TACOMA, Washington — WeThinkCode is a software programming course that teaches coding on its South Africa campus. It is currently opening applications for its two-year software programming course. The course starts on July 2021 and will be tuition-free for all students. Applicants ages 17 to 35 are eligible to apply. WeThinkCode has only 100 spots open for the summer program as it will attempt to increase its student enrollment to 450 in 2021. It also aims to increase its diversity by encouraging more women to enroll in courses offering software programming training.
WeThinkCode: Decreasing Youth Unemployment
WeThinkCode is a coding school. It offers classes in technology fields like web design, artificial intelligence, app design, game design, cryptography and cloud computing. The organization aims to train students in Africa, preparing them for career opportunities in the technological field. It hopes to enroll more students in its program by improving its course curriculum and expanding campus locations. Its current campuses are located in Cape Town and Johannesburg. By expanding its locations outside of South Africa, WeThinkCode will be able to reach more populations and close the higher education gap in Africa.
Higher education is considered a low priority in Africa and has remained low for the past two decades. Only 5% of citizens have access to higher education in Africa, which is only one-fifth of the global average of 25%. Women are also underrepresented in higher education, specifically the technology and science fields. WeThinkCode CEO Nyari Samushonga says South Africa’s population is full of untapped potential in technological training. “At the same time,” she says, “our youth unemployment is among the highest in the world.” According to the World Bank, youths account for 60% of the unemployment population in Africa. WeThinkCode will successfully reach more students by expanding its campuses beyond its South Africa locations in Johannesburg and Cape Town, with a Durban campus opening later this year among other planned locations. This will bring in more opportunities for citizens who previously lacked resources to pursue an education in technology.
Improvements in WeThinkCode
WeThinkCode continues to update its curriculum to adapt to the technology field’s rapidly changing environment. Samushonga plans to recruit today’s leading technologists to design WeThinkCode’s course material that allows students to acquire the necessary skills to pursue a career in tech. She also says that previous selection methods during the student acceptance process often overlooked the required cognitive skills needed to pursue the program.
Furthermore, enrollment does not require prior education or coding experience. Companies searching to thrive in the digital economy will sponsor these courses. There will also be accommodations specifically for WeThinkCode students that might need financial assistance. WeThinkCode currently has 45 sponsors recruiting its next students. Additionally, 93% of WeThinkCode’s graduates are placed in full-time employment.
In 2019, WeThinkCode launched “WomenThinkCode,” a three-year initiative aiming to increase the representation of women in technology. Its goal is to have women exceed 40% of its student contingent in 2021 and an equal enrollment of men and women by 2023. WomenThinkCode trains and places women into permanent employment in the software development field by offering one-on-one mentorship by women in the software development industry and secure career placement after completing the program. With free tuition, improved course material and more representation for women to pursue a career in tech, WeThinkCode will help close the youth unemployment gap in Africa and provide more opportunities for youths to pursue a fulfilling career in technology. Additionally, the campus expansion will help give those living with limited resources a chance to achieve an education in the technology field.
– Nia Owens