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Loyola University New Orleans Launches Innovative Software Development Bootcamp to Address Workforce Development Needs in Local Technology Companies

Loyola press release - October 24, 2016

New initiative is now recruiting graduating seniors from local liberal arts universities; apply by December 9, 2016

Today, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development (CECD) at Loyola University New Orleans announced the launch of the Loyola Certificate in Software Development and Coding, an immersive, 10-week “bootcamp” program in software development that bridges the “gap to workforce” for recently graduated liberal arts seniors from local liberal arts universities.

The program, which will begin in June 2017, is working with local software development employers to identify the skills needed for entry-level positions, train students in specific certifications to qualify them for those entry-level jobs, and get students hired locally upon successful completion of the program.

Technology is an emerging driver of economic development in New Orleans, and software development jobs are available across a broad spectrum of industries. Tech companies have flourished in New Orleans in the last decade, due to post-Katrina tax incentives, as well as one of the largest “brain gains” of talent in the country. However, tech companies are facing a major problem: they can’t find enough qualified candidates to work at their firms. Currently, there are an estimated 200 unfilled positions in software development that are waiting for qualified candidates with entry-level coding skills.

The Loyola CECD is helping to build a solution to this problem through the innovative Certificate program, powered by local software development studio LookFar and including curriculum designed by Tech Talent South.

The program provides recent liberal arts graduates with six weeks of coding fundamentals, after which students will work towards pre-selected certifications identified by local technology firms as an entry-level workforce need. Upon successful completion of the Loyola Certificate in Software Development and Coding, students will be hired by those technology firms in entry-level positons with the potential to for further growth. The program will be taught by LookFar technology professionals, who are at the forefront of their field and deeply ingrained in the local industry.

By working with local employers and gearing the program towards graduating liberal arts seniors, the Certificate program will address the skills gap in Louisiana’s workforce and support local tech entrepreneurs so they can scale, diversify the tech workforce, and drive overall economic growth in the Greater New Orleans region. Liberal arts students—regardless of their majors—will have a pathway to jumpstart their careers and develop skills that apply to every field, while employers can take an active role in developing the workforce they need and gain access to a much wider pool of qualified applicants with both the hard and soft skills required to succeed in software development.

“To make gains in workforce development, we must train that talent to be relevant to the needs of local technology employers,” said Jon Atkinson, Founding Director of Loyola’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development. “New and better ways of doing things that leverage technology will also drive entrepreneurial opportunities, and the best entrepreneurs will be those who are comfortable and competent leading both a product development team and a business organization.”

If you are currently a senior graduating in May 2017 from Loyola University, Tulane University, or another local college, then apply to the Loyola Certificate in Software Development and Coding. The deadline for applications is December 9, 2016.

For more information, visit the program website at bit.ly/loynocode or email Kate McCrery, Program Manager at the Loyola Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development at kymccrer@loyno.edu.