Could a tech bootcamp help turn a career around? The founder of Eleven Fifty Academy thinks so.
Why did you start Eleven Fifty Academy?
A: It was evident that the Midwest was well behind in tech-trained talent. With my previous post for many years as the Chairman of the prodigious statewide Indiana Technology Partnership (predecessor to Techpoint), I realized that growing talent was one of Indiana’s most important and biggest challenges. I had spent years on both coasts hiring and helping create top tech talent in the world. Eleven Fifty Academy was created in Indiana to provide an intensive, rapid way to gain job-ready software development, IT, and cybersecurity skills. It can make a huge difference.
What can students expect? Are you hoping to add more locations, or more distance learning?
A: Students should expect our programs to be one of the hardest yet most rewarding challenges that they experience in their lives. Distance learning, while necessary during the pandemic, has been a wonderful way to reach more people. We intend to keep this aspect as part of our course offerings, yet we are adding more physical locations around the state, as needed, for there is still a segment of the population that prefers in-person education. So the answer is “yes” to all of the above. As far as expectations, students work with a seasoned team of instructors and job placement coaches to develop job ready skills using a “hands-on” training approach (figuratively, as we practice social distancing) to ensure each of our students have the tools and experience they need to succeed rapidly.
Is it reasonable to think that many people can make the career switch to a tech career?
A: Yes! Assuming a person resonates with problem solving and logic, she or he can transform her or his life by becoming a software developer or web developer. Tech careers remain in very high demand. There are few, if any, barriers to entry. Anyone should have an opportunity to skill up into a stable career, and we work with several organizations that provide scholarship dollars to anyone who wishes to pursue a new career through Eleven Fifty Academy. We offer free “intro” courses almost every week so anyone can “dip their toe in the water” before committing to our rapid and intensive tech training programs.
As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything for many people. No doubt it is a crisis, but is it also an opportunity?
A: Eleven Fifty Academy definitely saw opportunity with the online shift. The move to virtual classrooms enabled us to open our arms wide to welcome students from all over the state into our courses. Funding through the CARES ACT has helped over 500 students already transform their lives into a stable career into tech through Eleven Fifty Academy at relatively low or no cost. This silver lining is something we are grateful for.