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ExperienceIT is a collaboration between tech companies, based in Detroit, which provides free IT training for active job openings. The nonprofit partnership recently announced changes for its next class.

The fall 2017 cohort will add self-guided and self-directed online modules to complement a new evening classroom curriculum. Classes are scheduled to begin on September 12 in Detroit.

Seeking to broaden its reach and make itself available to an even greater range of aspiring IT professionals, ExperienceIT is moving to an “after hours” format with an in-classroom work scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4pm to 7pm. There, students will conduct in-person project-based initiatives, interact with teachers and mentors and visit the ExperienceIT partner companies to gain exposure to “real world” work environments and cultures.

In concert with the online component, the 2017 class will run for 12 weeks.

“For its first 3 years ExperienceIT was full-time, Monday through Friday, for 10 weeks-arguably a challenging time commitment for many to undertake,” said Andy Frey of program partner Marketing Associates. “For 2017 and beyond we wanted our program to be more flexible and available to an even more diverse range of potential students with an aptitude and passion for IT, including those currently working but looking to retool.”

After extensive summer interviews, 24 students have been accepted to participate in the fall 2017, many currently employed, including a teacher and law firm professional. Upon successful program completion, graduates have the opportunity to interview with ExperienceIT partner companies Quicken Loans, GalaxE.Solutions, Title Source, Fathead, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, DTE Energy, In-House Realty and Marketing Associates.

To date, ExperienceIT has graduated more than 175 individuals with an average of 73 percent accepting full-time positions within the partner companies. In 2016, 16 ExperienceIT graduates received full-time employment from partner companies, with many others going on to receive full-time in IT roles at other Metro Detroit organizations.

Designed to transition students from the classroom to the workplace through real world IT projects, mentorship and training, ExperienceIT students learn in a working environment using technologies such as Java, .NET and QA. This year’s class will focus on training in C# software development. Soft-skills, such as those related to interpersonal communication, working in teams and job interviews, are also key components of the program’s core focus.

The Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN) is also a strategic partner of ExperienceIT, assisting with the soft skills training and administration of the program.

For those interested in participating in a future program, please contact ExperienceIT for more information (http://experienceitdetroit.com/).

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