</Digital bootcamp helps mum retrain for cyber security career>
As part of the Institute of Coding, a national consortium of industry, educators and outreach groups that are tackling the UK’s digital skills gap, the University of Sunderland partnered with Digital Union to provide a series of free top up technical courses and Digital Bootcamps to increase the employment skills of graduates and students. Digital Union is the largest network of digital, creative and technology businesses in the North East.
About the bootcamps
The Digital Bootcamp series, which ran in 2019 and 2020, featured extensive insight into the digital sector, valuable agency and project experience alongside essential soft skills training. Digital Union helped shape the format of the bootcamps by reaching out to its members to identify the core skills they look for when taking on graduate or junior developers. Each bootcamp include four day-long sessions, held over a one-month period.
The programme was designed in consultation with, and was delivered by, leading digital professionals from the Sunderland region to give learners the skills needed to stand out from the crowd. Created for both graduate and under-graduate learners, the bootcamps provided an overview of industry standard skills and an opportunity to practise working collaboratively under an agile framework and using tools to manage projects and clients.
Kimberley Hendry completed the Digital Bootcamp in September 2019. As part of the bootcamp, she took part in training with various local businesses and worked on a project set by a local business which had to be presented at an end-of-bootcamp event.
From the bootcamp, Kimberley said, “I learnt about team work, a ‘snapshot’ of what it is like to work in a tech company, presentation skills and how to engage in technical conversations where I didn’t understand the terminology being used.” She feels that she gained and developed a variety of new skills and feels “a lot more comfortable with cloud service, URL shorteners and presentation software.” She also worked with new technology like AWS, GitHub and databases.
When asked the main outcomes from the bootcamp, Kimberley said, “as I am a mum who has retrained from working in education for many years, it was great to have a project I can add to my CV/LinkedIn profile. It has been something to talk about at interviews and was good exposure to local tech companies.”
Kimberly completed the bootcamp alongside a master’s degree in cyber security. She is now working as a Cyber Security Engineer and attributes the bootcamp, in part, to her career outcome. She said: “I feel it has [improved my employability] as I have now gained employment in a tech company and feel working on this project/bootcamp was a good ‘practice’ and a great experience I can talk about.”
To learn more about the courses, bootcamps and events offered by the IoC’s partners, visit our course catalogue.