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Octopus Academy plans to grow tomorrow’s digital leaders

July 31, 2018

Octopus Academy plans to grow tomorrow’s digital leaders

Octopus Academy is a unique programme for nurturing the next generation of “digital economy” leaders. This innovative, twelve-week scheme is the brainchild of Sam Handfield-Jones, Director of Labs. As the Octopus Academy pilot gets set to launch, we asked Sam about what it’s hoping to achieve.

Where did the idea for OA come from?

We had a couple of super-talented interns that learned so quickly. It made me realise that, in a post-Brexit world, Octopus needs to invest in building domestic talent — for its own sake, but also to help London and the UK maintain its global status as a technology hub. Especially in fintech. Talent is everything.

How does OA differ from other programmes?

People coming out of traditional educational backgrounds simply don’t have the skills needed to hit the ground running in the current world. The pace of change is far faster than any curriculum evolves. Every day that passes, the gap between what is taught and what is happening grows.

Who is eligible to enrol?

Anyone! You only need three qualities — massive curiosity, comfort with ambiguity, and a desire to push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Our aim is to have a very diverse group of individuals going through the programme at any point in time. Right now it’s focused on people in their 1st, 2nd or 3rd year of university. And recent graduates.

No need for a computer science background. No need to have previous work experience.

How is the course structured?

The course is five days a week, for twelve weeks. Content ranges from basic coding to growth marketing. Participants learn to leverage data and understand the complex regulatory environment we operate within.

The course also offers hands-on experience with real fintech products, case studies, expert mentorship, guest speakers, and plenty of online educational resources.

How will Octopus benefit from this programme?

We will have a pipeline of awesome, well-trained talent. This will immensely help us build for the future as we create technology for healthcare, finance, property and energy.

I think everyone understands how quickly the world is changing and how competitively important it is to develop a workforce with cutting-edge skills.

Isn’t this a big challenge for you, personally?

Yes, but something I’m very passionate about. I see it as critical to the enduring success of Octopus. It’s also a team effort. Lots of people will start chipping in and helping shape it over the coming months.

You can discover more about Octopus Academy, including how to apply, by visiting the OA info page here.