Reshaping Education: Adding a Human Element to the Coding Bootcamp Experience [PODCAST]

Outcome-based education is a relatively new concept that emerged within the last decade. It differs from the standard, four-year degree because it has a laser focus on what happens after graduation—ie. finding a job in that market.

After all, isn’t that the reason we continue our education–to get a job? Why does it feel like people are simply “cut loose” at the end of their educational journey?

In a recent episode of the Reshaping Education Podcast, Tech Elevator Co-Founder and CEO, Anthony Hughes, sat down with show host Ish Baid to discuss how Tech Elevator is revitalizing tech talent in the market.

If you didn’t tune into the show, keep reading for a few highlights from their conversation. Or click below to listen to the full show!

Reshaping Education: Revitalizing Mid-West Talent

[Show Highlights] How Outcome-Based Education Is Revitalizing Midwest Tech Talent

Haven’t listened to the show? Catch up on what you missed in a few key show takeaways below.

Why Bootcamps? Tech Elevator’s Origin Story (0:51)

The emergence of coding bootcamps started within the last decade as the demand for tech talent increased. However, Tech Elevator’s journey into the space didn’t start in the traditional sense. Anthony Hughes was running an entrepreneurial advisory organization looking to reinvent the rust belt economy of Cleveland, Ohio. Throughout his time in this role, he realized that one of the biggest hurdles for scaling startups and businesses in the tech industry was the lack of tech talent in the space.

Anthony noticed that higher education institutions were traditionally left to solve this issue, but were vastly underperforming as far as introducing adequate tech talent into the space.

Thus, bootcamps became the short-term reskilling model for meeting increasing tech talent demands.

The Pathway Program: More than Technical Education (6:01)

When people join coding bootcamps, they hope that the technical skills they gain will be enough to start a career in tech. While this was true at the beginning of coding bootcamps 10 years ago, this is no longer the case. Technical skills alone don’t get you a career in tech. If Tech Elevator wanted to produce a solution for the lack of tech talent in the space, then we needed to do more than teach technical skills to prepare our students for the market.

This is where Tech Elevator’s career readiness program, The Pathway Program, became vital for the success of its students. Tech Elevator’s Pathway Program was created to help our graduates feel confident and prepared in their job search. The program helps students discover their story, teaches them how to navigate networking events and prepares them for interviews during their job search.

An Inside Look at the Student Experience (9:49)

Some larger education institutions don’t keep a pulse on how students are engaging with their programs. Tech Elevator did not want to follow this trend as we place great importance on the experience of our students.

The student experience is largely shaped by the interactions with the Tech Elevator team; which includes the Instructors, the Pathway Program Directors, the Admissions Coordinators, and the Campus Directors. Tech Elevator students are investing in themselves and we feel it’s our responsibility to help them achieve their ultimate goal of launching a new career in technology. We take the trust that our students place in us very seriously.

Tech Elevator is also very big on transparency with our students, no more so than with our outcomes. Unlike most other bootcamps and higher education institutions, Tech Elevator’s student outcomes are audited by CIRR (The Council on Integrity in Results Reporting). This third-party non-profit organization ensures that we stay transparent with our results and allows for more honest conversations about our students’ success.

Adding the Human Element for Student Success (14:14)

Tech Elevator’s outcomes are achieved in large part because of the proactive approach to instruction and the human element we emphasize throughout the student experience. We make sure that the student experience is number one from day one.

Students going through the admissions process have an Admissions Coordinator guiding and assisting them. The Campus Directors and Pathway Program Directors are coaching students through their career readiness journey–focusing on soft skills, expectation setting, and the tools they’ll need to succeed in their job search. The Instructors are not simply teaching the technical material, but also making themselves available for technical and career path questions. It is the human element that Tech Elevator brings to the program that sets it apart from other bootcamps.

Taking someone with no prior coding experience and elevating them to a Junior Software Developer role in as little as 14 weeks is a phenomenal achievement. The faster pace of the 14-week program means that we place special attention on not letting students slip or get left behind with the material. For this reason, we are very protective of our student-to-instructor ratio—allowing us to be proactive and intervene quickly if a student is struggling. It’s okay to ask questions or to not understand the material. We are here to help! We have mechanisms letting us know when students don’t understand and the avenues for getting them back on track.

Click below to listen to the full show!

Reshaping Education: Revitalizing Mid-West Talent

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Kalyn Breneman - Director of Admissions


Written by Kalyn Breneman, Tech Elevator’s Director of Admissions