The technology sector is undoubtedly one of the world’s most thriving and robust industries, paving the way for various innovation and trends. It has demonstrated a high level of immunity against crises, coming through numerous economic, political, and even health threats unscathed. Its fast-paced nature also calls for continuous expansion, especially when it comes to the workforce—and that’s good news for tech enthusiasts across the globe, including yourself.
In this article, we’re going to look at how V School—one of the best methods for breaking into tech—helps students make it into a solid career with its scholarship opportunities and new You Belong In Tech program. But first, let’s find out why you should be thinking about a tech career.
Why Explore A Tech Career?
Tech professionals are often enviable because of their sizable paychecks. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $88,240 in May 2019, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $39,810.”
It’s more than just financial rewards—there is a multitude of other perks including flexible schedules and new challenges that can also help with your personal development. To better illustrate the outlook of a tech career, let’s look at some facts and figures below.
The BLS projected that employment in the sector will grow 11 percent between 2019 and 2029, which roughly translates to 531,200 new job opportunities. On top of that, LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report has highlighted 12 tech positions as the Jobs of Tomorrow, which indicates potential career continuity for those holding relevant roles. These are two of the many reports that forecasted a bright future for all techies.
The industry is also in dire need of talents to fill in various open roles. In the first quarter of 2019 alone, U.S. companies had about 918,000 unfilled roles in IT, The Wall Street Journal reports, based on data analyzed by IT trade association, CompTIA.
Meanwhile, LA-based management consulting firm Korn Ferry predicted that by 2030, more than 85 million jobs could go unfilled because there aren’t enough skilled people to take them. The report added: “Left unchecked, in 2030 that talent shortage could result in about $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues.”
Therefore, there is no better time for you to join the ever-growing workforce. Grab this opportunity and discover how you can be a part of a resilient industry that is all about breaking new grounds.
How to Break Into Tech
Many professionals across the globe have already found success in tech and there is no reason why you shouldn’t, too. To help you in the decision-making process, we will take a closer look at one of the most popular paths that you can take today: coding bootcamps.
Coding bootcamps offer fast-tracked education at a fraction of the time and costs of a traditional college degree. This means students are able to get the tech skills they need without having to spend years on a single program while racking up a huge debt.
While the programs may differ according to schools, the best part about them is that there are an array of offerings that are available to prospective students—from intensive lectures to the hybrid classroom experience, and even fully flexible programs. This allows students to pick a module that perfectly matches their personal learning style, thus guaranteeing a more positive experience and outcome.
In this article, we are going to take a closer look at one of the more unique bootcamps in the U.S., V School, and its exciting take on coding education. The school describes itself as an end-to-end career preparation academy for code and design, touting an education model called Responsive Learning. This means that instead of focusing on graduation alone, its final aim is to ensure students gain quality employment in the industry of study. Read on further as we uncover how V School might just be the perfect place for you to sharpen your tech skills.
How V School Can Help You
V School was founded in 2013 and headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. It offers online and in-person, part-time, and full-time programs in full stack web development and experience design. Each of its programs will follow three phases namely skill acquisition, on-the-job experience, and career training to ensure every student with high aptitude and drive is able to transition into a successful career in the tech industry. Below, we break down the reasons why you should consider being a part of V School:
Bootcamps are known to be intense—they are, after all, a fast-tracked alternative to acquire technical skills. However, that is not always the case. What sets the school apart from others is its outstanding approach to teaching. Utilizing the Responsive Learning Model, the school eliminates time-based objectives and instead, introduces a model that is focused on mastery-based learning.
“Everyone learns in their own way, customized education is necessary for individual success. Responsive learning is designed around your past experiences, current learning needs, and your current schedule so you can reskill without giving up your life,” the school said.
This learning model works best for all tech enthusiasts regardless of background, ability, or capacity, and a number of its have gone on to work at some of the best companies in the world including Apple, Google, Adobe, and IBM.
A web development student Taylor Cecil said, “V School has definitely set up a structure for people to be able to learn at home or anywhere in the world and be successful.”
Meanwhile, Lead QA Engineer at MX Craig Andrew has this to say about a V School graduate: “I just wanted to take a minute and let you know how well (VS graduate) is doing in just her second week here at MX. Her enthusiasm and work ethic are outstanding as expected…”
The mastery-based learning, coupled with experience-building exercises and career training are a few factors that have gained V School stellar ratings on review sites: 4.9/5 on Facebook and 4.6/5 on Career Karma.
“There is not a reason, financially, that we can’t work with you. As long as you have the aptitude to learn to code and you’re willing to do the pre-course work and you can score high enough on the assessment and get accepted, we’ll find a way to fund it. Even if it means, on our side, crafting our own payment plan with you,” V School Co-Founder, Mo Reeder, said.
V School strives to eliminate barriers for aspiring techies who want to join the tech-o-sphere. As such, the school offers an array of financial support and assistance to help those in need:
“In response to social and economic inequality and the financial hardships we are facing, we’ve launched a scholarship fund to support inclusion in tech and reduce financial barriers that have impeded so many qualified individuals,” it said.
You Belong in Tech is a $6,000-scholarship that is awarded every week until funding lasts. Recipients will be able to enroll as early as the following month’s start dates. At the time of writing, the school has $1 million dollars left in funding, which can help hundreds of aspiring students launch successful tech careers. Click here to start your application process.
According to the school, select winners of this scholarship will get to enjoy paid internship opportunities and personal introductions for web development and design roles at the world’s leading companies. This is done through a partnership with Search Group Partners, a premier recruiting and talent acquisition firm that aligns career opportunities nationwide.
V School also offers a $6,000 scholarship towards web development and UX/UI design online programs. Successful applicants can start right away with V School’s weekly start dates. You, too, can be like the latest recipient of MyBaseGuide + AHRN Full-Ride Scholarship, Sergeant Major Taamir Ransome, and get the assistance you need to reskill for a career in tech.
“I know what I want to do. I have a whole bunch of ideas in my head, I just don’t have the funds or the know-how to actually do it. But these companies will hire me once I do have that. I’ll become a 1099 guy for five or six really big companies that support the military and be able to give my knowledge and give back to the career field,” he said.
You can schedule time with a V School advisor for more details available here.
Other Financing Options
There are other financing options for you to explore at V School, including their Income Share Agreement (ISA). It is a shared-risk option of lending that now 40% of V School’s student body has chosen to use since its implementation in 2017.
The ISA program allows students to get started on their education promptly without having to worry about their education fees. In exchange, students will agree to pay back a percentage of their paycheck once they land a job earning over a set amount.
Offering Better Lives Through Tech
Let’s hear from some graduates about their first-hand experience at V School and their tips on how to make the most out of your bootcamp journey.
Jessie James | Web Development Alum
Jessie James is a History major from the BYU with a life-long passion to end human trafficking. This has led her to conduct extensive research on what she can do to make a real difference and the answer was to gain all the necessary skills to do well-rounded anti-trafficking work.
“What I found was there is not a great tech presence in the anti-trafficking side of things. In order for me to make a real difference, I made a 5-10-15 year plan to upskill myself so I have all the puzzle pieces together.
“After school, I worked in the mental health field to understand the at-risk groups and once I felt like I had a good grasp on that, I wanted to go ‘understand’ tech so I chose to learn how to code,” she said, adding that her long-term plan includes getting an MBA.
Ms. James, who was enrolled from July to September last year, said she picked V School because it offered small, in-person classes that make for an ideal learning environment.
“The in-person environment was a huge selling point. Smaller class sizes mean there are designated people at every step of the process so I get to enjoy a great support system.
“I liked that there were two classes going on at the same time and cross-pollination is highly encouraged. I always went to the [UX/UI Design] class and talked to the students and gathered their input. It helped me gain a better understanding of the whole picture.”
After graduating from V School, she went on to serve as a teaching assistant for a couple of months before landing a role as a junior UI software engineer at SaltStack.
“As a fresh grad, there is a momentum that we need to sustain so this opportunity gave me just that. Now, I was teaching others to code. I had some students who were smarter than me so it became a two-way learning experience. I would also come back to school and perform mock interviews with the students based on the questions that I get from my own job interviews. It’s really cool. I enjoy the collaborative environment.”
Ms. James said there isn’t any reason why anyone who’s interested in tech shouldn’t dip their feet into coding, even if it means starting from scratch. The key to success, she added, is perseverance.
“It’s not about talent. It’s not easy but you have to be willing to put in the time and energy, actively seek the resources you need, and stick to the plan. Understand your personal learning style because the bootcamp you choose makes a huge difference. You have to dive headfirst and just go in. There’s no other way to learn an entirely new language and make it your career.”
Austin Seaman | Web Development Alum
“I didn’t finish college because I’m worried about racking up debt for a degree I wasn’t even sure I wanted. I already had some vague exposure to some tech tools and realized that there was a way for me to utilize all of those interests at once, as well as satisfy my hunger for career direction.”
Not knowing where to start, Mr. Seaman tried to invest his time in a few free courses on Codeacademy and Harvard’s C50 series but he found that he needed the extra help.
“But tech is so deep and nuanced that I started stressing about where to start, so one day, on my lunch break, I had been googling bootcamps in the city, found V School, and gave them a call. It was about a week later that I somewhat impulsively gave my notice to the job I had, and started working on the Pre Course work for V School.
“What attracted me, initially, was the structure of the campus, and access to such killer educational and career resources. Shout out to everyone on V School’s education team and outcomes team. But what kept me there and staying involved in the V School community was the amazing sense of kinship and artistic/cultural awareness they cultivate. It’s so much more than just another web dev bootcamp, and they don’t just value tech or your tuition payments.”
He opted for the school’s ISA option and soon after, was enrolled in the Web Development program. After graduating in December last year, Mr. Seaman has been working with the school on a number of projects including helping out as a teaching assistant. He is now enjoying working on various initiatives that align with his interests and technical skills.
“I’ve now got a few real-world projects deployed and have worked enough with dev teams to say that I’ve got REAL experience to add to my resume. I’ve gotten a couple of job offers now, and am still applying for full-time work, but I’m sort of busy loving where I currently work and working on side projects for friends and local artisans!”
He said he has benefited tremendously from V School’s education model and recommends the school to other tech aspirants who are still looking for a solid career path.
“This isn’t just some certificate factory that really just wants your tuition. There’s a high value placed on a genuine, tangible understanding of the content, and that has been so motivating. It really does drive not only self-confidence while learning, but subsequent success.
“With COVID, it’s been more difficult to do so, but before the pandemic, there were always events, get-togethers, tech talks, networking opportunities, etc. The Outcomes team is always on point, trying to help you in the right direction, dropping your name to any industry friends, a dedicated slack channel for job postings, remote and otherwise. I obviously haven’t been to other bootcamps, but if they don’t look like this, they’d better catch up!”
Mario Mitchell | Web Development Alum & UX/UI Student
Mario Mitchell is an eight-year military veteran who first discovered V School when looking for an option to venture into tech. Due to his injuries from the military, he had a difficult time transitioning and tried his hands at an array of things before enrolling in this bootcamp.
“I was looking for a military-friendly option which during that time, there were not many. I actually was looking for ways to learn in person without breaking the bank because my wife and I were expecting twins. V School at the time offered Room and Board within the tuition. So, I took the ISA option and made the leap of faith. It was worth it,” he gushed.
Mr. Mitchell now runs a coding school in Las Vegas, yet the 29-year-old strives to stay on top of the tech game. That was why he found himself choosing V School again when it’s time to learn a new skill: UX/UI Design.
“I use my knowledge from V School and the example set for how a coding school should be run, putting the students first. I was able to apply some skills that I saw from V School to the school I currently run.
“I would recommend V School for everyone. I love how everyone on the staff is there for you and your success. I’m now taking the UX/UI Design course and this would complement the [Web Development] program I did three years ago,” he said.