Bittnet Training, the initiator of a national professional reconversion project for adults who want to kickstart a new career in the IT field, launches the CTRL+N scholarship program. Each month, a minimum of 50 scholarships will be offered to persons who lost jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic, those who do not have basic digital skills or to people who have lower income than the average per economy. The first batch scholarships will be provided with support of Microsoft, Softbinator, Autonom Foundation, investment fund Simple Capital as well as Bittnet Group.
“We thank the first partners who believed that digital education should be a priority in Romania and have contributed financially to the process of forming the IT specialists of the future. Each year, Romanian companies are confronted with a staggering deficit of IT&C professionals. Some refer to Romania as the Silicon Valley of Europe, yet our ICT specialists represent a much lower proportion of the workforce than in the EU as a whole – 2.2%, against an EU average of 3.9%. On Romania’s national day, we are launching CTRL+N, our biggest professional endeavour to date and we invite local and international companies to join this project and to support high-potential individuals in getting the IT training that will allow them to enter the IT&C workforce in Romania and build a new, better future“, said Dan Berteanu, CEO of Bittnet Training and VP of Education at Bittnet Group.
The scholarship project will run for a period of minimum 12 months. At the beginning of each month, for a period of one week, Bittnet will make available on the project website the scholarship application form. The application will request basic information about the candidate, together with a short, maximum 600 words, letter of intent, including the motivation behind the decision to follow the reskilling course. In the second stage of the process, on a case-by-case basis, Bittnet might request additional information from potential students.
The first batch of 50 scholarships will be made available between December 1st and 7th. The scholarships will be individually assessed by a special panel of IT&C professionals and will be awarded on the “first-come, first-serve” basis. Persons who did not succeed to receive the scholarship at the first try due to high demand, will be encouraged to reapply in the following months as the number of scholarships is expected to continue increasing, subject to the sponsor’s interest.
In the coming weeks, Bittnet will announce new partners to the project as the intention is to increase the number of scholarships available each month to meet the demand. Bittnet Group invites Romanian entrepreneurial companies and multinationals to join CTRL+N project by offering scholarships to high potential students, their future employees. By the end of 2025, Bittnet plans to help 25,000 Romanians restart their professional path, reorienting towards IT.
The professional reconversion courses offered by Bittnet under CTRL+N umbrella were developed based on the skills required from the most sought-after 28 jobs in the IT industry, in areas such as software development, hardware administration, cloud, project management and cybersecurity. The training is rigorous and includes access to study materials in video format in Romanian, intermediate tests through which students can assess their progress, practical activities, regular meetings with trainers and IT specialists, membership in the project community to support the lifelong learning process. All offered so that employees already active in other fields will be able to make the transition to a new job in the IT field by assimilating new knowledge and skills at their own pace of learning. The cost of a course is 899 lei. All the training modules are offered in entirety online. After passing the final exam, the students will receive a formal diploma from Bittnet and will be actively promoted to Bittnet Group partner companies for employment opportunities.
The deficit of IT specialists in Europe is expected to reach up to 900,000 people by the end of 2020. Each year, Romania is confronted with a hiring gap of over 25,000 IT professionals, with the total deficit growing on a year-on-year basis amid high demand coming from global players with a local presence, a low number of IT graduates and migration to Western markets of skilled IT&C professionals. On top of this, Romania is struggling with a very low level of digital skills amongst the population. Less than a third (31%) of Romanian adults have minimum basic digital skills, compared with EU average of 58%, while only 10% of Romanians have above-average digital skills, compared with 33% of Europeans, placing Romania last in the EU.