Puget Sound’s already bustling IT industry continues to grow, and a new Olympia-based nonprofit aims to help local job seekers get a leg up in the field.
Olympia University of Business and Technology is co-founded by Mark Meyer, president of Bellevue/Lacey-based tech firm CodeSmart, Inc.
The program isn’t designed to compete with two- or four-year college degrees offered at institutions of higher learning; rather, it’s targeted to people motivated to enter the technology field but may not want to or cannot take the time and expense for a two- or four-year degree.
OUBT offers a three-month program, during which students will spend about four hours a week in the classroom. This, plus 20 hours a week of outside of classroom instruction, provides the knowledge level for an entry-level position in the industry.
CodeSmart acts as corporate sponsor, with current employees of CodeSmart as instructors and mentors; CodeSmart facilities will also be used for classes.
“After much market research, our approach provides the three bases any employer looks for in technology-worker candidates,” said Meyer. Those bases, he continued, are training, validation of training via independent certification, and work experience gained through an internship program.
“Once the students matriculate from the class and achieve certification, then they can be considered for a six-month internship with CodeSmart or one our customers,” Meyer added. “Should the candidate perform exceptionally well through internship, we have something well planned for that, too.”