According to a recent study published by economiesuisse, we will need 50,000 new engineers in the next few years in Switzerland. To achieve that we can either attract talent from foreign countries, train more young engineers from the computer science education field or teach IT engineering to the already existing large workforce that is unfamiliar with that field. This blog will discuss the last option.

Launched in September 2016 and inspired by digitalswitzerland and the Swiss government’s digital initiatives, Propulsion Academy offers 12-week full-time programs in Full-Stack Engineering and Data Science at Technopark Zürich. Students have diverse backgrounds but share one common trait: the motivation to go all-in and find their sweet-spot in the increasingly digitalized environment.

The idea is simple: Many people actually have the aptitude to become an excellent programmer but did not benefit from a classic computer science education. Thus, all it takes for them is an intensive, practical, hands-on and project-based teaching method focusing on the technologies that companies need most.

The model works. All students of the first Full-Stack Engineering class found jobs in software development within only two months after graduation. Popularity of Full-Stack rose as the second class was attended by 50% women – unheard of for computer science studies.

Another major milestone was the launch of the Data Science Program, which started in May and just recently completed. With many of the students already having Masters and PhDs in other areas, Propulsion offered them the opportunity to gain expertise in the promising domain of Data Science by focusing on the essential skills needed for different possibilities in this field. The program provided world-class instructors: many of them worked for Facebook, Airbnb and Hyperloop Technologies or gained research experience in top-ranked institutions such as MIT and ETH Zürich.

Attending Propulsion Academy’s classes is possible for everyone, but in order to be accepted, studying hard to pass the technical challenge is key. This helps to ensure that program quality and student’s motivation match the hiring requirements of the local industry. Advisors include renowned ETH professors of Computer Science.

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Author Nicolas Bürer, Managing Director digitalswitzerland

Managing Director

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