Colleges are creating intense boot camps to teach students computer programming languages, as reported by Maxine Joselow, in Inside Higher Ed. Such instruction has normally been the turf of proprietary schools, elite universities, or sheer individual effort.
One community college profiled in the piece is Bellevue College, in Washington, with a campus very close to the headquarters of Microsoft. Which makes sense. The average boot camp costs students around $11,000 for 11 weeks of training, according to the 2015 Course Report survey, the article reports. But the college helps graduates find jobs in the field once they are trained.
Obviously these programs are not for everyone. Most students at Bellevue already have good jobs, the article states. All the same, there is no reason such training must take place in Washington or Silicon Valley in California, just because many tech industries are situated in these particular areas right now. All major metropolitan areas of Texas are focusing on the growing technology industry, with plenty of talented individuals who would like to upgrade their skills. A local community college would seem to be a natural. Some colleges in Texas are already engaged in such activity, but the IHE article may be helpful for tips on how it might work on a larger scale.
If the Internet has taught us anything, it's that geography doesn't mean much any more.
Regarding the steep cost, some colleges are forming partnerships with potential employers near the school, and many companies will help defray the expenses in order to get a well-trained employee. As for the instructors, representatives of the software company with a new programming language could be brought in, or teach online.
From the piece:
“The whole premise of the coding boot camp is there’s a big skills gap,” said Kevin Saito, vice president of marketing and product management for Coding Dojo, which offers boot camps in six cities as well as online. “The need for developers in our economy exceeds institutions’ ability to produce them … But web development as a skill itself is something that someone can pick up in a relatively short amount of time with perseverance.”