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WeWork’s Flatiron School Joins Australia’s Growing Tech Ecosystem

By Kristi RiordanSeptember 23, 2019
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Our mission at Flatiron School is to enable the pursuit of a better life through education, by breaking down barriers to life-changing, in-demand tech skills for people everywhere. Seven years after opening our doors, we’ve done just that — with thousands of students learning and changing careers at Flatiron School’s 11 global campuses and online.

It’s in that spirit that I’m thrilled to announce that Flatiron School will join WeWork’s expanding footprint in Australia to help people launch a career in tech and bridge the growing skills gap. Beginning February 2020, students can attend our premier software engineering and UX/UI design courses on our Sydney campus.

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From our first campus in New York City to our campuses across North America, our first international campus in London and our online campus, we’ve created a thriving community of lifelong learners who have the ability to grow and network within a dedicated WeWork workspace. While Flatiron School didn’t have a physical presence in the country, Australians have already changed their careers and lives through our online program. Alumni have worked at top area companies — such as Canva and Qantas — and started new careers abroad. With this campus opening, we will build on that strong foundation and continue to grow our local impact.

There’s never been a better time to be in Australia than today. As tech grows in the country, so too does the skills gap in Australia. That needs to change and we have the means to make it happen. 

Australia will need an extra 200,000 tech workers over the next five years in order to thrive in the digital economy, according to a report by Australian Computer Society (ACS) and Deloitte. Universities alone can’t satisfy that demand with just 5,000 domestic graduates annually, according to the ACS and Deloitte report. 

At the current rate, Australia will have to look overseas for 75 percent of its future tech workforce, unless its education and training programs evolve. That’s where Flatiron School can come in— we have a proven track record in developing local tech talent to satisfy a tech employment gap.  

To help Sydney residents change careers with confidence, we’re offering our industry leading job placement support and a money-back guarantee (see details). According to our 2018 verified Jobs Report for graduates from our New York City campus, 97 percent of job-seeking graduates from the reporting period accepted full-time salaried roles, paid apprenticeships, or part-time job offers. Similarly, our online Software Engineering program has a strong track record of job placements, with 94 percent of job-seeking students who graduated during the reporting period accepting full-time salaried roles, paid apprenticeships, and part-time roles. 

Financial barriers have prevented far too many people from achieving a great education. That’s why we’re working with EdAid, who are offering a private Income Share Agreement (ISA) to help us create even more access to education. With EdAid’s ISA, following an initial deposit ($750), students pay nothing towards their tuition until after they have left Flatiron School, and are earning a minimum monthly income of at least $4,250 (equivalent to $51,000/year). This payment model helps align the quality of education and employment results with tuition payments. 

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Our Australia Leadership Team (L-R): Dexter Choong (Regional Marketer APAC), Elizabeth Raboy (Growth Lead), Kristi Riordan (COO), and Rishi Tirumala (Lead Instructor)

Alternative educational options, like Flatiron School, are here to help solve a global problem. It’s not just Australia that needs tech talent. We’ve seen that incredible demand in North America and Europe, too. But, we’ve also seen that we can change that and turn this need into a life-changing opportunity.

“Australia is facing the universal problem of not having enough tech talent to fill the growing number of open tech jobs, which is putting pressure on businesses to seek talent outside of the local workforce,” said Adam Enbar, Flatiron School’s CEO & co-founder. “By working with EdAid, who is offering what we believe to be the country’s first private income share agreement for education, providing robust job placement support and a curriculum relevant to employer needs, we can help supercharge Australia’s tech talent pipeline.”

A collaborative and flexible learning environment

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You’re probably wondering why Australia in particular. After all, there are other countries that are seeing the same growing tech talent shortage. Well, it comes down to attitude. Australia has embraced the notion of flexible workspace and doing what you love. In Sydney and Melbourne, the number of flexible workspace sites increased from 78 in 2013 to more than 400 in 2018. That’s an increase of over 400 percent. 

As more people continue to work remote, as technology improves, and as we become more interconnected, flexible workspaces have exploded in popularity. You can see that energy in any WeWork around the world. “Australia’s workforce is passionate about working in environments that allow them to be inspired, and thrive in their personal and professional lives,” said Balder Tol, General Manager of WeWork Australia. “Being a part of WeWork has enabled Flatiron School to create a vibrant, collaborative and flexible learning environment that keeps students motivated, and more closely matches their desired work environment."

Let me be the first to welcome you to our new Sydney campus. Prospective students can apply for the 15-week software engineering course, and 24-week UX/UI design course, which both kick off in February 2020. We also anticipate our other courses, like data science, will be available by the end of 2020. We encourage students who want the flexibility of studying online to enrol today in our full-time and part-time online courses in software engineering and UX/UI design.

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Kristi Riordan

COO and Managing Director, APAC

After spending nine years sparking new growth efforts at professional learning network Gerson Lehrman Group, Kristi came to Flatiron School for the opportunity to work on an ambitious mission at the intersection of technology and people.

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