Microsoft and non-profit organization Generation push forward the pathway to success by upskilling for tech work

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While Thai and global labor markets are constantly encountering digital labor deficiency, WTW’s Artificial Intelligence and Digital Talent Compensation Survey reveals that 97% of the companies are facing digital personnel recruitment issues, and it’s predicted that the companies remain focusing on digital-related positions in 2023. 

 “A software developer” is one of the requisite digital occupations in Thailand’s labor market. Many people are interested in converting to work in this field. It is, thus, a significant opportunity for the technological leader like Microsoft (Thailand), together with Generation Thailand and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation, to create Junior Software Developer, or JSD Program, the subsidized with no fee short-term intensive training course, which aims to create the new generation software developers and the employment opportunity to respond the demand. 

 In 2022, a total of 140 students graduated from three generations of JSD Bootcamp, and 85% were the students who transitioned to work in the digital field with neither technological educational background nor IT work experience. According to Generation’s data collection, the income of those who graduated from the course also would be receiving competitive rate of compensation. 

 “Kanoon” Ezra Piyachanokwong, a former rider, “Jib” Preeyawat Inhangwa, a newly graduated law student, and “Prae” Iris Khongsook, a former secretary of an executive, are the ones who behold opportunities in the digital world and decided to attend JSD Bootcamp to gain new skills, which are entirely diverge from their previous occupations, and successfully turned to work in the digital field as they wished.  

 From a rider to work in the technological field in 4 months.  

“Converting to work in the digital field has changed my life. I used to riskily drive to deliver food, which was rather prone to accidents. But after I got this job, I’ve had a better income and need not worry about money. I finally live the life I want to live.” 

 “Kanoon” Ezra Piyachanokwong , a student from the 1st JSD Bootcamp, described how his life changed after attending the boot camp until he currently has an opportunity to work in the quality assurance position in the IT company of a hospital group. 

 Four years ago, Kanoon recently graduated in design technology and began the first two years of his career working in sales and customer service for a credit company. His income depended on sales, which was affected by COVID-19. He then decided to find a new job that offered better pay during the pandemic. 

 “When I quit my full-time job, I was in debt, and I was quite aimless, for I had no idea how to earn money for my living and debt. So, I tried working as a rider for half a year, and it was a hard time for me. To earn a thousand baht, I had to work so hard. Riders must confront all weather conditions. The workload and the number of riders aren’t balanced, and the work is risky.” 

 Kanoon found Generation’s JSD Bootcamp announcement via Facebook when he was a rider. He then registered and went through several tests until he was one of the 1st JSD Bootcamp students. “I’m interested in technology and think that it’s in demand. I planned that if I really got to attend the program, the job would definitely be in this field.”  

 JSD Bootcamp takes about three months. The course offers to train coding skills from the basic level and develop software developer’s logic. Apart from digital skills, soft skills are also quite essential.  “JSD program let me learn and practice soft skills that I had never studied in the university. I got to learn interpersonal skill, exercise patience, and practice time management. It is the hard-to-find preparation for the learners nowadays.” 

 “To begin working, I started searching for jobs nearly the end of the boot camp. The program assisted me and offered advice on several procedures for the job application. I was advised to talk with the partner company that was interested in giving me a job. I then had a chance to apply for the job as I wished. I was so thankful that the program allowed me to search for a job myself.” 

 After four months from the beginning of the program until the job application time, Kanoon finally started working as a back-end developer for a customer relationship management company. Afterward, he converted to work in the quality assurance field, which serves his purpose more. In this program, he has used both the technical and the soft skills knowledge gained from the program. 

 “The company I’m currently working for belongs to a hospital group. It employs technology and data in taking care of the patients and making sure all of them are treated equally. Since my responsibility is to examine datasets, I, thus, use query knowledge (Data filtering), time management skill, and interpersonal skill learnt from the program. JSD Program encourages me to ask for help to get the job done. I’m so proud that my work is has resulted in a positive impact towards others.” 

 Kanoon advised those planning to work in the digital field, “Technology field is open for everyone. Our values are proved by our works. We, ourselves, are the most important. If we believe we can do it and take time learning, then the success is ours.” 

 The newly graduated law students who wants to make her dream come true. 

“Everyone around me was surprised that I dared to shift the field and begin a new path, from a lawyer to a programmer.” 

 Jib – Preeyawat Inhangwa, the 2nd generation of JSD Program, is a newly graduated law student who dreams of working in a leading foreign company and desires to work abroad. Despite four years of studying law, Jib was interested in working in the technological field, for she knew the market demand. While unemployed, she constantly researched and learned by herself until she found JSD Bootcamp. “Back then, I didn’t know who to consult and didn’t have much coding knowledge. But I loved to learn and constantly studied by myself until I found the JSD program, so I registered.” 

 Jib describes that studying in the JSD Bootcamp is suitable for those with no basic knowledge like herself since the content is comprehensive and practical; this includes soft skills, which are significant for the technological work that is constantly changing. “When I first attended the program, I couldn’t differentiate between the front-end and back-end. The boot camp teaches me everything and the knowledge is practical; both the technical knowledge and growth mindset help me deal with changes, for the languages used are altered according to the projects.” 

 Learning new skills within a limited time isn’t easy. Jib and the other students had to put a lot of effort and determination into comprehending the techniques and creating a project for the job application within three months. 

 However, due to the great support from the instructors, Generation team, volunteered mentors, and friends, Jib was able to get through all hardship. 

 “During the project, I was sneakily in tears because I couldn’t build back-end codes. I put pressure on myself for I was afraid my teammates were waiting. This made me think that I might have caused problems when working in the future. However, the instructors stepped in to help and got everyone to understand. So, I could get through everything well.” 

 Jib recounted her job application experience and said that the program intensively prepared the students for writing resumes, creating portfolios, and job interviews, so they would be confident when the time came. She had tried several ways, starting by sharing her resume in various online groups, going through many interviews, and improving herself until she got the position and the company she wanted. 

 Jib is currently working as a junior software developer in an application development team of a renowned technology company. She is content and has fun with her challenging work and brilliant teammates.   

 Jib believes that the attitudes that limit growth mindset are essential factors that let companies trust those with no digital-related degrees or people who convert their work field because technology is constantly changing. A significant attitude that has brought her here is not to limit herself to working solely in her field of study.   

 “Even though I didn’t have a related degree, I had a chance to enter the technological field, which widened my working opportunity. If I didn’t work as a programmer, I could also work as a quality assurance personnel. Now, I earn enough money to take full responsibility for myself and my family. It makes me feel like stepping a little closer to my dream. I can work from anywhere and can truly be independent.” 

 A former secretary who turned to tech work at the age of 30 with her self-confidence. 

“I’m so proud of myself that I’ve turned to tech work because I know that my “pathway” and others’ are dissimilar. My pathway wasn’t easy because if it were, I would have been successful since the early years.”

 Prae – Iris Khongsook, a former secretary of an executive and a student of the 2nd JSD Bootcamp is currently working as a quality assurance personnel of a leading international technology company. She recounted that, two years ago, she was interested in converting her field, for she was bored with her work. Besides, she wanted to find a job that responds to her three criteria; being able to work from anywhere, reasonable pay, and a strong career path. 

 The challenge of switching careers at the age of 30 is a time constraint. Therefore, JSD Bootcamp’s short-term course with job opportunities is considered the most applicable. She said that, from day one, she was confident about being a software developer. During the program, she was also looking for other related jobs until she became a quality assurance personnel with the knowledge and support from the boot camp as the key factors. 

 “The boot camp highlight is the mentor system which provides advice at every step, including projects, resumes, and interviews. We were advised on how to further our career path, which made us feel at ease. Despite a decade of working experience, going through an interview in a new field makes me feel like the first time. I was worried because different career paths set different expectations. Yet, the mock interview activity, which allowed us to practice interviewing, was practical. Besides, I also got a job at Generation’s job fair.” 

 Prae told us that a growth mindset and patience are significant since converting from the work field you have been familiar with for a long time requires determination, patience, and adjustment for success regardless of the work field. 

Prae left a note to those who intend to shift their field, “Back then, the only reason I quit my previous job without knowing whether to be able to attend the boot camp was self-confidence. Those who dare not change the field might still be stuck in their comfort zone. To reach this point, I had to sacrifice some comfort and have discipline, and I’ve already proven that I can do it for a better life.” 

 Supahrat Juramongkol, Community Engagement Lead, Philanthropies APAC for Microsoft, stated that “It’s proven that the program can genuinely offer employment opportunity. It provides technical skills and soft skills, as well as connects with partners to expand the employment route. We are delighted to cooperate with Generation to create measurable success for those who wish to access technological careers.” 

 Developing working skills to create employment opportunities that respond to the industry’s demands 

 JSD curriculum has been designed according to the requirement posed from a survey of 20 technological entrepreneurs to provide skills that are required by the industrial group. A software developer is the career with highest demand in the field. Generation has provided five generations of the short-term intensive course, each with 50 – 60 students. The objective is to create 225 professional digital personnel in 2023. The students are from across the country with diverse occupational backgrounds, yet, all are determined to upskill and reskill to work in the digital technology profession. 

At present, JSD has proceeded for three cohorts and produced 140 professional software developers to drive the Thai digital technology industry.  

 Phunyanuch Pattanotai, the chief executive officer of Generation Thailand, recounted the story behind this success, “Generation has proceeded beneath the three-sector alliances model; governmental, private, and social sectors. The governmental sector has provided funds and driven policy. The private sector has supported course development to suit the industry’s requirements and provided employment opportunities for learners. Meanwhile, the social sector has promoted sustainable development. Generation’s thankful for every support that has encouraged the students’ success through this program, and this is a significant transformation in the skill gaps and the education for systematic employment.” For those who are interested in skills development to pave the way for digital technology careers, receive news and register for the junior software developer program via 

 Junior software developer program summary 

At present, there are 140 learners graduated from the program. The program is currently proceeding with the 4th class, with 60 students graduating at the end of May. 

For the 1st class, 93% of the students graduated, and the attainment rate was 87%. 

For the 2nd class, 89% of the students graduated, and the attainment rate was 77%. 

For the 3rd class, 100% of the students graduated, and the attainment rate was 57%. 

On average, the students have doubled their former remuneration after graduating from the program, by which the average income is 24,747 baht.