Getting A Real Education After University Graduation

    Do not think about, write about or deal with  human behavior without determining the effects of incentives. It’s not their money, of course they’ll waste it.

     Wherein we see one of the wedges being driven into the foundation of the shaky edifice that is higher education. After university, get a real education.

Nice Ivy League Degree. Now if You Want a Job, Go to Code School
Pricey coding classes are attracting college grads who want better jobs
by John Lauerman

In a Boston basement that houses a new kind of vocational training school, Katy Feng says she’s working harder than she ever did at Dartmouth College. The 22-year-old graduated last year with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and studio art that cost more than a quarter-million dollars. She sent out dozens of résumés looking for a full-time job in graphic design but wound up working a contract gig for a Boston clothing store. “I thought, they’ll see Dartmouth, and they’ll hire me,” Feng says. “That’s not really how it works, I found.” She figures programming is the best way to get the job she wants. Hence the basement, where she’s paying $11,500 for a three-month crash course in coding.


   As I tell graduates that apply to work for me, “You learn two kinds of things in university; That which is wrong and that which is irrelevant.”

Feng sits in the class five days a week from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., tapping on a laptop and squinting at the syntax of the programming languages JavaScript and Ruby. Homework swallows her nights and weekends—a big change from Dartmouth, where after a few hours of class “you could just do whatever,” Feng says. “This is definitely like, you’re doing it all day long.”


    Learning something useful does take work, doesn’t it?

Feng is among thousands of students, about 70 percent of whom already have college degrees, flocking to coding boot camps. Hers is run by a company called General Assembly that promises to transform “thinkers into creators,” not to mention holders of well-paying jobs. It’s an especially attractive pitch for humanities and social sciences majors who didn’t learn the skills they need to compete for the plentiful jobs in the technology industry.

Four years ago, General Assembly was among the first of these training schools; now there are more than 80. About 6,000 students graduated from a coding boot camp in 2014, triple the previous year, says Course Report, a website that lets students rate the various courses. The schools took in a combined $59 million in revenue, or about $9,833 per student, estimates Course Report co-founder Liz Eggleston.

Code-camp students don’t get a diploma they can hang next to an Ivy League one, but they come away with projects they can show off in interviews, typically apps. Six months after finishing, 59 percent report a salary increase, averaging $23,000 annually, according to SwitchUp, another rating site. “They do seem to be effective at helping their candidates win entry-level tech jobs,” says Tyler Willis, a spokesman for tech headhunter Hired. Jensen Bouzi, Amherst College class of 2014, finished at Dev Bootcamp in December and by March had a coding job at Avrett Free Ginsberg, a New York ad agency. “This is the best way to go in terms of getting a foot in the door,” Bouzi says.

Dev Bootcamp, now owned by Kaplan, the SAT-prep and education company, was founded in San Francisco by a former Microsoft engineer; it also operates in New York and Chicago. General Assembly started as a co-working space in New York’s Flatiron district in 2011 and evolved into boot camps in 13 cities across the U.S., U.K., Australia, and Hong Kong. The startup has raised $49.5 million from the likes of Jeff Bezos and Russian e-mail billionaire Yuri Milner.

The biggest concentration of schools remains in California, and some, including Dev and Hack Reactor, have established another source of revenue. They’ve cut deals with employers such as tech-industry PR firm Cision, promising an early crack at top graduates in exchange for fees worth 10 percent of each new employee’s first-year salary. Hackbright Academy in San Francisco, which enrolls only women, is a feeder for Facebook and Pinterest. The schools tailor programs to industry needs, says Harsh Patel, a former grade-school math and science teacher who co-founded boot camp MakerSquare. By contrast, he says, “Colleges are preparing students for things that employers were hiring for 15 years ago.”


    He’s being charitable, universities have rarely prepared anyone for anything.

Government Job or Respect–Which’ll It Be?
Cheerio and ttfn,
Grant Coulson, Ph.D.
Author, “Days of Songs and Mirrors: A Jacobite in the ‘45.”
Cui Bono–Cherchez les Contingencies


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