Building a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace is critical to the success of any company, and it’s a challenge that we take very seriously at Chronosphere (read more about Chronosphere’s diversity goals in a blog by head of people, Agne Klasaviciene, here.) Diversity encompasses a wide range of attributes from race, ethnicity, age, education, income, upbringing, beliefs, and skills. The lack of diversity at many tech companies has been a topic of hot debate in recent years, which is part of why we believe it’s critical to put in DEI programs early and build a diverse company from the ground up.
Unfortunately, in the tech industry we’re not starting from a level playing field – today people from traditional technical backgrounds (i.e., a degree in computer science) have a big leg-up on people with non-traditional technical backgrounds.
For many seeking new career opportunities in tech, access to education is an early barrier to entry.
Equality starts with equal access to education
At Chronosphere, we recognize we have a role to play in bridging the computer science skills gap and increasing tech-job opportunities for all.
This is why we’ve partnered with OpenLearning on a new online computer science program, CS101, aimed at making learning computer science accessible to everyone.
By supporting the CS101 online learning program, we are joining OpenLearning in its goal to “equip working professionals with core theoretical and practical skills in computer science so they are able to ‘learn how to learn’ and adapt to new technologies.”
Our CEO and co-founder, Martin Mao, has observed that one of the reasons diversity, equity, and inclusion are lacking at many of the large tech companies is because it isn’t a critical priority starting in the early days of the company. This is part of why he believes that it’s crucial to put in DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) programs early and build a diverse company from the ground up.
Partnering with OpenLearning on the CS101 program is one way Chronosphere can help change the tech landscape – by diversifying the future workforce through education opportunities and new entry points into tech for those with non-traditional tech backgrounds. (Check out Martin’s blog about our two-year-old company’s rapidly growing, remote-first workforce here and a photo journal of our safe in-person gatherings here.)
Tech learning leads to tech hiring
OpenLearning launched CS101 in response to research showing that the technology workforce is growing faster than any other occupation. New technology professionals will require knowledge in computer science to fill those jobs.
Since there are no prerequisites or technical expertise required to enroll in CS101, anyone with an interest in a tech career can become a learner. This is a win-win scenario for hiring companies as well as people with non-traditional backgrounds wanting to enter the tech workforce.
Furthermore, completion of the CS101 program could pave the way for pursuing higher education studies.
How CS101 works
CS101 is an accelerated program consisting of three short online courses. Each course can be completed in just twelve weeks and on a part-time basis. The course breakdown includes:
- CS101: Programming and Computational Thinking
- CS101: Data Science and Algorithms
- CS101: Software Engineering and Cloud Computing
The first course will cover a number of foundational skills, including computational thinking, complex problem solving, programming, logic, algorithms, automation, micro-processors, professional practice, and ethics.
Upon successful completion, learners receive OpenLearning’s “OpenCred” in the form of a digital credential that includes both a badge and a certificate that can be shared on social media. We’re pleased to announce that we will be sponsoring enrollment in the course for two individuals who are looking to make a career change and break into the tech industry.
The first cohort for CS101: Programming and Computational Thinking starts October 18 and is now open for enrollment. Check out the CS101 website to find out more about the courses and philosophy behind this learning opportunity.