Coding Bootcamps Provide High-Demand Tools for New Generation Workforce

Coding Bootcamps Provide High-Demand Tools for New Generation Workforce
John J. Watkins /The Times via AP

Growing up, many of us heard the same advice from our parents, teachers, and guidance counselors as we talked about the future: to succeed, you need a degree from a 4-year college. Our culture is so college-centric, the question people often ask is where you’re going to college, rather than if.

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This belief once seemed engrained permanently in our society, but as the 21st century marches on, that conventional wisdom is being challenged.

Today, less than half of Americans believe a 4-year degree “is worth the cost,” down from 53% in 2013. Younger Americans, many of whom are struggling to find work after college, while also buried in record amounts of student loan debt, simply are changing their minds on the idea.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying all people should stop getting 4-year degrees. But in the modern economy, a one-size-fits-all approach to education simply is not viable, or economical. We need to expand educational choices so that more people can find the path forward that works best for them.

The computer coding sector is an excellent example of how educational choice can help people succeed.

Our world is increasingly digitized and connected, and over the last few decades, the demand for coders has grown exponentially. In fact, according to Bloomberg, jobs in the digital and coding spaces are in such high demand that many companies are scrambling to fill open positions.

In a time when some industries are often cutting workforces due to automation, coding provides skilled workers of different backgrounds the opportunity to engage in the modern economy like never before. Learning to code can open the doors to success for thousands of Americans.

This was why President Trump signed a directive, spearheaded by Ivanka Trump, that would move $200 million in resources to promote computer coding and other STEM education in grade schools. This directive is wise because it recognizes that for America to continue to be a global leader in technology, we need to educate our workforce in computer coding from a young age.

Yet, for many people - such as those looking for a career change later in life, or post-grads who are struggling to find work – it may seem like the only option to learn coding is a traditional four-year college degree, which can be too expensive or impractical for many. That is why coding bootcamps—intensive, short-term curriculums in software development and programming—are an increasingly meaningful alternative for those driven to develop and perfect the skills needed to succeed in the advancing technology sector.

If you are looking for examples of success and the results coding bootcamps provide, look no further than the Milwaukee-based devCodeCamp.

DevCodeCamp boasts some staggering numbers, reporting a 93.5% job placement rate for graduates, with an estimated average starting salary of $50,000, mostly at well-known companies in Wisconsin and across the country.

And they are not alone. According to Course Report, “In 2018, the coding bootcamp market will grow by 20%, to an estimated 20,316 graduates, up from 16,867 in 2017.” This suggests that more people are taking advantage of alternative and non-traditional skills-training methods, which in turn means a greater number of people can pursue success in the coding industry.

Success for graduates coming out of these programs is not limited. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly income for web developers was over $63,000 in 2017, with $103,000 for software developers.

These numbers represent life-changing options for many people. Given the common flexibility for remote work, they also can bring prosperity to areas outside of the “traditional” coastal tech hubs. An excellent example of this comes from a recent story in VentureBeat that illustrates how the coding and tech industry has provided exciting job and startup opportunities once unheard of in places like Wisconsin.

The 21st-century economy is moving and changing rapidly, and thanks to pro-growth policies from the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans, there will be even more lucrative jobs opening up every day. That is why expanding education options through non-traditional skills-training bootcamps is so critical in today’s job market. These programs provide people with the tools they need to achieve their own success, make a healthy living, and contribute to the overall economy. As the economy and the world continues to change, we must embrace new education options, like coding bootcamps, that will help move America forward into the new-tech economy.

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