By Aaron Fazulak
Last Updated April 30, 2019
Why tap into this potential group of bootcampers? Aaron Fazulak, co-founder of DESIGNATION (now part of Flatiron School) in Chicago, explains why veterans make great tech bootcampers!
As of 5/1/19, Designation is now Flatiron School. Read more about UX Design at Flatiron School on Course Report.
Veterans of the United States Armed Forces are important to this country in a number of ways. Not only do they risk their lives to protect our great nation’s freedoms, but they are also a valuable asset to our workforce. The jobless rate among America's youngest veterans (aged 18-24) is 30%, compared to the national average of 15%. While this number is high, tech careers can be a viable path for many veterans. Veterans acquire skills through their time in service that are extremely useful to various professional career paths in Design or Development.
There are many reasons why Veterans are great for immersive programs; here are three:
Discipline/Work Ethic: Veterans have been through rigorous physical and mental training in preparation for their service. I have spoken to many veterans, and Basic Training is not for the faint of heart. Bootcamp-style Education Programs demand a lot from their students. There are tight deadlines, long hours, and can be extremely challenging.
Collaboration: The ability to work in teams is very important in the design process. Our program requires a ton of collaboration through group assignments and live client projects. Veterans bring elements of leadership and teaming that will help them thrive in the classroom and in their careers.
Technical Skills: Our brave servicemen and women take on responsibilities requiring the same skills necessary in our programs. “Most people in the military work in technical roles,” says Tyler Berry, officer of the Army National Guard and a graduate of The Iron Yard’s front-end development track. “A lot of those skills can be transferred to design and development principles.” Students that are able to bring such a skill set into the classroom can quickly grasp the core concepts of the curriculum and succeed.
Technical Bootcamps provide veterans the opportunity to return from service and quickly hone those skills to break into a new career in technology. An obstacle to their participation is the current version of the GI Bill. Although the average bootcamp requires significantly less time and money than a 4-year degree, design bootcamps aren’t currently covered by the bill. A recent expansion of the GI Bill in August 2017 may change that.
Todd Connor, Co-Founder and CEO of The Bunker, and a veteran himself, applauded DESIGNATION: “DESIGNATION is a phenomenal program that is putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to supporting Veterans. We at The Bunker love what they are doing in their efforts to ensure that veterans are getting jobs.”
Want to learn more about Flatiron School? Check out their School Page on Course Report or the Flatiron School website here!