Prioritizing inclusivity in 2017

Diversity is one of the most important issues facing the tech industry today. In order to make lasting change and foster an inclusive tech sector, it’s imperative that all stakeholders – from educators and employers to government and civic organizations – are accountable for the role they play in shaping the makeup of the workforce.

The role of code schools

For many, code schools are the entry point to the tech ecosystem and where students go to get the training they need to secure their first job as a developer. As such, code schools have a responsibility to help grow diversity in the tech industry and the unique opportunity to make an impact on workforce demographics. 

First, code schools have the ability to impact change quickly. The majority of our students at The Iron Yard are career changers, meaning we’re training people within the existing workforce to take on new roles in tech. This allows us, and programs like ours, to help generate more diverse talent pools within the tech industry more quickly than any other point of entry (e.g. k-12 programs, four-year degrees, etc).

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Diversity in the classroom strengthens problem-solving skills

I have the great privilege of traveling the country and meeting with The Iron Yard’s students, our teams and employers of all sizes in the 21 cities where we have campuses. The tech industry is vibrant and reflective of each market’s individuality – from Nashville’s creative music city vibe to the manufacturing history in Detroit to the creative ‘weird’ center of Austin. There is, however, a common theme among the conversations I have with employers – both those who are looking to hire graduates for the first time and those who have already employed our graduates. Employers say their best hires are people who have tangible experience and worldviews that can be applied to creative problem solving. In short, they want developers who are dedicated, curious and tenacious.

There’s no one who demonstrates those qualities more than someone who took the brave leap of faith to change their career through an immersive education program like a code bootcamp. These students made the decision to learn a new skill in a challenging, fast-paced environment because they wanted a better career. They chose to seek creativity, tangible problem solving and intellectual challenges at work. Read More