For a long time, traditional education dictated that after school, college was the next step forward in your career path. In that final year as seniors, millions of students follow the course and apply to schools, and then wait tediously for acceptance (or rejection) letters. But the relief of acceptance is short-lived as the next looming hurdle approaches – the vast expense of going to college and the reality of committing to the debt that goes with it. As of early 2017, in the U.S. alone there are over 44 million students with $1.3 trillion in student loan debt.
Fast-forward to 4 years later, and college graduates from certain programs find themselves with a degree, but unprepared with job-ready skills. Suddenly the 4-year commitment and promised career path can feel like an overwhelming crossroad with no guidance or guarantee. For many graduates, this can lead to taking a job that doesn’t relate to their degree. In fact, studies show that 51% of graduates in the U.S. (a statistic that is steadily increasing) say they are working in jobs that don’t require their college degree.
Although this path is still essential for some industries, in reality, when it comes to certain careers the rules are changing. No longer is attending a brick and mortar university the only choice or – in the case of certain industries – even the best one. There is one industry in particular where students are breaking the rules, choosing alternatives to a 4-year degree, and are successfully setting their own career paths. I’m talking about aspiring developers.
Technology is changing the world at a more rapid pace than ever before and will continue to do so. With this evolution comes new and exciting career opportunities in tech – according to Code.org there are currently over 521,000 unfilled tech jobs across the U.S – but also accessible and affordable education that prepares you for the industry. Think about it. Makes sense, right? Relying on technology as a gateway to educate yourself to work within it, instead of relying on academic institutions that struggle to keep their programs up-to-date with the evolution.
So why confine your opportunities or your career path? If you know you want to work in tech, the rules of a traditional secondary education are arbitrary. There’s nothing stopping you from sitting down at your computer – from anywhere in the world – launching yourself head first into learning to code and setting your own career path.