‘Boot Camps’ Soften Pitch, Bulk Up Courses

Programming Training Iron Yard

Some short-term coding schools are trying to manage the expectations of their students by tempering claims about their graduates’ job prospects, The Wall Street Journal reports. Such programs, which often focus on hot skills like Python and Ruby on Rails, have been proliferating of late. They can cost anywhere from $6,000 to nearly $18,000 for a three-month course.

The real question surrounding the schools is whether they produce career-ready professionals in less time than it takes to complete one college semester.

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Though graduates of these programs have been successfully hired by a number of companies, the schools are taking steps to soften their pitches and increase their effectiveness by cutting class sizes and tweaking their courses. Sumeet Jain, founder of Omaha Code School, said his organization encourages students to think about the type of job they’d need to find in order for a $6,000 class to pay off. Said Peter Barth, CEO of The Iron Yard, a school in Greenville, S.C.: “We’re not promising you’re going to make $120,000 after three months.”

Those attending these programs–and the companies that hire them–have to understand that they need to continue to expand the knowledge gained from their classes, the Journal said. Some companies have set up apprenticeship programs to help graduates who are “raw.” That approach attempts to balance a company’s need for talent with the graduate’s need for more formal training.

In January, California regulators began cracking down on coding boot camps, insisting that they become licensed private schools overseen by the state. Meanwhile, Wayne County Community College District in Harper Woods, Mich., has set up an 18-week software engineering program in conjunction with Indian outsourcer Infosys. And Georgia Tech created an online computer science master’s degree program that costs just $7,000, a staggering discount to its traditional $40,000 program.

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Image: The Iron Yard

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