From Bootcamp to Bootcamp: Two Military Veterans Discuss Their Transition Into Tech

military veterans in tech

Are you a veteran or active-duty military member considering your next steps? Our alumni have been in your boots. In a recent virtual panel, two military veterans in tech discussed their transition into the field with Codeup: Benny Fields III, a retired Air Force Master Sergeant turned Full Stack Web Developer, and Jeffery Roeder, a Navy Intelligence Analyst turned Data Scientist. Whether you’re interested in Data Science or Web Development, here are some key takeaways from the event. 

Why Codeup?

“The GI Bill was a huge plus, but the icing on the cake was the placement program.” – Benny Fields

After retiring from the Air Force, Benny Fields took a job as a technical writer, but he quickly became more interested in the software he was writing about than the writing itself. His friend suggested looking into a coding bootcamp, which he did. He liked that Codeup accepts the GI Bill to help military veterans in tech, and the icing on the cake for him was learning about the work our student placement team does to get you hired.

What does Codeup’s Student Placement Team do?

“They’ll give you every imaginable tool to get placed. They have tons of connections- it’s crazy. Colleges aren’t gonna do that for you.” – Jeff Roeder

We’ll buff up your resume, set up mock interviews, and give you the know-how to nail your interviews and get a job offer. From how to dress, to what to say in a thank you letter, Jeff said it best: we’ll give you every imaginable tool to get placed in a new career. And it’s backed up by our tuition refund

How did you pass the technical assessments during the application process?

 “They basically tailored their workshop to me. That’s the kinda stuff that Codeup’s gonna do, they’ll get you there!” – Jeff Roeder

Jeff Roeder heard about Data Science classes at Codeup from a friend who had seen our “crazy billboards” (one of which features Benny). He’s a former intelligence analyst, but the admissions process wasn’t entirely a breeze for him. After studying and studying, Python just wasn’t clicking, and he failed one of his technical assessments. He was about to give up on it, but our admissions team wasn’t ready to give up on him. We personally invited him to one of our Saturday workshops where we taught him step by step how to build the foundation he needed. 

How does your military experience relate to your experience at Codeup?

“They were like ‘hey, you’re gonna learn Spanish and you only have six months to do it,’ which is much like going to Codeup to learn something new, you only have six months to do it.” – Jeff Roeder

When Jeff first joined the Navy as a linguist, he was told to learn Spanish in six months. When he joined Codeup, he was told to learn Data Science in five months. They were both immersive experiences where people of different personalities and different cultures joined together for a common goal. As Jeff put it, you may not always like someone or relate to them, but you need each other to accomplish what needs to get done.

“Coming to Codeup, I had to be flexible because I had to learn to adapt to new technologies with new people that were way younger than me and were catching on faster.” – Benny Fields

For Benny, one similarity is that in the Air Force, you have to be flexible. He was used to having a planned day and changing it at the drop of a hat. In the tech field, things are always changing, and flexibility and constant learning are essential. This is where the military flexibility really came in handy for him.

Jeff and Benny may have completed different Codeup programs but they both had the same journey from bootcamp to bootcamp. Both failed their technical assessments at first and had to leverage our resources to get through the admissions process. They both worked with our financial aid team to use their VA benefits for the course, and they both left Codeup with a job and a new skillset. Both are now successful military veterans in tech!

Mission accomplished.

 

If you’re looking for your next step and want to learn more about using VA benefits to attend Codeup, talk with our team today! And don’t miss our next virtual event – check out our calendar at codeup.com/events!

How to Get Started On Any Programming Exercise

Get Started On Any Programming Exercise

Programming is hard. Whether you’re just beginning to learn or you’ve been programming for years, you’re going to run into roadblocks and get stuck. Our Data Science Instructor, Ryan Orsinger, has seen 36 cohorts of students come through Codeup and helped build their problem-solving skills through live, audience-centered lectures. Check out his recipe for success below:

Scenario:

You’re learning to code, learning the syntax for a programming language, and working on thinking programmatically. The lesson or lecture is completed and now you’re now facing a programming problem that is expecting you to understand and apply the new content.

How do you get started?

 

Here’s your algorithm for getting started:

1. With intent, read the curriculum and the code examples.

2. Go back and deliberately read the example code very closely and slowly.

3. Copy any example code into your editor.

    • Identify the pieces of syntax that you recognize.
    • Identify the code for the new concept that you’re working with.
    • Ask yourself how the syntax or concepts you know already support and connect with the new topic or new syntax. Often, the new is relatable in terms of the old.
    • Ask yourself questions about the code example
      • What is this entire code example supposed to do?
      • What piece of the language is this new concept?
      • Is the new code a new piece of syntax? Or is it an existing piece of syntax?

4. Run the example code

5. Observe results. Think about each piece of code. What is it doing, what did you expect it to do?

6. Try modifying the example code so that you change variables to see different results (one at a time…)

If the example code demonstrates how to make a loop from 0 to 9:
– Modify the code to make a loop that starts at 1 and ends at 10.
– Modify the code to make a loop that starts at 10 and counts down to 0.

7. Try removing as many moving pieces from the code for the new concept as possible… try to isolate a unit of work that uses the new concept and test it in isolation

8. Read the first exercise problem. Read it slowly, with attention to detail.

9. Ask yourself questions about the exercise:

  • Can you explain or restate the problem in plain English?
  • Are you able to write down the steps from problem to solution in English, without using any code?
  • Break the exercise down into pieces. Each piece is either something you’ve seen or it’s new.
  • Given the concept for this lesson, identify which part of the exercise uses the new topic
  • For the new piece, what is similar between the exercise code and the example code for the lesson?

10. Work to write code for a smaller problem than the exercise asks.
If the exercise says:
– Prompt the user for a number between 1 and 50
– If the input is not numeric or out of that range, ask them again for a number. Repeat until they give a number between 1 and 50.
– Start by making sure you’re able to prompt a user, then store the result of prompt to a variable for later.
– Go after the low-hanging fruit first. Momentum begets momentum.

11. If you’re still having problems and stuck, go to step 1.

12. If friction, confusion, and “writer’s block” persist, then ask for help from another human being. Explain the steps you’ve already taken, and attempt to ask your question as clearly as possible. Here’s a good resource on how to ask effective questions!

 


Ryan Orsinger is a proud instructor here at Codeup. Check out his personal blog for more insightful information here!

 

 

 


 

If you were inspired by this article and have any questions about our programs, give us a call. We’d love to chat.

Getting Hired in a Remote Environment

Graphic that explains the purpose of blog; How you can get hired in a remote environment

As a career accelerator with a tuition refund guarantee, we have always been focused on employment outcomes for our students. Going remote hasn’t changed that! Two months into this remote world, we thought we’d pause today to explain how we prioritize your success and ensure you get hired.

 

Your Professional Development

First of all, our career placement services are built on one-on-one relationships. Our Placement team works with students individually to develop a professional portfolio, define a strategy, and conduct a job search. They’ll help perfect your resume, conduct individual career coaching, and prepare you with mock interviews. And they don’t let off until you’ve signed that offer letter! Since we’ve gone remote, our placement team has digitized their curriculum so it’s accessible to all our students, and they’ve continued working one-on-one over Zoom. 

 

Our Professional Network

Those one-on-one relationships aren’t exclusive to students. It’s the same approach our team takes with their network of hiring managers and recruiters. From curriculum advisory panels to guest speaker lunchtime talks, we involve employers as often as we can. We forge a personal relationship that encourages repeat hiring, open communication, and trust.

 

Start with a bang!

Lastly, your job search kicks off with a bang in our staple Developer Days and Data Scientist Days. Normally, these are in-person demonstrations of capstone projects that end in a reverse job fair with employers. On April 16th, we hosted our first-ever virtual Developer Day. Over 160 people tuned into it live! Not only did we maintain the quality of the event, but we increased attendance and visibility. That event, especially while remote, kick starts your job search, connects you with employers, and increases your visibility as a candidate.

 

In person or remote, we remain committed to empowering life change and helping our students land jobs in new career fields. If you’ve been affected by COVID-19 in any way (layoffs, health, family, etc), check out our recently announced COVID-19 Relief Scholarship.

How To Launch Your New Career With Codeup During COVID-19

The last few weeks have been challenging for the world as we respond to the spread of COVID-19 and focus on the safety of our communities. At Codeup, we remain hyper-focused on our employment outcomes and delivering excellence to our students. However, we want to ensure we are doing so in a way that maintains the health and safety of our students and staff. For that reason, we’ve moved our classes from in-person to online for the time being. We continue to carefully monitor the situation both federally and locally, and will update our response accordingly. 

The spread of COVID-19 has disrupted many of our daily lives and future plans. As you explore new opportunities for your future, we hope you find that Codeup can still be your place to learn, grow, and invest in yourself, as it has been for our  600+ alumni that have transitioned into new careers with us.

Here are a few updates on how Codeup is responding to the challenges we face today: 

Live Instruction

Screenshot of Codeup students in virtual learning

At Codeup, you’re completing 670 hours of live instruction from our full-time instructors. That hasn’t changed just because we’re hosting class virtually! Our instructors are still delivering live instruction through video calls. One instructor leads the class while another instructor or Teaching Assistant supports, utilizing virtual breakout rooms to help students troubleshoot as they run into questions. We also utilize those virtual breakout rooms for pair programming projects with other students. 

Job Search Support & Student Placement

We have always complemented our technical curriculum with a professional development curriculum – and that’s all still live, too! Our Student Placement Team uses video calls, phone calls, and emails for resume editing, LinkedIn profile building, and job interview practice. In fact, our team just recently sent out best practices for video interviews – check them out here!  

As a career accelerator, we measure our success through our student outcomes. Our number one goal is to get you hired in-field after you graduate. Through these difficult times, it’s been great to see our recent grads still getting hired! You can follow along with their progress on our Alumni Portal

Free Events

Thanks to tools like Zoom, we are able to continue to host all of our events virtually. Whether you’re looking to get your feet wet with programming languages or meet our alumni and staff, we’ve got you covered. The best part is that you can join us from the comfort of your own home! Want to explore our upcoming events? Check out our events calendar here.

Upcoming Classes

We’re still accepting applications for our upcoming start dates, including: 

  • San Antonio Full-Stack Web Development: May 26th
  • San Antonio Data Science: July 13th
  • Dallas Full-Stack Web Development: July 13th
  • San Antonio Full-Stack Web Development: July 20th

We are working towards these classes starting in-person, but our Admissions Team can provide the most up to date information. 

What’s Next?

Codeup will continue to monitor the situation and keep you updated. In the meantime, if you’re wondering how to start your career transition journey with Codeup, schedule a call with our admissions team, who is always ready to help!

15 Tips on How to Prepare For Virtual Interviews and Meetings

In response to the spread of COVID-19, many companies are making the switch to remote work – which means their hiring processes are moving remote, too. Our Student Placement Team recognizes that preparing for a video job interview involves different considerations and logistics than an in-person one. We’re sharing the tips they’ve gathered and have been coaching our students around to ensure you’re set up for success!
  1. Use your computer, not your phone for video calls. 
  2. Test audio and camera at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled interview. If sound quality isn’t great, use a headset or earphones to avoid an echo.
  3. Elevate your laptop with books, board games, etc. so your camera is at eye level to avoid staring down into the camera.
  4. Dress professionally—and not just from the top up! Dress the part to act the part.
  5. Make sure your username is your first and last name (as shown on your resume), and it is properly capitalized.
  6. Position yourself at a table, against a plain and neutral background. Avoid positioning yourself by a window and make sure there is no clutter around you.
  7. Check the lighting in the room. Light the room from the front and not from the back.
  8. Close all other applications on your laptop and turn off notifications.
  9. Silence your cell phone and disable vibration.
  10. Have a copy of your resume on hand.
  11. Attach post-its around the laptop screen with prompts and questions you wish to ask the interviewer
  12. Exclude kids, pets, etc. from the room during the interview.
  13. Have a pen and paper on hand.
  14. Have a glass of water next to you.
  15. Have the phone number of the interviewer in case the video connection is lost. 
On a career search and looking for more tips? Our team of professionals is here to help! Contact us to learn more about how Codeup can help you in your career journey!  Many of these tips were referenced from The New Rules of Work by Alexandra Cavoulacos and Kathryn Minshew. If you found these tips useful, check out the book, and don’t forget to share them with a friend to help them on their career search!

How To Have A Second Career Start With Codeup

 

     A lot of students enter Codeup from a previous career. We encounter diverse professionals from teaching, military service, the service industry, music, and more. From those prospective students thinking about a change, we often hear concerns like: “I don’t have any technical skills or background,” “I’m just a teacher,” “I’m only a barista,” “I’m only a hobby computer person”…”I could never be a software developer.”

 

     The good news is YOU, the people with a wide variety of non-software development backgrounds, are our specialty. At Codeup, you’ll leverage the qualities that make you good at what you already do, to excel in a new field.

 

     If you’re thinking about switching careers, you’ve probably already followed a plan: you listened to advice from a guidance counselor, went to college, developed a skill set, landed a job, and grew in your role. But maybe you found the day-to-day wasn’t what you expected, that what you’re good at isn’t good for you, or even that you want to learn and grow more. Maybe you need a second start?

 

     With over 574 alumni, we’ve heard that story a lot. We’ve also seen some surprising trends in common careers before entering Codeup. If you want a change but worry about the leap, check out some of the wide-ranging jobs Codeup grads come from and how their skills made them successful in the tech industry:

 

Teacher/Educator

  • Deep understanding of how to learn and study
  • The ability to understand someone else’s point of view
  • Experience structuring your time, managing a massive workload, and maximize output.
  • How to move yourself and others past learning barriers

 

Server/Barista

  • A work ethic focused on the need of your customers
  • The ability to think outside the box to find a solution
  • Experience working on a team to accomplish something special

 

Musician/Creative

  • Experience learning, reading, and becoming fluent in different non-verbal languages
  • The ability to build something new based on a set of parameters (a key signature, genre, and instrumentation is a lot like a programming language, functionality, and customer)
  • The skill of using your base knowledge to improvise a tune on the fly

 

     One of the biggest misconceptions we hear from prospective students is that they are at a disadvantage coming from a non-technical background. In fact, your background, whatever it is, is an ADVANTAGE in learning a new skill and entering the tech workforce. There are plenty of CS graduates, but there are very few Marine-veteran-musician-digital marketers turned software developers.

     Want to see for yourself? Hear from our students as they share their career stories, and see how far they’ve gone as developers! 

     If you’re looking for a second start and see yourself in any of the above careers or skills, we’d love to help you find your passion. Connect with our Admissions team to learn more.

 

How To Pick A Coding Bootcamp Curriculum

If you’re thinking about entering a career as a software developer, you’ve probably researched a few different bootcamps. During your research, you’ve probably seen a few different curricula. Without already BEING a software developer, it’s hard to know what’s what. In this post, we want to explore how to think about a bootcamp curriculum and recommend strategies about how to consider the best fit.

Let’s start with some terminology. Full-stack web development integrates work on both the front-end and the back-end. The front-end is the user-facing side that you interact within a web browser. The back-end is the server-side that involves the sending and receiving of data. Consider a restaurant website. A front-end only website would show a restaurant menu with prices, dishes, and ordering information. A full-stack web application would allow you to not only view the menu but place an order and process payment information for that order, interacting with a database and back-end functionality.

Within that understanding, there are a few groupings of technologies:

  • Object-Oriented Programming and back-end tech: This list includes programming languages like PHP, Java, C#, Ruby, and Node.js. These allow you to build functionalities into a web application. 
  • Database tools: Tools like MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, and Oracle let you store, send, and receive information.
  • Front-end technologies: Languages and frameworks like JavaScript, Angular, React, HTML, and CSS let you design a front-end interface.
  • Web frameworks: Spring Boot and Laravel are examples of web frameworks that help you stand up web applications more efficiently. 
  • Testing tools: In production, many companies leverage a methodology called Test Driven Development. This is when developers write tests first, and code second, letting them compare their code against a standard of approval. Common technologies include JUnit, PHPUnit, NUnit, MSTest, Jasmine.

With so many technologies out there, it can be hard to pick what’s best to learn. But here’s the secret: the specific technologies do not matter. The most important thing you’ll learn during a coding bootcamp is how to use these different categories of technologies. Whether you learn PHP or Java, MySQL, or  SQL Server, the important takeaways are the fundamental concepts learned. Many Codeup alumni graduate from our Full-Stack Java program and go on to work in PHP, Python, Ruby, Groovy, and other languages. Ultimately, a loop is a loop and an array is an array. Languages differ, but once you’ve learned an OOP language, the differences become syntactical instead of conceptual. 

This leads us to an important point: the more technologies, the worse! The quality of a curriculum, and thus the value of it, is not defined by the number of technologies covered. In fact, it’s the opposite. Let’s give some examples.

Columbia University is one of the premier academic institutions in the world. They are an Ivy League university with a strong reputation. In 2018, they expanded into the bootcamp space and launched a web development program that covers the following technologies: HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, Bootstrap, Express.js, React.js, Node.js, Database Theory, MongoDB, MySQL, Command Line, Git, and more. All of that in 12 weeks. Let’s decode that for you with the terms we’ve already used. This curriculum promises to teach you:

  • Object-Oriented Programming and back-end tech: Node.js
  • Database tools: Database Theory, MongoDB, MySQL
  • Front-end technologies: HTML, CSS, jQuery, Bootstrap, Express.js, React.js

Now let’s look at Codeup. We teach: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Java, Spring, MySQL. All of that, in 22 weeks. In the terms we’ve discussed, that’s: 

  • Object-Oriented Programming and back-end tech: Java, Spring
  • Database tools: MySQL
  • Front-end technologies: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery

The common initial thought is: why spend 22 weeks learning seven technologies when you could spend 12 weeks learning 10? And there lies the misconception. Many bootcamp curricula promise to teach you the latest and greatest technologies: React.js, Angular.js, Express.js, MongoDB, Node.js, etc. etc. etc. That may sound like a better bang for your buck, but it’s all a question of priority. Here is the reality of your choices:

  • Columbia bootcamp, broad and shallow: gain exposure to a wide variety of technologies in a short amount of time
  • Codeup, narrow and deep: gain expertise in software development fundamentals in a narrow scope of technologies

There is no inherently right answer here – it’s all about your priorities. That being said, here’s what we believe: Learning how to learn, learning how to think like a developer, and learning to program is far more important than gaining exposure to the latest web frameworks. When you understand programming fundamentals, you prepare yourself to learn whatever you want. It’s like learning how to work with a car: it’s great to know how to drive an Audi, but it’s pretty different from understanding how an Audi engine works and how it differs from a Honda. 

At Codeup, we focus on crafting you into a software developer. We focus on programming fundamentals, core web technologies, and applied practices. When you graduate, you’re ready to land a job and have the skills to learn any technology. If that sounds like what you’re looking for, connect with our Admissions Team and we can tell you more! 

Click here to hear our Codeup Alumnus, Po Lin’s, story about his journey graduating with a Computer Science degree and how he supplemented Codeup’s curriculum to launch a career into software development!

Your Investment Towards Your Future With Codeup

Codeup has trained over 500 software developers over 6 years in San Antonio. But we’re new to town here in Dallas, so we’re getting a lot of questions. Top of that list is, “Why are y’all so much more expensive than the other bootcamps in town?” In case you haven’t noticed, our Full-Stack Web Development program tuition is an investment of $27,500. But the secret is, we don’t cost that much – we’re worth that much. Codeup isn’t a bootcamp – it’s a career accelerator. Tuition is an investment in your future, and the ROI pays off. Let’s dive into why!

First of all, the upfront investment to enroll at Codeup is only $1,000 – a down payment to secure your seat. The entirety of the rest of your tuition can be arranged with a combination of scholarships, grants, and loans to support the remaining investment. Our dedicated Financial Aid and Enrollment Manager helps you navigate all the intricacies of tuition planning (if you want to get a head start, read our blog about bootcamp funding, explained).

Codeup focuses on quality. While other bootcamps leveraged venture-funding and corporate capital to expand quickly, opening 10+ campuses at a time, Codeup opened one campus. While other programs focused on volume, we focused on quality. We spent five years refining our program before expanding. Here’s the result that you now get to enjoy:

  • A custom-built, high-quality curriculum: other bootcamps have made their instructors build curriculum while they taught it…(Link blog post about our curriculum)
  • Top-knotch instruction: Your instructors have a combined 30 years of software development experience and 10 years of formal teaching experience. Local bootcamps hire 1 experienced instructor for every 5 alumni TAs. 
  • Job outcomes: In 2019, we placed 99% of our alumni in new careers in-field. Even when we operated exclusively in San Antonio, we placed 18 students in Dallas for an average starting salary of $85,000. The Codeup promise is simple: get a job or 100% of your money back.
  • Private ownership: Codeup launched in 2014 with 3 co-founders. After the first class, the company had re-paid initial investment and was cash-flow positive. Since then, our growth has been entirely organic. We’ve never taken outside investment, split equity, leveraged debt capital, or lost control of the business in any way. Our 3 co-founders are our 3 owners. Other bootcamps have been bought, sold, traded, closed…they change hands as assets in a venture capital investment game. What does that mean for you? We focus on your outcome, they focus on their bottom line. Anybody been following WeWork lately? The valuation bubble is bursting, and our students won’t get caught on the wrong side. PS, WeWork owns the Flatiron bootcamp…

If you’re considering a bootcamp education, you’re really considering an investment in yourself. Let’s be really clear – this is NOT school. This isn’t a high school diploma, an Associate’s or a BS in CS. This is a pathway to a career, the salary that will earn, and the meaning it will bring. Put on your investment hat: the upfront $$ isn’t as important as the Return On Investment. Our Dallas-bound graduates have had an average starting salary of $85,000. At less than 6 months long, you still have more than 6 months to work in that year. So what is your ROI? In the same year you are trained, you earn back your money. Within 12 months, you 3x your money.

You might ask, why not use that same math on a cheaper program? The answer is simple: other bootcamps don’t view it the same way. They are giving you an education, you are giving them a return on THEIR investment. Let’s take a more specific look:

Have more questions about your investment? Give us a call – we’d love the opportunity to chat with you about your possible future career in software development!

Financial Aid Options For Your Investment

Anyone who has ever thought about a coding bootcamp has probably run up against this first barrier: the investment. Paying for a bootcamp is scary and confusing because it’s different from traditional education. There are no Pell grants or FAFSA loans. The university tuition center doesn’t process your application 6 months in advance. Today’s blog is here to break down financial aid and tuition funding for bootcamps.

First off, if you want to attend a bootcamp, there are a lot of ways to make it work financially. We recommend starting with the question of “Is this the right path for me?” instead of “Can I afford this investment?”, so you don’t count yourself out before the race starts.

Now, let’s dive into the types of tuition funding available:

  • Self-payment: This is the most straightforward form of payment. Many bootcamps will accept cash, check, credit card, and ACH. Some will even accept bitcoin! 
  • Loans: Probably the most common payment type is to secure a loan through a private third-party provider. A loan is when an entity lends you money that you repay over time with interest. Students are likely familiar with loans from FAFSA, but the bootcamp space is a little different. Traditional degree-granting colleges and universities are accredited and governed under the federal Department of Education. That means they are eligible for federal funding for student loans. However, most bootcamps do not grant credit and are not accredited. Since the emergence of the bootcamp model, we have also seen the growth in private providers who are specifically tailored to the bootcamp model. For example, Codeup partners with Ascent Funding, Climb, and Meritize
  • Grants: A grant is a source of funding paid on your behalf without a requirement to be repaid, most often targeted at a particular mission. Many grants focus on workforce development and unemployment support. For example, Codeup partners with Workforce Solutions Alamo, Project QUEST, Skill QUEST, and Alamo Colleges who have provided grant funding for students to lower their tuition costs.
  • Scholarships: Scholarships fall into two buckets: externally-funded and internally-funded. Externally-funded scholarships are those where a third party, other than the school and the individual, pays for a portion of tuition. Internal scholarships are usually offered as tuition discounts from the school itself. For example, Codeup offers about $27,000 per class in scholarships to women, minorities, LGBTQIA, veterans, and first responders to increase access to tech careers.
  • VA Benefits: The last and least common form of tuition payment is VA Benefits. There are two groups here. Schools that have been in operation for over 2 years can apply to utilize VA Educational Benefits so transitioning service members and military veterans can use government benefits to cover school costs, most commonly with the Post 9-11 GI Bill. The second type of benefit falls under Employment Benefits, through which eligible providers can accept Vocational Rehabilitation, allowing veterans with 10% or more of service-related disability to re-skill. Codeup was one of the first bootcamps to be approved by the VA and offers both of the above forms of benefits. Schools must go through a rigorous approval process and ongoing compliance requirements to accept these benefits.

Now that you have an understanding of the types of benefits for your investment, let’s understand their relative pros and cons. 

                          Type of funding                            

                                    Pros                                 

Cons

Self-payment

No interest

No application process

Full payment due up front

Loans

Deferred tuition payment Loan interest accrues

Grants

Free money! Application and eligibility determination process
Scholarships Free money!

Not everyone is eligible

VA Benefits Tuition and monthly housing stipend

Only veterans and dependents are eligible

What’s next? The remaining problem is that planning your tuition is still a complicated and multifaceted process. You have to explore grant eligibility, apply for scholarships, qualify for loans, and arrange payments. To help you through this, at Codeup, we have a full-time Enrollment and Financial Aid Manager on staff to help you!

Get started at codeup.com/contact to start the conversation around the financial aid you qualify for your future career in tech!

Thinking About a Bootcamp to Transition Careers?

Five Questions to Ask Yourself When Thinking About a Bootcamp to Transition Your Career

When I was researching ways to transition my career from education to the tech field, I wasn’t really sure about the questions I should be asking myself. It’s hard to know what you should be thinking about when it comes to doing something you’ve never done before; the more drastic the transition, the more difficult it is to know! For me, time was a deciding factor because I’m an adult with a family and all of the responsibilities that come along with that role. I knew I wanted a non-traditional path to my new career, and that’s how I found Codeup, a career accelerator in Texas. A year and a half after I started researching my options, I’m a month away from completing Codeup’s Data Science program, and I have a much better idea of what you might want to think about if you’re starting to do your own research.

Here are five questions to ask yourself if you are thinking about a bootcamp to transition your career.

  1. What is my end goal? If like me, you are looking to transition from one career to another, you should be comfortable with the idea that whether you are going into web development or data science, you will be starting out as a junior. I was in education for almost two decades, so when I left, I was at the top of my profession. It’s one thing to think about how exciting it will be to learn and do new things, but the reality can be more jarring than you think. Be prepared to struggle like you haven’t in many years and even fail sometimes. Keep your eyes on the prize, landing that first job in a new field, and cut yourself some slack as you struggle with new concepts and experiences. You didn’t start at the top in your last career, and this one will be no different.
  2. How stable is my personal life? If you’re thinking about undertaking an intensive program to start the next chapter of your life, the last thing you need is to be distracted by a shaky personal life. You’re going to need some type of outside support, so you can focus all of your energy and attention on learning and practicing new skills. The cool thing about an intensive program like a bootcamp is that you are done in a fraction of the time it takes to finish a traditional degree. You will often have to sacrifice your nights and weekends, though, and that can be rough on your loved ones. Make sure to think and talk about those sacrifices before you commit to a program. Remember, it’s only for a short time!
  3. How much time do I need to prepare myself? I took a full year to get my life in order before starting my twenty-week data science program, and that worked for me. That gave me time to complete my teaching contract, save a little money, and complete the intensive amount of pre-work I needed to do for my program. I know most of the students in my cohort did not need that much time to prepare, so the time you need will be entirely up to your unique situation. Be honest with yourself, and don’t let others make you feel rushed. This is a lifestyle change, so build a solid foundation for your future success.
  4. Are my finances in order? This one goes along with preparing yourself, but it’s important enough to deserve its own question. At Codeup, you are strongly encouraged not to work during your program, and there is good reason for that. For a short window, you are committing all of your resources to a goal, and most likely you will need most of your outside time to study and work on projects. This is a huge sacrifice for most independent adults, so make sure you are diligent when answering this question. There were a few people in my cohort who had no choice but to keep a part-time job on the side. Be realistic with yourself about how challenging this new field is going to be for you, about family responsibilities you may have, and plan accordingly for the months you will be without an income.
  5. Do I have a Plan B? You might expect me to tell you here that you should have a good, solid Plan B in place in case you bomb out of your program. Only you know what you really need to be successful, but I will tell you that I had no Plan B, and I used that to motivate me during the most challenging times of my program. There are going to be times when you feel like you emotionally and even physically can’t keep going in such an intensive program. If I had had an easier and acceptable backup plan, there are many times I may have been tempted to take that option. As I head into my capstone project, I’m so happy and proud that I kept pushing myself to meet the challenges I faced along this journey. You should decide before you start if a Plan B will help or hurt you. Personally, I gave myself no option but to succeed.

 

There are so many things to consider when planning a major transition in your life, but asking yourself these five questions is a good place to start. Your answers and your journey will be uniquely yours, so don’t be discouraged if they look different from other students in your chosen program. Even with the growing appreciation for diversity in our workplaces, it can be intimidating to pursue your passion if you have a non-traditional background; trust me, I know! All I can tell you is that there is room for passionate and committed people in every field, so do your research and go get your dream life.

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WRITTEN BY

Educator, data scientist, barre junkie. I work and play in San Antonio with my husband, daughter, and pup. Connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/faithkane

 

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