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The Code Institute is making inroads in the North American market, where it has signed up third-level partners in Canada and the US.

The Dublin company has partnered with private colleges Lynn University in Florida Circleville, Ohio Christian University and Canadian Business College in Toronto ahead of plans for further expansion in the US and Europe in the month ahead.

“The purpose of these partnerships is to allow us to get our course certified and acknowledged for college credits in the US,” said Jim Cassidy, chief executive at the Code Institute. “US students looking to complete their degrees also take external courses that provide them with additional college credits and that’s an opportunity for us.”

The Code Institute was established in 2015 by co-founder Anthony Quigley and Brendan Nevin, who were inspired by the emergence of bootcamp-style software development courses in the US.

Nevin is chief executive at AA Ireland. Quigley founded the Digital Marketing Institute and also runs conferences and events company 3XE Digital.

“The idea of bootcamp, or ‘accelerated learning’, is to teach you how to become a software developer in three months,” said Cassidy, who joined the company in 2016, having been managing director at digital agency Isobar Dublin.

“We believed the model could work in Europe, but we wanted to take the in-class experience and bring it online, so we needed to create our own courseware.”

The Code Institute assembled an advisory council with industry representatives from companies including, Accenture, GlaxoSmythKline, PayPal, Redhat and Project Foundry.

On foot of their advice on sought-after tech skills, the start-up developed its accredited Fullstack Diploma in Software Development course.

We give our graduates the skills they need to get a job as a software developer on completion of our course,” said Cassidy. “Our course is academically validated. It’s recognised on the European Quality Framework and qualifies for college credits in the US.”

The Code Institute has 1,000 students in 27 countries and partners in ten countries. The company’s primary markets are Ireland, Britain, the Netherlands and the US.

“Technology is moving faster than companies can learn it,” said Cassidy. “In the Netherlands, for every 26 available jobs, there’s one available candidate. The supply and demand ratios are off the charts.”

The Code Institute has raised €1 million in funding to date over two rounds from investors Kernel Capital and Enterprise Ireland.

“Enterprise Ireland has offered us amazing support since the beginning,” said Cassidy. “One of the biggest challenges when entering a new market is understanding the cultural and economic differences an nuances.”

“Enterprise Ireland typically have people on the ground, or have access to people who can answer the hard questions.”

The Code Institute employs 25 people directly and has 50 part-time subject matter experts on its books.

Article written by Elaine O’Regan and was published in the Sunday Business Post on June 3, 2018. To view the article, click here.

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