Scottish Tech Army supports computing scholarships

Written by Jenni Davidson and Sam Trendall on 8 January 2021 in News
News

Initiative to be delivered in partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University

Credit: Pixabay

A new partnership between Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) and the Scottish Tech Army aims to boost career development opportunities in the tech sector.

Glasgow Caledonian University has announced 30 new computing scholarships, allowing those working in digital technology to develop their knowledge and gain formal qualifications.

Supported by the Scottish Funding Council and run in partnership with the Scottish Tech Army – a voluntary group founded at the start of coronavirus crisis that works alongside the Scottish Government’s Digital Directorate – the scholarships will cover the tuition fees of up to six modules in IT software development. 

The flexible, online courses are designed to build depth of knowledge in areas such as programming, network and cloud computing, software engineering, maths for computing and database development.

Each module carries academic credit. When they complete all six modules, students will be awarded a 120-credit Certificate of Higher Education in Computing from GCU, which is equivalent to completion of the first year of a BSc Software Development for Business programme at GCU.


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The programme has been developed to benefit people who do not currently have a computing degree or qualification, those working in software development but without formal qualifications, and primary or secondary teachers looking to improve their knowledge of computing science.

The scheme is taking applications now, with programmes due to start on 19 January 2021. 

GCU’s assistant vice principal business partnerships and director of the Institute for University to Business Education Fiona Stewart-Knight said: “We want to mobilise talent and bridge qualifications and skills gaps at a time when there is a more challenging employment landscape and a struggling economy that has been materially impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. This pioneering project will enable successful candidates to substantially advance their software development knowledge, practice and qualifications through online study with GCU at first year degree level while also benefitting from industrial mentor support and tech challenge integration from the Scottish Tech Army.” 

Since its creation at the start of the first UK-wide lockdown in March 2020, the Scottish Tech Army has grown to comprise more than 1,000 volunteers. It has worked alongside government bodies to establish ‘rapid response units’ to help address digital issues faced by organisations affected by the pandemic. It has worked on more than 100 projects to date.

The group’s chief executive Alistair Forbes said: “We have seen at first hand the challenges that many people in the tech sector in Scotland, particularly those in the early stages of their careers, have been facing as a result of the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The gap between the world of education and training and the world of work has definitely widened and it is a core part of our mission to help bridge that gap.”

GCU and the Scottish Tech Army are running information sessions for those interested in applying for the scholarships.

 

About the author

Jenni Davidson is a journalist at PublicTechnology sister publication Holyrood, where a version of this story first appeared. She tweets as @HolyroodJenni.

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