How Can Code Bootcamps Make App Development More Accessible?

August 8, 2016 - 2 minutes read

According to a study from Inside Higher Ed, coding bootcamps have major economic barriers that are stopping low-income students from enrolling.

The result: most coding bootcamp graduates are already members of the middle class, going against President Obama’s recent praise for bootcamps as a “ticket into the middle class.”

iPhone app development companies need more engineers, and today’s uncertain job market has left many nine-to-fivers unhappy with their prospect in traditional businesses, leading to a mass migration towards digital fields.

However, most of those workers making the migration to app development already had relatively mid-range salaries, with an average of around $46,600. Among those enrolled, over 70% already had undergraduate degrees. So what’s holding back the low-income students who stand to benefit most from a high-skill high-demand career path like app development?

Part of that problem is related to the barriers that keep low-income workers from entering college in general: high cost, full-time requirements, and cultural bias. But while most for-profit universities (and state universities, for that matter) get around this obstacle by implementing a borderline-predatory loan system to cover student living expenses, coding bootcamps rely on students and their families to cover tuition and living expenses up front.

With many of the best coding bootcamps located in major tech hubs like San Francisco and NYC, the cost of rent for six months is nothing to be scoffed at.

Taking off six months to a year from work isn’t a realistic possibility for many aspiring Chicago iPhone app developers. The solution, clearly, is some sort of financing. The question is, will tech be able to succeed where traditional education has failed?

Massive student loan default and consumer disappointment in a system that traps low-income workers in crippling debt has unleashed an unprecedented backlash against the education system. Some bootcamps have taken strides to fix this problem by taking tuition as a percentage of student salaries once placed in a job. What other disruptive funding concepts will tech be able to offer to the broken technical education system?

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