Coding for GOOD And A Good Job; Innovative Talent Hunt Bridges Job Skills Gap

Learn new job skills for free, show it off and get god job—all on the Internet?

Here’s the story of an interesting way of training people, giving them usable in-demand job skills people AND then hiring them.

Bridging The Job Skills Gap

Bridging The Job Skills Gap

This is really a demo for one company’s online education and training platform, but it does demonstrate how companies could stop whining about the job skills gap and use innovative means to train and hire people.

Here’s the story about bridging the job skills gap:

Last October, GOOD and Apollo Group announced the launch of Coding for GOOD, an opportunity to gain skills in coding and, for one lucky participant, a chance to work with us here at GOOD.

The program is our effort to bridge the skills gap through real-world application.

Participants had eight weeks to take 16 free coding lessons and submit a final project using the skills they learned. This past weekend the top three finalists were flown to Los Angeles for a hack-a-thon at the Google offices.

Despite America’s high unemployment rate, there are more than 3.7 million open job positions and 34% of American companies report difficulty filling critical positions.

This disparity points to insufficient opportunities in educational institutions and the workforce that lead to our current “skills gap.” To address this issue, Apollo Group developed The Virtual Apprentice.

Launched August 2012, The Virtual Apprentice is a platform that allows businesses to specify which job skills they’re seeking in candidates, with tools that will allow candidates to acquire, demonstrate, and apply these skills in their job applications.

To complement The Virtual Apprentice effort, GOOD and Apollo Group developed Coding for GOOD, which draws attention to the significance of the skills gap and, through a real-world application, showcases our effort to bridge it.

Coding for GOOD is meeting the skills gap head-on by curating an online learning program specific to an open position at GOOD, and then hiring a candidate based on the mastery of that program–not on the basis of a traditional resume.

 

The top three winners of challenge competed in a Google YouTube Hack-A-Thon that took place the weekend of Jan. 26, 2013 in Los Angeles.

And the job skills hack-a-thon winner is…

When the contest ended Brian Bonus, currently (now formerly?) a television editor in Los Angeles came out on top and was offered a job with GOOD.

Brian Bonus -- Bridging the job skills gap.

Brian Bonus

Bonus has always been interested in pursuing a diverse range of subjects.

Most recently interested in learning more about software engineering, Bonus tried a Udacity class and learned Python, a programming language, without any prior experience.

On a roll, Bonus taught himself Java.

That’s when Bonus stumbled upon Coding for GOOD.

With a new motivation to speed up his timeline to learn HTML/CSS and Javascript skills, Bonus bought a book to supplement the lessons and spent his holiday break coding.

For his final project, Bonus created a digital memory card game that utilizes Instagram photos.

Players enter a keyword to pull from the Instagram API, and the program generates a series of photos for the user to flip and match at their leisure.

Bonus sees software coding as a greater opportunity.

“What really excites me about coding is that technologies are always changing, but at the same time, it’s really just a tool to solve problems that really matter in the world,” Bonus said on the good.is website.

Along with his teammates at the hack-a-thon, Bonus created an educational tech program.

“The general premise was to create a tool where teachers could pull videos from YouTube very easily and incorporate that into a lesson,” he said. “So that they could use new tech as a means to educate and then the students could use their smartphones to interact with the lesson plan.”

The contest has ended, but it’s not too late to learn to code for FREE.

That’s right, the 16 free Coding for GOOD lessons will remain available online.

For More Please See: Job Skills Gap Infographic

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