NIU partners with online learning platform Springboard to introduce cybersecurity and digital tech programs

The education technology partnership’s launch aims to provide self-paced, real-world job training and support from industry mentors and career coaches helping students to land roles at top technology companies.

Northern Illinois University, NIU, light pole banners in DeKalb

DeKALB Northern Illinois University is partnering with Springboard, the online learning platform, to establish a series of online, self-paced experiential learning bootcamp programs in the tech and digital fields.

Course offerings will include cybersecurity, data analytics, software engineering and UI/UX design – used for interacting with online content. The courses are made possible due, in part, to the university’s Continuing and Professional Education Department, which is open to the public, according to a news release.

“Our goal is to provide individuals with the resources they need to enhance their careers and create lifelong connections,” Pettee Borissova, NIU’s director of continuing and professional education, said in a news release. “This is a value that we share with Springboard, and we are excited to begin this partnership and work together to bring innovative programs to students from all over.”

Establishing programs in a fully online format allows NIU to cast a wider net for its credentialed programs in high demand fields, which federal labor statistics indicate are projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations – from 23% growth for web developers and digital designers to 36% growth for data scientists.

Enrollment in the first cohort starts July 3 and is designed to fit into the busy lives of working professionals who are interested in learning new skills or changing careers, according to the release. No prior academic experience is needed and university enrollment is not required in order to sign up.

Those interested have until July 5 to sign up and after that, those interested may sign up at any time to be added to the next monthly cohort, ccording to the release. The inaugural cohort is expected to begin classes July 10.

Scholarship and financing opportunities may be an option for eligible students, and those interested in the program can find more information and enroll at

According to a news release, Springboard has helped equip more than 20,000 students around the world with the skills needed to transform their careers.

The new partnership helps provide students with not only access to training but support from industry mentors and career coaches helping them to land roles at top technology companies.

More than 90% of individuals who reported receiving a job offer received it within 12 months of graduation, from companies such as Amazon, Boeing, IBM and J.P. Morgan, according to the release.

“The growing demand for cybersecurity, data analytics, software engineering, and UI/UX design talent makes access to the right training imperative for professionals looking to fill these essential roles,” Colin Lumsden, vice president of business development at Springboard, said in a statement. “By partnering with a trusted institution like Northern Illinois University, we can help bridge the skills gap in these industries while also preparing more students for fulfilling and lucrative careers.”

At the end of the program, students will receive a certificate of participation from NIU.

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