Scotland gets it! Coding is the lingua franca of the 21st Century

Coding, the lingua franca of the 21st Century


The developed world has woken up to what high growth economies have known for some time – coding is the lingua franca of the 21st Century.

In North America this has resulted in the creation of a new way into the Digital Industry – through immersive ‘bootcamps’ or coding academies. Sixteen thousand  students will graduate from these institutions in 2015, two and a half times as many as in 2014.   (As a point of comparison there were forty nine thousand undergraduate computer science graduates from accredited US universities in 2014.)

Over the last 4-5 years sixty-seven coding academies have been established in North America.  They are primarily located in richer cities with large populations where people are able and prepared to pay £8-12k to be re-trained for a better job.  There are twelve in San Francisco, nine in New York, eight in Seattle – and Portland and Chicago each have six.  So five ‘tech savy’ US cities account for 60% of the total.   There are eight coding academies in London but, as of last month, none in the rest of the UK.  Students typically pay £8-12k and find employment in £35-£40k per annum jobs.


Our students are off to a flying start with a visit from John Swinney

Scotland gets it!

CodeClan opened in Edinburgh at the beginning of October.  Starting salaries here tend to be lower and so we have taken an innovative approach to funding our £9,500, sixteen week, coding course.  Students pay £4,500 and our Employer Partners pay £5,000 at the point at which they hire one of our graduates.

Thirteen companies have joined the scheme so far, including Scotland’s longest established software company – Computer Application Services.  These forward looking companies realise that local collaboration makes sense in a world of global opportunity and competition.  By working together with CodeClan they can bring new entrants into their organisations with the skills that are critical to their continued profitable growth. CodeClan provides our Employer Partners with privileged  access to our students to ensure they achieve great hires.

Scotland gets it: we now have an important new element in our digital skills infrastructure.  We need to use it well to help drive our continued economic development and social well being.

Written by Rab Campbell, Employer Relations & Partnerships