South African businesses are running low on skills, particularly technology-related skills like software development and data science. The good news is that there is an increasing number of start-ups and established education companies that offer a broad range of online courses for coders and other tech professionals, as well as platforms on which enterprises can build their own tech-oriented training.\nAbout 77% of organisations are struggling to recruit and obtain critical skills in South Africa for their local and cross-border operations, according to Xpatweb\u2019s Critical Skills Survey 2020\/21. As a result, many (76%) are looking abroad. But simply widening the net may not be enough.\nThe World Economic Forum suggests that digital transformation will create about 133 million new jobs by 2022. But the international NGO cautions that this massive increase in demand is set to cause a global reskilling emergency.\nBelow, we list several South African companies that offer solutions to help bridge the country\u2019s digital skills gap.\nGetsmarter\nYear Founded:\u00a02008\nHeadquarters:\u00a0Cape Town and London\nCo-founder and CEO:\u00a0Sam Paddock\nWhat they do:\u00a0From the outset, GetSmarter aimed to offer short online courses in partnership with major tertiary institutions. It all began with two local universities \u2014 Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town (UCT). Today, GetSmarter are the poster child for education tech in Souh Africa, delivering premium online short courses from top-tier universities around the world, including the University of Cambridge, Harvard University and MIT.\nWhy they\u2019re an education\/training company to watch: In 2017, Getsmarter was acquired by 2U, a U.S.-based educational technology company. The price tag for the deal was US$103 million in cash plus an earn-out provision of as much as $20 million.\nDigemy\nYear Founded:\u00a02016\nHeadquarters:\u00a0Cape Town\nFounder and CEO:\u00a0Kobus Louw\nWhat they do:\u00a0Digemy provides an online learning management platform designed to let businesses to create and deliver training material. The start-up offers audio, video and text-based content available on PCs and mobile. Digemy aims to help learners build and retain knowledge. The start-up\u2019s white-labelled, content-creation system embraces a gamified approach to learning, which continuously measures each learner\u2019s knowledge in order to repeat information at just the right frequency to maximise long-term knowledge retention, without increasing learning time.\nWhy they\u2019re an education\/training start-up to watch:\u00a0In response to COVID-19, the start-up generated interest by launching a free, gamified e-learning platform to educate users on everything they needed to know about the pandemic. The platform offers everything from an explanation of what the virus is in simple terms to tutorials with practical measures people can take to prevent the spread of the virus.\nHyperionDev\nYear Founded:\u00a02012\nHeadquarters: Cape Town\nFounder and CEO:\u00a0Riaz Moola\nWhat they do:\u00a0HyperionDev offers online coding courses \u2014 which they call boot camps \u2014 with the goal being to close the skills gap by providing an accessible alternative to traditional university degrees. These courses are offered online or on-site at one of their two campuses. With course content covering everything from web development and software engineering to data science, the company wants to give individuals the opportunity to start or switch to a career in tech, fast.\nWhy they\u2019re an education\/training company to watch:\u00a0During and after the first COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020, HyperionDev hit its highest ever number of active users, with 254% growth and over 100,000 registered students.\nDFI\nYear Founded:\u00a02015\nHeadquarters:\u00a0Cape Town\nCo-founder and CEO:\u00a0Gavin Krugel\nWhat they do:\u00a0The Digital frontiers institute (DFI) offers a range of digital money, finance, tech and business courses. DFI provides an interactive platform where students can connect and collaborate across countries with access to monthly webcasts and the opportunity to engage in debates via blogs, forums and live chats. They also offer data repository of materials, including ongoing research and case studies.\nWhy they\u2019re an education\/training start-up to watch:\u00a0DFI\u2019s range of courses means that they have a something for everyone. Courses include, for example, a five-week blockchain and cryptocurrency course, a general introduction to the use of digital payments in humanitarian aid, and a four-week course exploring the use of digital tools by smallholder farmers and others across the agricultural value chain.\nWeThinkCode_\nYear Founded:\u00a02015\nHeadquarters:\u00a0Johannesburg\nCEO:\u00a0Nyari Samushonga\nWhat they do:\u00a0WeThinkCode is a training and placement company that develops in-demand African tech talent. It seeks to eliminate South Africa\u2019s digital skills shortage by partnering with corporations to offer a free two-year coding programme\u00a0to students. For every year of study, students will spend eight months at the WeThinkCode campus and four months gaining work experience via an internship with a sponsor company.\nWhy they\u2019re an education\/training start-up to watch:\u00a0In 2019, WeThinkCode_ launched its\u00a0WomenThinkCode_ initiative, which aims to address gender disparity in the tech industry. The start-up also launched its SME Placement Programme, which pairs skilled junior software developers with the programme\u2019s SME partners. The company uses a leanring management system to deliver curriculum content, though they offer in-person courses.\nMasterStart\nYear Founded:\u00a02015\nHeadquarters:\u00a0Cape Town\nCEO:\u00a0Ben Pike\nWhat they do:\u00a0MasterStart offers short courses online for working professionals. These courses are from the Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Stellenbosch Business School, UCT Graduate Business School and MasterStart itself. Course topics include Digital Transformation and Risk Management as well as Developing Female Leaders and Negotiation Skills.\nWhy they\u2019re an education\/training start-up to watch:\u00a0 During 2021, MasterStart plans to expand its partnerships with universities and other global bodies. Keen to capitalise on the massive growth in online education as a result of the pandemic, MasterStart wants to position itself to take advantage of this opportunity both in South Africa and internationally.