We are on a mission to find the middle ground between coding bootcamp and a traditional university degree — a framework where students attend long enough to learn what they need to learn to really be hireble, without the long-term commitment to attain a bachelor’s degree. We asked ourselves how we could create a new program by taking the best parts of a code school or a trade school and pair it with what a university does really well.
Universities have been around for centuries. It all started with a group of students, seated in a room, learning together. The concept of in-person learning has been executed incredibly well by colleges and universities for hundreds of years. Few things have stood the test of time like the concept of classroom education. In fact, the very word university is derived from a latin phrase universitas magistrorum et scholarium which roughly translates to a community of masters and scholars. From the beginning, university was built around community.
Then, along came the internet. With many universities taking pride in their teaching, they thought they could scale their offerings and put courses online. There are absolutely benefits to this model, but it’s also where many universities miss the boat. In fact, according to results of a new national research study, 78% of more than 1,000 students surveyed still believe it is easier to learn in a classroom. Colleges have perfected in-person education experiences by creating environments in which students can learn together. There is a value in learning together with other people in a physical space. That value is more than just absorbing information. It includes building a professional network, receiving diverse feedback, and practice for the real world. We all have to work alongside others in our careers, why shouldn’t we learn this way as well?
As a university that has been bringing great instructors and students together in a physical environment for over 130 years, we thought code education could be done differently.
Most code schools are quick and measured in weeks, and many of those go with the immersive-style learning. The majority of these promise a quick education with massive payoffs, like a great paying job right out the gate. That doesn’t always deliver. Other online code programs don’t offer the benefits of the in-person university setting, like networking and motivation.
On the other hand, you can go the more traditional route with a regular class schedule at a university and earn a degree in computer science. This will give you some of the skills needed to become a hireable developer, but not all of them. A lot of the specific code education and networking opportunities may be missed when taking this path, not to mention, it now takes the average student six years to complete a bachelor’s degree.
Our code academy is 10 months long. The three classes take place in the evenings, so you can keep your job or take other classes at Midland University. We will connect students with a diverse set of mentors every week not only to help them gain insight but also build a network.
Currently, the Omaha metro has over 400 jobs waiting to be filled by talented developers. Our goal is to send people into the marketplace who have the skills, portfolio, and network to get these jobs. The weight of a university that has been teaching for 130 years is now behind a code education program that is quick, part-time, and affordable; yet long enough that hireable developers emerge.