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Since launch in 2017, Woz U has often been compared with coding bootcamps—and with good reason. Woz U seeks to solve the same skills gap as coding bootcamps, teaches in-demand tech skills, and puts cutting-edge knowledge in the hands of students. However, Woz U focuses on life-long learning and goes far beyond just a few months of intensive courses and rote memorization. Instead, our unique K-to-Career pipeline inspires curiosity in young learners, provides lifetime education to students, connects them with employers, and helps them continuously develop at the workplace. And, unlike coding bootcamps, Woz U seeks to supplement traditional educational institutions rather than replace them altogether.
Coding bootcamps have risen astronomically in popularity over the last few years, with the number of graduates increasing by 10X between 2013 and 2017. In contrast with a 4-year Computer Science program at a traditional university, bootcamps promise to endow students with the hard skills they need to find a coding job—without all the “fluff.” Coding bootcamps make a compelling argument, as traditional university curriculum is often outdated and overly conceptual.
The first coding bootcamp, Code Academy, was started in 2011 with the purpose of providing aspiring programmers with condensed training, regardless of their educational background. These intensive courses were designed to help everyday people quickly learn to program and find a job in less time. Since then, hundreds of coding bootcamps have popped up across the United States and in other countries around the world. These condensed programs promise students with the ability to learn how to code and secure their first job in a matter of a few months, as opposed to years. The average length of a coding bootcamp is 14.1 weeks or approximately 3.5 months.
This is an appealing concept since most of us prefer instant results over delayed gratification. After all, who wouldn’t want to complete their education, begin their dream career, and start making money as soon as possible? Furthermore, Computer Science programs at universities tend to teach concepts and the fundamentals of computing without actually imparting pure coding skills. Most Computer Science students have to study programming languages in their spare time in addition to the workload of their existing courses.
However, it’s unrealistic to expect a 14-week course alone to equip tomorrow’s tech talent with the skills they need, regardless of how intensive it may be. Whereas traditional university curriculum often puts too much weight on concepts, coding bootcamps can go to the opposite end of the spectrum by teaching skills without taking the time to focus on concepts. A well-rounded education, on the other hand, should teach students both skills and concepts to help them excel in their career and all aspects of life.
Coding bootcamps tend to build their offerings with high school and university graduates in mind, but largely neglect other age groups. This represents a huge shortcoming for bootcamps, as students begin to develop core competencies at a much earlier age and continue to learn throughout their professional career. Although the name “Woz U” may imply that our services are targeted only at university students, our full catalog of solutions covers all age groups, beginning at the earliest stages of a child’s educational journey.
To provide young learners with the fundamental skills they need for a successful career in technology, Woz Education partners with and trains innovative K-12 schools and teachers. Woz Education also provides these classrooms with kits to inspire students, encourage creativity, and help build the STEAM fundamentals that will determine their success in college and beyond. These core competencies are key to preparing high school graduates for college and easing the transition.
At the university level, Woz U helps accredited colleges enhance their existing curriculum by delivering learning modules developed by experts in their field. By doing so, Woz U supplements traditional education rather than replacing it. Each learning module covers subject matter in the high-demand fields of Software Development, Cyber Security, and Data Science. For students of coding bootcamps, the education comes to a screeching halt upon graduation. With Woz U, however, students are provided with lifetime access to constantly updated material that is designed for each stage of their career, from job seeker to employee.
Our Woz Workspace platform then connects the dots between qualified job seekers and employers by providing a place where job seekers can upload their CV, apply for positions, and further hone their skills. Whereas the traditional job application process often leaves applicants “shooting in the dark,” Woz Workspace recommends specific coursework to fill in the gaps between the skills the applicant possesses and what the employer is looking for. This gives job seekers a strategic plan of action and a clear idea of how to secure the job they’ve always dreamed of. And finally, employers that partner with Woz Enterprise are able to offer customized coursework to their workers to keep their skills relevant and up to date. With over 2,000 hours of content, we empower businesses to train and retain their talent.
While many media outlets have mistakenly labeled Woz U as a coding bootcamp, our unique EaaS (Education as a Service) model and full “K-to-Career” pipeline place Woz U in a separate category of its own. Instead of attempting to replace traditional education, we partner with K-12 schools and universities to enhance their existing curriculum and better prepare students for the workplace. This material not only covers programming fundamentals but also teaches advanced topics in Software Development, Cyber Security and Data Science.
Woz Workspace then bridges the gap between job seekers and employers in a way that is much more effective and personalized than traditional job fairs or job listing sites. Users receive detailed feedback on how to improve their skill set and receive recommended coursework to fill in any existing gaps, while employers get access to a database of qualified talent. And, even after a user has secured their dream job, Woz Enterprise continues to provide them with custom training that enables them to develop professionally—for life.