Last year, North Hennepin Community College computer science faculty asked me what my employment needs were as a Minnesota technology business owner and employer of computer science graduates.
I told them that we need to see more graduates trained in emerging technology fields such as mobile application development, explaining that companies like ours have been experiencing huge shortages in this type of talent despite massive industry growth – causing us to outsource high-tech jobs to a small number of qualified job seekers from other states and countries.
They asked. I answered. They delivered.
NHCC recently launched two new courses on mobile app development: Objective-C for Mobile Programming and Introduction to Mobile Programming in iOS. To date, North Hennepin is one of three colleges in Minnesota (+U of M) that I know of to offer accredited mobile development courses, which are now open for fall registration ($736/each + books).
The courses are designed for those who have a computer programming background but who want to develop mobile applications for Apple’s iOS. They are open to current computer science students and working professionals. Students will do their work on iPads and iPod Touches – creating the ultimate hands-on learning experience.
Before I co-founded W3i, my two brothers and I attended North Hennepin Community College while enrolled at Osseo Senior High School. This was back in the mid-nineties as part of the state’s post-secondary enrollment option program (PSEO)- a program that continues to thrive.
If it wasn’t for North Hennepin Community College and the PSEO program, we would not have been able to afford to go to college and we wouldn’t have had access to the state-of-the-art computer lab that helped us launch our company when we were teenagers.
North Hennepin has a big vision. If this pilot program takes off, they are committed to expanding the program to Android, and other platforms. Contact Tatyana Volk ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) to participate, refer, volunteer or otherwise donate resources.
Supporting leading local colleges like North Hennepin Community College can go a long way in preparing our students for tech careers – a key ingredient for the long term growth and success of the Minnesota technology community.