In a year like never before, we look back at some of our key moments from 2020. It challenged all of us as individuals and served up one too many plot twists, but at least one thing is for sure - change is the new normal. And just like you, we kept adapting and growing to answer your needs. Here’s what happened in the past 12 months.
It’s hard to tell the story of 2020 without mentioning the COVID-19 pandemic. We are sure you had enough of it, and we are with you on that one, but still - good things did happen throughout the year.
The challenges have made us more resilient and creative, and opened up a lot of new opportunities, showing us once again the importance of being relentless and that the best strategy for the future is to keep on learning.
And we are happy that we stood to the challenge - just like you, we kept adapting and growing to answer your needs.
So, without any further ado, here’s what happened in the past 12 months.
Best company of the year award
At the end of January, we were named “Best Company of 2020“ by the Forbes Business Awards! We won the grand prize among all categories and competing against more than 70 companies across different industries such as IT, finance, manufacturing, retail, agriculture, education, and services.
Alexandra Mechkova, our CEO, commented on the award:
“I am happy that an education organization has received the “Best Company of the Year” award. Talent is Bulgaria’s greatest resource. Therefore, we are focused on training the digital builders of tomorrow. Thank you for the recognition - it raises the bar even higher for us. We don’t take it for granted. Just the opposite, it motivates us to go farther and become even better.”
Just a couple of weeks before that, the reports about “mysterious viral pneumonia“ in the city of Wuhan, China, started making the news. We did not know it at the time, but this would completely change the world in just a couple of months.
By the end of February, COVID-19 was already becoming the most serious global health threat in decades.
Continuously monitoring the situation, we knew we must act fast, and we did so. Thus, on March 10 (preceding the declared state of emergency in Bulgaria, which started later that week), we transitioned all our trainings and operations from an onsite to a 100% online format. We kept everything else unchanged, ensuring the same world-class education quality, engaging learning experience, and 100% focus on practice.
We left nothing to chance, and time proved us right. Even now, more than 10 months later, all of our programs are held online.
10 career jumpstart programs Telerik Academy Alpha
In 2020, we organized 10 IT career jumpstart programs (some of them will start in 2021, and you still have time to apply - check them here), which helped hundreds of people launch their successful careers in tech. For most of them, this happened during turbulent times, but it helped them completely change their lives.
Just like Stanimir, who launched a new IT career during the COVID-19 pandemic:
“I left my job to pursue a career in the IT industry. I had no time to waste, and Telerik Academy is the fastest and most effective way to become a developer. My friends who have vast experience in programming strongly recommended Telerik Academy. When you know that you are entering an important battle, you take your biggest weapon with you. That’s why I chose Telerik Academy,“ Stanimir Kolev, a Telerik Academy Graduate, now Java Developer at CODIX Bulgaria.
The first tech-ed organization with blended learning
This year we also became the first Bulgarian IT training organization to implement a blended learning format, further augmenting our focus on hands-on experience and mentorship.
How does the blended model work? We provide our students with in-depth perfectly-structured materials for each lecture in advance to learn independently. For every topic, they work on their homework and projects under the mentorship of our trainers, so they can solidify their knowledge and attain practical skills. With the introduction of the blended model, we were able to increase the hands-on training by 300%.
In addition, we increased the one-on-one time between students and trainers. Interesting fact - our trainers have spent 560 minutes in 1:1 meetings with our learners this year!
That’s how we managed to increase even further the student-trainer interaction while keeping the same amount of theoretical knowledge. Want to learn how we train our Master Junior talents? Read this.
Career guidance 2.0
In 2020, we introduced our new career guidance program to further help our Telerik Academy Alpha students on their path to a successful IT career.
The career guidance program has always been an essential part of our Alpha courses, which kicks in at the final stages of their education and now continues up to 12 months upon graduation.
During this time, we focus on extensive support for the students, including useful information, regular meetings, help with the job-hunting process, and many more activities that support the students on their way to a successful career in the IT industry. To learn more, check out our blog post.
In addition to our Alpha programs, we launched 6 Upskill programs (two of which were new for Bulgaria).
Between our Alpha and Upskill programs, we’ve trained over 530 learners!
The first-ever comprehensive Product Management training in Bulgaria
In addition to our Alpha programs, we organized 6 Upskill programs - two of which we launched for the first time ever.
This year, we’ve jumpstarted the first hands-on Product Management program in Bulgaria.
In our on-going conversations with the business, it became clear there is a shortage of professionals with a comprehensive understanding of the product managers' role.
To help close the gap, we kick-started a Product Management Upskill program by joining forces with some of Bulgaria's most renowned practitioners and entrepreneurs leading globally successful products and companies. To share their knowledge, 12 seasoned professionals joined the program as guest lecturers and mentors with experience in leading tech companies such as Telerik, Progress, Leanplum, Uber, The Stars Group, Coursera, Payhawk, and launchlabs Sofia.
Do you want to find out more about the role of the product manager? Read here.
The first hands-on React program
In 2020, we launched our first Upskill React program. Once again, we analyzed the industry, had conversations with partners and representatives of the IT sector in Bulgaria and it became clear that there is a need for well-prepared developers with React (learn more about the technology).
And the result was Telerik Academy Upskill React - the only immersive hands-on course for React in Bulgaria.
Our partner network kept expanding
We are happy that in this turbulent year, our partner network kept growing with new companies who are actively looking to expand their teams with top IT talent while our partnership with one of the biggest software companies in Bulgaria stayed strong as ever.
We’ve welcomed our newest partners the World Bank Group, Americaneagle.com, Negometrix, Sutherland, KPMG, EGT Interactive, who joined our friends of Do IT Wise, Tick42, HedgeServ, BRIGHT, Tinquin, Next Solutions, Progress, Bending Spoons, Grafixoft, and the rest of 80+ partner companies.
Our first ever thorough “IT Hiring and Upskilling Trends” report
The report was a natural progression of our constant and open communication with the business.
The COVID-19 pandemic affected all businesses. As talent is the most crucial asset for IT companies, with this survey, we wanted to outline the current state of the IT companies and to understand what strategies they undertake to stay relevant during and after the COVID-19 crisis in terms of talent.
And the results were yet another proof of the resilience of the IT sector. 96% of all surveyed companies feel confident about the future, 60% haven’t seen a change in or have increased their hiring since the COVID-19 outbreak, and nearly 70% keep investing in retraining or upskilling their employees.
Of course, if there is one thing that 2020 taught us, it is that no one knows what the future holds, and the only certain thing is the importance of learning new skills.
Graduation at the end of February. We hope that in 2021 we'll have the opportunity to take graduation photos once again!
For a brighter future
This year turned out to be extraordinarily challenging on both personal and professional level for everyone. We’d like to thank all our students, partners and colleagues for their thrust and support.
We all hope 2021 will be brighter. But whatever comes next, we are motivated to be better and bolder. We know that together with you, we can make a better world.
We promise you - the best is yet to come.
Looking to jumpstart your career in IT? Find out more about our Telerik Academy Alpha programs. Ready to take your career to the next level - don't miss our Upskill programs.
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