important to look at boot camps as not just 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 expand the network of what students can jump into after taking the course.”

According to Columbia State’s Director of Workforce and Continuing Education, Melody Murphy, the college began hosting first information sessions for prospective students earlier this week to teach about the benefits of bootcamp.

She said students appear to be drawn to the high employment rates of Upright’s industry-specific career guidance program that helps students find jobs after completing their internship.

“They work with employers in the industry when they are done,” she said. “There is a place for students to go when they finish these programmes.”

Brandon Baikamian

Brandon Baikamian is a writer for the Government Technology Team. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from East Tennessee State University and years of experience as a multimedia reporter, focusing primarily on general education and higher education.

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