The Future of Higher Education
The future of higher education is shifting away from university lecture halls. Gone are the days of telling teenagers to take on student loan debt equivalent to the purchase of a new car or even a house. Instead, many college students and career switchers looking to learn new skills are opting for online, remote education avenues.
This makes sense, especially in the United States. With a student debt crisis totaling over 1.5 trillion dollars, it is clear that the higher education system needs to be restructured. Many students spend four years on a university-level degree but are unable to find a job that pays enough to pay back their debt. Student loans are impossible to escape, even through bankruptcy.
Among the first higher ed tracks being revamped is tech. Young people aspiring to become Computer Programmers as well as seasoned professionals looking for a new challenge are learning coding skills through a new type of education called a bootcamp. In the tech world, these programs are known as coding bootcamps.
These short, intensive programs take those without any prior coding experience and teach them the programming languages they need for their chosen career path. Thus, a coding bootcamp focused on software engineering will teach programming languages like Ruby and Python, while one geared towards full stack development teaches web development languages like HTML, PHP, Java and C++. By specializing in a particular tech discipline, coding bootcamps are able to produce qualified graduates in just a couple of months. Bootcamp grads are exceptionally well-prepared, as bootcamps focus on just two or three coding skills, instead of lots of programming languages.
Coding bootcamps are revolutionizing technology higher education, and in more ways than just reducing time spent on education. They are also reverse engineering student loans through tuition financing programs called income sharing agreements (ISAs). An ISA works in reverse fashion to traditional student loans, with the coding school, rather than the student, making the investment. This top-down investment (from the school to the student) allows bootcamp students to learn their new skills and pay back their tuition after they have landed a programming job that pays enough for them to live and repay tuition. This is done by structuring the tuition repayment based on the graduate’s salary. Since coding schools like Springboard are making an investment in their students, the return on their investment is based on the earning potential of their graduates. Therefore, coding bootcamp graduates are not only well-prepared, but many are also set up with a job by the time they graduate through community partnerships between coding schools and companies with a demand for programmers.
If you are looking into the tech industry as a possible new career, then there is a bootcamp that matches your financial, lifestyle and tech career interests. There are over 400 bootcamps operating in the US. Almost all of them offer in-person bootcamps on campuses in almost every major city, and some even have international campuses. Most also offer online bootcamps for those located in more rural settings or who are unable to relocate to a new city. With many tech companies hiring remote-based programmers these days, there is no reason you can’t learn your new coding skills from home and find a remote-based job after graduation.
New York Bootcamps
If you are based in New York, you have many bootcamps nearby than can help you transition into a tech career. New York is one of the major tech hubs in the world, home to countless tech startups and companies in need of programmers. New York is also home to 45 of the best coding bootcamps, and bootcamp grads in New York earn an average salary of $133,000.
San Francisco Bootcamps
San Francisco is the number one tech city in the world, thanks to companies like Uber, Facebook, Google, and countless startups based in Silicon Valley. There are currently 20,000 open programming positions in San Francisco, so the demand for programmers is huge. San Francisco bootcamp grads are the best-paid in the country, with their average annual salary at $145,000.
Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech.