Four students are looking forward to a bright future thanks to winning scholarships with a new Digital Academy at Cambridge Regional College.

The four have begun training in the intensive 12-week coding bootcamp, which takes people from coding novices to professional software developers, with the ability to build full-stack websites and applications after just three months of learning.

Hannah Arnold, 21, of Cambridge, and Anoop Khinder, 23, of Bedford, won the Women In Tech scholarship.

Emmanual Emenalom, 39, and Marta Kunsztowicz, 25, both of Cambridge, won the Tech Scholarship.

Hannah, who previously studied the three-week ‘Develop’ software development course, said: “Being on this course has given me confidence to find a job in this field. I never thought I could do this. The whole experience has been really positive.”

Anoop, who studied a degree in Biomedical Science before working in medical marketing, said: “I wanted the chance to be more creative, so started to teach myself coding in my spare time as I wanted to build a career in the tech field. I saw this scholarship advertised and went for it. My aim is a junior software developer role once the training here is complete.”

Emmanuel has a background in electronics at Anglia Ruskin University, but said he wanted the challenge of a new career.

“I am enjoying learning new skills. I taught myself to build circuits in my spare time then got into Raspberry software. I hope to gain as many skills as possible to get a job in the tech world, preferably in genetic algorithms.”

Marta has a background in archaeology and said that although she began writing websites at the age of 12, she didn’t venture into programming earlier as she felt it was not a subject for women.

“Winning this scholarship is an amazing opportunity to start a career in something I know I will enjoy. I hope to begin a junior developer role once the course is over,” she said.

Michelle Dowse, Deputy Principal of Cambridge Regional College, said: “We are delighted to see our scholarship winners reap the benefits of this training. The Digital Academy is an initiative developed in response to employer needs.  Virtually every sector we work in tells us they need great coders, and so we have developed The Digital Academy to help bridge the digital skills gap. There’s a huge appetite regionally for professional coding qualifications, particularly at higher level.”

The Digital Academy is a partnership between Cambridge Regional College (CRC) and Code Nation which is designed to serve students and businesses across Cambridge, the East of England and Greater London.

Mrs Dowse added: “As the largest provider of apprenticeships in the area, we are very aware of the rapid requirement for digital skills. We are delighted to be working with businesses now looking to employ our scholars and would welcome any employers wishing to secure great talent or looking for higher level apprentices in this area to contact us.”

Code Nation co-founder and CEO, Andy Lord, said: “We’re delighted to partner with CRC in order to bring our experience in creating software development talent to the region. We’ve seen huge success in what we do since our inception in 2017, and we know that the growth of our offering is due to the almost exponential demand businesses have for new technical talent. 

“Coding is becoming an essential skill in a world immersed in social media, apps, the web and smart technology. There are amazing career opportunities out there too - no matter what age you are or how much experience you have. Our bootcamp approach creates professional coders quickly and trains the tech stars of the future - the very people who will be able to solve the skills gaps of businesses across Cambridge. With a shortfall of literally hundreds of thousands of technical professionals looming, now's the time to get involved.”

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