Boot camps vs internships and colleges

Students are now enrolling in boot camps as a replacement for either a college degree or a full-time internship program. By definition, boot camp is a full-time educational experience but more intensive and with a clearer focus on the specific skill set that students want to learn. Colleges are considered more expensive and time consuming because in order to earn a college degree, students have to take various liberal arts courses that may not be valuable to the students' career.

Kamel, who graduated with an electrical engineering degree nearly a decade ago and became an entrepreneur, enrolled instead in a three-month, classroom-based "boot camp" at General Assembly, a four-year-old startup that offers short-term intensive courses in design, business and computer programming. He saw it as the quickest and most efficient and inexpensive way to learn coding--a skill which has become vital to multiple industries.

Wall Street has been valuing technology skills more than ever and Schwartz notes that a lot of the firms will pay top money to get the right people. He said General Assembly's graduates, who are mostly millennials, have been hired at companies, including American Express, Apple, Google and Uber. (General Assembly has raised $49.5 million in funding to date.)

I went on General Assembly's website to take a look at their course offerings and they are currently offering full-time courses in product management, web development and user experience design. Part-time formats have more diverse offerings including business courses like data analytics and digital marketing. Here's a sample schedule for the full-time Product Management class:

9 am: Stand-Up - Apply agile techniques to keep your team on track
9:30 am: Class - Learn key objectives through lectures, discussions, and activities
12 pm: Speaker Series - Hear from industry insiders during talks and panel discussions (optional)
1 pm: Workshop - Practice new skills, work on group projects, and receive extra help from instructors
4 pm: Daily Wrap-up - Review and reinforce key learnings of the day
5 pm: Networking Event - Grow your network with meetups, happy hours, and community-wide hackathons (optional)

The tuition for the full- time three month course like that is $10500. This business model reminds me of New York School of Finance, which on top of modeling classes offers students internships at boutique investment banks. They claim that their students have a lot of successes and many can leverage that experience to get full-time jobs and internships at bulge bracket banks.

Thoughts monkeys? The boot camp model is currently popular in technology but do you think they can expand to business fields? Can this model be the future of education? Will these bootcamps be able to replace internships as well as the needs to go to college?

Link to the original article

Region: 
United States - Northeast

Comments (3)

Aug 20, 2015

I think the current way of thinking of recruiters at top firms in finance is unlikely to change. Besides the fact that the current way of thinking has been entrenched for the past few decades, the major problem is that I don't know how you could successfully build a resume/skill set that is needed in IB in 3-6 months. Modelling is not very difficult to learn and can be mastered within that 3-6 month time period, but the top firms do highly value a liberal arts education, ECs, and internships. You can't get much of any of those things at a boot camp.

Of course, however, things could change. Considering how competitive and expensive college has become, and considering that Wall Street is not necessarily the top destination for the best college grads, perhaps top firms will open up to the idea of hiring people from finance boot camps.

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Aug 20, 2015

The problem is that a boot camp doesn't teach the soft skills that are learned in a four year university and at some point down the line you will most likely interact with a client in most finance roles.

A boot camp definitely will never be able to replace internship experience. I mean can you really compare the experience of three months at boot camp to three months of being on the job in a real firm?

Aug 20, 2015
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