Jobs in areas such as coding, software development, cyber security and data analytics that were once only open to those with degrees are now regularly being filled by candidates who have gone down a different a path.
Intensive bootcamps – in which participants learn essential tech skills over a concentrated period, usually around three to six months – have become a great entry point into the sector.
Unlike a computer science degree, which can take three or four years to complete and covers all aspects of computer technologies, these intensive bootcamps are specifically designed to give a set of software programming skills and specific language fluency that is immediately applicable in the workplace.
Indeed, the depth of directly relevant practical information offered at bootcamps can give participants a competitive edge when it comes to interviews.
As Work Avenue Employment Adviser Richard Linden explains: “I’ve noticed over the last few years that there has been a gradual move towards some clients taking short intensive courses, especially in tech subjects, as opposed to doing a degree.
“It was only when I started to regularly see these clients getting great jobs in this field, without a degree, that I really started to believe in the potential of these bootcamps.”
Of course, it’s not as simple as shunning university and going on a bootcamp instead.
There are still many great reasons for undertaking an IT degree – ranging from learning all areas of the industry to the networking and personal growth opportunities that university brings.
There will also be those already with a degree, who are looking for extra training or to change careers entirely, to whom a bootcamp appeals.
On top of all these decisions is the added concern that bootcamps can be pricey – usually costing between £5,000 and £10,000, often with the fees needing to be paid up front, rather than out of later earnings like with university student loans?
That is why Work Avenue is here to help.
Richard continues: “Myself and Work Avenue’s other Employment Advisers can have a free one-to-one session with anyone exploring their options for starting a career in the digital, tech and cyber industry.
“We will go through the basic knowledge, capacity and skillsets needed, the different paths into different sectors and whether a bootcamp is the best fit for them.
“In these current times of recession, we also explore with clients how they can afford it and whether Work Avenue’s WAGE social enterprise or Richard Mintz Bursary Fund (RMBF) could support them.”
WAGE (which stands for Work Avenue Generating Employment) aims to both generate employment and grow businesses by training those seeking work in key disciplines to match the areas that small businesses require help in.
WAGE provides its members with training – including heavily-subsidised courses in core and advanced web design and development, advanced digital marketing and graphic design – and then offers paid projects with small businesses to provide practical hands-on tech experience.
The RMBF (training bursary fund) is another pathway for those wanting to undertake fast-track training but are currently being prevented from doing so due to the cost.
This training bursary fund is open to UK residents over 18 who need assistance with the fees for appropriate vocational courses to help on their career path.
Find out more about all these options and book an appointment with a Work Avenue careers adviser today www.theworkavenue.org.uk or 020 8371 3280.