The Tech Academy believes that technical competency is not a privilege but, rather, a necessity. This resonates deeply with the direction in which the global workforce is heading.
The World Economic Forum, for instance, observed a set of emerging professions in fields such as data, artificial intelligence, economy, engineering, cloud computing, and product development in its Future of Jobs 2020 report. “This reflects the adoption of new technologies and increasing demand for new products and services,” it said. The same sentiment is echoed by several other online reports.
The Tech Academy took notice of this and is of the opinion that the technical expertise required to explore these in-demand fields should be made accessible to everyone. Its commitment can be observed in every facet of its operations; from the curriculum down to the financing options.
How The Tech Academy Makes Coding Education Accessible For All
The Academy is no stranger to tech education. It was founded in 2013 by Erik Gross, a former Navy with vast experience in the tech field. He then joined forces with longtime friend and education expert Jack Stanley to formulate an array of programs to help more individuals find their calling in tech.
Since then, The Tech Academy has grown tremendously. It is also licensed by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission and is authorized to certify students in relevant technical professions.
The golden bridge that graces its logo is an apt visual representation of what The Tech Academy strives to achieve. “This represents a passage that connects the gap between technically-trained people and the general society,” Co-Founder Jack Stanley said. “It is a path that leads to an understanding of technology and competence in coding.”
Let’s look at how The Tech Academy works toward eliminating the barriers to entry in the tech industry:
Leveling the Playing Field
The number one step to launch a tech career is to obtain the right skills. To help ease this process, The Tech Academy does not require prospective students to have any coding or tech-related experience. This means tech aspirants from all walks of life stand a chance at exploring their dream careers even if they came from non-initiated backgrounds.
“The Tech Academy is all about assisting everyone in breaking into the tech industry,” Jack said. “Whether or not you have any tech or coding background, we want our courses to be accessible to you. Whereas some other schools require students to pass coding challenges in order to be accepted, we don’t require any technical background or coding experience.”
However, it is compulsory for potential students to demonstrate proficiency in reading and writing in English. The school also requires students to be able to do basic math. Prior to admissions, students will also be asked to complete an IQ test.
“Additionally, we screen applicants for certain predispositions—qualities that may indicate the type of learners they are—because we really want our students to stick with the program and graduate. But, we don’t ask that students have the technical knowledge or take a coding exam.”
The Tech Academy also extends its programs to students outside of the US. Through a partnership with Pitman Training Group, its curriculum is licensed to educate students living in the UK and Europe.
At the moment, The Tech Academy is in the process of translating its curriculum to Spanish and eventually other languages. This will help cater to international students and those whose native language is not English. The school has published three books in Spanish so far.
Ultimately, The Tech Academy said, it plans to extend the reach and benefits of tech education beyond geographical limitations. In the long run, it aims at opening trade schools in lower-wage countries and operated by local staff, so that they can deliver bootcamps at prices appropriate to those locations.
Well-Rounded Programs That Match Your Pace
At The Tech Academy, students pay for weekly access to the pre-recorded learning materials. This will be based on their schedule preference, either full-time (40 hours/week) or part-time (20 hours/week). However, students are also given the option to move through the course at a pace that they are comfortable with.
“If students don’t complete the boot camp in the allotted time, they will need to purchase more time. It is self-paced in the sense that they can move through any particular course as fast or slow as they like. But, they should aim to complete the whole boot camp in the time allotted to avoid paying for additional weeks,” the school explained.
While the boot camps may cover different niches, the core structure is the same for everyone. Both part-time and full-time learners of any boot camp will go through the same curriculum, just at a different speed. It’s compulsory for all students to go through 32 hours of Computer and Tech Basics and 40 hours of Software Development fundamentals. This ensures students have strong foundational knowledge.
At the end of each boot camp, students will explore a Project Management syllabus, complete a Live Project with other students, and learn career preparation skills from the Job Placement team.
There are 11 boot camps that you can take at The Tech Academy:
- Software Developer Boot Camp
- Game Developer Boot Camp
- Cyber Security Boot Camp
- Data Science Boot Camp
- Mobile App Developer Boot Camp
- UI/UX Designer Boot Camp
- Python Boot Camp
- C# and .NET Boot Camp
- Java and Android Developer Boot Camp
- Front End Developer Boot Camp
The Tech Academy also has open enrollment for all programs listed above. This means that the cohorts are not fixed so students can start at any time they want. This teaching model allows students the flexibility that they can’t generally find in a cohort-based school.
A Solid Support System
Learning new skills can sometimes feel overwhelming but students don’t have to go through it alone. Instructors, who are actual graduates of The Tech Academy, are ready to help with any issues students may face. They can be reached via phone, web conference, e-mail, or the internal messaging system for 12 hours/day on weekdays and eight hours/day on the weekends. If they are not available right away, they will reschedule or arrange for a Google Meet.
Students are also paired with a job placement instructor, also known as a career coach, to help them navigate their job search process. Aside from fine-tuning resume, portfolio, and interview skills, the coach will also forward job openings to the students. It should be noted that The Tech Academy students have access to job placement services for up to six months upon graduation. However, students who are still actively engaged in their job search and in contact with their career coach can continue to receive help from the school past that time.
Staying on the Pulse of Tech
It is important for The Tech Academy to constantly stay on its toes so that all learning materials remain relevant and are on par with the industry’s demands. An example of this is the latest additions to its offerings. Earlier this year, the school introduced two new boot camps: Cyber Security Boot Camp and Game Development Boot Camp.
“By keeping ourselves up-to-date and current, we know what skills are in demand and lasting, versus ‘flash in the pan’ tools. We base our curriculum choices on one thing: the employer’s demand for talent,” Jack said.
The same attention-to-detail is also applied to its teaching tools. The school has recently revamped its entire Learning Management System, making it easier for students to navigate through the curriculum. The improvements include uploading videos in better quality and allowing students to have more control over the captions and speed. According to The Tech Academy, this allows students with hearing impairments to access its content easily.
Flexible Financing Options
In tandem with its mission to make tech education more accessible, students have multiple options to fund their tuition like upfront payment, monthly payments, Income Share Agreements (ISAs), and loans with lender partners.
The Tech Academy is currently running a special promotion for students paying in full. For the month of June, a special 40 percent off of the tuition applies for all 11 boot camps. The discounted rates are now reflected on the Career Karma site.
Take A Step Further with The Tech Academy
“We believe that The Tech Academy has made technology understandable for the average person and it was important to us to fill these needs,” Jack said. “I’d recommend that you look into the jobs available in each field and ask yourself, ‘Where do you want to be in the next few years?’”
If you’re unsure where to start, the Admissions team is ready to discuss your general interests, professional goals, and make a recommendation. Contact The Tech Academy at firstname.lastname@example.org or (503)206-6915.
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.