Author Topic: Help me advise my best friend  (Read 1177 times)

JestJes

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Help me advise my best friend
« on: March 28, 2019, 10:14:21 AM »
Hi Community!

I have a friend that I have had since grade school and honestly I owe her everything.  My upbringing was very hectic with drugs and alcohol and this friend really showed me that I could get out. She helped me apply to colleges and study for my SATs. I don't think I would be the productive member of society I am today if she hadn't help me get out the my home town and that terrible environment.

That being said, I believe she is about to make a huge financial mistake.  I know I can't force her to do differently, but I do want to give the best advise I can because she was always there for me.

My friend has a masters in k-12 education and has worked in a large urban school district for 6 years. All though out this time she has been miserable. Her district is especially underfunded and it heart breaking to hear to the stories about her students that are homeless. She has been unhappy for a long time but choose to stick it out. She recently found out that her job would be eliminated. She is reasonably concerned as I know she has not been saving as much as she could have.

She wants a fresh start with a new career path and is considering enrolling in this "Tech boot camp" provided by General Assembly in Boston. This is a 12 week program and it is STUPID expensive. 15k to be exact. She does not have 15k on hand right not but they have an option to pay 10% of your salary for 4 years after you get a job making 40K or more with a max pay out of 22.5K. This is $1,800 a week for the instruction! It seems like a absolute train wreck to me but I am not a tech person. I was wondering if there is any program that the community would recommend.

She has already proven herself to be smart enough to get a masters, does she really need this certification?

What other options does she have?

Is there a cheap way that she can get her toe into the market and learn on the job?

Is community college the way to go?

Thank you for anyone who could advise.

MrsDinero

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Re: Help me advise my best friend
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2019, 10:35:34 AM »
First off, did you best friend ask for your advice?

Second, ask her what her end goal is, what kind of job does she hope to get.  Certifications can be helpful in the tech industry, especially for people looking to get their foot in the door.  However they need the right kind of certification.

I had to look up this programs, but for me there is one HUGE red flag on their FAQ page:

"General Assembly is not accredited by a U.S. Department of Education-recognized accrediting body. This means that federal student loan aid cannot be used in conjunction with our courses.

General Assembly is a licensed school in every U.S. state in which we operate."

Going into the tech industry isn't a bad thing, but, personally, I would lean towards an accredited certificate program.

If your friend ignores your advice and continues with the school, then all you can do is stand by and continue to be her friend without any I told you sos

affordablehousing

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Re: Help me advise my best friend
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2019, 11:43:45 AM »
The value of those programs is their relationships with employers. Another big question is if your friend is well suited to analytical programming work. I've heard stories of pretty amazing success with coding camps in terms of salaries upon graduation. I've heard good things about GA, but talk to graduates, and try to find graduates that went in with the same aptitudes as your friend.

JestJes

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Re: Help me advise my best friend
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2019, 11:50:09 AM »
Thank you so much for your advice. No my friend did not ask me and I if she chooses to go I will stand by her with my mouth shut. I think she is just grabbing at straws because she went to school so long a career she hates. I understand that i'm looking at this emotionally because she supported me when I was in crisis and I want to do the same for her. I appreciate you pointing this out to me and I will make sure any advice I give is just that, advice and nothing else but support and love for her final choice.
We live in Boston so there are a lot of opportunities in tech even without a degree directly related to computer science. If she can get the basics of computer engineering and somehow use that with her existing masters, I thinks she would be more successful. I've looked into certificate programs as Mass Bay and they are much cheaper, about 5k. Many of the job listing that we have looked at have coding requirements (Java ext) but no degree requirements that pay 60-70k.

I'm basically just wondering what someone in the Tech field would recommend to get her foot in the door without going back to school and getting a whole new degree. What could they see on her resume that would make them take a chance on her?

Thank you!

bacchi

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Re: Help me advise my best friend
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2019, 12:22:26 PM »
Taking a boot camp course isn't bad per se, especially using the pay-us-later plan. It of course depends on the boot camp.

Does your friend know if she LIKES tech? Yeah, it's a hot field and it pays well but if it makes her just as miserable.... Maybe taking an Intro course on Coursera or Edx is the first step? Some are self paced and she can determine if it's something she's good at and enjoys.

Community college courses would definitely help but it'll take a lot longer than boot camp. It would also be a better education.

The automated resume process looks for buzz words: Java, PHP, Python, SQL, data, etc. If she has those skills, there's a good chance she can make it to a phone screen. That's where it's important to have the knowledge, whether from boot camp or coursera or community college.

Bottom line -- in the current environment for software developers, employers are desperate. Learn the skills and a lot of employers will come calling. (A first job is always hard to get, of course, and some employers want a traditional CS education. For web app work, though, it's generally not needed.)

JestJes

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Re: Help me advise my best friend
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2019, 01:37:46 PM »
Taking a boot camp course isn't bad per se, especially using the pay-us-later plan. It of course depends on the boot camp.

Does your friend know if she LIKES tech? Yeah, it's a hot field and it pays well but if it makes her just as miserable.... Maybe taking an Intro course on Coursera or Edx is the first step? Some are self paced and she can determine if it's something she's good at and enjoys.


What wonderful advice. Given she has already devoted so much time to a field that she didn't end up liking. I'll totally recommend that.

Lanthiriel

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Re: Help me advise my best friend
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2019, 01:45:54 PM »
I used to work with a guy who went to go work for Treehouse, and they seem to have great tools for learning programming. https://teamtreehouse.com/

Maybe this is something she can start while school is wrapping up?

degrom7

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Help me advise my best friend
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2019, 04:36:46 PM »
I don't think your friend is making a mistake. One of my relatives went to the same 3 month General Assembly boot camp, but in NY. After completing it, he started interning for a few weeks at a large company. He got hired soon after and now makes $65k as a starting salary after only graduating from the camp last year. This 3 month intensive program can teach her many programming skills and will help connect students with employers.


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« Last Edit: March 28, 2019, 04:40:08 PM by degrom7 »

JestJes

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Re: Help me advise my best friend
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2019, 09:00:17 AM »
I don't think your friend is making a mistake. One of my relatives went to the same 3 month General Assembly boot camp, but in NY. After completing it, he started interning for a few weeks at a large company. He got hired soon after and now makes $65k as a starting salary after only graduating from the camp last year. This 3 month intensive program can teach her many programming skills and will help connect students with employers.


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That is great news! I was so worried it was a scam because, gosh is it expensive. Thank you so much for your reply!

JestJes

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Re: Help me advise my best friend
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2019, 09:01:50 AM »
I used to work with a guy who went to go work for Treehouse, and they seem to have great tools for learning programming. https://teamtreehouse.com/

Maybe this is something she can start while school is wrapping up?

This does seem like a less expensive option. I'll look into this a little more. Thank you so much!

iris lily

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Re: Help me advise my best friend
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2019, 03:23:52 PM »
$15,000 is not out of line with a tech Boot Camp
Although the last one I heard about was more like $11,000.

As for accreditation mentioned by a previous poster, the accreditation process in academia is entirely different from the certification process in tech industry. One is no worse than the other, they’re just different systems.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 03:27:47 PM by iris lily »