University of Birmingham drives diversity in tech roles with new scholarships
The University of Birmingham is offering scholarships to women across the Midlands to help them improve their skills and secure jobs in technology.
50 Women in Tech scholarships of £4,000 each are available to women studying on two of the University’s short courses. The Coding and Data Analytics Boot Camps are intensive 24-week part time programmes that aim to help adult learners and working professionals into digital careers.
The awards are being offered as part of a digital skills training fund from the West Midlands Combined Authority. They will help address the digital skills gap and the gender imbalance by targeting financial support to unemployed and under-employed women, enabling them to enrol in Boot Camps and to progress into highly skilled, digital careers.
Professor Nicola Wilkin, University of Birmingham said: “We are committed to increasing accessibility and improving gender parity in the technology sector. This scheme provides Women in Tech scholarships so we can widen access to the Boot Camps and accelerate the number of skilled female web developers available to employers in the region.”
Boot Camp learners can also benefit from mentoring and careers support from tech companies. A network of local and national organisations offer careers support, insight and opportunities helping learners progress into digital careers or self-employment, and achieve higher earnings. Project partners include PwC, Amazon Web Services, HSBC, and the Silicon Canal network.
“This scholarship gives women the opportunity to take part in a professional and diverse programme, they may not have been able to pursue this opening if it were not for the scholarship,” said Dr Onyinyechukwu Chigbo-Nnadi, Class Lecturer, “I sincerely appreciate the support for women who value personal development and want to explore a new career path. It’s a huge comfort to know that there is a golden chance for females to enter a male dominated field and provide financial support to increase the inclusivity of the programme and the industry.”
So far 100% of job-seekers who have studied on our Boot Camps have found employment in web development roles within 3 months. Some have secured roles at global organisations like Capgemini and others are working for local start-ups such as The Booking Lab. For some learners this has been a career change with their previous occupations including midwifery, primary school teaching, engineering and finance.
Kim Leary, CEO of Squibble and Director of Birmingham Tech Week said: ‘The Coding Boot Camps that the University of Birmingham are running are a real opportunity for our city. They supply employer-suitable talent to increasing demand; they provide an intensive method of training that the local area needs and they want to make coding a passion that anyone (regardless of background) can access.”
The next University of Birmingham Coding Boot Camp starts in February 2021 and there will be up to 25 Women in Tech scholarships available. The awards are allocated on a merit basis and are available to females who are residents in the West Midlands and are looking to enter or progress within the digital sector.
When it was launched last year, the Coding Boot Camp was the first programme of its kind in the UK to be offered by a university and was set up to respond to the developing needs of the modern workforce. The University delivers the Boot Camp in partnership with Trilogy Education.