Many See Coding Boot Camps As A Fast Track To Better Jobs

By Sharyn Jackson
Star Tribune (Minneapolis).

When Victor Chege fell asleep behind the wheel after working 30 hours straight, he knew it was time for a change.

He’d just finished a shift as a nursing assistant, then went straight to his job cleaning houses without eating or sleeping. He’d often pulled all-nighters in an effort to pay his bills and send money to his family back home in Kenya, but this time was different.

“I was driving and dozing,” he said, “and that’s when I realized, I can jeopardize my life just chasing money that wasn’t enough.”

Chege enrolled in IT-Ready, a fast-paced, boot camp-style program that coaches students to become certified for computer user support positions. These accelerated learning programs help put Minneapolis on the map as a TechHire city, a White House initiative launched last year. The goal of the initiative is to fill the mounting talent gap in the technology workforce by connecting new trainees — including women and minorities — with the employers who need them, and not just in traditional tech hubs like San Francisco and New York.

Within a few months of graduation, Chege, 33, started a full-time job with benefits as an IT service desk agent for the city of Minneapolis. Like one of the nearly 200 people in Minneapolis who attended a coding boot camp last year, he now has an in-demand skill set that landed him a good-paying job.

“I would say this is the best job I ever had,” he said, “I’m proud to tell people what I do.”

Entry-level salaries for students coming out of the local programs — including IT-Ready, Prime Digital Academy, the Software Guild and the Iron Yard — average around $46,000. Experienced software developers make a median annual wage of $98,000, according to government statistics. For students from non-computer backgrounds that means a major pay bump.

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *