Professional integration

FAST – Fast-track training in ICT, engineering & entrepreneurship

EPFL, in close association with ESP-UCAD, INP-HB and all its RESCIF partners, seeks to help close the gap in graduate employment by promoting FAST, a relevant, high-quality skills development in ICT, engineering and entrepreneurship to get young African graduates into jobs and viable self-employment.

FAST follows a revolutionary dual-training scheme based on online education and immersive company internships. Paid internships and free access to high quality educational content make it possible for every motivated and talented graduate to acquire the desired professional competencies

What ?

A pilot project of FAST is launched in Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire as of December 2016. It leverages the potential of MOOCs with local academic supervision and enterprise internships to offer a 2-month preparatory online self-study with 6-month immersive training and outstanding employment perspectives.
The first academic program to be offered is “Object-oriented programming in Java and Launching New Ventures”, totaling 390 hours of study or 13 ECTS credits. Local meet-ups and instructional workshops are organized to reinforce learning and skills acquisition.

How ?

The program leverages latest innovations in learning technology to select high potential candidates and accelerate learning at scale and cost effectively. Subdivided into three phases:

For whom ?

This program is particularly addressed to university graduates that are either unemployed or under-employed. Although it is open to all ages, priority will be given to the 22 – 28 years old graduates and a particular effort will be done to achieve a balanced gender distribution of FAST graduates.

Scheme and duration of training


Phase I:

3 months

Initial training is provided by MOOCs with online coaching and onsite tutoring. Students are evaluated through a proctored, onsite examination. Qualifying students are invited to a 3-day selection bootcamp, where learners’ profile — aptitude, technical competence and interpersonal skills are evaluated. Selected candidates enter into the enterprise immersion track.

Phase II:

6 months

Students enter into the immersive enterprise internship where they learn hands-on skills on the job, supported by training mentors. Mandatory workshops are organized to get learners together to support additional technical training, as well as soft-skills development. During the 6 months program, students must undertake and complete a personal project under the academic supervision of an instructor from the local partner university.

Phase III:


At the end of the programs, students earn academic credits and a certificate delivered by EPFL or the local university partner. Graduates have the option to pursue a job opportunity with partner enterprises or with organizations outside the program’s network.

Advantages for students

  • Free access to MOOCs, online coaching and onsite tutoring for quick and efficient acquisition of theoretical bases.
  • Financial compensation during 6 months immersion program.
  • Enterprise mentors assigned to support in technical and soft skills development.
  • A career advisor to assist in job placement.
  • Certificates from EPFL or partner institution, with mention of total study hours and academic credits.

Advantages for enterprises

  • Access and develop a pipeline of skilled, prescreened candidates to accelerate growth.
  • Minimize recruitment mismatch and associated costs by selecting from a pool of familiar interns.
  • Access a pool of expertise to execute punctual enterprise development projects.
  • Bring in young people with diverse skills and mindset to enhance corporate innovation.