The development of the IT sector creates more and more interesting, attractive jobs yearly for young people who have a passion for informatics. However, due to the increasing number of hirings over the past few years, companies have started to look for more complex profiles. At the same time, there are also candidates who understand that, in order to stand out, they need complementary professional training.
This is the reason why several alternative learning methods have appeared at national level in the past few years. These provide the candidates with the experience of a specific specialization, either in a certain technology or in connected fields, such as marketing, management, design or social media.
Currently, there is a gap in the field of IT-specialized human resources in the US as well as Europe, Romania included, which is caused by the number of students, on the one hand, and a lack of adaptation of skills to the market, on the other hand.
If we take a look at the figures, we will see that there are about 100,000 employees in the field of IT in Romania and that in 2014 there were 17,148 job offers for various specialization stages in the biggest cities of Romania – according to the job offers published on specialized websites. Knowing this, we also have to remember the fact that the best technical high school or university graduates either go on to study abroad or work for well-known foreign companies.
Last year, starting from these premises, PITECH+PLUS launched a revolutionary learning and training technique in IT. ACADEMY+PLUS is a new school based on an updated curriculum, adapted to the demands of the market, which uses an innovative learning method for students.
The objectives of this school are to fill in the need of companies to hire people capable of understanding a project from a technical, managerial and sales&marketing perspective and to create a culture – a “geek culture” – that will draw people with good learning skills into informatics.
ACADEMY+PLUS was launched in the Romanian market as a partnership with school 42 in Paris. The latter is a “nursery” for 1,000 students per year who learn informatics following the rules dictated by the industry.
The partnership signed in March 2014 started a project unique in the Romanian IT: a school open to anyone who is passionate about informatics, exclusively financed by the company PITECH+PLUS based in Cluj.
The admission process to ACADEMY+PLUS is identical to that of school 42: the pre-selection, the check-in – an interview with the candidates who pass the pre-selection, the pool – a 28-day testing period and go/no go. At the end of the three 28-day evaluations, out of about 1,200 candidates on the platform, only 58 got go.
The school inauguration ceremony took place in November 2014 and currently the students are learning through the projects launched on the e-learning platform put at their disposal.
The selected students do not make up a homogenous, same-age group and do not necessarily have the same interests. Admission was open to all those who are passionate about informatics and apart from the results obtained at the testing, the team that did the recruitment did not take age (except in the case of minors) or previous experience into consideration. Thus, ACADEMY+PLUS now has fresh high school graduates as well as older people who want a professional reorientation towards IT.
The unique character of this project is reflected in different ways. First of all, the school in itself is an organizational microenvironment. Secondly, students are provided with a technologically well-equipped space, a games room, brainstorming rooms and are surrounded by professionals who are at their disposal as mentors rather than teachers.
The psychological ingredients that determine the functioning of the whole without a timetable, without strict attendance rules and conditioning are self-responsibility and the development of decision-making skills.
The school is based on the idea that there is creativity in IT and offers its students the freedom to experiment in a community that they themselves create.
Regarding the method and the syllabus, there are a few particularities:
In the short term, our objectives are to triple the number of students in 2015, to customize training modules that will increase flexibility and customization in accordance with each candidate’s training – so that those with a higher level of knowledge can choose a certain training mix – and to open branches in other Romanian cities.
In the long term, the objectives of ACADEMY+PLUS are to increase the degree of collaboration between those companies that are looking for young talented people, to increase the performance standards in the industry and to discover through its method brilliant minds that are able to create the informatics products of tomorrow.
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