Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, is teaming up with Netflix and the educational technology company 2U to offer fully online tech boot camps for its undergraduate students.
The program will feature three boot camps for credit in data science, Java engineering and UX/UI (user-interface design).
Netflix, the streaming entertainment giant, and 2U, which contracts with colleges and universities to offer online degree programs, began their partnership last year through virtual boot camps with Norfolk State University. They are now welcoming Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) like Marymount and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) as partners.
“Marymount’s College of Business, Innovation, Leadership and Technology (BILT) is producing tech-ready graduates with interdisciplinary skills who are exceptional,” Jonathan Aberman, dean of the College of BILT, said in a news release. “As corporate partners look for access to students with diverse backgrounds who are hungry for opportunities, they will follow Netflix and 2U’s lead and partner with Marymount.”
As part of the curriculum, students will partner with Netflix employees to gain firsthand industry insights.
In addition to teaching real world skills, the partnership aims to reduce inequities in the tech sector.
While strides have been made to improve diversity in tech, the number of Black, Hispanic and women engineers, data scientists and digital designers remains low.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 8.7% of the more than 88,633 bachelor’s degrees awarded in the computer and information sciences field in 2019 went to students who identified as Black, and only 10.6% went to students who identified as Hispanic.
And while women make up nearly half of all employed adults in the U.S., only 26% of computing-related jobs are held by women. And of that figure, just 3% are Black women and 2% are Hispanic women.
“In designing the curriculum for our inaugural boot camp, we wanted to focus on providing real world themes that we’ve seen in our experiences into the curriculum to help reinforce in-class learnings. Our goal was simply to answer, ‘How can we help these students be successful in their careers?’” Carlos Solares, senior software engineer at Netflix, said in the release. “As a Latino, I’m super excited that we’re expanding Netflix’s boot camps to HSIs, as I think this helps provide greater access and opportunity into this industry.”
Marymount classes in the Netflix Pathways Boot Camp for the fall 2021 cohort will begin on Aug. 24. The virtual courses will be led by university faculty on a 16-week, part-time basis.