Apprentice School Aims to 'Supercharge' Tech Talent

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Chok Ooi (pictured center) is co-founder and CEO of Kenzie Academy. Chok Ooi (pictured center) is co-founder and CEO of Kenzie Academy.
INDIANAPOLIS -

A new school in Indianapolis is focusing on apprenticeship as a way to skill-up the next generation the tech work force. Kenzie Academy, which is located at the Speakeasy Downtown, says it provides training with an emphasis on networking and job experience through paid projects as a consultant for employers. Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Chok Ooi says the apprenticeship model helps keep costs down for students, while providing valuable connections and prioritizing job placement after completing the two-year program.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Multi-media Journalist Mary-Rachel Redman, Ooi says Kenzie Academy is different than typical training structures. Students work under senior technologist mentors who guide the projects and learning "so as they're working on it, there's someone over their shoulders helping them with reviewing their code, giving them instructions on how to do things better, and we feel like this is actually the best way and the fastest way to group someone's skills and career." He says the projects could be with local companies or with other partners located throughout the country.

Ooi hopes students come away with high-demand skills, as well as industry connections and "power skills" to create a well-rounded technologist. "Indiana has a vibrant and emerging technical system. We want to do our part to supercharge that," Ooi said.

  • Perspectives

    • Greg Ballard is the former mayor of Indianapolis and a co-founder and current board member of Indy Women in Tech.

      Shining a Spotlight on Women in Tech

      I still get a thrill driving through the gates of our legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway and I will be lucky enough to do so for an entire week soon. This week, the best women golfers in the world will once again display their talents at Brickyard Crossing Golf Course in the Indy Women in Tech Championship. However, the tournament is much more than an athletic competition. It is an opportunity to support a solution to a critical economic and workforce development issue.

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