Updated: Jan 11, 2018
We need to challenge the status quo of what it means to be educated...
The Problem as we see it.
There is a pattern to higher IT education that we need to break, it is 'the more you stay the more you pay' model. That model fails, it places a current generation in long-term debt and reduces the savings of the older generation in order to support them. A fixed lengthy time period to cover content that in a fast moving IT world is soon irrelevant is excessively wasteful. In particular, as it’s often without sufficient input from best of breed industry practitioners to be relevant in the first place.
Pilot and results…
About a year ago I, the current founder of Test-Ed, created an training model to challenge that tradition. It culminated in a 10-week pilot that was part of a pro-bono contribution to a large Not-For-Profit Social Enterprise. At the end of the course, our disadvantaged trainees with no more than HSC competed with University IT graduates for Level 1 System Engineering jobs at Suncorp. The trainees surpassed the University Graduates achieving for the first time in that company’s experience interns that ranked at Level 2, (mature employees), the test leads also commented that they were the best interns the company had seen in the last 18 months. Over 4 weeks, three-quarters of the trainees got employment offers for $63,000 p.a. The last trainee a young Autistic boy, a long-term business and IT support contract, then most recently test contracts and interviewing at Amazon.
Why we do what we do…
I built the community of Test-Ed to build on the success of that pilot and to realise the core beliefs of those in our community:
• We believe it’s a more sustainable for a country to have a debt-free education for youth.
• We believe in challenging the status-quo of what a ‘limitation’ is. We, prove our model by training the ‘least’ in a community; those marginalised by poverty, abuse, prejudice and disability in order to disprove these limitations as impediments in placing youth into IT jobs historically the purview of the degree-qualified only.
• We believe in accelerating students into the IT job market as quickly as possible by active participation in the start-up IT community.
• We believe in the importance of youth service to the IT Start-Up community in order to benefit from adding value to that community, creating personal connections and understanding through participation how the whole IT Ecosystem works.
• We believe many real-world insights and varied experiences are required for youth to find the career that best fits their talents, passion, and nature.
• We believe that frequent opportunities to practice soft skills need to be integral in youth education in order to meet the challenges of the future economy. (Problem-solving, creativity, developing emotional resilience and courage, being a team player and ability to effectively communicate to different audiences in a product development environment.)
Test-Ed wants to challenge the status quo of what it means to be educated.
Who we are and what do we do...
We are a community of industry practitioners, what we do is provide highly motivated young people, training, mentoring, coaching and first-hand project and work experience throughout the Software Development Lifecycle. That includes client meetings, analysing business requirements, specifying and designing solutions, coding, testing, and support.
Marginalised students get trained for free. The students build their portfolio of experience by providing test, support and coding skills to IT Start-Ups and Incubator groups in Sydney. After their training, we have experienced recruiters that guide them into full employment.
Graduation is defined as getting a job that fits your talents, nature, is what you want and are trained for.