Do you need a college degree to work in tech? We know that in most cases, the answer is a hard no.
It’s How to Get a Tech Job Month at Technical.ly, so we rounded up your options for locally focused coding bootcamps — many devs’ first step toward, indeed, landing a coveted tech job.
Sure, there are always those national-facing, brand-name options like Flatiron and General Assembly. But there are also a lot of local options that can prepare you for technical work in Delaware. Not only that, but there is a chance — especially in the COVID economy — that you can get your training for free with state or county CARES Act funding through organizations that participate in programs like Forward Delaware. And the state has several training options that work specifically with Delaware employers.
The below options say they’ll prepare you for a tech job in anywhere from 12 weeks to two years. It includes bootcamps, but also courses that take it slower, or make it possible to keep working a full-time job (something that’s tough to do while in a bootcamp).
Which one is best for your goals and situation? Here’s a rundown, in alphabetical order:
- Format: Bootcamp, though duration varies. Tracks include software development, website design and development, and website developer and marketing automation. Youth programming is also offered.
- Recommended for: Those underrepresented in tech, youth, those with no previous coding experience
Code Differently was founded by Tariq Hook and Stephanie Eldridge as a workforce development program focusing on diversifying Delaware’s talent pipeline by educating youth from Wilmington’s under-resourced Black and brown communities. With COVID-19 disrupting the job market and creating a need for more well-rounded training programs for suddenly unemployed people, Code Differently received CARES Act funding for Return Ready emergency training programs, which are entirely free and may also include options for free childcare and transportation. This fall, it launched its first all-Black-women cohorts, uplifting one of the least represented groups in tech.
- Format: 10-month online coding bootcamp
- Recommended for: Employed individuals looking to enhance their skills, underemployed individuals looking to add developer skills to their resume, those who need an online option, folks living downstate
Part of UD’s Professional and Continuing Studies, this .NET/C# and Java bootcamp is broken up into four sections, from programming basics to full-stack development, each taking two to three months to complete. The online courses are flexible, requiring about a 20-hour commitment per week.
- Format: Online, four to six months
- Recommended for: People who need to work while learning, adults of all ages, career changers, those who need an online option, folks living downstate
Del State offers 16 tracks in its technical certification programming, which allows flexibility for work and family responsibilities. The tracks include the likes of full-stack web development, IT infrastructure (such as CompTIA A+) and Agile development. Externship opportunities are available.
- Format: Two-year associate’s program
- Recommended for: People who can’t put things on hold for a bootcamp, those who need to work a full time job while learning, recent high school graduates, folks living downstate
At the end of the day, some people will not be able to swing an intensive bootcamp-style program because of work and family responsibilities. Del Tech is a community college with campuses up and down the state and several coding programs, including night school and a full-time or part-time associate’s degree in computer science. Graduating high school students who go right into Del Tech may qualify for free tuition through the SEED program. Del Tech also offers rapid workforce training coding programs for unemployed adults.
- Format: 12-month course
- Recommended for: High school students who want to go into the gaming industry
Futures First Gaming’s workforce development program is conducted in partnership with the state’s Department of Health and Social Services and focuses on technical skills associated with the esports industry. The yearlong program targets underrepresented youth and is compatible with attending high school. It covers programming, business, marketing, event production and game design along with paid internship assignments.
- Format: Varies
- Recommended for: People with disabilities
The Precisionists connects talent and employers with a focus on placing people with a broad range of disabilities including autism and visual and/or hearing impairment. The organization has a partnership with Tech Impact through Forward Delaware funded by the U.S. Department of Labor H-1B One Workforce Grant Program and offers free workforce development training in IT.
- Format: 14-week full-time, full-stack development
- Recommended for: Anyone over 18 interested in pursuing a tech career
The Cleveland-based coding bootcamp just opened up a campus on Market Street in Wilmington, launching a free full-stack developer training program through a partnership with Tech Impact, funded by the Department of Labor H-1B One Workforce Grant Program. No coding experience is required to apply. Tech Elevator’s expansion to Wilmington underscore’s the city’s wealth of tech jobs and need for good tech talent that virtually guarantees graduates a job.
- Format: 16-week intensive training program for the Cisco IT Essentials and CompTIA A+ certification.
- Recommended for: High school graduates and GED recipients between the ages of 18 and 26 who have not completed a college degree
ITWorks, Tech Impact’s flagship coding program, recently opened its first permanent location in Wilmington after serving students in the city for a decade. This program is specific in its demographics: It’s for college aged people who finished high school, are floundering in a low-paying job and/or are unable to complete college. The program — they don’t call it a bootcamp, though it is intensive — is free for all who are accepted, though the selection process is competitive.
- Format: 15 weeks, with online and in-person options
- Recommended for: People who want to earn college credits while earning a Java certificate, college undergraduates, college graduates, those who need to work a full-time job while learning, those who need an online option, folks living downstate
WilmU’s once-a-week, 15-week courses can be taken as part of a full college schedule or as a standalone program. While some programs will return to in-person classes as health restrictions allow, online courses are always available through WilmU. On-campus classes are available as well.
- Format: 12-week full-time program in either Java or data engineering and analytics
- Recommended for: Adults of all ages, career changers, people with some coding experience, underemployed people who have a strong interest in tech
Zip Code was the first coding bootcamp physically located in Wilmington, opening in 2015 as a Tech Impact partner by Jim Stewart, Ben du Pont, and Porter Schutt. It’s known for taking people from low-wage jobs and pipelining them into corporate software developer jobs with high starting salaries, drastically changing the lives of the people who take on the highly immersive bootcamp that includes networking with hiring managers and interview training. Spots are coveted — the selection process is very competitive and requires preparation, though prospective students don’t have to have coding experience. Hours are long and students need to be able to not work for the duration.