Glasgow Caledonian University, in partnership with Scottish Tech Army and supported by funding from the Scottish Funding Council, is to provide 30 scholarships starting in January 2021 to help mobilise Scotland’s tech talent and enhance career development opportunities in the sector.

The funded Software Development Flexible Learning Opportunity is taking applications now with programmes set to start on January 19, 2021. The flexible, accredited, online study opportunities are designed to build depth of knowledge in programming, network and cloud computing, software engineering, maths for computing and database development.

The scholarships will cover the tuition fees of up to six modules in IT Software Development. Each module carries academic credit and on completion students will be given those portable academic credits that will enable them to continue to study in any area whilst they work or seek work. When they complete all six modules, will be awarded a 120 credit Certificate of Higher Education in Computing from GCU, which is equivalent to completion of the first year of a BSc Software Development for Business programme at GCU.

The programme has been developed specifically to benefit graduates, staff and tutors who do not currently have a computing degree/qualifications, those working in software development but without formal qualifications, or teachers in primary or secondary education seeking to improve their contemporary knowledge of computing science, helping successful candidates move into their first comprehensive software development or software engineering role.

GCU’s Fiona Stewart-Knight, Assistant Vice Principal Business Partnerships and Director of the Institute for University to Business Education (U2B), said:

“We are delighted to announce that GCU has developed a strategic partnership with Scottish Tech Army.  We want to mobilise talent and bridge qualifications and skills gaps at a time when there is a more challenging employment landscape and a struggling economy that has been materially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This pioneering project will enable successful candidates to substantially advance their software development knowledge, practice and qualifications through online study with GCU at first year degree level while also benefitting from industrial mentor support and tech challenge integration from the Scottish Tech Army.” 

Alistair Forbes, Founding Director and CEO of the Scottish Tech Army is a tech entrepreneur and investor who has worked in and with many early and growth stage businesses in Scotland and around the world. In welcoming the initiative, he said:

“We have seen at first hand the challenges that many people in the tech sector in Scotland, particularly those in the early stages of their careers, have been facing as a result of the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The gap between the world of education and training and the world of work has definitely widened and it is a core part of our mission to help bridge that gap. That is why we were delighted to have the opportunity to work with GCU on this programme and to promote it to the volunteers within the Scottish Tech Army and beyond.

“We believe that this initiative is an excellent example of the innovative partnership working that has been a really positive development as organisations across Scotland respond to the challenges that were caused by the pandemic. The social and economic recovery process will take time but we are confident that this programme will help to accelerate significantly the career development of all those that participate in it.”

This co-created approach to software skills development is designed to give candidates the combination of educational development and practical experience that they need to match employer expectations and job opportunities.

GCU and the Scottish Tech Army are running information sessions for those interested in applying for the scholarships.  Those interested can reserve their space on Eventbrite.