ITHUB college: how business-oriented training in it professions works in 2022

IThub college is an IT college in Moscow, Yekaterinburg and Rostov-on-Don. And we plan to expand throughout the world! Moreover, students from different countries already study online here. They choose our college because it is different from most Russian educational institutions. IThub implements business-oriented learning based on values.
Behold the IThub educational project ecosystem

It is worth mentioning that the college is part of an ecosystem of projects. The IThub ecosystem unites projects that have a common goal, that is no less than a qualitative change in the educational system in Russia and the world. Such a big goal unites social projects (a free certification olympiad for schoolchildren), commercial (an IT company inside a college) and educational (IT education for adults and children).

IThub college benefits from this approach: social projects help to identify talents, commercial projects help to immerse inexperienced students in the profession.

IThub college has 4 major areas: creative technologies, information technology, information security and system administration, digital communications. Here you can become a digital artist, programmer, game developer, information security specialist, Internet marketer.
Values as a basis for business-oriented learning

Everyone who gets into IThub, at least for a couple of hours, confirms: we have our own atmosphere. Let's put it that way: we have our own culture. It is very important for us that our students enjoy their work in the future. And this is possible only when a person understands what their strengths are.

Students come to study here, as a rule, after the 9th or 11th grade. This is a time for active self-cognition and absorption of values. The first semester of study are for getting used to the college. There are no ordinary classes in the first week of study, only immersion into IThub culture. This week is called IThub BootCamp. In a short time, there is an intense immersion in the atmosphere of the college through career guidance and unifying classes. Students get acquainted with the values and rules of the college, their future specialization, with the college staff and professors.

The basic value of college is freedom. We believe that only a free person can dream and make dreams come true. Here you can offer your ideas (even crazy ones), take responsibility and make mistakes. Here you can be yourself. You can be happy.

Special attention is paid to soft skills. You can learn how to program, draw layouts, and run ads. But can you assemble a team, solve a conflict, hold a meeting or a presentation and find investments? All these soft skills are important for any profession! At IThub, a lot of attention is paid to soft skills on all courses. Set for the 1st course: public speaking, critical thinking, acting, written business communication. Every student has access to the digital university of universal skills Skillfolio.
Business-oriented training: programs and certification

What is the business orientation of the college? It all starts with programs formation. They are formed by future employers, representatives of QIWI, CROC, NTT Data, Huawei, RBC, GMCS, Rostelecom, Rosreestr, Rosseti, Bi Telecom, Astra Linux, PICASO 3D, 3D.RU. We teach professions not in general, but more narrowly — starting from a business role, a certain position in the company. The necessary competencies are reported to us by technical specialists and heads of leading IT companies. Every year we change the programs to keep up with the demands of the labor market.

We try to ensure that these programs are not for classical theoretical teachers, as in most universities, but for practical specialists — perhaps without pedagogical skills, but with experience in team management. Our students will become such team for them! This ensures that students feel on an equal footing with high-level specialists.

Many skills are associated with certain software that is updated frequently. In order to provide always up-to-date knowledge, we directly apply to industrial partners for authorized courses. Our industrial partners are such giants as Microsoft, Autodesk, Adobe, Cisco, Huawei, Oracle. Courses on their IT products are integrated into the college's learning process — as is international certification. We are the only authorized Pearson Vue center in Russia, and we have the opportunity to certify the knowledge of our students for free. After successfully completing the exams, students receive international certificates that are valued by employers around the world.

In 2021, we implemented BTEC International level 3 programs: "IT", "Marketing", "Art & Design". Pearson BTEC International Level 3 Diploma is a professional qualification of the 3rd level of British education. The qualification confirms applied professional skills and is equivalent to two international A-Levels exams. With a BTEC diploma, you can enroll in 260 universities in the UK and around the world.
Practical experience at IThub

After the student has settled in, they begin to immerse themselves in the profession through practice. Formally, the tools are familiar: educational and industrial practice. However, here everything is more complex: you can start earning money in the IT company of IThub starting from the 2nd year of study (in exceptional cases, from the 1st year). In fact, the college's divisions work as business units of one commercial organization.

Students carry out orders under the guidance of senior colleagues (teachers). It's good for everyone: customers get a high-quality inexpensive product, students get work experience and earn money. The college acts as an intermediary, a guarantor of quality. Why study using fictional projects when you can study using real ones? It is risky and difficult, but it is quite possible.

For example, the gamedev studio IThub games released a game based on the movie "Major Grom: lague Doctor". In this project, the main developer was a college student Georgy Ukhabin. It is noteworthy that the college's website was also created by students - together with the college team.
Networking outside of college and competence audit

One of the main tasks of the college is to help the student to join the professional community. Specialists come here to teach, give short lectures and share their practical experience. For example, when we held a Ludum Dare game session at the college in October 2021, we invited game designer Sergey Himmelreich and Epic Games community manager Andrey Dronin as speakers and experts.

It is also possible to participate in hackathons and contests. For instance, development students participated in the Tele2 POWER CX hackathon and were ranked third. We were the only student team! And recently, Media and PR students struck with creativity in PRUE at their contest "A look into the future". College students beat university students and became the best in the "Logo and slogan" nomination.

Only constantly and systematically exiting the comfort zone gives students self-confidence: they learn that they are not only no worse than others, but also in some ways superior to senior specialists.
Our own LXP platform: digital support of the educational process

Our own IThub Bulgakov LXP platform helps to keep in touch with employers. It is an online platform to support mixed education. LXP stands for Learning Experience Platform. Unlike conventional platforms where content is stored (videos, texts and tests), our platform is rather a content delivery system personalized for each student. It suggests what skills are missing and offers to get additional help.

IThub Bulgakov is a place where all the student's projects are stored, their profile is a digital portfolio. These projects can be available for evaluation by market experts, potential employers, and customers. A student sees their place in the ranking and thus can assess their capabilities. Through the platform, a student can receive an order or an invitation to work.

The platform allowed us to get into the top 10 fastest growing EdTech companies; according to the results of the 3rd quarter of 2021, we grew by 270% (compared to the same quarter of 2020).
Challenges: Motivation and personalized learning

In general, 2021 was a successful year for the college: we are developing the platform, opening franchising branches and are not going to stop. One of the difficulties is the low student motivation. There is a lot of information now, and it is difficult to arouse teenagers' interest in anything: they believe that they already know everything and have already tried everything. They look up to the bright life of their favorite bloggers on YouTube or TikTok, while it is difficult for them to work systematically: for this, you need to at least focus. All these are the tasks of the first year of college: you need to teach students to learn! Another huge scope of work is the refinement of the IThub Bulgakov platform, the introduction of training personalization. On the one hand, it greatly simplifies the learning process, since the platform automatically recommends courses and tests in accordance with the results of an independent assessment. On the other hand, it turned out to be a very time-consuming process in which an incredible number of nuances had to be taken into account. The whole year 2021 was spent working on this functionality.

What will 2022 be like for the college? Ahead of us is the opening of branches, the launch of new educational products and, of course, a lot of communication with students, schoolchildren, and business representatives. You can come to visit us any day. All contacts and schedule of events are posted on See you in the college!
Mikhail Sumbatyan, Director and Founder of the IThub International Academy of Information Technologies Founder and President of the International Association of Certification Specialists and the contest "Trajectory of the Future" Has 7 years of experience as a manager in the state system of secondary vocational education in Moscow. 10 years of experience in the FMCG market as CEO and co-owner of the company (international distribution of products from different countries in Russia) Entrepreneur, methodologist, psychologist (HSE, MSPPU, ARDLIFE) Member of Delovaya Rossiya and the Atlanta Entrepreneurial Club.
Gulnara Doroshkevich, Copywriter of IThub college Received an education in the field of public relations. The sphere of professional interests is texts on corporate websites, brand Came to education from marketing: managed Internet projects in trading companies for more than 10 years. For the last three years, Gulnara has been responsible for content at IThub college, maintains a news blog on the site, edits and publishes articles about career guidance and careers in IT, plans to launch a media about business-oriented secondary vocational education.