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There’s A Better Way Than Computer Boot Camps To Get A New Career In Technology

There are lots of good jobs in technology for new people looking to get in, but “learn to code” can be a hollow motto for how to access them. New reports show that many coding boot camps can be another form of a predatory, for-profit, scheme.

Thousands of people go through the estimated 100 coding boot camps in the U.S., and they pay an average of $14,000 for the program, according to Course Report. Most of them are private, for-profit, and unregulated, which means, according to Vox, that they tend to “overpromise and underdeliver … It tends to be a way of fooling people into things that are outside their means.”

The article notes:

“Learn to code” is not as easy as it’s made out to be, nor is it a guaranteed path to a lucrative career. Boot camps work for some people, but not everyone, and the caliber of different schools can be a real your-mileage-may-vary situation. Some students wind up with thousands of dollars of debt they struggle to pay off, or they get stuck in income-sharing agreements that cut into their paychecks for months and years — paychecks from jobs that are a far cry from the ones they were promised.

Programming is difficult and takes time to learn; the best you can do in a few months of courses is cram. These largely for-profit schools often target marginalized people who really can’t afford to fail, and then they fail them.”

In this way, predatory coding boot camps are no different than predatory, for-profit colleges— and studies show that students who spend lots of money on degrees at for-profit schools often end up worse off than if they’d never gone to college at all.

People looking to get a new career need better opportunities than that.

You Can Start A New Career In Technology

The idea of offering people the career training they need to transition their careers into technology is a good one: there are lots of good jobs in companies that are struggling to find qualified workers. There are ways we can make it better and more accessible.  

First, public schools like community colleges have a much better success rate, and student satisfaction, than for-profit schools. As a California community college, Calbright isn’t here to make money, we’re here to help Californians.

Second, we can offer students the skills they need without putting them into debt. Virtually all community colleges are already a lower cost option. Calbright takes that to the next level: our programs are currently free for Californians. There’s no loans to take out, no debt to repay.

Third, we can make programs that are flexible and fit students’ lives. Boot camps are intensive programs requiring full time work for months. That means most students have to quit their jobs to participate — and can’t take care of family members, or live up to other responsibilities. That makes them inaccessible for many adult students. Calbright’s programs are flexibly paced: study when it’s convenient for you, wherever you want, at your own pace. Move as quickly or as slowly as you need to get where you want to go. 

Finally, you don’t need to learn to code to get a good job in technology! Across California, companies of every kind are struggling to find qualified workers to fill positions in fields like IT, Cybersecurity, and CRM Platform Administration — all of which are fields where no coding is necessary to succeed in the job. 

A Better Way To Get A Job In Technology

It turns out that if you want a good job in technology you don’t need to learn to code. For many people, that makes the right kind of education more accessible. Calbright is a public college that costs you nothing, lets you study on your own time and at your own pace, and can connect you with good jobs that don’t require coding. 

It’s a public option for education, courtesy of the state of California. 

Learn more

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