Sharing Knowledge Is How We All Grow
Whether you’re a student, educator or reformer, we’re in this together. Browse by category or check out our latest featured articles below.
We are frequently asked for our thoughts on Income Share Agreements (ISAs) and if we would ever consider building an ISA of our own.
The question makes sense. Similar to Skills Fund’s outcomes-based financing model, ISAs - in theory - should align incentives between those enabling a student's education and a student's ultimate outcome. But in our extensive research and attempts to build a student-first version, we found otherwise.
In our latest whitepaper, Income Share Agreements: More Peril than Promise, Skills Fund assesses the reputational and...more
Skills Fund’s Chief Impact Officer, Yuanxia Ding, had the opportunity to speak about quality assurance and the future of outcomes-based education at this year’s QM Connect Conference. Yuanxia sat down with Deb Adair, Quality Matter’s Executive Director, to discuss trends and issues related to evaluating schools and determining student outcomes.
Breaking Into Startups is committed to helping underrepresented populations access and succeed in the tech industry. In a recent podcast episode, the team featured Skills Fund's CEO, Rick O'Donnell. Rick shared his thoughts on career transitions, education financing, and outcomes-driven higher education – check out the episode below!more
Insight’s full-time fellowship programs are designed to train students to become top data scientists in high-demand positions. In 7 short weeks, Insight Fellows learn the skills they need to begin a career in data science, data engineering, health data science, artificial intelligence, or data product management.more
Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Helio Training offers Utah's best hands-on full-stack coding bootcamps to help new and experienced software developers hone their skills. With immersive, part-time, and online courses in Full Stack Web Development as well as a part-time UX/UI program, there's an option for everyone to jump in and quickly skill up to a new career.more
More than 44 million Americans have some form of student loan debt, and the national student loan debt toll is over $1.5 trillion — and climbing. With so many people in debt, it is perhaps unsurprising that a number of borrowers are faced with difficulty in paying off their student loans.more
According to a recent Bloomberg article, Job postings for data scientists rose 75 percent from January 2015 to January 2018 at Indeed.com, while job searches for data scientist roles rose 65 percent. There’s a rising demand for data scientists throughout the country, and companies are scrambling to find talent in an unsaturated job market. Metis, an accredited data science training company, is working to fill that...more
A commercial driver's license (CDL) is a license that is required of drivers to operate heavy vehicles on USA roadways. There are several different classifications of CDL licenses based on the weight of the vehicle. The fastest and easiest way for someone to obtain their CDL license is to take a training course. Typically these courses are less than a month long. Due to the countrywide shortage of truck drivers, students who get their...more
Oftentimes, immigrants assume they are ineligible for student loans, but there are loan programs and options available specifically for international students and immigrants who are on student visas.
Immigrants may need to meet higher requirements or take extra steps to get a loan, though, so it’s important to understand the proper steps to take and what the best options are. This article has all the information you need on how to get a student loan as an immigrant.more
Our newest partner, the National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement (NIMAA), provides affordable education with progressive learning techniques, taught by national primary care experts with externships hosted in some of the most innovative primary care centers in the country. NIMAA prepares you for working in integrated, team-based primary care centers.more
Based in Austin, Texas and online, Inventive is a full service consulting and training company specializing in custom application development, software and team auditing, legacy and cloud migrations, IT Strategy, web and mobile development, continuous integration/continuous delivery, corporate training and full stack development bootcamps for people who want to learn to code and become software engineers. Inventive's pilot Full Stack Development Bootcamp, Inventive Academy, is making its debut on October 15th.more
An Effective Approach to Student Outcomes Answers Lingering Questions Around Program Quality & Workforce Development
A vast number of Americans are wrestling with how best to gauge the quality and economic returns of a college degree and workforce training credential.
From college freshman citing the likelihood of finding a job as the single most important reason to pursue a degree, to members of Congress exploring the expansion of federal post-secondary funding options for low-income Americans to attend unaccredited job training programs, the question remains of how best to...more
CyberVista is a cybersecurity training and workforce development company. Their mission is to create a cyber-ready workforce through personalized training programs that provide organizations with the people, knowledge and skills required to defend their most critical assets. Courses are designed to train teams at organizations on general or role-specific certifications.more
America is facing a truck driver shortage: according to an article recently posted in the New York Times, more than 50,000 truck drivers are needed by large freight companies right now. For anyone who is interested in becoming a truck driver, the first step to take is selecting your school. Deciding where to get your new education is a big choice, so use the tools below to determine what school to attend.more
Whether you're in-between jobs, traveling, or still searching for the perfect career opportunity, continuing to make on-time student loan payments can seem like a burden. Thankfully there are many options available to help you manage your payments while you're not getting a paycheck.more
If I told you ten years ago that yesterday I was able to order my lunch, ride a scooter, refill a prescription, and schedule an oil change - ALL from my phone - would you believe me?
More and more people are joining the technology bandwagon, using apps for just about every day-to-day task you can think of. The power of financial health and responsibility is gaining momentum, and managing money and budgeting is easier than ever with programs available at your fingertips. Here are the top-rated apps that Skills Fund recommends.more
First things first: congratulations! You've taken the first step in applying for an alternative form of higher education, and you're well on your way to transforming your skills, your income, and your future. So let's get down to business: you need to pay for your tuition. Is a Skills Fund loan the right option for you?more
You've done the hard work of getting enrolled into a program and taken the first steps towards changing your future. Financing should be the least of your worries - but unfortunately, there are people who want to profit off of you.
Recently, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued multiple warnings about student loan scams where students are being taken advantage of with the promise of having their student loans drastically reduced or forgiven altogether. If something seems like it's too good to be true - it probably is. We've created a guide to how you can...more
You're trying to pay back your student loans, but you're still trying to live your life. We get it.
Let's face it: having a portion of your paycheck every month go towards your student loans can put a bit of a damper on your mood. But there are ways to make repayments on your student loan while still being able to enjoy things that cost money - as long as you budget responsibly. It's true - let us prove it to you with three simple ideas.more
The decision between a private and public student loan should be a fully informed one. It's important for borrowers, no matter their age, educational background, or lending experience, to have full insight into where they are obtaining debt.
Public (Federal) and Private student loans are both a key element to affording school or college, but both options have different details that need to be understood before you click that "apply" button.more
All Skills Fund team members believe in the power of a transformative education, the effectiveness of our partner programs, and the outcomes for each and every student. Being a Skills Funder is not just being an employee - you're part of a team and culture that is constantly working to improve both professionally and personally. There's no better marriage than that of our professional development opportunities and our life-changing partner schools. Our Operations Associate, Caitlin, recently embarked on a journey to Seattle to attend...more
According to a recent study, roughly 80% of Americans are in debt. While it is possible to maintain a debt-free lifestyle, there are benefits to being able to borrow money and prove your credit worthiness. So how can you distinguish between debt that is bad, and debt that you can eventually benefit from?more
Based in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Academy at Suncoast Developers Guild provides students Web Development instruction encompassing front-end and back-end fundamentals along with a language specialization. By the end of the course, graduates will have the ability to create dynamic websites and applications as a professional programmer, as well as a deep understanding of what it takes to be a successful web developer in today’s job market.more
Since 2016, Carolina Career College has trained over 3,000 students to gain entry to careers within the Computer and Information Technology fields. They offer a variety of part-time career development programs at their campus in Durham, North Carolina, using hands-on training in an interactive and personal learning environment.more
Every day, students around the world are taking the first step by attending a coding, data science, or cybersecurity bootcamp. In the beginning of your bootcamp journey, it’s important to hit the ground running and stay on-track with the curriculum and course materials. According to Course Report’s 2017 Coding Bootcamp Market Size Study, The average bootcamp is 14.1 weeks long. That’s less than four months to receive what some compare to a year’s worth of knowledge.
So how do you ensure that...more
Founded in August 2017, TrueCoders seeks to fill the shortage of programmers available in the greater Birmingham, Alabama area by offering software development courses available in both full-time and part-time formats. TrueCoders focuses on practical, placeable knowledge, focused on real-world exercises and a combination of both tactical and soft skills.more
With student debt at an all-time high, and more and more lenders emerging onto the market, it can be hard to determine your best option when it comes to selecting your educational loan.
Applying for, and taking out, any sort of debt is a decision that carries a lot of weight - so it should be clear-cut, right? Why do lenders make it so difficult to understand the real cost of a student loan?
The answer is disappointingly simple: their incentives are not aligned with yours.
Skills Fund is education financing done right. We've blown up the...more
Founded in 2018 in Durham, North Carolina, Project Shift offers a 12-week Fullstack Immersive Software Engineering course. The course is offered four times a year, and the cohorts boast a 1:5 student-instructor ratio. Project Shift matches each student with an individual, experienced mentor who is a local software engineer. Throughout the course, students benefit from networking events, guest lecturers, and hands-on career training. At the end of the three-month program, Project Shift students are geared up to land a career in software engineering.more
Based in McEwen, Tennessee, North American Lineman Training Center (NALTC) offers a Pre-Apprentice Line-Worker program that skills students up to become professionally-trained linemen in just 15 weeks. The program ensures that each student has the working knowledge through classroom, lab & field work, and job-readiness preparation.more
Miami-based 4Geeks Academy offers a premiere part-time coding program that is designed to educate employed professionals from the ground-up on a schedule that works for everyone. Over the course of 16 weeks, students learn both the fundamentals and the advanced applications of web development.more
Based in Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina, Momentum offers an immersive full stack web and software development education through their Coding Foundations and Coding Immersive programs. Students move through the course and graduate with the skills and technical knowledge needed to establish a career. Founded by two directors from the pre-existing The Iron Yard bootcamp, Momentum has deep roots in the employer and recruitment network in North Carolina.more
Located in Greenville, South Carolina, Carolina Code School offers a full-time, 12-week Web Development course designed to prepare students for a career in software development. The program boasts experienced and passionate full-time instructors and courses designed to provide the best mentorship and guidance.more
Skills Fund stands out from the rest when it comes to our financing for a multitude of reasons, including our clear-cut financing (our loan calculator displays our rates for all to see), and our students-first mission (we won't partner with schools that don't offer a Return on Education).
Another way we've changed the game is with our unique offering of additional expense financing, to help...more
At Skills Fund, we live our mission every single day: connecting students with financing for educations that will change their lives. We're excited to announce a new type of partner: Smith & Solomon, a CDL (Commercial Driver's License) training program. With locations throughout Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, Smith & Solomon is one of the most well-known training centers on the East Coast.more
Today we're excited to announce our newest partnership with CareerFoundry. Every day, students from around the world log in online and learn new skills in UX Design, UI Design, Web Development, and iOS Development at their own pace. With graduates working at companies like Google, Apple, and Ebay, CareerFoundry is a one-stop-shop for a new and transformative career - no matter where you are. CareerFoundry has teamed up with Skills Fund to offer no-hassle financing for all of their courses.more
We make micro-decisions about our spending every single day.
- Should you spend an extra $100 to have a direct flight, rather than have a 3-hour layover?
- Should you spend an extra $10 to have your groceries delivered, rather than spend an hour browsing at the supermarket?
- Should you take the time to go to a retail store to buy an item, or should you spend the extra $8.95 to have it shipped to you (and get it a few days later)?
All of these questions are driven by the thought that your time has value - depending on the tasks you're doing, your...more
The world of work is changing. We're more connected than ever before, revolutionary technologies are emerging, and people are communicating in new languages every single day. Experts have estimated that over 5 million jobs will be lost to automation and technology by 2020 - which is why people need to become adaptive and gain skills that will ensure employment down the road. Let's dive into the jobs with the most growth potential.more
Much like any other form of technology, the engines and systems that run diesel trucks will become more and more complex as time moves forward - not to mention the increased demand in delivery vehicles as exceeding amounts of people order goods online. Virtually everything we purchase has traveled on a diesel truck at some point in its journey to you.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 263,900 diesel technicians currently working in the United States, but between 40-50% of those...more
As we enter 2018, everyone gets to work on creating new resolutions and agendas for the coming year. There's no better time than the beginning of a year to make plans for reorganization and revamp, which is why everyone is starting a new diet, picking out their books to read for the year, or fine-tuning their updated workout routine. For people who want a change in their professional life, a new career for 2018 is well within reach with a number of cutting-edge educational programs quickly gaining popularity. Let's take a deep-dive into what opportunities are out there!more
At Skills Fund, we live our mission every single day: connecting students with financing for educations that will change their lives. We're excited to announce a new type of partner: American Diesel Training Centers (ADTC), based in Columbus, Ohio. Over the course of more than 300 hours of hands-on training utilizing state-of-the-art curriculum and online tools, students learn the in's and out's of preventative maintenance, electrical, brakes, diagnostics, emissions, safe practices, and knowledge of tools. Using ADTC's partnership with Skills Fund, eligible students can borrow $7,500 for...more
As 2017 comes to a close, the Skills Fund team looks back proudly on what we've accomplished with you this year. In partnership with the best skills-training programs in the world, we've equipped more students than ever with an education and funding to fuel a transformed future.
To our partners: We're so proud to be partnered with you, and are grateful for the opportunity to propel student access to your career-changing programs. We can't wait to see where 2018 takes you - whether it's new campuses, new programs, or more.
Our newest partner, Covalence, offers in-person and online courses in Full Stack Development. With campuses in Birmingham, AL, Nashville, TN, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Huntsville, AL, and Chattanooga, TN, Covalence touts over 100 graduates who have gone on to work for companies like UPS and Bank of America. Students can enter the program with no previous experience, and Covalence will equip them with the skills they need to become full stack developers in just ten weeks.more
Look out, Tennessee! Nashville Software School offers students immersive Web Development, Web Design, Data Science, and UI/UX Design training in their part-time and full-time programs. As a community-focused non-profit, Nashville Software School leads the way in preparing adults for the next step in their career. Skills Fund is proud to announce that we've teamed up with them to offer financing for their program tuition and additional cost of living.more
It's a fact: women are underrepresented in technology. We've created a woman's guide to the bootcamp space. Here's an outline of the lay of the land when it comes to attending a bootcamp, and a list of some bootcamps that are stepping up to the plate and offering scholarships for women and underrepresented groups in tech.more
Last Updated: November 28th, 2017
You’ve made up your mind: you want to attend a bootcamp. First things first – congrats on making the wonderful decision to accelerate your education and jumpstart to a great job. Soon you’ll be on the fast track to a rewarding and high-paying career. But getting into a bootcamp isn’t that easy, and you need to thoroughly prepare for the admissions process in order to get accepted.
We’ve spoken to some of our accelerated learning program partners and got the lowdown: what do you need to do to get into, and prepare for,...more
At Skills Fund, we're on a mission to connect as many students as possible with funding for an education that will help them change their life. Student lending can sometimes be smoke-and-mirrors - and that's not fair to any student. We want you to be completely informed during every step of the process, because this is about your future. We've created a step-by-step guide to exactly what happens when you apply for Skills Fund financing. Check it out!more
Knowing your credit score is important to maintaining financial health and awareness. It's recommended that you pull your credit score at least once per year to check for any changes or errors. But it's not as easy as it seems: it's a wealth of information on 5+ pages - and it can be difficult to digest unless you have a guide.
We're on a mission to empower students with financial clarity. Let us be your guide to understanding how to read your credit report.more
Whether you're looking to skill up, or you've hit a crossroads in your career and don't know where to turn, turning to higher education may be the answer. If you're not interested in going back to school, and you're still looking for additional opportunities to build your skills, there are a world of alternatives available. Let's dig deep and explore several alternatives to a master's degree program.more
With the bootcamp industry rapidly growing, the process of picking the right bootcamp may seem overwhelming at first. Thankfully there is an abundance of resources available online to help you research what's what and select the perfect bootcamp to help you skill up and launch your career. Start with these top six places to research coding and technology bootcamps.more
You want to revolutionize your education and define your financial future. You’ve narrowed it down: there's a booming demand for jobs in web development, data science, and cybersecurity. One of the ways you can learn those skills is to attend a four-year college with a six-digit price tag. Alternatively, you can jump into an aggressive and immersive bootcamp that gives you the skills you need, for a tenth of the price tag in just a couple of months.
For the first time in higher education, schools are building curriculum that matches future labor demand while educating students at an...more
Last updated: October 18, 2017
Many barriers have once stood between a student and a high-quality skills education. Finances. Time. Location.
We're on a mission to shatter those barriers. Originally a major obstacle, the location of a program is now less of a concern for many students thanks to new programs all across the country and online.
The growth has greatly expanded access, as students no longer need to face the cost and consequences of moving cities to attend a bootcamp. Programs are now available in a...more
The decision to attend an accelerated learning program is huge. The curriculum you learn, the instructors who guide you, and the connections you make while in the program will become pivotal to your success and future career.
There are over 100 bootcamps in the United States. While you're determining which one to attend, you'll look at some obvious factors such as location,...more
Making the decision to go back to school is a tough one: you're making a commitment of both time and money, and the education you receive will impact the rest of your life. With the recent rise in accelerated learning programs like coding bootcamps, many students are weighing the pros and cons of swapping out their master's degree for a bootcamp program. Which one should you pick?more
Get this: Skills Fund is unlike any other student financing platform. Just look at our mission: We believe in positive Return on Education (RoE), so we don't finance students to attend crappy bootcamps. If a bootcamp isn't completely invested in a student's future - and there aren't proveable outcomes - we won't partner with them.more
There are many different reasons why a student might attend a bootcamp. Perhaps they want to refine their existing skills, learn a new language, or dive into a new career. For students who are uprooting their lives to enroll in a program, a major motivator is the fact that there are thousands of well-paying jobs available to bootcamp graduates due to the current technology job shortage. So how much are bootcamp graduates making, and what kind of potential salary is available after those few months? While we're not a crystal ball, there are a number of ways that you can get an idea of what...more
At Skills Fund, we're all about access: both to a new career and to no-strings-attached financing. We live and breathe our mission every day, working tirelessly to create new partnerships and enable as many students as possible. We're proud to announce a new type of financing - Access Loans. Now, students traditionally denied from financing may be given the opportunity to move forward with an Access Loan.more
More and more students are changing their lives every day by skilling up at an accelerated learning program. Leaving your job (and your paycheck) behind is daunting, but it's also extremely rewarding. In those few months where money will be tight, it's a great idea to practice these five money-saving tips.more
Almost everything about our day involves sophisticated technology: from the alarm clock we snooze in the morning, to the remote we use to start a Netflix binge in the evening. We’ve started to use “smart” technology, like NEST thermostats and the Alexa from Amazon. But just as the amount of technology we use increases, so does the amount of information we’re providing to outside parties.
Cybersecurity is no longer a concept that’s limited to sci-fi movies: it’s more real than ever. Each and every one of us faces threats to our security, our data, and our personal details on a daily...more
Historically, others have made student loans complicated. You're thrown into a whirlwind of paperwork, hazy statistics, and confusing words. After the dust settles, you're still not sure what you signed up for, who you're working with, or what extra fees will be involved with your financing. What's up with that?
As a student, you have a right to feel empowered about the steps you're taking towards your education and your career. Before taking out a student loan, take the time to familiarize yourself with the process and the terms you see most often.more
You've taken an important stride towards altering your professional future; you have been accepted to a high-quality coding, data science, or entrepreneurial bootcamp. But what's the best way to pay for it?
Whether it’s your first time attending a coding, data science, UX/UI design, cybersecurity, or entrepreneurial bootcamp, or you’ve gone down this path before, leaving your job behind to dive into an immersive and intensive program takes financial gusto. Bootcamp tuition averages a ticket price of...more
When it comes to money, it's hard to not live in a constant stressful state of mind. Where are you spending your money between paychecks? What happens if there's a sudden unexpected expense, and you have no backup plan?
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve, the average American household has $16,425 in credit card debt, and that number is growing rapidly each and every year.
Although you might feel underwater, you're in luck:...more
Nestled in the growing tech hub of Boise, Idaho, BoiseCodeWorks offers full- and part-time coding courses to students over the course of 12 weeks. BoiseCodeWorks offers an Immersive Full Stack program, as well as two part-time programs: Web Foundations and Back End & Game Dev. Backed by the power of eager, top-notch instructors and a quick-paced curriculum, BoiseCodeWorks equips students with all the skills they need to graduate and become true web and software developers.more
Starting in early 2016, Skills Fund and Thinkful have partnered up to offer clear-cut financing to Thinkful students to help them pay for their program tuition. Together, we're excited to announce a new financing option for Thinkful part-time programs: In addition to an Immediate Repayment loan option, Thinkful students can now select an Interest Only loan, which allows them to make interest-only payments while they're enrolled at Thinkful and for two months after program completion.more
By definition, coding is a new type of skill, accompanied by a brand new library of terms, technologies, and ways of learning. With the introduction of programming designed for children (such as Scratch), it is now common to see coding integrated into the curriculum of preschools and kindergarten classrooms.
Just as the learning format has been adapted for learners of a younger age, there's also been a movement of teaching seniors how to code. Older coders and computer programmers seek...more
Every year, veterans utilize the GI Bill, which provides veterans with benefits towards health and education after they've returned from service.
Traditional higher education such as universities and colleges accept the GI bill as payment towards tuition. Up until recently, technology bootcamps weren't eligible for GI bill funding - but the tide is now turning. More and more bootcamps are going through the process of being approved for GI Bill tuition funding. In addition, many bootcamps are partnering up with colleges and universities to offer their curriculum to students, which...more
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, adult learners are the fastest growing segment in the higher education market. After receiving a bachelors degree and working for several years, adults are returning to school to either skill up on new technologies and languages, or to restart their career in a different field. Accelerated learning programs (a.k.a. bootcamps) are an innovative way to quickly give people relevant skills - with a lower price tag than a traditional four-year degree.
Like any other life change, going back to school is often seen as a source of...more
Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies in the USA, was hacked and over 140 million Americans had their entire credit history stolen, including Social Security Numbers, names, birth dates, addresses, drivers license numbers, any bankruptcies within the last seven years, and more.
So what happens next, and what do you need to do to protect yourself?more
Objective-C is a traditional programming language that's been around for 30 years. In 2014, Apple announced a new open-source programming language, Swift, which is seen by many as a faster alternative to Objective-C. Swift is a high-level language, meaning that it takes less time and fewer commands to accomplish a task. Swift is the language that new applications are built in for Mac OS X and iOS platforms.more
Traditional marketing works a little like this: businesses funnel efforts (manpower, budgets, time) into getting as many customers as possible. Growth marketing, takes that age-old method and tweaks it slightly. Rather than attempting to get as many customers as possible, growth marketing attempts to get as many lifelong customers as possible, in order to facilitate a relationship the company can benefit from for as long as the company is around.more
Utah and Online-based bootcamp Bottega offers full- and part-time web development programs. Since the program began, each Bottega cohort has graduated equipped with the skills to become web developers and software developers. Bottega's course can be taken full or part- time, at their campus in Lehi, Utah or fully online.more
There's a reason why ordering pizza online has become much more popular than ordering over the phone: it's easier, causes less room for error, and is usually quicker. The website knows your order and your address before you even start. Whenever you post an update to Facebook or submit an online pizza order, you're interacting with the user experience of an application. The website's interface was meticulously studied and tested, with the intention of producing an easy-to-use and user-friendly experience.
Day-to-day interactions are quickly shifting online, and in response, there's a...more
For certain types of student loans, there is a phase in which students are able to make interest-only payments (or no payments) after graduating and completing their program. This time is seen as a "grace period" where students can dedicate their time to securing a source of income prior to going into full repayment. This presents a great opportunity where financial commitment is somewhat postponed - but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be top-of-mind.more
If you're one of the 44.2 million Americans with student loan debt, you've probably thought about how you can better manage the amount you owe or the payments you need to make. Student loan refinancing gives students the ultimate weight-off-your-shoulders by lowering your interest rate and/or reducing your monthly payments.more
For years, California has been named one of the best places to live, work, and explore. If you're interested in learning in one of the most beautiful places in the USA (average of 175 sunny days a year!) look no further than Skills Fund's coding and technology bootcamp partners in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego.more
Look out, Chicago! Skills Fund's newest partner, Evolve Security Academy, offers a 17-week in-person bootcamp dedicated to advancing students careers into the cybersecurity world. Skills Fund now offers fixed-rate, clear-cut loans for Evolve Security Academy's tuition and additional cost of living while in the program. Together, we're empowering as many students as possible with a transformative skills-based training.more
In the age of easy travel, work-from-home policies and growing spontaneity, more and more young adults are renting homes instead of buying - despite the clear value of homeownership. As a response, rent prices in large technology hubs (San Francisco, Washington D.C., NYC) have skyrocketed. If you're looking to move to an area with a great technology community plus a rent payment that's easy on the...more
Cybersecurity and Data Science are at the forefront of the digital learning space. Forbes magazine's prediction of a 2-million cybersecurity job shortage comes just in time for a new variety of accelerated learning programs to emerge - and Divergence Academy is leading the pack. Skills Fund is excited to partner up with Divergence Academy to offer tuition and cost...more
Skills Fund's Founder & CEO, Rick O'Donnell, had the opportunity to speak on The Edtech Podcast about the Skills Fund model and bootcamps as a new form of higher ed. Want to know what's next for Skills Fund? Listen below!more
A 401(k) is a special retirement savings plan which is sponsored by and contributed to from an employer. It gives employees a tax break on money that goes towards retirement. Employees sign up for a certain amount of their paycheck to go directly into a special account, and many employers match the amount that employees put in. A 401(k) is a great way to prepare for your future and set aside money for down the road.more
When it comes to analyzing learning formats, it's clear that the way we absorb information is shifting from the printed space to the digital space. But with that being said, let's get something straight: books are not a lost art: more than 1,562,891 books have been published this year! [source] When you're gearing up to learn a new skill, you want to grab on to as much educational material as possible - including...more
Resumes are just one portion of your coding bootcamp application - accompanied by your portfolio of projects, GitHub profile and collection of recommendations. But by no means should they be overlooked! Coding and technology bootcamps are a recent addition to the higher education space, so the way you present your bootcamp education in your resume is a little different compared to what you may be used to.more
"Money" and "Relax" never really show up together in the same sentence. Things can get tense, especially if you've taken out student loans. With the right combination of grit, organization, and prioritization, anyone can become relaxed about their money - just take these folks for example.more
No matter where you get your education, there's always a benefit to fine-tuning your knowledge and brushing up on the newest technology. People all over the world can benefit from learning coding and technology schools online with the best blogs and forums around. We've created our list of favorites. Check them out and let us know what you think!more
What's all the hype around ISAs?
Income Share Agreements (ISAs) have recently come to light as an alternative payment vehicle for various forms of higher ed (including coding and technology bootcamps). To put it simply, when you enter an Income Share Agreement with your school, you're agreeing to pay no or little tuition upfront, and in return, you're giving the school a big chunk of your paycheck after you've secured employment.more
You deserve to have your financial future in your hands - not someone else's. (After all - it's your future, and you should be empowered!) With that being said, often times lenders require borrowers with no credit or impaired credit scores to add a cosigner to their application. Why? Because lenders do not know whether or not you'll pay your debt if you have no history of on-time payments. Here are three tell-tale signs that might mean you need to add a cosigner to your loan application.more
According to a recent study done by Indeed, the overwhelming majority (99.8%) of employers who have hired a bootcamp graduate say they would do so again. Towards the end of your bootcamp, you'll start to work on your resume and LinkedIn profile. You've heard the basic tips - check for typos, add references, plug in relevant keywords - but with the increase of recent bootcamp graduates (22,949 in 2017 up from 15,077 in 2016, according to...more
WHAT IT MEANS FOR SKILLS FUND & WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU
Skills Fund takes our informal motto very seriously: “We don’t finance students to attend crappy programs.” Skills Fund believes that a student’s personal and financial investment in higher ed should lead to a real “Return on Education.”
“Return on Education” is a term we’ve adapted from “Return on Investment”. When a student invests his or her time and money in a program, we want to equate the skills obtained in program with a real return.
We take a new approach to...more
According to a study done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average middle-aged person has held 11 jobs in their lifetime. As a new technology landscape emerges - jobs are coming onto the market, demanding a new skill set and publishing great outcomes data. So how can you find a job - and then stay in it? Coding has been rated as the #1 job in America, and this is why.more
Students who borrow money for their bootcamp tuition often times don't understand the pros and cons of their choices - because they're not fully informed about how to use their borrowed money efficiently. Skills Fund is all about making sure our borrowers are as financially literate and empowered as possible! We've gathered up a few tips: here's what you should avoid doing after you take out any type of loan.more
With the introduction of new technologies (and the discontinued use of others), the demand for certain technical skills grows. The skills needed for a tech-savvy job in 2010 are vastly different from the skills needed in a modern-day role. We've compared and contrasted several old and new jobs - and even made a few predictions for the future of technology jobs.more
After you attend an immersive bootcamp, you're well on your way to a new job and career. That success might bring about a higher paycheck - but that doesn't mean you should spend it all in one place! Follow our after-bootcamp budgeting tips and discover the best way to manage your money - no matter how much you are making.more
Bloc & Skills Fund believe the power of a transformational, outcomes-based education should be available to students from coast-to-coast. Today, we're announcing a powerful new initiative to offer low monthly payment loans towards tuition for the Software Developer, Web Developer, and Designer tracks.more
Cyber Security is one of the newest skills to be introduced to the educational space. Our online presence is greater than ever, and more attacks and information leaks happen daily. In response to the increase in these threats, Cyber Security bootcamps are popping up to equip students with the training needed to defend the world wide web. Experts predict there will be a global shortage of two million cyber security professionals by 2019, according to...more
Financial stability is one of the key factors to becoming a successful and career-minded individual. There is a multitude of options for personal financing, and it's important to weigh your options before you make any decision regarding taking out a loan or borrowing money. When you are applying for a loan, make sure you ask these questions. (Psst... if you're applying for a Skills Fund loan, we've answered these questions for you!)more
As technology ebbs and flows, the languages that build applications and websites change to reflect growing demand for security, versatility, and device compatibility. Keeping up with the in-demand languages is vital for any technology-savvy individual – especially someone who wants to build a career in tech. Look at the top programming languages of 2016, and compare them to the top programming languages of 2017, according to our partner Coding Dojo. We've also included our insight into what languages will...more
Students should never have a geographical barrier to their education. Skills Fund is proud to work with bootcamps all over the United States. If you're looking to get new skills in the city of Seattle, look no further than our coding bootcamp partners in Seattle.more
This piece is a cross-post, originally posted from our awesome partner, Metis.
For Emily Hough-Kovacs, it’s not just about the final product when it comes to music. It’s about the intricacies of production, the record label dealings, and the entire creative and business process. Now a Data Scientist at music streaming giant Spotify, where she works on the Creator Products Insights Team, her daily work aligns with her interest in the creative music process from start to finish – and she’s...more
When you're a student, you need to budget. Making minimal interest payments until after you've secured post-bootcamp employment is a great way of keeping your dollars in order, which is why Skills Fund loans for bootcamps are a student-friendly way to pay for your tuition. Jumping into an immersive education is exciting, but the prospect of moving to a student's budget might be a little scary. Balance your coding bootcamp budget and keep your finances in order with our tips & tricks.more
After graduating from college in California, Brian worked in education for a few years as a teacher and guitar instructor. Eventually, he realized his aptitude for technology and coding - and the rest is history. He attended Tech Elevator’s Columbus Java cohort and went on to land a career as an Applications Developer at JPMorgan Chase.more
After realizing he wanted a career change, Mark wound up in San Francisco with a game plan and a desire for a new challenge. After learning about and visiting several San Francisco-based bootcamps, Mark dove into the UX Design Immersive Program at GrowthX Academy. We checked in with him during his fifth week to see how it’s going.more
Building and maintaining healthy credit opens up the door to many opportunities, including a lower cost of borrowing money, lower rental deposits, and smaller monthly payments when purchasing a car or home. While it takes awhile to build credit, it doesn't take long for your credit score to plummet. Here are five surprising things you could do to harm your...more
After you've made your decision to attend a training program and learn a new skill, you're well on your way to a new career. The only checkbox left unmarked is the part where you figure out how to pay the cost of tuition. Programs with a Skills Fund partnership have made it as easy as possible for students to pay the cost of their tuition through a loan with low monthly payments. We've outlined exactly what you need before moving forward and applying for a Skills Fund loan.more
Get this: We're the only lender who provides students with their interest rate, general APR, and monthly payment amounts BEFORE asking them for any information. Why? Because we're not a traditional lending company. For us, this is personal. Everything we do is students-first. For the past five years, student debt has skyrocketed. The blame gets placed on a number of factors - including greedy colleges, shady lenders, and a lack of financial knowledge. There's no Return on Education. Think about it: when a student doesn't get a good outcome, who is...more
It's fascinating to see how visual design has changed over the past few decades. In the 70s and 80s, it was all about print design: newspapers, magazines, and books. With the introduction of mainstream technology, focus shifted towards digital design in the 90s. At the turn of the millennium, web design and user interface design came into play. Now there's less of a focus on art, and more of a focus on usability. Present Day: Everything moves quickly, from the cars we drive to the information we send over the internet. With this newfound focus on agility, society has...more
It’s 2017. Technology is changing rapidly. The devices we’re using today will become inferior technology within the next ten years, and society will have moved on to the bigger and better thing. Students entering the market for a career need to keep their head on a swivel and look five years in advance – always asking the questions “will my job exist in the future, or will I be replaced by a robot?” or “Will the skills I’m learning today still be applicable after everything becomes automated?” or “Am I at risk of being replaced by outsourcing or role consolidation?”more
Think back to the last time you were a student. For me, I immediately get flashbacks of french fries and quesadillas - quick, on-the-go food with less than ideal nutritional value. Studies have shown that when it comes to your brainpower, you are what you eat. Bootcamp students: Use this guide to pick out what you can prepare quickly at home and bring to your classroom. Bon appetit!more
Sometimes, money stinks. You work hard to earn it, you can't seem to hold on to it, and you have to spend time keeping track of it. We're all on the same page. There are tons of mobile applications available to help you manage your budget and finances. We've narrowed down the best of the best.
Downloading the best budget app will help you save money, set aside money for upcoming rent and expenses, and ultimately avoid overdraft fees, fines and late fees.more
Nathan knew he wanted to become a software developer, but needed something more intense than studying by himself. After looking into several different programs, Nathan decided on Tech Elevator after seeing the commitment they put into developing their students - both as coders and as career-ready graduates. Nathan graduated from Tech Elevator and landed a job as a Software Developer at a reputable software company in Cleveland.more
Last Updated 1/25/18
According to Course Report's 2017 Coding Bootcamp Market Size Report, the average length of a program bootcamp is 14.1 weeks (around 3.5 months.) There are over 100 bootcamps in the United States today, with lengths ranging from one day up to six months (and longer!) How do you determine how long you want to be in a bootcamp for? We're here to help.more
Every day, students from around the world pack up their lunches and head to a on-campus coding bootcamp. But what if you want to code from your home? Learning to code online is as easy as ever - and for Skills Fund bootcamp partner programs, the curriculum and outcomes are just as great as in-person immersive programs. Here's a list of our partner bootcamps who offer some (or all) of their programs in an online format.more
Beth Qiang, Fullstack Academy alumnus, first learned how to program while she was working as a data analytics consultant. But, after attending a Python conference in the summer of 2016, Beth instantly recognized her calling to become a Software Engineer.
Part Three: Advice for bootcamp attendees & where she is now!
This Q&A is the final part of a series of three. Follo...more
Milwaukee-based devCodeCamp is a Skills Fund school partner. We've teamed up with devCodeCamp to offer tuition and cost of living financing for their Software Development Bootcamp. devCodeCamp transforms students into highly capable and motivated individuals through their project-based, in-person program.more
In this series, we’re following Lawrence, a student currently in Ironhack's Miami Full-Time Web Development cohort. First things first: We’ve chatted with Lawrence before he jumped into the program to learn more about what he’s looking forward to about Ironhack!more
With online and in-person programs in seven cities spanning across the United States, students can access an immersive Coding Dojo education wherever they go. In Coding Dojo's innovative three-stack approach to curriculum, students study for 14 weeks & graduate with full stack development knowledge. Skills Fund is excited to be partnering up with Coding Dojo to provide tuition and living expense financing to Onsite Bootcamp students.more
In your search for a bootcamp to attend, you’ve probably crossed paths with the term “Full Stack Developer” or “Full Stack Program”. What does this term mean, and what makes it different from other types of development and coding?more
After spending more than six years in one job role, Rachel set out on a quest to find a more challenging and fulfilling career. After witnessing the success of the bootcamp model secondhand, she decided to enroll into Tech Elevator’s .NET class. Now she’s successfully employed & is full-steam ahead in a career with unlimited potential.more
CodeFellows PDX's courses are designed to jumpstart students of all skill levels into a coding career they'll love. Located in Portland, Oregon, students can choose between three courses - 201, 301, and 401 - and may attend any combination of the courses as well.more
The process of making on-time loan payments is one of the most important steps to becoming a knowledgeable and credit-worthy borrower. Everything we do at Skills Fund is students-first - so we've taken the extra step to outline how to make payments on your Skills Fund loan.more
Look out, Orange County! Located in Santa Ana, Skills Fund's newest partner, Redwood Code Academy is at the heart of Southern California's technology metropolis. We're on a mission to enable an education for students from coast to coast - and the west is no exception. Redwood Code Academy's Full Software Immersion bootcamp gives students the skills to become stellar software developers and launch a career they love.more
Our newest partner, DeltaV Code School, offers a breadth of beginner-to-advanced curriculum centered around software development. In partnership with programming from Code Fellows, students may take one, two or three “codes” – ranging from one day courses up to 18 week programs. Courses take place at their Cedar Rapids, Iowa campus, in an awesome building which also includes a virtual reality and prototyping lab.more
Imagine stepping into the classroom on the first day of kindergarten: you’re very curious, kind of scared, and eager to learn what’s next. Your first day of a tech bootcamp will be kind of similar, but with less singing and fingerpainting. Things will move quickly (it’s accelerated, after all!) and before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to gaining new skills and launching a new career.more
Skills Fund partners with bootcamps from coast-to-coast. Where do you want to learn? There are a number of tech bootcamps in Northern California. Are you looking to code Python by the Pacific? Objective-C by the ocean? Explore our San Francisco-based bootcamp partners and find the one that’s perfect for you! Who knows - the opportunity to learn through an immersive education is probably at your doorstep.more
Beth Qiang, Fullstack Academy alumnus, first learned how to program while she was working as a data analytics consultant. But, after attending a Python conference in the summer of 2016, Beth instantly recognized her calling to become a Software Engineer.
Part Two: Learn more about Beth's bootcamp research and what financing options she chose.
This Q&A is part two of a series of three. Follo...more
Let’s talk about Higher Ed. Let’s talk about Skills Fund.
Take a look at the last five years in higher education. After attending college (more than likely a $150,000 hole in your pocket), you’re either (a) going to a middle-of-the-road job with no career advancement in sight, (b) forcing yourself into a back-breaking internship to get where you need to “be”, or (c) realizing that you need to attend another two, four, or even eight years to obtain the “level of education” you need – whether it’s a Doctorate or a...more
So, you’ve gotten into a skills training program! Now you have to figure out how to pay for it. You’ve weighed the options – credit card? 401k? Payment plan? – and landed on Skills Fund. Congrats! Skills Fund is dedicated to enabling all students with clear-cut and easy financing, because money shouldn’t be an obstacle to keep you from getting a transformative education.more
Beth Qiang, Fullstack Academy alumnus, first learned how to program while she was working as a data analytics consultant. But, after attending a Python conference in the summer of 2016, Beth instantly recognized her calling to become a Software Engineer.
Part One: Follow Beth's decision to attend a Fullstack Academy's prestigious bootcamp program.
This Q&A is part one of a series of three. ...more
“How do I build my credit score?” is a question that we get asked all too often. Whether you’re looking to build credit for the first time, build your credit quickly, or fix your credit, there are a number of steps that you can take to get your score where it needs to be for the best financing terms.more
The question: We’ve been asked if it is a conflict of interest for Skills Fund to facilitate efforts to create clear student outcomes reporting standards.
The answer: Is it a conflict of interest for Whole Foods to facilitate a standards setting process to define what organic and sustainable farming means for its supplier base? No.
It is Whole Foods doing well by doing good: helping an entire industry of farmers follow best practices so that consumers are protected (and benefiting Whole Foods' competitors in the process, as competitors source...more
In early March, Skills Fund announced an effort with 15 bootcamps to create a nationally unified set of graduation and job placement standards, via a single, straightforward, and consumer-friendly data table.
In response, more than 45 universities, bootcamps, and employers asked to join the effort. The Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR) is already up to 31 members — the largest coalition of its kind, ever.
Now with the release of the first set of school outcomes data under these standards, there is an...more
Tech bootcamps and accelerated learning programs have taken higher education to the next level. In Course Report’s 2016 study, an estimated 17,966 bootcamp graduates entered the workforce in 2016 – that’s up from 10,333 in 2015. So what kind of jobs are these graduates getting? Check out this list, set your eyes on your end goal, and then jump into a bootcamp to revolutionize your career.more
Everyone wants to stay ahead of the curve. With the ever-changing revolution of technology, frameworks, languages and coding infrastructures come and go. In this year’s Stack Overflow survey, over 64,000 developers reported on their most commonly used languages. Take it from them: these are the languages that you should learn if you want to level up your coding skills and get a great career.more
You've taken the first step to transforming your future by attending a bootcamp, but now you need to decide HOW you want to learn. One of the best benefits of modern-day education is flexibility: You can attend an in-person, on-campus bootcamp, or you can get your education online from the convenience of your home with either a self-paced or structured online program. Both methods of learning have their own merits and produce great results. The easiest way to select which program type to attend is to weigh the pros and cons to see which format is best for you.more
This question gets asked all the time, but let's be honest: there's no right answer. There is no "best" language to learn when it comes to programming because all programmers should have experience in more than one language so they can pick and choose what works best in what scenario. Languages often coexist and work together, and you'll find yourself needing to learn one in order to use the other.
The easiest way to answer this question is to first decide what you want to build, and what framework you want to build them in. Let's get started.more
The productivity of humanity has shifted into high-gear. Everything we do is accelerated, expeditious, and can change at a moment's notice. This change is directly noticeable in the tech industry, where new designs and new intelligent products are emerging into the marketplace. As a response, new programming initiatives and languages have come into play, and people need a fast and effective way of learning those skills.
Enter the innovative bootcamp model. Rather than spending four years in a traditional educational setting, bootcamps and accelerated learning programs give you the...more
Skills Fund is excited to welcome our newest bootcamp partner, Eleven Fifty Academy!
Eleven Fifty Academy is a non-profit organization based in Carmel, Indiana, in a 30,000-sq. ft. property owned by entrepreneur and inventor Scott A. Jones. Off-site seminars are hosted in beautiful spaces such as theaters...more
When a coding school advertises a job placement rate of 65% or 80% or 95%, what does that mean? Does that number include every student who graduated? Is it only students hired in full-time coding jobs for which they went to school, or does it include part-time gigs and full-time waiter positions?
Having examined the quality of nearly 200 bootcamps in our quest to ensure we don’t finance students to attend crappy programs, Skills Fund has seen nearly every permutation on outcomes reporting. While there have been a few (very few, thankfully) reported instances of...more
Hack Reactor was founded in 2012 by brothers Marcus and Tony Phillips to provide students a life-altering educational experience with an outcomes-focused approach. In addition to the original San Fransisco-based Hack Reactor campus, they have now unified their network of schools, including Telegraph Academy and MakerSquare, all under the prestigious Hack Reactor brand.
Recognizing the shared values, curriculum and quality throughout every location and program in the network, the schools will now be rebranded as Hack Reactor Austin, Hack Reactor Los Angeles, Hack Reactor San...more
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, tonight, we wrap up our week-long series Rethinking College with a look at students who are choosing cheaper and shorter computer coding training as an alternative to a college degree.
Hari Sreenivasan has our report.
WES REID, Galvanize Instructor: We’re going to just be taking notes.
HARI SREENIVASAN: It’s called a high-tech boot camp, six months of intense work that turns a beginner computer coder into a software engineer.
Epicodus is the newest Skills Fund partner bootcamp!
Founder Michael Kaiser started Epicodus in 2012 in response to a growing talent gap in the Software Industry. Kaiser found it difficult to hire qualified programmers for his software company, and as he talked with other employers he discovered he wasn't alone. At the same time, many people in the greater Portland area were struggling to find work. Epicodus was created to teach practical software developer skills so that people could get great jobs and companies could hire the staff they...more
Skills Fund is proud to be a V School partner!
Founded on the belief that "better humans make better companies," V School aims to improve the human experience by continuing to modernize career education, accelerating career readiness and increasing community engagement.
V School bridges the gap between online and immersive programs through an innovative hybrid model. All classes can be completed online, and students in the classroom use the school's interactive learning program to work in "paired sessions" with students online.
At V School, all content is taught through...more
A big welcome to our newest bootcamp partner, NYC Data Science Academy!
NYCDSA brings seasoned expertise to the world of Data Science education. The program grew out of SupStat Inc., a team of data science and big data professionals with more than 30 years of combined experience. Today, NYCDSA brings together some of the most renowned data scientists in the industry as instructors and mentors.
NYCDSA enables students to master skills through a series of real-world projects. The program arms graduates with a solid understanding of the entire data analytics process - including...more
Transparency is the new authenticity. And rightfully so. In direct response to a traditional higher ed system that lacks attention to student skills training and post-graduation outcomes, the bootcamp model has expanded rapidly with more than 36,000 graduates since 2012 (according to Course Report’s 2016 Market Sizing Report).
The industry agrees that it’s time to seize and secure a common path forward to provide increased transparency and outcomes reporting....more
We're extending a big welcome to Ironhack, the latest Skills Fund partner bootcamp!
The first web development and mobile bootcamp established in Spain, Ironhack recently opened their inaugural U.S.-based campus in Miami. All students at the Miami campus are now eligible for Skills Fund financing.
We're pleased to introduce Flatiron School as the latest bootcamp in the growing Skills Fund network.
Known for being the first programming school in the world to independently audit student outcomes, Flatiron's dedication to students has earned them recognition as one of the top coding bootcamps.
Skills Fund financing is available to students enrolled at Flatiron's online campus...more
But how do you know what’s crappy or not?
Skills Fund takes our informal motto very seriously: “We don’t finance students to attend crappy programs.” In the last five months, we’ve looked at dozens of bootcamps to determine the high-quality ones from the, well, crappy ones.
We’ve chosen not to partner with about 25% of the schools we’ve looked at. What did we learn as we conducted due diligence and underwrote bootcamp quality?
One of the most common questions we get here at Bloc is: “Don’t I need a Computer Science Degree to become a developer?”
The answer, in our opinion, is no. Last year President Obama pointed to bootcamps –saying “It turns out it doesn’t matter where you learned code, it just matters how good you are at writing code.” He was referring to an economic shift from a credential-based economy to a skill-based economy. Employers and hiring managers care less about where you went to school and...more
After conversations with dozens of coding school founders and their students over the last several months, Tip O’Neill’s famous line that “all politics is local” keeps coming back to me, but in the form of “all coding is local.”
Regularly, I see public figures and news stories proclaiming a “tech talent shortage” or by...more
Introducing our newest high-quality accelerated learning programs; spanning from coast to coast and enabling skills-training throughout the country. To learn more about each partner program, click on the links below:
- RefactorU (Boulder, Colorado): Full Stack Java Training. First and only bootcamp in the country to accept the GI Bill
- We Can Code IT (Cleveland, Ohio): Front end development and back-end programming on .NET framework
The long established system of educating new software engineers is seriously broken. Software engineers need to be able to build large, scalable, flexible and responsive applications quickly and effectively with a team of developers. Build and deliver. If you can do that, any sensible hiring manager, on the planet, will hire you. If you can’t do that, good luck.
This is what colleges and universities should be doing when they develop their computer science programs; however, they are not currently completing this basic task. If the developer bootcamp...more
I’m ready to make a bet. At some point in your recent history, you and your credit score collided. Whether in applying for a credit card, seeking a federal student loan, purchasing a home, buying a car, or leasing an apartment, you’ve most likely had that sneaky little number influence your next step.
Anytime you seek out financing, someone will run...more
Built In Austin: As we reported last week, 2015 was another year of healthy growth for Austin's digital technology sector. Many young companies matured through new investments or exited in larger deals, making room for new startups to test new products and ideas.
We've carefully selected 50 of them we expect to succeed in the near future and listed them below. They're all less than five years old, and while some of them are already well on their way to...more
APR vs. INTEREST RATE
What’s the difference? In a nutshell - transparency. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) provides you the full view of the total cost of your loan and includes your interest rate and relevant fees. The interest rate only includes the percentage you are charged to borrow money, and unlike APR, leaves out other finance charges incurred as part of the loan.
Your interest rate is the base cost of borrowing money for the duration of your loan and is a percentage of the...more