Microsoft: A college in Buckinghamshire improves tech skills in the UK

Virtual reality research is being done by students

A new college has been hailed by the world's largest computer company as an "opportunity to bridge the gap" in the development of technical talent in the UK.

The South Central Institute of Technology, with its headquarters in Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, began accepting students in June.

Software development, programming, digital marketing, and game development are all offered as courses.

Students could earn a degree for a third of the cost of comparable university courses by pursuing higher education.

With assistance from a number of partners, including Microsoft, KPMG, and Cranfield University, Milton Keynes College has been leading the project.

Construction in Bletchley will begin in 2022 after the government announced the locations for a dozen "Institutes of Technology" in 2019.

Students experimenting with virtual reality
The college is one of 12 similar institutions of its kind in the nation that aims to close the skills gap in the digital industry.

In order to create a curriculum that concentrated on areas where it believed there to be a "large skill gap," Microsoft worked with the institute. ".

Derrick McCourt, a company representative, called it an "incredible opportunity" for the Bletchley and Milton Keynes regions to draw in individuals who ordinarily wouldn't consider a career in information technology.

He claimed that the college had made it a "deliberate target" to serve underrepresented groups like young women and autistic people.

Since it pays some of the highest salaries in the UK and is by far the most profitable sector, he said, "if we don't reach communities who traditionally don't participate in the digital community, it has a knock-on effect for economic inclusion and social mobility.".

Students on laptops
The South Central Institute of Technology has Microsoft, Cranfield University, and KMPG as partners.

The college claimed that while they offered comparable degrees for £18,000, three years of course fees at a university typically cost around £27,000.

Jim Nowell, the school's head, claimed that the nation lacked expertise in game development, cyber security, and programming.

People from all walks of life have the chance to participate at any stage of their educational journey, he said.

Richard Lee
Richard Lee has worked as a delivery driver, a stock controller, a fraud analyst, and now a college student.

The college stated that it was eager to welcome mature students in addition to encouraging people from underrepresented backgrounds.

For the past eight years, student Richard Lee, 55, has held a number of jobs, including that of a supermarket delivery driver.

Mr. Lee believed that the world had changed in recent years and that he had to choose between "surfing the wave or letting the wave pass me.".

"50 is the new 30, so I figured I'd give it a shot," he said. ".

The institute will accept up to 200 students starting in September.

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