A Bootcamp Down Under: Trilogy Education Extends University Tech...

Workforce Training

A Bootcamp Down Under: Trilogy Education Extends University Tech Training Globally

By Sydney Johnson     Jan 30, 2019

A Bootcamp Down Under: Trilogy Education Extends University Tech Training Globally
Melbourne, Australia

As technology companies from Google to Salesforce plant roots in Australia, government and business leaders down under are trying to figure out ways to train students and workers to keep up with a changing workforce.

One U.S. company thinks it can help prepare the country’s future programmers. Trilogy Education Services announced today that it is expanding its services to help Monash University in Melbourne, Australia launch a bootcamp-style tech training program. Students who complete the 24-week, part-time program will receive a certificate in full-stack web development from Monash University.

Started in 2015, the New York City-based startup works with more than 40 institutions to set up programs primarily in coding, web development and UX/UI. Colleges pay Trilogy to create and market short-term tech training programs, often hosted through a continuing-education arm. And students end up with a credential from the college.

Why Melbourne? “When we look at Australia and Melbourne, we see 200,000 open tech positions and large companies looking to fill their gap,” says CEO Dan Sommer, referring to a Deloitte report that projected a need for more tech workers in Australia over the next five years.

Melbourne city officials also launched a Startup Action Plan in 2017, with the goals of drawing more tech companies to the region and luring local students with the opportunities that would follow. As much as 50 percent of employees in the country could be working in roles that require programming or software skills by 2030, according to estimates in a 2016 report by the National Broadband Network and the Regional Australia Institute.

Trilogy’s worldly ambitions extend beyond Australia. In May 2018, the company announced it had raised $50 million to expand to universities around the world. By that point, the company had already partnered with Tecnológico de Monterrey, in Mexico, and the University of Toronto, in Canada.

Sommer says the company has plans to further expand internationally, and is working on “developing relationships with multinational corporations and local startup scenes.”

In the U.S., similar experts have made similar predictions suggesting the need for tech workforce training and addressing a so-called skills gap. But skeptics question whether coding bootcamps and other short-term tech training programs are the answer, after prominent programs including Dev Bootcamp and Iron Yard shut down in 2017.

Trilogy has situated itself somewhat adjacent to the coding bootcamp industry by working within colleges and universities themselves. Its partner institutions include University of Pennsylvania, University of California at Los Angeles, and in December the company added Harvard to its list.

Also new is Trilogy’s recent acquisition of Firehose Project, an online coding course. Most of the programs that Trilogy sets up for universities are in-person, but the company is now exploring ways to help institutions offer online versions of those programs as well. The University of California at Berkeley is one of Trilogy’s first clients to try out the online version, called Trilogy Online, and Sommer says more universities are expected to add an online version later this year.

But the company doesn't want to become an online education service provider. Trilogy will continue to focus on helping universities meet local workforce needs specifically, Sommer says, and offering in-person programs. Each time that Trilogy partners with an institution, it conducts research on local hiring needs and develops curriculum from those findings.

Correction: This piece has been updated to reflect that most of Trilogy's programs are offered in-person.

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