The U.S. tech industry is booming, but there’s a shortage of skilled talent to match all the new positions being created. The Bureau of Labor Statistics and National Center for Education Statistics have estimated there will be 1.4 million open computer science jobs in 2020 and only 400,000 computer science graduates to fill them. That means anyone with tech skills such as coding will be in great demand for the foreseeable future.
Fortunately, there are many ways to learn these skills besides the traditional path of a college degree. Our two guests today are huge advocates of one popular alternative: coding schools and bootcamps. Ruben Harris, co-host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, is also the CEO of Career Karma, an organization that matches people who want to learn to code with the right support circle and coding bootcamp for their needs. And Chok Ooi, who serves as chairman for his startup AgilityIO, also runs Kenzie Academy in Indianapolis, a coding school that focuses on helping students without a prior technical background break into the industry.
In this episode originally broadcast live from the Powderkeg offices at Industrious Indianapolis, Ruben and Chok discuss how learning to code can ignite your career in tech. Drawing from their insider perspectives, they explain how to begin charting your career path, how to find the coding school that’s right for you, and why coding school models devoted to diversity and inclusion will be instrumental in closing the widening tech talent gap.
In this episode with Ruben Harris and Chok Ooi, you’ll learn:
- Tips for charting your career path and telling your personal story.
- How to connect with people who can help you advance your career.
- Why nontraditional education is needed to close the tech talent gap.
- What to look for when choosing a coding school.
- The clear benefits of diversity and inclusion for tech talent pipelines.
- Ruben’s and Chok’s best advice for people who want to break into tech.
Please enjoy this conversation with Ruben Harris and Chok Ooi!
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Ruben Harris and Chok Ooi quotes from this episode of Igniting Startups:
“If you look just a few years out, there’s 1.4 million open jobs for computer science people and only 400,000 computer science grads, which means a million people need to come from some form of alternative education.” — @rubenharris on @PowderkegCo
“We our going through a major shift in economy. We’re going from an industrial age to a digital age, and every company going forward has to be a tech company. If not, you’re a dinosaur.” — @chokooi on @PowderkegCo
“Companies are spending billions of dollars organizing events for people that are already in tech when they should be full of people outside of tech, with action items around what they need to do to break in.” — @rubenharris on @PowderkegCo
“What we want to do is really reimagine what higher education is. We designed the higher education experience around the students versus around the school.” — @chokooi on @PowderkegCo
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
Companies and organizations:
- Career Karma
- Eli Lilly and Company
- Goldman Sachs
- Kelly Services
- Loopt (acquired by Green Dot Corporation)
Coding schools and programs:
- App Academy
- Black Girls Code
- Girls Who Code
- Hack Reactor
- Kenzie Academy
- Women Who Code
Job search marketplaces:
Books and publications:
- Artur Meyster (@ArturMeyster)
- Chok Ooi (@chokooi)
- Iris Nevins (@cosmosiris)
- Jules Walter (@julesdwalt)
- Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)
- Peter Thiel (Wikipedia)
- Ruben Harris (@rubenharris)
- Sam Altman (@sama)
- Timur Meyster (@timurmeyster)
Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Ruben Harris and Chok Ooi on Twitter!
If you enjoyed this session and have 3 seconds to spare, let Ruben and Chok know via Twitter by clicking on the link below:
What stood out most to you about what Ruben and Chok share in this podcast?
For me, it’s why nontraditional education is needed to close the tech talent gap.
You? Leave a comment below.
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