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, 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 Philly. Here’s a look at 15-plus local programs offering development skills training, certifications, project experience and more — and if we missed any, email email@example.com to let us know.
- The deets: This coding bootcamp that has a presence in Canada and Florida is expanding into Philly in late 2021.
- When: Each session will take place over 16 weeks. Apply for the next cohort through Nov. 25.
- $$: $2,000 deposit, and only after participants land their first jobs will they be expected to pay back 20% of their first year’s salary in what CEO Nicolas Genest called deferred tuition
- The deets: This Boston-based bootcamp launched in Philly in January 2021 and graduated its first cohort in May 2021.
- When: Multiple cohorts a year
- $$: Free for accepted applicants; a stipend is also offered to alleviate financial issues for attendees
- The deets: Drexel University offers this professional development course for people of any background to enhance their web development skills.
- When: Virtually on Tuesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. in the weeks from Nov. 16, 2021 through Jan. 11, 2022
- In this part-time course, students learn web design and coding using HTML and CSS to build a website and portfolio to show potential employers.
- $$: $1,025
- The deets: This nonprofit expanded to Philly in 2021 offers free tech education and job placement opportunities to reshape tech hiring.
- When: Programming happens throughout the year
- $$: Free for selected applicants
- The deets: In April, this national bootcamp announced a program for Philly participants to learn tech skills virtually.
- When: Full-time coursework happens over 12 weeks and part-time coursework can happen over 24 months.
- All programming happens virtually, and full-time coursework options include software engineering, UX design, data science and digital marketing.
- $$: Part-time participants pay between $2,800 and $3,950; full-time participants pay between $14,950 and $15,950
- The deets: A virtual frontend and backend development course for future full-stack developers
- When: 20 hours per week of live, virtual classes for 24 weeks or full-time for 12; check out the program’s demo day from February 2020
- The different curricula encompass coding, data analytics, fintech and cybersecurity.
- $$: $12,495
- The deets: This multi-city coding bootcamp set up a Philadelphia chapter in 2019, and hosts a 14-week, full time program teaching full-stack development. The program is currently taking place through a live remote format (check out a demo day from a graduating class in May 2020). It’s also coming to Wilmington in 2022.
- When: Multiple cohorts a year
- $$: $15,500, with financing and scholarship opportunities
- The deets: A virtual classroom, one-on-one mentorship and classmate pairings to help you through. There’s also a Philly-focused “learn to code” meetup.
- When: Full-time for 50 to 60 hours per week for six months or 25 hours per week for seven
- Offers classes in software engineering, data science, data analytics, UX and UI design, digital marketing and project management
- $$: $16,000 or $9,000 upfront for FT and PT, respectively, with multiple payment options and financing
- The deets: Instructor-led, beginner-to-advanced training for professionals looking to advance their careers and job-seekers looking to improve tech skills
- Where: Based in Exton (but now remote, because of the pandemic)
- When: Year-round, open-enrollment short courses
- $$: Anywhere from $300 to $4,500, depending on the course
- The deets: ITWorks is designed for high school graduates and GED recipients between the ages of 18 and 26 without a high school degree to land an entry-level IT job.
- When: This program takes place over 16 weeks, and is held in the spring and fall.
- Attendees will learn PC hardware, troubleshooting, IT networking and security to prep for a Cisco IT Essentials and CompTIA A+ certifications.
- $$: Free for all selected applicants
Plus, some less-intensive meetup-based learning groups — and some options for the kiddos.
- The deets: This meetup org is aimed at increasing diversity across the field of data science — with regular events, like last year’s Lead by Learning event at Penn.
- When: Regular virtual meetups found here
- $$: Per event
- The deets: A meetup group for women interested in learning R coding language, the org occasionally hosts workshops, too.
- When: Monthly
- $$: Free
- The deets: This org aims to help women of color build careers in tech with intro, beginner and intermediate coding workshops, networking events and industry talks. They haven’t hosted a public event in a while, but organizer Ashley Turner told Technical.ly it’s still active.
- When: Monthly meetings, regular events
- $$: $25 (financial aid available)
- The deets: A group for local WordPress lovers to learn tips for plugins, themes and design
- When: Monthly
- $$: Free
- The deets: A local tech nonprofit for students K-12 that aims to fight inequality with tech programs and competitions at schools and community centers. Also behind the inclusive talent pipeline project called the OnE Philadelphia, to address diversity and inclusion in the tech and innovation spaces in the city with long-term solutions.
- When: programing virtually, after school and weekends
- $$: Free
- The deets: This nonprofit offers workshops, summer camps and design events for school-aged girls. (Check out how the org is handling virtual instruction during the pandemic.)
- When: After school, weekly camps plus weekend workshops
- $$: Free (mostly)
Know of other Philly-based resources? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll update this list.
Michael Butler 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 Lenfest Institute for Journalism.