Choosing a career path is one of the most daunting things that we each have had to go through as young adults, and the decision starts with choosing not only the right school, but more importantly, the right kind of program that will help equip us with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in our chosen fields.
This is one reality that has remained constant in the midst of a rapidly evolving career landscape in today’s highly competitive world. However, with an abundance of traditional schools offering the same courses and with industries developing at an extraordinary rate to produce new kinds of jobs every day, it became clear that there was a need that wasn’t being addressed.
In order to produce graduates that are industry-ready and industry-relevant, more schools need to start preparing students for jobs and industries that would be relevant in the future. This is why iACADEMY was founded in 2002 — to bridge the gap between the demands of the various industries and the actual graduates that were being produced.
“More than an opportunity, we sensed a real need to change the way education was being done in the country. We knew that in order to make a difference, we had to offer something different as well,” shared Eusebio H. Tanco, chairman of the iACADEMY Board of Governors.
The school initially focused on IT and technology courses such as BSBA e-Management and BSCS Software Engineering. However, as the business landscape continued to develop, iACADEMY decided to expand its program offerings to address the ever-changing needs of the industry. Staying true to its nontraditional culture, iACADEMY became the first in the Philippines to offer BS Animation, BS Game Development and AB Fashion Design and Technology. Today, the school has nine specialized undergraduate degree programs and six specialized Senior High School programs, anchored on the fields of Computing, Business, and Design.
Aside from offering unique programs, iACADEMY also has an innovative approach to education that ensures a mix of theory and experience-based learning.
For Senior High School, students have a Project Based Learning Expo at the end of each semester that requires them to put theory into practice by creating actual output that they will need to present and defend in front of a panel of judges.
For College, students in their third year gain access to the school’s network of over two hundred partner companies as they undergo an intensive 960-hour internship program where they can be fully immersed in the industry, and maximize the opportunity to learn from their mentors.
Over the years, the school has also forged several key partnerships with distinguished organizations such as Microsoft, IBM, Wacom, and Unity, to help enhance existing programs and to aid in training students to excel in their field of choice.
iACADEMY’s strategic location in Makati City also gives students access to industry professionals as professors who can provide relevant insights into the fields that they will be part of someday.
This balance of innovative education and access to industry leaders has proven to be successful, as evidenced by iACADEMY’s 96% employment rate for its graduates. Guided by this approach, iACADEMY grew from a school with only seventy students in 2002 to a community that now has close to two thousand students, owing in large part to the highly in-demand Senior High School program that offers the same kind of specialized tracks that iACADEMY has become recognized for.
iACADEMY is also known for being a nontraditional school with a progressive culture that encourages students to embrace their passion and unleash their potential so they can become Game Changers in the community.
“We not only seek to do things differently here in iACADEMY, but more importantly, we strive to make a real impact in the community by encouraging young minds to think outside the box, and hone their skills with the purpose of contributing to the development of society,” said Vanessa Tanco, daughter of Mr. Tanco who doubled the enrollment of the school upon joining iACADEMY in 2007. She now serves as the president and CEO of iACADEMY.
Students are encouraged to take on projects that are socially relevant and will help supplement their classroom learning.
iACADEMY’s Game Changers have worked with Aboitiz Weather Philippines to develop their website and mobile app for faster and more accurate weather updates.
The school also helped Comelec produce infographic content for the 2016 national elections.
This year, students from the School of Design painted bookshelves and donated books in support of Brigada Eskwela 2017.
Unconventional events that embody the school’s “Dare to be Different” mantra are also held year-round. A few examples would be: Battle League, a 24-hour gaming challenge; Creative Camp, a 2-day event with creative workshops to hone students’ artistic talents; and the annual art exhibit at the Rockwell Power Plant Mall to showcase some of the students’ best works.
Within 15 years of operation, iACADEMY has proven to be one of the best training grounds for future professionals because of its drive and commitment to developing Game Changers.
Moving forward, the school seeks to introduce and pioneer even more groundbreaking programs in Computing, Business and Design, and to build more partnerships with individuals and organizations that share iACADEMY’s goal of producing graduates who are Game Changers in their field.
iACADEMY’s new Yakal Campus is also set to open its doors in 2018, with plans for its Buendia campus to undergo renovations and improvements to further enhance students’ learning experience.
Ms. Tanco added: “By providing the environment, training, and resources that are essential for success, we are investing in our students’ futures as well as in the future of our country.”