Lighthouse Labs is a leading tech education company that empowers people to transform their lives and careers. Our mission is to continuously find the best ways to train the next generation of tech talent and transform how education is delivered.
We started Lighthouse Labs 10 years ago, and since then, we’ve equipped over 40,000 students with the competencies, skills, and knowledge needed to drive innovation and change across a wide range of sectors, with full-time and part-time programs in cyber security, data, web development, and more. We take a human and purpose-driven approach to learning, and we have a passionate team of expert instructors and mentors there to support and guide our students.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m a political science graduate, marketing-trained, Montreal-born, almost 40-year-old with two beautiful kids, one amazing wife, and a desire to change how we educate people after University. I never wanted to do the same thing for my whole life, and being able to build a school that allows adults to shift quickly and effectively into other careers has been a dream come true.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
The piece of advice I’d give myself is to make room for your personal needs, invest in your health, and keep yourself energized by things beyond your business. First and foremost, it’s essential to remember that your company needs you at your mental and energetic best, and taking care of your life is what keeps you there for the long haul.
What problem does your business solve?
We’re helping give our students an accelerated pathway to a fulfilling, stable, and boundless tech career. In 2021, we conducted a survey that found if opportunities were made available to them, 57 per cent of Canadians would reskill into a new career.
Canada is facing an unprecedented digital skills shortage, and this gap has only widened due to the rapid digital transformation we saw during the pandemic. Over the next 10 years, nine out of 10 jobs will require digital skills. At Lighthouse Labs, we provide digital skills training to help empower people across Canada to gain the specific skills they need to fill gaps at their company or transition toward a new career.
At the same time, BIPOC, women, and other marginalized groups continue to be underrepresented in tech. There is a need for more representation from communities that have faced significant systemic inequality or other barriers, and at Lighthouse Labs, we’re working to ensure equitable access to digital skills training and employment for everyone.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
In 2013, we started Lighthouse Labs with a two-fold mission: to find the best ways to train the next generation of amazing tech talent and to transform the way education is being delivered in the 21st century. We wanted to train and support people from all walks of life in their journey to becoming tech professionals and get people the skills they need to succeed in the digital landscape.
That’s still our inspiration to this day – helping launch or change careers in a fun, supportive, and collaborative environment. Our students and graduates are our inspiration, and we have a student-first focus to ensure we continually deliver the best value needed for our students’ success.
What is your magic sauce?
At Lighthouse Labs, our mandate is to surround our students and graduates with mentors who are not only industry-leading technologists but passionate teachers who push people out of their comfort zones and provide a safe environment for people to build, fail, learn, and grow. We take a unique approach to mentorship. In addition to our full-time Senior Instructors, we have a community of over 250 industry mentors teaching part-time (including evenings and weekends). Our mentors have years of experience, varied backgrounds in different technologies, and many modes of thinking. To support students during their journey and after graduation, we also provide personalized accommodation plans, a dedicated Career Services team, and networking opportunities to find a job. That’s our magic sauce.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
Put simply, I want Lighthouse Labs to redefine the way adults change and improve their careers. Whether it’s employee or employer-driven, career change is becoming more of a reality than ever before. I don’t want Lighthouse Labs to be a school for coding, data science, or cyber security. I want it to be the leading model of training for anyone who wants to change careers.
In the next five years, we expect to see more changes impacting traditional professions than ever before, and we want to make sure those changes offer opportunities instead of unemployment.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
I have never seen market swings like I have in the past three years. From pandemic lockdowns that forced us to move Lighthouse Labs online to an unprecedented growth in tech companies that led to wild salaries and a gold rush for talent, to the current day correction where everyone is coming back down to earth – navigating the changing moments has never been more challenging.
It’s led to full-scale changes in our business but has kept us nimble as a company, which is critical when we consider the continued changes we will likely encounter in the years ahead.
How can people get involved?
If you’re looking to launch your career, upgrade your skills, or are simply thinking about a career move but are not sure where to start, check out Lighthouse Labs. We offer a number of different programs in coding, data, and cyber security to suit your lifestyle, whether you’re looking for an intensive 12-week program or a flexible, part-time program to balance your studies along with work and other life commitments.
We also offer Corporate Training programs to help businesses fill critical tech roles faster and more cost-effectively than recruiting externally.
Visit our website at www.lighthouselabs.ca to learn more!