Typically, a college students summer would be spent earning the minimum wage, however because of the competitive job market and number of anxious parents this could soon be a thing of the past. The future looks set to see more students spending their summers learning how to code in the same way as Eagle Wu, who has completed his freshman year and will be one of many heading to Babson College on a coding boot camp.

Wu takes the view that learning all manner of computer skills will provide him with a product that he can pitch to potential investors. He also added that whether we like it or not computers are the way of the 21st century and these are courses that are not currently available through schools.

Whilst these types of courses are predominately geared towards those looking to change careers, Wu believes that all students should be taking advantage of learning additional skills, over a summer of placements to add to their resumes. Wu was awarded a fellowship from his school, however students who don’t, will either have to pay $14,000 for the course up front, or graduating seniors have the option to pay nothing until they have a work placement and then they are expected to pay back over 17% of their starting salary.

There is no doubt that this course looks set to be the must have qualification of the future and currently it appears that it is only Horizons School of Technology offering real world coding skills and although many universities are introducing these skills, the majority are skill focused predominately on the theoretical frameworks.

The director of postsecondary education, Elizabeth Baylor, still maintains the jury is out on whether students will really get any true value for this course. She was particularly concerned whether or not the students would be able to put their new skills into action in the workplace. However, she does understand the other side of things and is hopeful that colleges will expand their offerings. Until coding becomes the norm though it will be the program Horizons offers that could provide the students with a valuable leg up.

Of the students that have attended the course two thirds of student’s report landing a full time job because of the additional skills that they were able to offer, they also reported a 38% pay increase.

Tara Hurley, talent engagement director at the staffing company WunderLand Group, says that from her experience workers that have come from boot camp style programs typically offer well composed portfolios, a true understanding of their role within a team and interview skills. On the other hand, entry level students are becoming harder and harder to place simply because the companies do not have the resources to train them. Those applicants that come from the boot camp have the tactical skills that are more likely to make an employer give them a chance.

Overall, there will be students that do not have to pay more money on top of their actual college degree to ensure that they can get a job. Providing that they attend a school that is offers practical computer science courses and that they are able to leave with a marketable degree, they will be able to land a job without necessarily going to boot camp.

If anything the rise of courses such as those offered by Horizons, will see the colleges and universities rethinking their course offerings and strive to broaden the education that they offer. In a world where students are constantly vying for jobs there is no doubt that the majority of them will do anything they can to make sure it is them and if this means taking on more debt, they seem to be willing to do this.

Michelle Bradsenk