The Tech Academy Review (2017)
The Tech Academy is a real, on-ground campus in Portland, Oregon. They teach software development at their campus. However, they boast an “online code boot camp” that teaches the skills necessary to become a software developer. In the world of tech, you need a degree or certification before you can get a job working with code, and even more so if you expect to have more than an entry level salary.
In programming, having the experience and training will give you the edge you need to push you to a higher level in your field. The Tech Academy is there to help you start a career as a programmer. So why choose The Tech Academy out of a field of hundreds of places to find training on the Internet?
Why Tech Academy?
Careers. That is the reason most people choose a path in software development, and look for online education to complete their goals. The Tech Academy is acutely in tune with the job market, and per their website they place 95% of their graduates in jobs. These jobs average around $60K a year.
Also, time is a factor, and The Tech Academy is there to meet your needs as well. At an on-ground and some online campuses, you must wait for an offering and work at their pace. The Tech Academy doesn’t require you to start at any time other than when you enroll. You are also allowed to work at your own pace without time constraints. You may start and finish whenever you choose.
Despite the lack of a defined time to finish, the goal of The Tech Academy is to get you proficient in the language of your choice as quickly and smoothly as possible, with plenty of help from real instructors. The advantage of having an on-ground campus allows for the presence of help during business hours, and the online aspect means that you don’t have to commute and follow a schedule for classwork. You dedicate the time you want to the education you desire as you can. This makes The Tech Academy a unique place to get an education in programming.
About Tech Academy
Jack Stanley and Eric Gross founded The Tech Academy. Both Stanley and Gross are experienced developers themselves. Erik was a US Navy nuclear reactor operator who taught computer science, nuclear physics, and other courses on the side. He later founded an IT consulting firm that specialized in developing software. The venture was successful enough that he needed developers, but found a lack of qualified candidates. That’s when he began teaching junior-level developers on his own. And thus, the foundation for The Tech Academy was laid. Originally the Prosper IT Academy, it later brought on long-time friend Jack Stanley. The school continued to grow into what it is now. Their mission statement is:
“To graduate junior developers that excel in the basics of Computer Programming and thereafter have successful careers in the IT field, and whose actions raise industry standards and surpass client expectations.”
The Tech Academy does host traditional classes in Portland, Oregon. In addition, they offer what most people seek, which is their online training that can be taken regardless of geography. The Tech Academy has online students from around the world. If you are looking for additional reviews from users, we found quite a few on this quora question.
Tech Academy Review
Looking at other online reviews will disclose that Tech Academy receives positive praise from its students, but most are reviewing the on-ground campus portion of the course. This review covers the online content of The Tech Academy.
All their course content is available at http://learncodinganywhere.com whether you are an on-ground student or an online student. Students sign in to the website to attend courses and video lectures and complete the course materials. It is like the online offerings of major universities.
Remote students are required to check in with instructors daily. This is how they make sure that you are engaged in the course and is a form of attendance policy. Tech Academy takes this engagement seriously as their courses are not as laissez-faire as the courses at other online code schools.
But an engagement policy does not mean that the school is rigid about course completion time. Checking in can be accomplished by phone, Google Hangouts, Skype, and even remote access. You can also check in by sending an email to your instructor. The main point is to keep you in touch with your commitment to education.
When you have checked in, instructors will lay out the day’s work. It’s also a good time to visit with the instructor about any problems you may be having and get help with difficult concepts. What is beneficial as well is that the instructors are nearly always available.
The hours are from 9AM to 9PM Pacific time daily. This level of engagement is nearly unprecedented in online education, and is a refreshing change from more free form educational institutions. This is especially true for new students to coding, who may be struggling with the material.
Courses are geared toward industry standards. The focus of The Tech Academy is and will always be getting their students jobs in the tech industry and maintaining their high rate of hire out of their program. Students are tailored to the market so they can go from the online boot camp directly into entry-level jobs and be prepared with the knowledge to advance and be successful in their careers.
Each course is delivered in modules. At the end of each module is an exam delivered through the same learning system on the site. Students are not assessed with standard questions. They are quizzed by having to complete practical material and solve problems with coding.
This different method of learning may take some adjustment for those used to the traditional campus model, but it is not difficult to make this change. Students are learning by doing in these exams. Essays, coding, and other custom content is presented to the students so that they can demonstrate their ability to handle the concepts being taught.
Once the work is completed, it is graded by the instructors at The Tech Academy themselves. This is how grades are earned. You will get a better feel for your actual progress in learning programming by handling practical material than you might from taking a multiple-choice test. You are applying concepts and demonstrating your ability to go out into the world and perform.
Instructors give feedback on the material, going through it with you and letting you know where you succeeded and where you need more practice. Any issues are addressed at this stage so that you don’t just get a grade and not get a chance to master the concept.
Weak areas are reviewed so that you don’t have any gaps in your education. It is a beautiful system that allows collaboration between student and instructor for the improvement of skills and building of confidence.
From beginning to end, Tech Academy presents course material that is focused on core skills designed to get you a career in the real world. You will learn multiple languages and computer topics along the way, but the real goal of the Tech Academy is career placement. The coursework is delivered as a fifteen-week course, provided you work at least 40 hours per week. That total can be more if you are working at your own pace, which is allowed.
Before the course is completed, students work on what is referred to as a “live project.” This project is a hands-on opportunity to demonstrate the skills and concepts learned. It is also a way to show you what you will encounter in the world of working for a software development industry firm. After that there is a course in job placement, which covers basic tools like resume writing. It also explores professional manners, preparing for the job interview, and other useful tools for sealing a career in the tech industry.
The Tech Academy is passionate about getting graduates the jobs they seek in the field they want to be in, and with a job placement rate of 95% for graduates they show it. While this does not cover the breadth and depth of the course catalog, these are the classes that are most relevant to your education in the tech sector. They demonstrate the value offered by The Tech Academy. Unlike other training programs with a simple premise to teach, the Tech Academy delivers more. They help you take those skills, brush up your personal attributes, and make yourself marketable in the industry.
It is these factors that make the coding boot camp so valuable to a learner. You not only get to learn the skill set, which you can get anywhere. You learn how to be a consummate software developer. This will help you once you get out the door, and is more valuable than just knowing how to write code or understanding algorithms and data structures.
Each Tech Academy course shows you the entire topical area in depth. As an example, a course on computer basics covers multiple aspects of coding like you’d find on an on-ground campus. Some topical areas covered are:
- Machine Architecture
- Algorithms and data structures
- Memory function
- Principles of networking
- Internet design
- Social media
This is not an all-inclusive list. Each course is broken down into pieces like this. Unlike Treehouse and other platforms, you are not expected to complete the material with any repetition, so there’s not much repeat value. However, with the Tech Academy’s mission, there’s no need to repeat the course if you achieve your goal of being hired into industry in the job of your choice. Therefore, the courses are appropriate for what they aim to do—get you into the tech market.
One of the biggest advantages of The Tech Academy is that the instructors are available and willing to help in any way possible. Platform managers work with you to help start a business or find a career. There is an actual course in the program dedicated to finding work, whether it be through entrepreneurship or with an existing company.
Tech Academy takes one of the biggest problems with distance education over the internet and does away with it. That problem is contact time. Through the check-in process and the one-on-one with your instructor, communication is there when you need it as you need it. You never wonder about your progress or what areas you need to work on. One thing that must be remembered though is you are learning the infrastructure of the coding languages and not super specific things (like clearing arp cache).
Even if you do your coursework at odd hours, the Tech Academy is equipped to handle this instructor contact. There is a full team of people dedicated to grading projects and work with you via online chat or other services. Staff are always available to answer questions you may have or help with problems you are having with coursework.
Tech Academy delivers superlative lessons. However, the hands-on feel of the program is what gives it the level of quality that it has. You don’t just enroll and start watching videos. You have an entire base of people who know you and what is going on with you to assist through the process.
They are committed to knowing you understood the material so that you will retain it. The instructors at the Tech Academy want you to take away a complete education and continue to be ambassadors for the school in the career field. Tech Academy course content is far better than most in terms of quality.
This level of interactivity does not come at the same pricing level as other online schools which offer cheap subscriptions. But when compared to the average boot camp, the price is quite competitive. The base price for Tech Academy’s full fifteen-week online boot camp is $10,000, compared to $11,000 or more with other boot camps that run for a shorter period. Other boot camps may not offer near the same level of instructor engagement that The Tech Academy offers. You can visit our page that going over the ultimate guide for online bootcamps here.
Don’t let this pricing turn you off. There are discounts available to students who are willing to complete at least 40 hours of study each week of $1000, as well as scholarships and credits. This is a small investment considering the enormous reward of having a career in the tech industry and the support of a team of dedicated instructors.
From beginning to end, the Tech Academy is geared to your success. Their program is certainly the most expensive that we have reviewed, but it is the only consummate technological education program that we have reviewed as well. From daily check-in on your first week of class to job preparation and a final project at the end of class, your instructors are engaged and ready to help you.
They also make sure that you remain engaged and committed, and that you don’t fall behind on any of the material. It is worth it in the end to have this level of tech education, and the price tag should not be your first consideration when looking at the school. Their numbers of 95% career placement speak for themselves, and in the long game that is the goal that students are trying to achieve. So, place your faith in The Tech Academy for your path to an education in software development.