Nick Buck is a USMC veteran and a graduate of devCodeCamp. He is currently a software developer at Compass Analytics.

In the U.S. today, there are two overlapping trends affecting millions of Americans.

The first is that the American economy is evolving and diversifying at a faster pace than ever before. Each day, fresh innovations and technologies lead to newer job sectors and needed services. And in no sector does this theme resonate more than within computing, coding, and digitization. Virtually every facet of the economy today now touches the “tech sector.”

The second trend is that America continues to welcome home hundreds and thousands of brave military veterans back into civil society following their service in the armed forces. The U.S. military is comprised of selfless, hardworking, and determined individuals from all different backgrounds. However, in many cases, the job market looks dramatically different to a soldier returning home in comparison to when she or he deployed or joined the military.

So, what’s the takeaway? As the economy continues to hum along, and veteran unemployment remains just under 4 percent, now more than ever it is vital that we continue to invest in a variety of new workforce training and skills development programs. The tech industry’s fast paced and high demand environment provides the perfect opportunity for many people, including veterans, to reinvent their career paths. 

I should know – I am a veteran who returned home and pursued high-tech training in coding. I have since landed an exciting and fulfilling career in the technology sector right here in Wisconsin.

Coding bootcamps — weeks-long, intense, deep-dive coding curriculum programs — offer students of all ages new and growing opportunities all across the country. These programs are extremely beneficial for those who seek a challenge and want to gain a new skill that will lead to a career in a highly competitive industry.

Following my military service, I signed up at devCodeCamp in Milwaukee for my computer coding training – it was the perfect fit. I was able to take flexible courses surrounded by people who were passionate about coding, came from all walks of life, and were also pursuing meaningful tech-related careers.

Many coding bootcamps are much more affordable than traditional college programs or four-year degrees, lasting usually 12 weeks, and several coding schools – including devCodeCamp – honor the GI Bill and education benefits for veterans. DevCodeCamp was more cost efficient on housing too, which is often a major financial burden for many students. 

As an Atlanta native, I benefited from devCodeCamp’s no-cost housing option conveniently located in the same building as the classrooms. It was a great option provided by the school for students like me who are not from the Milwaukee area and it allowed me to focus on my coursework instead of rent payments.

On top of this, I recently noticed that devCodeCamp just launched a new payment option for students called an Income Share Agreement (ISA).

DevCodeCamp’s ISA requires students to pay 15% of their income for three years after graduating once they make at least $40k per year, with payments capped at $30k. What’s great about this ISA is, unlike traditional loans, students don’t accrue interest. For many students, this would be a perfect fit.

Now is the best time to pursue a career in coding. Here in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin, the tech sector is taking off, and coding bootcamps and local companies are leading the charge. In fact, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal, the flourishing Milwaukee tech industry had an over $20 billion impact on the Milwaukee area alone.  

In order for Milwaukee to continue to move forward in being a leader in the tech and coding space and for our nation to stay globally competitive, the American workforce must continue to evolve. Coding bootcamps are an excellent option for preparing students for employment in today’s economy, and these schools should be championed. 

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