An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man attends a computer course at a technical college in Jerusalem October 16, 2013..
(photo credit: REUTERS/BAZ RATNER)
Sick of your job? Want to earn more money? Israel is now funding seven coding boot camps to train people for lucrative hi-tech jobs, helping the industry fill a critical labor shortage and further diversifying the field.
In the next five years, the boot camps are expected to churn out 2,000 more programmers, the Israel Innovation Authority announced on Monday.
“Our goal is to increase the number of topnotch pathways to enter the hi-tech industry in order to provide a solution for our lack of software developers,” said Economy Minister Eli Cohen.
The country faces a likely shortage of some 10,000 coders and programmers over the next decade, the innovation authority said in a report from fall 2017.
The coding boot camps are meant to plug that hole, allowing Israelis from diverse backgrounds attain hi-tech jobs and receive better salaries.
In the first year, the program will mint 280 graduates – roughly 10% of those who graduate with technology degrees each year, according to Cohen.
The boot camps are expected to train people within one year in skills ranging from devising algorithms to specializing in data science and machine learning, along with programming for mobile (Android and iOS).
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The government plans on spending NIS 10 million in the coming year, according to Globes, and it will subsidize training and salaries for another two years.
Half of the potential candidates already have some science, technology, engineering and mathematics background, according to the innovation authority.
The innovation authority will subsidize the boot camps on a “pay-per-performance” model.
The boot camps will get most of the funds only after demonstrating that graduates are placed in software firms with a salary higher than NIS 14,000 a month ($3,925).
The average Israeli monthly salary as of April 2018 is NIS 10,208 ($2,860), according to Globes.
Local boot camps will also receive grants for the ratio of graduates who are ultra-Orthodox Arab, women, those older than 45, immigrants from Ethiopia, and people with disabilities.
“Whether it be trained personnel from abroad or from underrepresented demographics in Israel,” said Israel Innovation Authority CEO Aharon Aharon, “we are working to create additional, complementary ways of expanding the number of skilled personnel for the hi-tech industry.”
Selected from some two dozen applicants, the seven boot camps are Tapuach, Infinity Labs, Israel Tech Challenge (ITC), Experis Kickstart, Elevation Academy, Kav Mashve and Primrose.
ITC will be offering coding classes in English at its Tel Aviv office. It specifically is reaching out to “Israelis, as well as those eligible under the [immigration] Law of Return to participate in their program.”
Two other programs, Tapuach and Kav Mashve, will provide coding classes in mostly-Arab municipalities such as Ramle, Nazareth, Shfaram, and Daliat al-Carmel – in an effort to increase the lagging Arab workforce participation in hi-tech.
And Primrose is a new company offering boot camps for people who already hold graduate degrees in the sciences – and those who want to move into the burgeoning field of machine learning.
Internationally, coding boot camps have become a striking phenomenon, popping up all around the world as a technical path to earn a better living.
Some 80% of US hi-tech companies have recruited at least one coding boot camp graduate, the Israel Innovation Authority said in a statement.
Cohen added: “The hi-tech industry is a significant growth engine for the economy and these boot camps will provide an opportunity for employees with high potential from diverse backgrounds.”
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