Calgary library offers tech training to launch people into new careers in 6 months

A new educational tenant at Calgary’s Central Library says it will provide tech training that could help people change career direction in as little as six months.

'We just dive right in and learn on the fly and through our mistakes,' says one graduating student

Julia Pulwicki is about to graduate from the first group of students in the program. Like a few others, she has a job waiting for her when she's done school. (Mike Symington/CBC)

A new educational tenant at Calgary's Central Library says it will provide tech training that could help people change career direction in as little as six months.

The downtown library will offer third-floor space to InceptionU to provide training in back-end and front-end development work for positions known as full stack developers.

Founder Greg Hart says the private school will offer the six-month program to about 35 students starting Monday. He says it's about getting the skills for a job in the fast-moving digital world.

People from all walks of life

"The first program we ran, which is wrapping up this month, we had people from all walks of life, we had people who had full degrees doing technology work. We had other people who never coded a line ever in their lives," Hart said.

"We had one guy who had worked in an oil field job as an operator, lost his job, hadn't any formal schooling after high school, came into our program and three months inside that program, he was hired full time as a software developer at a really good salary."

Greg Hart of InceptionU says they've had students from all employment backgrounds enter the six-month program. (Mike Symington/CBC)

Julia Pulwicki was in the first program offered. She is about to graduate with a job waiting for her in app development.

"We just dive right in and learn on the fly and through our mistakes. That's really what the selling point for me was, for sure," Pulwicki said.

Hart says they've also worked with students like a former dentist and another with a doctorate degree.

The six-month program costs about $13,500 including subsidies from the provincial and federal governments. Some students, depending on government-set eligibility, could receive fully subsidized tuition.

There's also a free, introductory program offered at other branches of the Calgary library and the plan is to expand programming across the city.

  • InceptionU CEO Greg Hart talks about the possibilities of a new Central Library partnership:
Alberta has been trying to diversify its economy for decades, and while we've made strides in sectors like transportation and warehousing, technology is a major industry where we still lag behind. But a Calgary-based education start-up called Inception U is hoping to change that -- with a little help from the Calgary Public Library. Greg Hart is the CEO of Inception U. He joined host Doug Dirks in studio. 6:17

With files from Mike Symington and Colleen Underwood


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