This week's news has far to go.
Welcome! I'm Gordon MacRae and this is my newsletter about bootcamps and alternative credentials. If someone forwarded you this email, you can subscribe by clicking on this handy little button:
Many people have strong opinions on the skills gap and will argue it doesn't exist, even if you don't ask them.
These arguments always sound binary, like debating whether Bigfoot exists or not.
Now, I'm not about to argue the case for Bigfoot, but dm me, and we can exchange theories.
All that to say, Wiley has released its latest analysis of the skills gap. Non-believers, look away now; Wiley reports the skills gap grew by 14% this year.
More organizations are concerned they have a skills gap. Sixty-nine percent of the HR professionals surveyed believe their organization has one. That's up from 55% in 2021.
Whether or not there is a gap, there was positive news for bootcamps and alternative credentials in the report.
Three-fourths of respondents said they would interview candidates with digital badges, certificates, and other qualifications instead of a bachelor's degree.
Manufacturing and retailing were most open to using non-degree credentials. While respondents working in technology and healthcare are the least open to using non-degree certificates.
I would hazard a guess that these two industries have hired more bootcamp graduates than others. So those low numbers could be a result of having been burned too often.
Whatever the reasons, it's worth remembering tech employs just 3% of the US workforce.
That is still a relatively small percentage. In the US, there are just 4.6 million workers in this category.
As a recent report from the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation points out, at least 75% of the value of data flowing over the Internet accrues to traditional industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, finance, hospitality, and transportation.
So while it's nice to have a FAANG logo on your bootcamp's hiring page, most graduates are getting jobs in non-tech industries. And the fact that non-tech and healthcare are open to hiring people with alternative credentials can only be a good sign.
Especially because university programs aren’t catching up any time soon.
Nearly half of the respondents believe hard skills have a shelf life of two years or less. Alternative credentials are the only providers able to adapt that quickly.
Currently, the most in-demand hard skills involve 1) analytics (46%), 2) digital communication (41%), 3) project management (40%)
And 24% of employers said they were investing in apprenticeships to help employees gain these additional skills.
On to the news roundup.
→ Donald H Taylor has released the results of his global L&D Sentiment Survey. The poll’s single obligatory question was: ‘What will be hot in workplace L&D in 2023?’ 3,996 people participated from 100 countries, including, for the first time, substantial participation from Malaysia (329), Ukraine (212) and Turkey (147).
→ Noted small-books retailer Amazon has launched a new academy in Saudi Arabia as it seeks to support the kingdom's “human capital programme for the digital economy”. What does that phrase actually mean? Answers on a postcard to the usual address. The academy will offer the “largest talent development programme of its kind in the Middle East”. And aims to train more than 30,000 Saudis, issue 35,000 certificates and offer 100 internships by 2025, the Seattle-based technology company said at the Leap technology exhibition in Riyadh on Wednesday.
→ According to a new IBM study, job seekers, students, and career changers around the world want to pursue roles related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) across different industries, but say they are not familiar with career options. IBM is partnering with a bunch of organizations, including CompTIA, to create pathways in to STEM. The aim is to upskill 30 million people globally by 2030.
→ In Pittsburgh, Deeplocal will launch a one-year apprenticeship program called Gizmology. The program is focused on creating a path into the tech industry for Pittsburgh’s Black and historically marginalized communities.
→ Northcoders – one of the UK’s leading independent providers of training programmes for software coding and data engineering – has successfully delivered a tailored 14-week software development programme to KPMG’s new 19-strong Technology Engineering Graduate intake. This is the first time the two companies have collaborated. The partnership shows how coding bootcamps can collaborate with existing graduate schemes to teach tech modules.
→ WeStride is a coding bootcamp founded by Stanford University graduates. The company recently expanded to Australia. They also run programs in the UK, Netherlands, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
→ Another software bootcamp casualty, this time in Oregon. Alchemy Code a Portland-based software engineering school has closed it’s doors. The bootcamp said falling enrolment numbers and a decline in demand for software developers made the business unsustainable.
→ BeachCoders Academy is set to launch its LifeBoat national training program, aimed at educating students in rural America in software development skills. The program will be introduced in Dumas, Texas and has the incredibly ambitious goal of educating 100k students. Although the press release doesn’t say when BeachCoders aims to achieve this goal.
→ BrainStation has nabbed a portion of a $2m investment from Morgan Stanley into the Miami tech scene. The goal is to expand tech workforce training for underserved job seekers and small businesses in Miami.
→ Bangladesh-based bootcamp, Project Code, has graduated it’s first batch of students. The bootcamp is the first international coding bootcamp in Bangladesh and uses Codeworks’ curriculum.
→ As we saw in the Wiley report, employers are increasingly prepared to accept industry certificates instead of degrees. In that vein, it’s no surprise to see edX announce an expanded relationship with Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), to launch its first Professional Certificate program. The Professional Certificate program in Cloud Solutions Architecture provides the knowledge and skills needed to start building a career in cloud architecture and helps prepare learners for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate exam.
→ Hire-train-deploy provider SkillStorm has partnered with Ball State University to provide students with access to a range of courses, including certifications in AWS Cloud Practitioner and Salesforce Developer, as well as foundational courses in topics such as Java and object-oriented programming.
→ Skillable added Danny Abdo, former Senior Vice President of Global Business Solutions for Degreed, to its leadership team as Chief Operations Officer.