Truckee Meadows Community College this month expects to host the first of its new Tech Careers FastTrack boot camp learning opportunities for software developers. The courses are intended to promote workforce development and education in the technology field while bypassing the traditional college route.
The “microcredential” pilot program is funded with $100,000 from the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) as part of its Workforce Innovations for the New Nevada. It was put together using feedback from industry leaders on their needs for a skilled workforce.
Individuals will develop foundational skills in technology and software development through short-term modules that align with their career goals and equate to college credits. They’ll be able to bundle those modules together to earn certificates, and if desired, a degree.
Karsten Heise, GOED Director of Strategic Programs, said the program TMCC has developed is both efficient and cost-effective for aspiring software developers to “on-ramp” into their career.
“The model is breaking new ground for creating workforce development programs,” Heise said. “The learner has the flexibility to customize their experience, progress at their own pace, and collaborate with employers to gain the exact skills needed for on-the-job success.”
In addition to customizing the modules they’ll take, individuals will also be able to self-pace through the online material while still receiving in-person support. TMCC said it has designed modules to take anywhere from six to 10 weeks to complete, but students with a demonstrated competency in a skill can test out of the module to accelerate their completion.
In a statement, GOED said that software developers were in high demand before the pandemic, covering industries from healthcare to hospitality and manufacturing, and that has only increased over the past year.
TMCC’s leadership saw an opportunity to meet that demand.
“The pandemic magnified the need for short-term, stackable training programs that connect Nevadans to living-wage jobs with career advancement opportunities,” said TMCC President Karin Hilgersom. “Our vision, in partnership with employers, is to strengthen the education to employment pipeline, ensuring that students are well-positioned for current and future career success.”