Charity offers free coding classes to transition underemployed into IT industry
CALGARY -- ComIT is a Winnipeg-based charity that offers free coding courses in eight cities across Canada including Calgary. Its goal is to help the unemployed or underemployed fill the needs of the IT labour market.
Each course runs for three months, completely funded by private donations and government grants.
Listingart said the organization works with roughly a dozen companies in each city to identify the needs of the local IT labour market. Courses are then designed around those needs, training students to fill those jobs.
“In three months, we’ll ask companies again to tell us what they need so that we stay updated,” said Listingart, “For example, previous courses were in other technologies, because at that moment, companies were looking for that kind of knowledge.”
Listingart said the course is for anyone who has a high school diploma because companies typically require it, “People who can’t go to college or university, people who are laid off from oil and gas, refugees, newcomers, all types of people who are left out from society. It’s really important to be as inclusive as we can.”
Not only does ComIT provide technical training, but it also provides support to its students through the job search and application process. Listingart said over the last couple of years, two out of three students land jobs within six months.
Ellie Khalili formerly worked as a business strategy analyst in the renewable energy industry, and wanted to make the switch into IT. She secured a job as a web developer four months after she graduated from the course in 2019.
“Getting into the IT industry is not easy without the skills and knowing the people,” she said, “And this course brought all of these opportunities to all of these students.”
ComIT plans to offer two more courses for 2020 in Calgary. For more information or to apply, visit www.comit.org.