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WeThinkCode graduates reach gender parity

More than 360 students from Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg completed an intensive 16-month programme – and marked a major milestone.

Software development academy WeThinkCode has marked a major milestone in bridging the gap between the tech skills shortage and unemployed youth in South Africa. The graduation of a huge cohort of students who commenced the programme in September 2021 is the first such group to reach gender parity.

The 368 students from campuses in Durban (79), Cape Town (82), and Johannesburg (207) completed an intensive 16-month programme and celebrates ground-breaking milestones along their journey.

Of the 368 students who graduated in the Class of 2023, 177 are women, who will be growing female representation in the software development industry.

With the drive to grow gender inclusion, WeThinkCode attracted an increased number of students, with 221 graduates coming from extremely low-income households earning less than R 75,000 a year. These graduates now have the skills to take up entry-level software development jobs, which could see them earn, on average, R264,000 a year in Cape Town, R240,000 a year in Johannesburg and R204,000 a year in Durban, according to OfferZen.

“This year, WeThinkCode is proud to celebrate the first graduating class of the Durban campus,” says Sethu Komani, WeThinkCode chief commercial officer. “Funded by our partner ESquared Investments, the expansion to Durban has proven to be a successful venture, particularly in the face of the many adversities that KwaZulu Natal residents have faced since the launch of the campus. 

“WeThinkCode and the Durban graduates have a lot to celebrate in light of this. We look forward to expanding further across South Africa to reach more young people and grow the pipeline of local tech skills through ongoing strategic partnerships with TVET colleges.”

With the addition of the Durban campus, the 2021 cohort was the largest group enrolled. Despite this additional capacity, 85% of the cohort graduated and a majority of the graduates (64%) were placed in employment ahead of graduation. These placements primarily spanned software consulting and IT services, financial services and telecommunications industries.

The institution collaborated with partners like GK Software, BBD, First National Bank, and Vodacom, who have recruited talent from among graduates nationally.

The largest recruiters of WeThinkCode talent this year included GK Software (22 hires), BBD (18), FNB (19) and Vodacom (10).

WeThinkCode CEO Nyari Samushonga says: “The importance of nurturing software development skills in today’s fast-paced digital landscape cannot be overstated. Technology serves as the driving force behind modern innovation, influencing every aspect of our lives, from communication and healthcare to transportation and entertainment. 

“Equipping our youth with these vital skills is paramount to sow the seeds of progress and empower them to shape the future. Graduation is a celebration of young African minds that are ready to create transformative solutions, tackle global challenges, and revolutionise industries in ways that only Africans can.”

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