December 20, 2021

In the News: A Collaboration to Prepare Skilled IT Professionals for the Job Market

This article was published in Manila Bulletin on December 17, 2021. Photo from the same page.

Stratpoint Technologies, a leading software development and cloud services provider in the Philippines, partners with PHINMA Education, a nationwide secondary and tertiary school system, to close the industry-academia gap: the gap between the education received by fresh graduates and the industry’s expectations from entry-level professionals.

Companies in the industry currently have programs, such as on-the-job training and curriculum consultations, to help bridge this gap. But, more and more information technology (IT) positions have opened up and need to be filled fast, especially in the height of COVID-19 lockdowns. The new IT landscape also demands that employees be equipped with highly technical skills and abilities, such as analytical thinking, complex problem solving, and resilience, among others.

In an effort to bring more job-ready professionals into the industry quickly and at scale, Stratpoint and PHINMA Education have launched a Technology Faculty Immersion Program.

Through this program, a batch of educators from PHINMA schools will be assigned to Stratpoint for one academic semester or five months. In the first phase of the program, they will undergo a rigorous technical bootcamp under the tutelage of Stratpoint software, cloud, data, and AI engineers. The bootcamp is a combination of self-paced courses, live lectures, and actual coding projects, the same program designed to groom new Stratpoint employees into highly competent technical engineers.

The second phase of the program is apprenticeship in an actual software development project. Onboarded as part of a project team, the participants will be asked to complete tasks that require them to apply their learnings from the bootcamp, under the supervision of Stratpoint peers, leads, and project managers. At the end of the semester, they will have completed an entire software development lifecycle and will have gained first-hand experience in delivering a technology solution to the market.

The entire program is facilitated remotely, so educators from more PHINMA Education schools — University of Pangasinan, Araullo University in Cabanatuan, Southwestern University in Cebu, University of Iloilo, and Cagayan de Oro College — are able to participate.

After graduating from the program, the participants will translate their newly acquired technical and business knowledge into a classroom experience, enriching the curriculum with practical lessons that will better prepare PHINMA Education students from all over the Philippines for employment in the tech industry. With this training-the-trainer approach, Stratpoint and PHINMA Education generate a multiplier effect and scale the job preparedness initiative nationwide within months.

PHINMA Education Country Head, Raymundo Reyes, says, “By directly working with a respected industry leader such as Stratpoint, our teachers will enhance their already stellar academic credentials with real-world accomplishments. They will return from deployment armed with new teaching tools — on-the-job exposure to clients, users, and fellow IT professionals — to take our talent-readiness initiatives to the next level. As an educational institution, it will be an honor to nurture a student body that will become the future leaders of IT.”

Stratpoint CEO Mary Rose dela Cruz says, “We know that our intelligent and skilled talent pool is key to our success in a highly competitive space. And we continuously create the environment for our talents to flourish through cadetship and professional development programs. This time, we escalate our efforts into an industry-academia partnership — thanks to PHINMA Education who has a strong commitment to investing in their teachers — to reach more students and hone the potential of more talents. Our first batch of participants are a selected few, but their learnings will be echoed to classrooms nationwide, in locations and numbers we don’t typically reach through regular cadetship programs. I’m looking forward to a time when I will work side-by-side with students who will benefit from our immersion participants.”