Bootcamps and Hyper Focused Nanodegrees

Online Courses

Online Courses

The newest trend in education is hyper focused online and in-person bootcamps. The concept originated with coding bootcamps in San Francisco to address the problem of the lack of talent in tech. And even though there was a boom in these programs the demand for these jobs continues.

Because of the success of these early bootcamps many others have sprung up. These four to six months programs have popped up in other industries that have minimal access to talent. Generally the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers are in demand.

Udacity is one of the first and definitely the largest to offer these programs online. They just received $35 million in Series C funding and is hailed as a potential IPO candidate. Other education sites like Lynda and Skillshare teach these in-demand skills as well and have much larger amounts of content, however, Udacity saw there was a demand from students for something tangible like a degree and has found away to offer this.

The degrees Udacity offers are called “nanodegrees” which are highly specialized “degrees” meant to teach the in-demand skills that most students don’t get from a university education.

Because the education space is highly regulated none of these programs are accredited, but getting an accredited degree is often less important to the students of these programs than getting a job upon graduation. And since these programs are specifically for in-demand jobs these individuals are more hirable than recently graduated University students.

These programs are becoming increasingly reputable, Hack Reactor, a Javascript focused coding boot camp out of San Francisco, boasts a 99% placement rate post graduation with $105,000 average starting salary. This is only slightly less impressive when you look at cost of living in San Francisco.

So the question becomes should universities start teaching other, more in-demand positions and are many university degrees going to become replaced?