Will a "coding boot camp" help me land a job in tech?
Learning 21st century skills makes a difference
Java. Python. Ruby.
You hear these terms, but are they coffee flavors? Pet names?
These words may seem foreign out of context, a myriad of names dropped into casual conversation that seem remarkably opaque. The easy explanation is that each is a unique computer programming language – and these are just to name a few. These languages are tools for the modern job and have, since the birth of the web, amassed critical mindshare to gain significant relevance. Computer code makes up the universe of technology that touches almost every imaginable aspect of our lives. As technology becomes ever more ubiquitous, and as the technology industry expands, literacy in this field is critical for individuals seeking jobs in the modern economy.
There’s just one problem: Most people graduating from high school or four-year degree programs aren’t tech literate.
Sure, young people, with smartphones permanently in-hand can score hundreds of proverbial pats on the back on Instagram or Facebook, or reset grandma’s iPhone; but ask them how any of their gadgets actually work – inside-out – and they’re mystified. The challenge is, if you want to land a competitive job and launch a successful career in the 21st century economy, tech fluency is becoming less a luxury, and more necessity.
The International Labour Organization estimates that 73.4 million people, ages 15 to 24, are out of work, and three times that number are underemployed. Yet there are nearly 500,000 open tech-related jobs in the United States, according to statistics from the Department of Labor, and that number is only growing. Meanwhile, 40 percent of employers report a lack of skills for entry-level positions, according to McKinsey. With that in mind, the proficiency gap has become a hot button issue for employers and job seekers alike, a trend only intensified by technology that is rapidly replacing manual jobs, rendering millions of people unprepared to participate in the 21st century skills-based economy.
With the talent shortage in mind, the marketplace invented a solution: computer coding boot camps. These short-term, intensive programming schools seek to teach students real-world skills, enabling them to find and secure competitive roles at top companies, locally and beyond. And it’s working – according to Course Report, which evaluates the industry, roughly two-thirds of all boot camp graduates who responded to post-grad surveys reported that they were employed in full-time jobs demanding the skills they learned at a boot camp, “with an average salary increase of 38 percent."
Moreover, the White House adopted the model wholeheartedly, announcing its TechHire Initiative, in 2015 – “a bold multi-sector initiative and call to action to empower Americans with the skills they need … to be competitive in a global economy.” One of the explicit facets of the initiative is to increase accelerated tech-training programs, with the goal to take individuals from inexperienced to job ready in months, as opposed to traditional academia timeframes.
It’s a win for job seekers, career-changers, employers and the economy as a whole. The skills gained give students the confidence to find stable futures that are stimulating and fulfilling. Armed with direct industry insights and a history of training programmers to be most up-to-date and productive, Skill Distillery students now work at firms such as iQNavigator, Accenture, Genova Diagnostics, Rocky Mountain Arsenal and more.
Coding boot camps, like their military namesakes, lead trainees from diverse backgrounds and lifestyles through the essential skills they must learn in order to succeed in the vital endeavor they've undertaken and showing them new means of tackling problems and achieving success in a short and intense period.