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Graduates of coding bootcamps catch attention of employers Photo by DBCphotography and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Graduates of coding bootcamps catch attention of employers

Federal experiment in funding launched last year allows some federal aid to participants

Looking to jump start your career in six weeks? It might be possible.

Coding bootcamps aren't new, or even newly controversial. The idea that someone can be taken from computer literate to a working developer (let alone a "coding rockstar", "ninja", or any of the other appelations desperate recruiters seek) in as little as a few weeks is tough for a lot of people to swallow.

Yet there's some promise with the programs. A recent Wall Street Journal report noted that the Flatiron School's three month course had a 90% placement rate, with an average starting salary of $74,447.

The Journal reported:

Employers are increasingly hiring graduates of the Flatiron model—short, intensely focused curricula that are constantly retailored to meet company needs. Success, its backers say, could help fuel a revolution in how the U.S. invests in higher education, pushing more institutions toward teaching distinct aptitudes and away from granting broad degrees.

As the cost of college mounts and job prospects for traditional college graduates continue to be uncertain, many are hoping that these kinds of courses can help put more people to work without the staggering amounts of debt a traditional college education often comes with.

One of those interested to explore the opportunities: The Department of Education.

A year ago, the Department of Education announced that it would be partnering with a variety of institutions to test the effectiveness of these programs, and experiment with some federal grants and loans.

"Increasingly, innovative models of education and training are emerging outside of the traditional higher education sector, including immersive training programs like intensive "bootcamp"-style training, personalized online programs, MOOCs (massively open online courses), short-term certificate programs, and others," a Department statement noted. "Some of these new models may provide more flexible and more affordable credentials and educational options than those offered by traditional higher institutions, and are showing promise in preparing students with the training and education needed for better, in-demand jobs."

But the programs are not a Panacea. A Google recruiter told the Journal that bootcamp graduates had a good start, but that real-world experience and additional training were needed to get them fully up to speed.

Have you taken, or are you considering taking a boot camp class? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


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