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IT professional training biz booms on strong demand

By CHENG YU | China Daily | Updated: 2021-09-29 11:10
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A screenshot from Tarena International Inc's official website. [Photo/tedu.cn]

Dozens of classrooms of Tarena International Inc in Beijing's Haidian district may not look like Hogwarts from the outside.

But inside, the packed rooms of young people are upbeat about learning the intricacies of Java programming, UID designing and other IT training courses to master the magic of their field of study.

As China's technology and internet industries saw booming growth in recent years, domestic companies have spawned larger-than-expected demand for IT professionals, which opened a new vista for the country's IT vocational market, said Zhou Huafei, senior president of teaching research and development at Tarena, a leading IT education provider.

"Despite the uncertainties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese companies are in urgent need of professional IT talent with sufficient practical knowledge and technical skills to help them with both basic technological structure and high-end technologies," he said.

Zhou noted the company has seen a new high in terms of talent demand from leading technology and internet firms over the past year, with such talent focusing in emerging strategic industries like artificial intelligence, cloud computing and cybersecurity the most popular.

For the second quarter, Tarena reported its revenue soared 75.5 percent year-over-year to 582.3 million yuan ($90.2 million). Revenue in the adult professional education business, which represented 50.3 percent of total revenues, increased 22.3 percent year-over-year.

To suit new demand for emerging sectors, Tarena, which has been in IT training for 20 years, innovated to create courses, for instance, by cooperating with Huawei Technologies Co to open courses for the HarmonyOS system upon the systems' launch earlier this year.

The company also inked a strategic cooperation deal with Tarena in late July along with cybersecurity leader 360 Security Group. The two parties will join hands in training cybersecurity engineers with co-developed courses and professional certifications.

Qin Jiangyan, operation director of cybersecurity talent development at 360, said, "As cybersecurity problems have become prominent in almost all industries, learning skills related to cybersecurity has become indispensable for IT talents."

"With the cooperation of Tarena, a company that has one of the country's largest IT students' enrollment and complete IT curriculum system, we look forward to helping domestic companies build their own safe and open security systems from the bottom up."

A report by market consultancy iResearch said China's vocational education market is expected to hit 19.19 billion yuan this year. It is estimated there will be a shortage of about 1 million professionals in the domestic IT market per year on average.

The State Council, the nation's Cabinet, earlier also released a document targeting reform of China's vocational education system, which strongly advocates for the integration of industries and education institutions to deploy training plans.

"The domestic IT training market has witnessed dramatic changes, including from training in basic-lessons-only like Java to operation and UIDdesign," said Liu Shun, senior president of teaching at Tarena.

Liu pointed out the Beijing-based company has worked closely with leading global companies Spring and Adobe to certify their students as part of related courses to boost employment opportunities.

Li Qiangyong, general manager of Spring China Education Management Center, said Tarena is the only partner of Spring in China. The two parties co-developed the Chinese version of Spring's international certification system.

"Tarena and Spring have a consistent goal of promoting IT courses in China. It is not only about popularizing and making the Chinese version, but to drive high-quality courses to help more students improve themselves," Li said.

Amid the sprawling development of the e-commerce industry, Liu added the company also offered more courses for graphic design and video clips. The Beijing-based company is also building its own MCN, or multi-channel network, company, he added.

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