It’s a technologist’s market out there.
Even during a period of economic turbulence, software and IT roles continue to be some of the most sought for employers to fill. After all, we’re online and using digital tools more than ever, and there were already big gaps between open jobs and trained professionals to fill them before the pandemic.
Nationally, tech hiring activity is at a two-year high this fall. In October, a survey by IT trade association CompTIA found that firms posted 360,065 tech jobs, which was a 76,000-opening increase over September’s totals. Tech companies, meanwhile, added 8,300 new employees in the same month. Overall, tech industry employment is up 140,000 in 2021, CompTIA estimates. The national unemployment rate is 4.6% overall, while for tech occupations it’s 2.1%
A career change into tech involving cybersecurity can net a median salary of $103,590 per year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), while the median income for a junior software engineer is $64,987, according to Payscale.
It all means there’s opportunity for those looking to enter the field. But first, training is required. As a result, coding bootcamps and IT training programs formed in recent years with a recognition that professionals are in demand, and the education necessary to enter the field typically doesn’t require a college degree.
So it’s worth taking a look at where to get this kind of training in Baltimore. Here’s a look at 10 local programs offering development skills training, certifications, project experience and more:
The Port Covington startup incubation and education nonprofit launched a software engineering program this month in collaboration with Baltimore-based tech talent company Mastermnd. Designed as an entry-level program, it will provide training in programming, software testing, databases, web servers, front-end frameworks, Scrum and Agile. This will include front-end web development, which “teaches the basics of HTML, CSS, JS, and responsive web design for mobile and tablets,” director of operations Kimmy Andrulonis told us earlier this fall.
The class is currently underway, and no further applications are open at this time.
In a recent tweet, Betamore shared that 14 Baltimore City residents are partcipating, and classes will be live each week:
Due to an overwhelming response to our Software Engineering Training Program, we've decided to make the classes LIVE each week. Our inaugural cohort, comprised of 14 Baltimore City residents, had their first two classes this week. Follow along the journey! #baltimoretech https://t.co/NRaHzRotqt
— Betamore (@betamore) November 4, 2021
The inclusive tech training nonprofit launched in Baltimore in 2019, with classes that are aimed at preparing adults for living wage careers that use technology. Offering free classes for students, Byte Back starts with computer foundations that offers training for folks with little to no experience using a computer. Students can then move onto receive certifications. For instance, graduates of CompTIA A+ have gone on to work as IT specialists and in help desk positions.
The Baltimore-based company frequently catches notice with its predictive analytics-based approach to bringing on tech talent based on software engineering potential and aptitude, rather than resume and education. But another key part of its work to train new software engineers from disparate backgrounds is its training program. It includes six months of intensive training and a two-year paid apprenticeship that puts developers to work on real projects.
“Unlike a bootcamp, Catalyte teaches more than how to code in a specific language,” said Catalyte VP of Technical Development Eliot Pearson told us last year. “Our curriculum is designed to teach concepts applicable across all tech stacks. Additionally, we teach the technical and interpersonal skills that allow software engineering trainees to succeed as part of a development team. So, our developers are experienced with industry-standard languages like React, Java Spring, Postgres as well as tools like Git, Jira, Scrum and ready to hit the ground running on day one.”
The technical talent pipeline company streams tech education. In addition to the partnership with Betamore mentioned above, founder Aaron Brooks runs 8-12 week training series focused on skills in software engineering, web development, cloud computing, and DevOps/Site Reliability Engineering. Training is offered at three levels, and there’s no required cost.
Working with the The Educational Partnership for IT Careers, career training program provider MedCerts is working with six workforce development offices in Central Maryland, including Baltimore County, to provide free certification programs. The online programs include national certifications for technical support, technology specialists, PC technicians and desktop support specialists. The no-cost program offers an opportunity to receive a $750 incentive after certification, and students who are employed within three months receive $250.
Since expanding to Maryland with a mission to provide IT training for the city’s underserved residents in 2016, the nonprofit now has two sites in East and West Baltimore. Its tuition-free tech fundamentals program includes an intro to computer administration and support, providing instruction toward the CompTIA IT Fundamentals certification.
The national coding bootcamp provider launched local classes in 2019 in Baltimore. Operating on a part-time model, Nucamp offers part-time classes, with a max of 12 students in the class. Mixing work throughout the week with a Saturday workshop, it offers four-month courses in web development fundamentals, backend development, fronted web and mobile development and full stack web and mobile development.
Based locally in Fells Point, this nationwide nonprofit offers free tech training to residents in Baltimore City and several surrounding counties. An upcoming remote course in 2022 will offer certifications in IT support.
With a slate of courses for 2022 scheduled, the Columbia-based technical and professional training provider is offering part-time, technology-focused skills courses designed for individuals. These virtual courses include software developer foundations, a certificate in cyber foundations and technology sales. Check listings for tuition prices, which vary.
Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.