Completing a first degree or diploma programme in a tertiary institution and even going ahead to finish National Service could be an exciting time for many young persons but for those without any certainty about what further prospects lie ahead, a time like that could be full of stress and fear of the unknown.
A smooth transition into a working life is a desirable thing for young people, most of who already know that technology is important and has drastically affected the way we live and work.
In many parts of the world, including Ghana, nearly all aspects of everyday life – health, education, business, science, entertainment, industry, transportation – have been affected by the phenomenal proliferation of computers. Our lives revolve around technology.
Acquiring the necessary skills and ability to make a decent living in the vast arena of technology is, however, what confronts many young people now.
According to US-based researcher and entrepreneur, Dr Vijay Kumar, there are hundreds of thousands of jobs in computer programming in places like the United States, Europe, India and Canada and people don’t have to be there physically to work. They can be employed to work remotely wherever they are, so long as they have the requisite skills and access to broadband Internet.
Those requisite skills, largely form the package that the BlueSky Coding Company in Accra, in partnership with the Keshav Memorial Institute of Technology (KMIT) in Hydderabad, India are about to start teaching in Ghana in a programme dubbed the International Finishing School (IFS). The IFS would run for five months and include 400 hours of instructions, with hands-on programming in every class.
According to Sairam Kumar and Jane Ying of the BlueSky Coding Company, they are aware many unemployed young people are very much interested in technology but don’t have the skills and practical know-how as well as how to go about getting jobs in that field.
“We racked our brains on how to help solve the skill acquisition problem since we had identified it. We decided we would help equip young people with the sort of software skills in high demand in many places,” said Kumar and Ying.
KMIT was established in 2007. It is one of the premier engineering colleges in Hydderabad, a leading technology centre in India and the capital city of the state of Telangana. KMIT was granted autonomy by its affiliating university, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in the 2020-2021 academic year. KMIT deals with about 6,400 students every year across its three campuses.
The Python module is aimed at complete beginners who have never programmed before, as well as existing programmers who want to widen their career options. One of the most popular programming languages in the world, Python is a leading language choice for Machine Learning, Data Science and Artificial Learning.
The Fullstack module is a collection of robust and powerful technologies used to develop web applications, comprising front-end and back-end components.
The Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning module starts with essential Python libraries for Machine Learning and Deep Learning followed by Machine Learning algorithms with implementation.
Apart from the International Finishing School programme, BlueSky Coding/KMIT have also instituted a five-week Summer of Tech programme for pre-tertiary students. The idea is to introduce them to emerging technologies before they enter tertiary schools to help boost their confidence early in the area.
BlueSky Coding/KMIT have therefore struck an understanding with the Association International School (AIS) in Accra to host the initial Summer School of Tech programme in June this year. The programme is open to Senior High Schools in both the public and private sectors.
The International Finishing School and the Summer of Tech programmes will be conducted both online and in-person.
“With the Summer of Tech programme, some hardware would be provided and it is all factored into the fees. The students will be given very practical skills to work with so by the time they are in varsity, they could easily source for jobs.
“If we give them the necessary skills and knowledge, they will be prepared for the future. We are bringing appropriate knowledge from India to Ghana while bringing useful opportunities from the US, Europe, Canada and other places to Ghana,” Sairam Kumar and Jane Ying pointed out.
In a telephone chat with Neil Gogte, KMIT’s founder, he said his college runs a similar programme to what they are about to start in Ghana, with a partner in Los Angeles, United States and the modules for studies in India, Ghana and the United States also being similar.
He mentioned that some of KMIT’s alumni now hold jobs with reputable organizations like Goldman Sachs, Tinder, Oracle, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan and Amazon.
The KMIT founder added that India is one of the most technology-savvy countries in the world and he is glad there is an opportunity to share knowledge with Ghana through the partnership with BlueSky Coding.