pathways non-traditional

Student: 3 components of a non-traditional pathway that will work for my career

One student explains why going to a traditional four-year college wasn't a must for her; discusses benefits of the non-traditional pathway.

3 non-traditional components that worked for my career

I wasn’t sure where I wanted to work, but I knew I wanted an entry level tech support position. During my search, my roommate told me to check out a new tech school in San Francisco.

1. Learn by Doing

A two year program that trains the next generation of full stack engineers. I loved the idea that you could train by doing, and network with and learn from volunteer mentors in the technology industry.

2. Shorter Time

I also loved the fact that it was a two year school. But, still being in debt, how could I possibly consider going back to school? I couldn’t continue to acquire more debt. My mother had also been down this road. Following her divorce she decided to go back to school to become a school teacher, and in the process found herself $134,000 in debt!

3. No Debt

But when I looked into Holberton School, named after the famous computer programmer Betty Holberton, I learned that they offer a debt-free payment method. Rather than paying anything upfront like I had for my previous collegiate experience, I would pay only 17 percent of the income made at my internship (which most students start after just a year) and then at my job–for three years. A chance to go back to school debt free? Two years (and most often just one) and I could be making six figures? I could live well, doing what I love AND pay off my remaining $22,000 of debt. Hell, I could help pay off my mother’s debt! So I applied (and by the way, the application process is actually the start of the education process. You have to build your own web site).

In January 2017, I began my new journey of becoming a software engineer and I can not be happier, motivated, and challenged. I am currently on track to begin my internship in this  fall. I am ready to hit the ground running and am so happy I made the decision to change my story, make myself a real career, make something of myself, without the unnecessary debt of going back to college.

Stay tuned, for an update to learn more about how my world has changed for the better.

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