The grit:lab tech education will continue

The grit:lab tech education will continue

Paf’s headquarters will be filled with new students as the tech education grit:lab continues. The application tests will start this winter and admission weeks will be organised in spring 2024. 

Two years ago, the idea for an innovative tech education named grit:lab was presented, a few months later the admissions opened and a year later the students started their education. Currently, 60 students from around 20 different countries are entering their final year of the intensive programme. The first year has been successful and stakeholders are keen to see the education continue.

“grit:lab is a complement to traditional education and it will contribute to making Åland a tech hub in the Nordics. The potential is great and from Paf’s side we want to continue to be a driving force behind the educational programme,” says Daniela Johansson, Deputy CEO & Chief Responsibility Officer. 

Applications for the new cohort of grit:lab are planned to open up in December 2023 and those who are curious to take up the challenge can perform an online test until February 2024. The new cohort will begin their studies at grit:lab in autumn 2024.

“The fantastic response we have received both from the students and from many visiting groups is proof that there is a need for this type of education. It is a form of education that will meet the future needs of the job market,” says Anna-Lena Svenblad, Development Director for Paf & Director of grit:lab.

The students are in the driver’s seat

The education at grit:lab is unique and is based on a pedagogical platform where students learn together with each other without teachers. 

“It is mainly about learning how to learn and adopt new technologies effectively. It is about self-leadership, time management, collaboration, solving complex problems, developing your communication skills, having the courage to experiment, being resilient and determined as well as learning from mistakes.” 

“The students at grit:lab have a great freedom and with that freedom comes huge responsibility to push themselves and the group forward,” says Anna-Lena Svenblad.

The level of education is impressive

After less than a year at grit:lab, the students have already gained a good knowledge base, something that Paf’s Chief Technology Officer Fredrik Wiklund can attest to.

“I am impressed by how much the tech students have already learnt. Two of them worked as summer trainees in our sysops team over the summer and at the same time they managed to get certified for AWS cloud services. This is a programme that we at Paf can be proud of,” he says.

Intensive, collaborative and lots of fun

The intensive pace of the educational programme is not suitable for everyone, but those who have chosen to attend grit:lab appreciate the fast tempo.

“The nature of the fast-paced project-based studies at grit:lab, paired with the benefits of peer-to-peer learning, creates a good environment for personal growth, tech skill acquisition, and team-building. The freedom to design my own schedule relieves pressure and balances the intensive workload, fostering both a disciplined mindset and flexibility,” says Johannes Eckerman, grit:lab student.

Thy Bui & Johannes Eckerman
Thy Bui & Johannes Eckerman

The need for collaboration with many different individuals is in many ways a mind-set opener and personal growth enabler for the students.

“Studying at grit:lab significantly contributed to my growth. Exploring programming areas like backend development, security, and DevOps expanded my skills. Collaborating with diverse individuals enhanced project management, communication, and teamwork,” says Thy Bui, grit:lab student.

“I have found it fun and it has worked great for me to learn the areas of programming I wanted to get into before. I would like to think I also learned a great deal about how it is to work with a wide range of different personalities when it comes to group projects,” says Tommy Mathisen, grit:lab student.

The grit:lab tech education is carried out in cooperation with Ålands Yrkesgymnasium on behalf of the Government of Åland.

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