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The Ohio State University Coding Boot Camp: Increasing Access and Opportunity in a City Ripe for Tech Growth

Written by Stephen Eichinger on Jul 9, 2020

Related content: Digital Education

Silicon Valley may still be the first place you think of when you hear the phrase tech hub, but many other areas are quickly gaining ground. One such location is Columbus, Ohio, the state’s capital and largest city.

While it may come as a surprise that Columbus looms large on the tech industry’s radar, the facts bear out the city’s prominence. In 2018, Forbes named Columbus the #1 rising city for startups, citing its impressive number of venture capital deals and the low cost of doing business. The Kaufman Foundation’s report on startup activity has ranked Columbus #3 in growth entrepreneurship. And consider this statement from a story published by The Atlantic:

Columbus' proximity to many Fortune 500 companies, including its largest employers, Walmart, Kroger and JPMorgan Chase, has helped the city attract the investment climate it needs to make it one of the best U.S. cities in which to start a tech-based, high-growth business.

Tech is big business in Columbus, and employers are hungry for talent. Despite recent tremors in the economy, businesses across Ohio are actively hiring and searching for qualified tech professionals. Since the beginning of March, the Columbus area alone saw over 8,000 job postings requiring coding skills, according to data from Burning Glass Labor Insights. The demand for labor has spurred creative planning and deliberate action from business and education leaders. One Columbus, the region’s economic development organization, has devised a multi-pronged strategy to make the Columbus area the most prosperous in the United States. Among the group’s imperatives is to “develop, inspire and attract a talented, adaptive and diverse workforce to compete for investment.”

The Ohio State University’s College of Engineering sees the great need for tech talent in their community, and they are responding consistent with their mission to advance Ohio’s economic mobility through a diverse workforce and lifelong learning. Together, we are launching The Ohio State University College of Engineering’s first coding boot camp, which will teach adult learners and working professionals the front-end and back-end skills necessary to become a proficient full stack developer. Workforce training programs like 2U-powered boot camps are critical to regional economic recovery, particularly in a state that has seen more than 1 million people file for unemployment in the last two months. The boot camp will give people from a wide range of backgrounds and experience levels a pathway to learn the tech skills that local and regional employers need.

In addition to offering an opportunity to upskill and reskill in an economy that has accelerated the shift towards digital transformation, Ohio State University’s College of Engineering has committed to making its boot camp accessible and affordable. The school is participating in a $3 Million Scholarship Fund that 2U announced earlier this month in partnership with over 30 universities nationwide. The funds will help individuals from communities who have been disproportionately affected by recent job losses and economic hardship.

With an affordable pathway to a tech career in one of the country’s burgeoning tech hubs, the vision of the Ohio State University Coding Boot Camp is clear: to increase access and opportunity for Columbus-area workers and fuel continued economic growth and vitality in the Buckeye State.

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