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Computer science and tech all around

With a growing job market in the field of technology, two companies and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn are working to offer opportunities to Queens College and CUNY students.

On July 18, Quinn announced the launch of Tipping Point Partners’, Advanced Software Development Program, as well as the Coalition for Queens’ new program, both of which offer educational tech classes to college students in the hopes of hiring them in the field.

According to Quinn, there were 1,700 digital firms in the city and 932 of whom were hiring with 10,000 available jobs. Some of these jobs can pay as much as $100,000 a year, yet there are not enough people to fill the jobs, said Jukay Hsu, the founder of Coalition for Queens.

The Advanced Software Development Program is an effort to bridge the gap between computer science education and the needs of the current technology firms in New York City, said Tipping Point’s founder, Art Chang.

“Since New York City had a huge gap in the number of positions that are open, this is a great opportunity to take the most talented students from the CUNY computer science programs and give them a leg up,” said Chang.

The program, which lasts one year, offers students the chance to learn a computer language that is in high demand—Apple’s IOS—the techniques used in software programming and meet people who are leading technology teams in New York City. Students will get lab experience with the IOS language, as well as a fully paid internship for the latter half of the program at one of the companies working with the initiative, including Tipping Point Partners, AppOrchard, Rapid Ratings and many others.

“One of the things that’s so exciting about working with CUNY is that it reflects a group of people from everywhere–around the world—that one can image, with diverse backgrounds, who are full of passion and excitement about technology and their futures and they are overcoming tremendous odds to be able to do this,” said Chang.  “Giving those qualified folks the opportunity to succeed is very gratifying and I’m honored to be a part of this.”

The free program has already closed its applications for this academic year and will take up to 20 students—from the fewer than 100—who applied.  New applications will be available when this academic year comes to a close.

The other company, Coalition for Queens, sponsors tech communities in the borough.  They hold tech gatherings in Queens and come September, will offer tech classes to the general public while working with QC to get students involved.

“Something that’s great about QC is that it trains more computer scientists than any other school in the metropolitan area; more than NYU and Columbia, and I think that’s a tremendous pool of talent” said Hsu.

The classes are not accredited, but can be used as supplements to what some QC students are already learning. The short, one session classes, which will cost about $25, will teach students how to use social media, basic computer programming and entrepreneurship with experts in the field.

“We are hoping that by providing these educational opportunities we can get more students and other people involved in the tech industry to not only get great jobs, but to make an impact on the economy and spur innovation and development here in New York,” said Hsu.

For more information on the classes, sign up for the mailing list at www.queenstech.org/education or visit tippingpointpartners.com.

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