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Coding Bootcamps: A strategy for youth employment

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The latest ITU Digital Inclusion report, Coding bootcamps: a strategy for youth employment in developing countries, explores the rise of coding bootcamps as a strategy to promote youth and women's employment. As the demand for tech talent continues to grow and businesses in many countries struggle to find qualified workers with coding skills, young people have started to learn these skills in coding bootcamps. Bootcamps gather young aspiring software developers to join intensive three-to-six-month training programs where they learn the foundations of programming. Students earn relevant hands-on experience, learn about the whole product development cycle and get engaged in teamwork projects. This learning method has recently gained international recognition and popularity due to the high levels of positive employment outcomes reported as well as its potential use for recruiting more women in the tech industry. Coding bootcamps tackle the apparent gaps in formal education systems by providing an accelerated path for people to develop the coding skills that are currently in high demand.A

Against the backdrop of global youth unemployment, the growing importance of the technology sector, a coding skills shortage in both tech and non-tech industries, and anecdotes of a fast track to employment for coding bootcamp graduates in the United States and Europe, the report explores the emergence of coding bootcamps in developing countries. Based on reviews of the websites of 40 bootcamp providers in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the United States, and Europe; interviews with 22 of these providers; and media coverage of the bootcamp phenomenon, the report explores the history of the bootcamp phenomenon, identifies the primary models in operation, reviews how they contribute to the employment path, and considers their potential to improve employment opportunities for women and youth in some countries of the developing world. 


"The increasing demand for workers who can write code is opening up opportunities for young people to pursue careers as junior developers both in the booming technology industry and other sectors of the economy. . . . Coding bootcamps tackle the apparent gaps in formal education systems by providing an accelerated path for motivated people to develop the coding skills that are in high demand today.  This report aims to put the spotlight on the coding bootcamp phenomenon as a trend that simultaneously offers promising solutions for the global technology talent shortage and as a strategy that could reduce youth unemployment," says Brahima Sanou, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau in his forward to Coding bootcamps: a strategy for youth employment in developing countries.

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See ITU's other resources on ICTs for youth employment

Digital opportunities: Innovative ICT solutions for youth employment

Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Resources Database
 Today, numerous organizations in the public, private and non-governmental sectors have made a wide range of resources available to help youth gain the skills they need to get a job or start a business. This database is for youth. It contains resources for finding employment, becoming an entrepreneur, learning technical and soft skills, finding a mentor, searching for funding, networking, and many other valuable services.