BIT Group – based in Devon, England – offers IT- and cyber-readiness bootcamps to aspiring IT professionals hoping to launch a new career, and to those who want to take their IT competency to the next level.
Breaking the IT Pro Stereotype
People training with BIT Group tend to break the mold of IT professional stereotypes. BIT Group’s bootcamps, for example, enroll a diverse range of individuals from construction to sports professionals to jigsaw puzzle makers looking to move into a new field, as well as unemployed individuals looking to build a highly marketable skill set. BIT Group also offers training to people integrated within the Regional Cyber Crime Units (RCCU).
“We run the bootcamps for people who may not otherwise be able to access this kind of training,” shares Ben Franklin, BIT Group’s chief technology officer and CEO of its training division.
BIT Group bootcamps are fully online, and 12 weeks long. Learners are asked to work on real-world projects and are encouraged to attend drop-in sessions with trainers as well as masterclasses with experts. Along the way, they are supported in their learning with polls, quizzes and digital breakout rooms that help to create a truly immersive training environment.
Partnering With CompTIA
BIT Group uses a wide array of CompTIA solutions, including the full suite of CompTIA CertMaster training, to help learners master material at their own pace as they prepare for assessments. They are able to demonstrate their knowledge and in doing so, can earn a wide range of certifications that will serve them well in their job search and eventually, on the job.
Those certifications include:
- CompTIA IT Fundamentals (ITF+)
- CompTIA A+
- CompTIA Network+
- CompTIA Security+
- CompTIA Cloud+
- CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+)
- CompTIA PenTest+
Franklin believes the vendor neutrality of the CompTIA learning and certification products makes them the gold-standard of IT and cybersecurity training and certification.
“This is where we see that CompTIA really understands the market. Do you want to talk about teaching networking? Then you need students to learn the fundamentals of networking generally, and then they can decide where they want to go. You’ve now got the skills, now let’s get you the experience,” Franklin said.
Expanding Access to In-Demand Careers
BIT Group’s vision is to help solve the global digital skills shortage by broadening global access to one of the world’s most in-demand career spaces. Yet, a question looms: Why has IT remained an elusive space for so many would-be professionals, even at a time when the digital needs of businesses and the wider world are only growing?
Franklin believes that many of the problems facing the IT sector today are based on little more than bad assumptions. For instance, many people assume that only a certain type of person with a university degree is truly qualified to work in IT. Furthermore, there is often an assumption in the workplace that prospective and new hires already know enough about IT to be proficient on the job.
“There’s an assumption that everyone knows about IT because we have been using it for a few generations. Yet so many of us were given no formal training,” Franklin said. “This is still happening. The kids in school today were born on mobile devices. They’re doing all their homework on Microsoft Teams, but they’ve never been trained in it. What many people don’t consider and know about are the security risks.”
Incorrect assumptions can also to the professional skills that are so often expected of new hires.
“There’s also an assumption that everyone even has a CV or knows how to interview,” Franklin said. “You can teach someone tech skills, but to get someone really job-ready, they still need personal and professional development. That’s where we will bring in an external team to support professional development. We take them from that starting point to where they want to be, and we cover everything in between.”
Drawing From Personal Experience
For Franklin, the company’s mission is grounded in a desire to close that skills gap while helping more people find their niche and improve their life by pursuing a career in IT. It also resonates on a personal level.
“I’m ex-military and joined the army at 16. I did 24 years in the British Army, and started at a service desk and worked my way up to IT support roles and training. During the last few years, I worked as a coach and mentor to soldiers hoping to do military field work in the IT space,” he said.
It was this work and Franklin’s previous networking with BIT Group’s founders while in the services that led him to later join the organization, and ultimately led him to his current position as CTO.
As for BIT Group’s choice to partner with CompTIA? Beyond the vendor neutrality of its training and certification materials, Franklin believes there’s a less tangible, but equally important, benefit.
“I see CompTIA as family. I’m a CEO, so of course I partner with tons of providers, yes. But with CompTIA, we will sit and have tea or coffee. We go to events. I can throw ideas at them, and they don’t judge. They listen. And they don’t forget about it. The ticket always gets raised, so to speak. That’s where I see CompTIA as the real partner,” he said.
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