Miami, FL – Florida International University’s School of Computing and Information Sciences (SCIS), one of the nation’s largest producers of computing talent, and LaunchCode, a national nonprofit creating pathways to economic opportunity through apprenticeships in technology, announced their partnership today. The “LaunchCode @ FIU” program will help FIU students working full-time secure careers in technology.
According to the 2014 edition of American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Profiles of Engineering & Engineering Technology Colleges, SCIS ranks 7th in awarding computing professional bachelor’s degrees (inside Colleges of Engineering) in the United States. Many of the School’s students work to obtain valuable job experience before graduation. However, some of these jobs are not tech related, which minimizes the value of the experience for a student pursuing a computing career. With the current student population expected to increase by 36% in the year 2020, SCIS students need more local opportunities to obtain tech experience and address their financial needs.
“SCIS is committed to educating the next generation of computing professionals and helping them launch successful careers,” said Dr. Iyengar, SCIS Director and Ryder Professor. “In partnering with LaunchCode, we hope to help many of our current students start those careers while completing their degree.”
The SCIS Student Advising Center, funded in part by the Florida Board of Governor’s Targeted Educational Attainment (TEAm) grant, and through its Academic Success Initiative, will identify students for the “LaunchCode @ FIU” program with the goal of helping 50 students transition to tech careers in the first year.
The program will support individuals like Porfirio Bonet, a former SCIS student and current LaunchCode apprentice who worked full-time while pursuing a degree. “I wish a program like LaunchCode @ FIU had been around when I was studying at SCIS,” said Bonet, a Junior Developer apprentice at Bass Underwriters. “I feel like what I was doing in school, and what I am doing now line up very well. But, it would have been nice to start a little sooner. Every day, I am learning so much and growing as a developer.”
SCIS will host “LaunchCode @ FIU Day” on September 14, 2015 to promote the program to potential participants and reach out to local employers looking to hire talented, motivated apprentices. LaunchCode representatives will be on hand to talk to students about the LaunchCode program, and discuss high-demand technology skills in the South Florida job market.
“A LaunchCode apprenticeship is a pathway to an upwardly mobile career in technology,” said Brendan Lind, LaunchCode co-founder and Executive Director. “By working in one of our partnering companies, while also pursuing a degree at SCIS, these FIU students are showing they have the drive it takes to turn their dream of a rewarding, well-paid career into a reality. And LaunchCode is here to help them.”
Founded in St. Louis, MO in 2013, LaunchCode is a nonprofit revolutionizing how local economies develop homegrown technology talent, create upwardly mobile careers, and create a 21st century workforce. LaunchCode partners with over 300 employers nationwide to place job seekers in paid technology apprenticeships and jobs. LaunchCode currently has offices in St. Louis and South Florida and places apprentices in 10 different states. Over 90% of LaunchCode apprentices are converted to permanent hires within 90 days. Learn more about LaunchCode at www.launchcode.org.
About FIU and FIU’s School of Computing and Information Sciences
Florida International University (FIU), founded in 1965, is a public research state University in Greater Miami, Florida. FIU is the largest University in South Florida, the second largest in Florida, and the fourth largest in the United States, with over 54,000 students enrolled. The University offers 191 programs of study with more than 280 majors in 23 Colleges and Schools. FIU is first in the nation in awarding bachelor’s and master’s degrees to Hispanic students.
FIU’s School of Computing and Information Sciences, created in 1987, offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral computer science degree programs, and bachelor’s and master’s information technology degree programs, with over 2,200 students enrolled. The State University System ranked FIU first among universities for the percentage of IT-related graduates employed in Florida in their first year after graduation. According to the American Society for Engineering Education, the School is the seventh largest engineering-college-based computer science degree awarding program in the US.