By the year 2020, current trends indicate that there will be 1 million unfulfilled computer-programming jobs in the United States. Dire reports tell us that jobs are scarce because companies are outsourcing to fill gaping holes in their talent pool; but the real truth is that workers' skills are having one heck of a time keeping with the changing times.

If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. Even as a consumer, we continually feel "behind" in terms of technology. You buy a version of something one minute, and the next it's being upgraded and updated with a new set of features. As we collectively push towards a fast-moving, tech-driven world, in order to compete economically we must also be able to "upgrade" our workforce with the right types of skillsets required by new companies and innovation flooding the market.

Driven by the rapid expansion of cloud platforms, smartphones, apps, and 24/7 connectivity of our world, coding bootcamps represent an innovative (and mostly affordable) new way to quickly get American workers trained and ready for current job climate. By focusing on the skillsets and experiences that prepare someone for the workforce, coding bootcamps deliver job-ready graduates in months, not years.

You no longer need a CS degree from MIT or Stanford to be relevant. To a large degree, these bootcamps are helping to democratize computer-programming and will likely support the future American job infrastructure by turning out well-equipped talent.

Codesmith: Los Angeles-based Codesmith teaches the fundamentals of programming, ensuring that graduates will be ready to handle a range of jobs from entry-level web development to mid-level computer science positions. The primary 12-week bootcamp takes place at its LA campus; however, Codesmith also offers 8-week preparatory bootcamps at various universities, including Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford, Stanford, and MIT.

MakerSquare: A highly specialized 12-week program focusing on creating mid to senior-level coders. MakerSquare has campuses in Austin, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. MakerSquare distinguishes itself with an emphasis on post-graduate job placement and transparent success rates. Currently, MakerSquare sees a 96% job placement (within three months of graduation) and an average starting salary of $85,000.

General Assembly: Featuring a global network of campuses, General Assembly is a New York-headquartered program perfect for entry-level coders. Offered both online and on campus (Boston, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Sydney, Washington DC and Hong Kong), General Assembly focuses on fundamental skills for development and working in the tech industry.

Codeacademy: Code Academy is one of the best starting places for anyone curious about the programming field. Why? Simple -- it's free. Because of that, Code Academy isn't as nearly as intensive as other educational institutions. Instead, most of its bite-size courses are taught online through slideshows and a live editor. Still, it's a surefire way to dip your toe in the coding world and see if it's worth a further investment of time and money.

Code School: While intensive on-site bootcamps can cost around $15,000+, Code School makes things more accessible with short-form web courses available by subscription. For $29 per month (with some courses available for free), Code School offers curriculum paths that build course upon course taught through online videos, in-browser coding, and an on-site discussion forum. The light tone of the materials may not be for everyone, particularly those who want down-and-dirty career shifts, but Code School works as an introduction to JavaScript, HTML/CSS, and other fundamentals.

Coding Education For Everyone

Pushing towards a coding culture in both child and adult education represents a vital shift in the American economy, and a golden ticket for people seeking immediate traction in their career. As the popular open-source platform WordPress puts it, "code is poetry" -- now it's up to educational institutions like these to give access to this "poetry" and likewise drive the shifting workforce.

Published on: Jun 25, 2015
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