Alternatives that threaten to disrupt higher education are on the rise. The promise of a better, faster, cheaper way to a well paying job that promises to circumvent higher education and avoid the debt that comes with it has captured the imagination of Silicon Valley. One of these so-called bootcamps which offers the promise of a new and lucrative career in just three months is sponsored by none other than the tech giant Google.
Detailed in an article entitled, “The Un-College That’s Training $100,000 App Developers,” NPR reporter Anya Kamenetz describes how Google hopes to spur development of applications for its mobile operating system Android and at the same time offer those who can master the code within 12 weeks the chance to make a six figure salary.
Kamenetz points out that this is not a training program for future Google employees, but a new approach in the beleaguered “for profit” education sector. The course itself is administered by General Assembly a “global educational institution” which opened its doors in 2011. The company is part of a new sector that, as Kamenetz tells us, has “attracted the attention not just from employers…but from startup private education lenders, the big for-profit education companies and not surprisingly, from regulators within the Department of Education.”
While data on the success of these programs is scarce - in part because they are so new - Kamenetz sites survey results from an organization called Course Report that shows “66 percent of bootcamp graduates are employed in a related field and that they experience a 38 percent salary bump on average.” General Assembly currently has 14 campuses in seven countries.
Do these bootcamps pose any kind of threat to higher education or are they simply another much needed path to employment? To read or listen to the article click here.