We caught up to talk all things General Assembly with Denise Chippindale, European Marketing Manager. We discussed the pandemic, jobs with General Assembly and some final advice from Denise.
What is General Assembly (GA)? How long have you operated in the UK?
General Assembly is a global education company with a decade of experience providing best-in-class training to individuals and teams in today’s most in-demand digital skills – from coding and UX design, to digital marketing and data science. As a leading source for training, staffing, and career transitions, GA UK opened its doors in London in 2012 and currently operates remote classes and workshops across 3 regions in the UK. We’ve fostered a flourishing community of over 70,000+ professionals pursuing careers they love not just in London but around Europe and around the world.
How did the pandemic impact GA classrooms and overall enrollment?
GA UK sought a quick transition to online learning. As we were well versed in online delivery of our courses such as Digital Marketing, User Experience Design, Web Development, Data Analytics and Data Science, switching to online back in March allowed us to expand our reach to go far beyond our normal audience without the capacity confines of a physical space.
In particular since COVID-19 started, we have seen a huge appetite for our free offerings and to date, we’ve run 215 local-led events in 2020 to help 26,000 individuals in the UK learn new, in-demand skills without having to worry about cost as a barrier. It’s been wonderful to see the GA community energy come to life online, and for our team to be able to give back during these high pressure times.
What types of jobs do GA graduates go on to land? Any examples you can share of students who changed careers with GA during the pandemic?
Globalisation and digitalisation were already causing massive disruption to the labor market prior to the pandemic, and those trends have only accelerated. According to the World Economic Forum, technological changes might displace 85 million jobs in the next five years
The supply and demand for digital skills was seen well before Covid and is now even more relevant as furloughs and redundancies have been a constant throughout the pandemic. Throughout the years and especially in 2020, students enter our classrooms with a wide range of backgrounds and professional experiences ranging from industries like hospitality,retail, finance, engineering and design. This year, we’ve seen individuals make the transition to Junior Product Designers, UI/UI Designers, Data Scientists, Junior Software Engineers and Developers among other roles.
These roles were in an array of UK companies including AND Digital, Nandos, MyTutor and Innovate UK.
What career advice can you provide for people looking to break into tech or strengthen their job prospects in 2021?
As a career changer myself, I see many opportunities for people to break into tech. There is such an appetite for top talent. If you’re interested in a career change, head to as many free events and networking opportunities as possible. It’s super important to do your research and be committed. The process is rewarding but can be taxing. But persevere, and be committed, 2021 is shaping to be the year of transformation.