With half of all work tasks expected to be handled by tech-enabled machines by 2025, it’s essential that today’s local graduates are ready to embrace the digital face of the future. This can be done by bridging the gap between the skills that the tech industry requires and the calibre of job seekers on offer. It is for this reason that South African EdTech provider, HyperionDev has partnered with Africa’s largest distance-learning institution, Unisa Enterprise.
Commenting on the partnership, HyperionDev CEO, Riaz Moola says that to formalise the tech education company’s skills training, the two entities have entered into an agreement to launch a three-month computer science bootcamp. “We are offering a programme that helps students to study through our online bootcamp format of learning as well as achieve a recognised accreditation from a tertiary institution, with the option to go further and complete a three-year computer science degree.”
Bootcamps can be viewed as alternative credentials, adds Moola. “They are a fast-paced career accelerator that can quickly land participants a job as a software developer or data scientist, rather than a traditional university degree which takes years to complete.”
But despite the novelty of the partnership with Unisa Enterprise, Moola maintains that the qualification won’t rival a university degree: “We’re not trying to replace universities,” he concedes. “We’re working with tertiary institutions to launch new courses that will help them support students, so there will always be a place for the traditional university model.”
Education systems are evolving in a digital age
It is becoming more important than ever for universities to invest in online education platforms, Moola adds. “COVID-19 has changed the way that universities view learning by accelerating the move to offer students the opportunity to study remotely. As a result, the world is now at the stage of online learning that was predicted to only have been reached in 2030.”
This has positively propelled the outlook for the EdTech sector, with a global market value at almost $90 million which is estimated to grow at 20% a year over the next seven years. “We currently dominate the education alternatives sector and our track record in placing our graduates is unparalleled,” asserts Moola. He is also passionate about giving back to those in need, with $240 million set aside for scholarships for deserving students. HyperionDev, which is backed by Facebook and Google has trained 100 000 students to date, co-designed its tertiary qualification with Unisa Enterprise. “We’re excited about it and believe that students will respond very well to taking a programme that excels in terms of its follow-up, method of delivery, one-on-one mentorship and offering the alignment the industry needs with the university’s own reputation and credentials,” says Moola.
Partnerships are key to expand opportunities
The qualification with Unisa Enterprise is only the beginning for HyperionDev. The company is also in negotiations with several public and private universities, both in South Africa and in the US, the UK and Australia. “There’s a huge demand for high-quality online education and very high interest from universities and how they enter that space with partners,” Moola states.
With 10% of professions expected to disappear and be replaced by artificial intelligence by 2030, there has never been a better time for students and professionals alike to invest in enhancing their digital skills. “However, partnerships such as these are vital to ensure every South African who wishes to future-proof their career has many options and opportunities that are accessible and beneficial to all,” concludes Moola.