If you are passionate about the IT section, we would definitely suggest you visit Armenia.
Since Soviet times Armenia was known for its success in this sphere and was often called “Silicon Valley of the USSR.” After the collapse of the Soviet Union, IT section was left out from the Government’s attention. Fortunately, some talented people did their bests to improve this sphere in Armenia.
Now, it’s the 21st century - the century of technology and innovation which is the best time to continue what those people did. But it is also important to mention that technology itself is not enough to achieve this goal. As Robert Rodriguez once said: “When you take technology and mix it with art, you always come up with something innovative.”
In order to get serious results, many creative people are needed in IT section. Armenians strongly believe that the creative youth is the future of the successful country. This is why there are many technology centers that provide numerous opportunities for them.
In this article, we’ll discuss two of the most famous technology learning centers and the opportunities they provide.
TUMO - Center for Creative Technologies
TUMO is one of the best non-profit after-school learning environments in Armenia. It was founded in 2011 by Sam and Sylvia Simonians. There, 12-18 aged teens get an opportunity to straighten their knowledge and continuously learn new skills.
When you start attending TUMO, you have to pass some required training. After that you get an overall idea about four focus areas which are animation, game development, web development, digital media. After doing the exercises, you send them to the trainers, and those check it and send feedback. Then you choose the path you would like to learn, and the program enrolls you in different courses.
Each class has its trainer who helps and guides the students during the one-month lasting course. In order to pass the course, you should pass three levels and take some exams. If you fail the exam, you’ll have to retake that level. TUMO also has a summer camp for teens. It is a good way to learn new skills and to explore Armenia.
There are four branches of TUMO in Armenia- in Yerevan, Dilijan, Gyumri, and Stepanakert. More than 14000 teens are part of this incredible society. They learn not because they have to, but because they want to. “TUMO opened a new world for me,” one of the students mentioned. It is not just about the education; it’s about the lifestyle. It helps you to learn how to become a part of the team, to think out of the box and to be more creative.
In TUMO there are more than 450 computer workstations with industry standard software, 3D printers, photo and video cameras. There is also a movie theatre, music studio full of musical instruments, and a playroom with PlayStations where students can spend their spare time.
Vanadzor Technology Center (VTC)
Vanadzor Technology Center is known as one of the high-tech centers of the country which was established by the Enterprise Incubator Foundation with the support of the Government of Armenia and the World Bank.
The mission of VTC is to become a regional and international center in IT sphere by guiding and helping talented youth by creating a dynamic environment of opportunities and services. It increased the rating of Lori region and the city Vanadzor just in two years. In VTC students may take various courses.
The core courses taught in VTC are:
• Web development (HTML/ CSS)
• Adobe After Effects
• Adobe Photoshop
• Scratch etc.
Courses are made for students who have the same level of knowledge (not the same age). In this way, the learning process becomes easier and more productive for the students as they may help and motivate each other.
Students have to take some exams for the courses they choose. Those who have high scores for these exams can study in some Armenian schools and colleges without taking other exams. The reason for this is that students get an enormous amount of knowledge in VTC. With the same scores, they may also find a job in their sphere of studies.
VTC has a Summer school for teens aged 10-18. This school helps children to learn programming skills, teamwork, communication skills and to improve their logical and critical thinking. They do different sport activities which are good for children’s health and are fun.
While learning in the positive atmosphere of VTC, children find many new friends and mentors for life. It helps them to choose their future professions and to have a little experience in the sphere. After completing the program, students get certificates. These certificates are very helpful while applying to different educational centers.
VTC supports and cooperates with various local startups and helps them to make their business decisions. They also collaborate with Gyumri Technology Center in Shirak region.
These and other technology centers provide many opportunities for the local children and teens by motivating them to work hard to develop Armenia.
Published July 31, 2018
Article by Narine Kharatyan