While many tech bootcamps have part-time programs targeting working professionals, some offer schedules that are hard to balance with a full-time job. It’s even more challenging if you’re a working parent with children, family, and other obligations. Bootcamps can also cost tens of thousands of dollars, which may be unaffordable for some people.
Merit America is a nonprofit bootcamp that understands these barriers. They’ve designed their programs specifically for working adults without bachelor degrees, offering fully-virtual, part-time programs that lead to in-demand tech careers.
Merit America offers part-time, fully-virtual tech programs that fit a working adult’s busy schedule.Apply to Merit America’s upcoming cohort here.
What Can You Learn at Merit America?
Merit America offers programs that lead to life-changing opportunities for working adults without a bachelor’s degree. Their current flexible and online programs include:
- IT Support. This program covers technical support, operating systems, and IT security, among others, and can be completed in as little as 14 weeks.
- Java Development. A six-month program that teaches the foundations of Java development, including Java, SQL, and data structures. Graduates are equipped with the skills needed to become entry-level Java developers.
- Tech Sales. Learn project management and sales skills in 13 weeks through Merit America’s part-time, online Tech Sales program.
- Data Analytics. A 16-week, part-time, and flexible program that teaches the foundational skills needed to land an entry-level job in data analytics.
Is Merit America Right for You?
If you’re interested in pursuing a fulfilling career in any of the fields above, take a look at the following checklist to see if Merit America is right for you. Merit America serves the following learners:
- Working adults
- Non-holders of a bachelor’s degree
- In need of a flexible, part-time program
- Passionate and excited for a career change
- Ready to put in the time and effort required by the programs
- Willing to work with career coaches and placement services during the job hunt
If you’ve checked all the boxes and you know what program interests you the most, you’re ready for the Merit America application process. More than testing for technical skills, academic credentials, and past experiences, the process puts emphasis on what you need most to succeed—grit.
The Merit America Admissions Process
Before filling out an application form, check if you pass the eligibility requirements of Merit America. You must:
- Have a high school degree or a GED, but no bachelor’s or graduate degree
- Be authorized to work in the United States
- Be fluent in English (reading, writing, and speaking)
- Have access to a stable Internet connection and be comfortable with modern technology
If you have an associate’s degree, you are welcome to apply at Merit America. If you have a B.A. or B.S., you are eligible to apply if you meet the following conditions:
- You obtained your bachelor’s degree at least five years prior to the date of Merit America application, and
- Your income for the past year is less than $35,000 due to underemployment or unemployment
If you are eligible, you can proceed with the application process, which is designed to determine if you are driven by passion and interest rather than necessity and the desire for a better job.
First, you must fill out an online application form with general questions regarding your contact information, background in education, and current financial situation. An admissions representative will receive the form and contact you.
Next, you will be required to submit your resume and answer more questions about yourself. An asynchronous video interview will be conducted, and then you’ll be asked to attend a live group interview. If you pass both interviews, you’ll be admitted to the program.
Once accepted, students are given a couple of weeks to familiarize themselves with the content through pre-work and also meet the program instructors. Only after this does the student formally start the program.
The application process is multi-step and can be long and challenging, but for applicants who successfully apply and complete the program, it’s well worth the effort.
Aside from knowledge and marketable skills gained from the programs, graduates also achieve significant career transformations. According to Merit America’s outcomes report, the average annual salary of a student prior to attending is $23,000 a year. After graduation, this figure jumps to $49,000 a year, plus benefits and access to upward mobility.
Merit America is a Google partner of choice and an Amazon preferred learning partner. These partnerships open many doors for its graduates.
Another key advantage Merit America offers is the Success Sharing Agreement. Students can start their program without paying up front. They only need to start paying a flat monthly fee after they complete the program and land a job that pays $40,000 or more a year.
Merit America Alumni Stories
Success stories are plentiful at Merit America, and a remarkable one is Brandon’s. He was working in restaurant service before applying for and attending the IT Support Learning Program at Merit America. He had worked in technology before, but never completed his college degree in IT.
“I had difficulties translating my existing IT experience into new job offers,” Brandon said. “Merit America seemed like the perfect extra support I needed to begin my career.” Through Merit America, Brandon was able to refresh his tech acumen and use the program’s career services and career coaching program to gain the skills he needed to find a job, such as resume writing and interviewing.
Less than a month after he completed his program, Brandon found a full-time tech role at a company. He is now a Technology Solutions Coordinator at Equal Rights Center. From making $18,850 annually before the program, he now makes $45,000 a year (equivalent to a significant $26,150 wage gain).
Elizabeth is another Merit America success story. Prior to attending Merit America, she was an independent business owner offering mortgage closing and mobile notary services in Dallas/Fort Worth, juggling work and parenting responsibilities.
“I have always wanted to learn Java and had looked at options available at the community colleges,” Elizabeth said. “It was going to cost me more in finances and longer to finish had I pursued Java at a community college. I am therefore grateful for the opportunity offered by Merit America.”
Elizabeth thrived in Merit America’s Java Development program. After finishing, she began applying for new jobs. However, it wasn’t until she attended tech networking events that she met people who needed her newfound skills. She passed the tech interview and landed a new job. Within nine months of starting her Merit America program, Elizabeth landed the role of Software Engineer at JPMorgan Chase, earning $45,000 more than her prior salary.
These are just two of Merit America’s success stories. Hundreds more graduates have also gained new careers and higher salaries after completing a Merit America program. More importantly, they have successfully upskilled themselves and have started fulfilling careers they are passionate about.
Are You Ready for Merit America?
Merit America is designed to open doors for people who have not had the opportunity to pursue further university studies or training. Its part-time, flexible programs are created with working adults in mind. With its well-designed curriculum and fully-supported learning programs, Merit America puts a fulfilling career in tech within reach.
If you’re ready to take your career in a new direction and you have the drive and motivation to reach your goals, then Merit America is ready for you.
Learn more about the available programs and start your application process to Merit America here.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.