Since launching in 2018 250 participants have completed an Accelerate bootcamp at Experis Academy. 240 of them landed jobs as IT-consultants after finishing the program. Noroff Accelerate now offers bootcamps for everyone wanting to improve their IT-skills.
- Everyone gets good, relevant positions within IT development. The need from our clients is immense, we are not able to recruit enough candidates to meet the demand. All our clients return, wanting more employees, and that is proof that the program is working, said Marko Valsamidis, head of Experis Academy Nordic.
Experis is a leading IT consulting company in Norway, and part of the Manpower Group. The rapidly growing demand for IT-skills in Norway led to a situation where they could not meet the market needs.
- Norwegian businesses had to spend a lot of money buying IT-services from abroad. That is why we started Experis Academy in 2018. By upskilling young IT-professionals to meet the industry demands, we could help close the skills gap with a more lasting solution, said Valsamidis.
Marko Valsamidis. Photo: Experis Academy
Experis also noticed that a lot of fresh IT graduates struggled to get relevant jobs.
- It takes the traditional educational institutions a long time to adjust its curriculum, and it takes years to get your bachelor’s degree. By the time you graduate the technology you were taught are already outdated. That is why we saw the need for accelerated learning, focusing on the latest technology and with a more practical approach, Valsamids explains.
- The goal was to give young developers updated skills that enabled them to go straight to work as productive developers.
To secure the necessary quality of the program Experis needed a partner. After speaking to several universities and educational institutions in Norway, they decided to go with Noroff.
- Noroff has a professional environment with highly competent lecturers with industry experience, and they were experienced with this kind of teaching. Noroff was by far the best possible partner for us, and we are very happy with the partnership, said Valsamidis.
The Experis Academy program starts off with a twelve-week intensive full-time bootcamp where Noroffs lecturers provide the candidates with extensive, up to date, knowledge and skills in programming. After the bootcamp the candidates spends 12 months working full time as IT-consultants at one of Experis´clients.
How attractive are the Academy-graduates?
- Our experience is that everyone gets good, relevant jobs after the academy, and many candidates get plenty of offers to choose from.
- An important reason for their popularity is that they do not require a long onboarding process. Normally it takes 9-12 months from the time an IT-graduate get their first job until they become productive. Our candidates are ready to function as productive developers within a short time. By shortening the onboarding time, the companies can utilize its resources more effectively.
One of the Experis Academy classes.
Bootcamps for everyone
To meet the growing demand for IT skills Noroff Accelerate are now making their fast paced and flexible courses available for anyone looking to increase their tech skills.
- The demand for IT-skills is massive, and we want to adjust our offering to suit people in different life situations, said head of Noroff Accelerate, Erlend Koppen Skar.
Noroff offers higher degrees through their University College and are also the largest vocational school in Norway. With Accelerate the aim is to provide courses and bootcamps for working professionals, offering the flexibility you need to get through while working full time.
The successful partnership with Experis will continue.
- Experis is a great partner for us. They challenge us, making sure we develop and become better. We will continue with the Experis Academy program, and now we use that experience to design courses and offerings to new target groups. Our goal is the same throughout all our offerings: We want to close the skills gap in tech by providing education focusing on real skills and industry demand.
How would you describe the Accelerate courses?
- We have highly competent lecturers with vast industry experience providing fast paced learning through a practical approach. Through problem solving, critical thinking and extensive feedback the participants learn the latest technology and tools used in the industry today. They also learn how to work effectively in teams, an important part of being a developer today, Koppen Skar said.
The first Accelerate-bootcamps are already underway, and Koppen Skar explains that new bootcamps and courses will be introduced.
- We will offer both ten-week bootcamps, shorter seminars and online courses. We started with two bootcamps focusing on programming, and we will expand our offering in line with what the industry demands.
We want to close the skills gap in tech by providing education focusing on real skills and industry demand.Erlend Koppen Skar
Expanding to Europe
Experis Academys success in Norway have led them to set up similar programs throughout the Nordic. Recently the first Academy-class started in Holland. Together with Noroff they look to expand to several countries in Europe in the near future.
- There is a big skills gap in tech in most countries, and many countries are struggling to meet the demand through its traditional educational institutions, said Valsamidis.
- Covid19 have catalyzed a digital transformation, also in education, and that makes it easier to move into new markets. We have been forced to do the courses online, but we see that the results are at least as good as with classroom teaching. The candidates also appreciate the increased flexibility of online learning. As online learning is becoming normal, the possibilities to start programs in new countries become a lot easier.
When Noroffs lecturers started teaching the first Dutch candidates this spring, they also had a group from Denmark in the same class.
- We can run online-courses with candidates from different parts of the world. That gives the students the experience of collaborating with others from other countries. We see a lot of opportunities by digitalizing the learning experience, said Valsamidis.
Reskill or upskill?
In addition to providing young developers with improved skills Noroff Accelerate and Experis Academy also provide reskilling-programs, helping companies upskill or reskill their workforce to meet the needs of tomorrow.
The rapid technological transformation in most industries means that many job titles will disappear over the next years. What will businesses do with their employees with outdated skills?
- There is a huge, and growing, need for reskilling. Continuous learning is something every business needs to provide if they want to succeed, said Valsamidis.
He explains that a lot of businesses are reluctant to spend money on upskilling their workforce, but Valsamidis is adamant the cost of not providing your employees with the necessary training will cost a lot more.
- The question is what the cost of replacing employees with outdated skills will be? Or what the cost of not having the skills you need in your company will be? There is a lot of able employees that can successfully be reskilled if they get the right training.
Together with Noroff, Experis have helped big companies like Scania to reskill its workforce, and Valsamidis thinks reskilling will become increasingly important in most industries.
- Some large companies are already focusing on reskilling and upskilling by providing continuous learning programs. This is something that will be important for any business in the future.