Calling all Promotion-Seekers... your boss is waiting to pay for your coding bootcamp!
In talking with hundreds of code school graduates, we’ve discovered three main types of bootcampers: Career Changers, Entrepreneurs, and Promotion-Seekers. A career changer is someone unemployed or underemployed who wants to land a new job, or someone unhappy in their current career who wants to make the leap to a new industry; entrepreneurs usually attend a bootcamp to build their own prototype. In this guide, we’re going to focus on the third category: promotion-seekers. The promotion seeker is motivated and driven; maybe he’s happy at his current company, but wants to move into a new technical role. Or perhaps she loves her team, but wants to take on more responsibility (and snag a raise while she’s at it).
Bosses should be thrilled to have a promotion seeker like you on their team! You’re motivated and committed to your company- all you need are those tech skills to move up. In fact, your employer probably already recognizes that technical chops are imperative to a thriving business these days. In this step-by-step guide, we’re going to help you convince your boss to actually pay for your coding bootcamp tuition.
#1 Find the perfect class
Don’t tell your boss that you’re “thinking about learning to code.” Have a concrete plan: choose your dream school (and a couple safeties), know when the next cohort begins, where the class meets, and how many hours you’ll need to commit.
Choose a bootcamp or class that teaches the technologies that your company already uses! And study up on the curriculum. Chances are, the bootcamp isn’t just teaching “Ruby on Rails,” but rather a full-stack curriculum, covering everything from HTML/CSS to agile development. That’s much more impressive!
#2 List ways your company will benefit from your new coding skills
Once you graduate, your new tech skills won’t just benefit you! Point out that:
Most importantly, understand exactly how coding skills will contribute to your current role. Jason Cassidy was cognizant of this when he pitched his boss on paying for his Brainstation course: “My main angle was to invest in growing my marketing skill set. Most companies just don’t know the full possibilities of digital marketing. They still see it as a skill that you tack onto traditional marketing but they’re realizing there’s so much more there.”
#3 Make a commitment to your boss
An employer’s biggest fear? Forking up the cash for your coding education only to have you poached when you graduate! If your boss is making an investment in your education, you should promise (in writing or verbally) to stay at your company for a certain amount of time after graduation. 6 months? 1 year? Talk it over with your employer.
#4 Calculate a Return on Investment (ROI)
Sure, bootcamp tuition is a non-trivial chunk of change. But what will your company save (or earn) as a result of your new skillset?
ROI is a pretty simple calculation: [gains - cost] / cost
Think about these potential gains when pitching your new skills to an employer:
#5 Start Small & Anticipate Compromise
Ideally, you walk out of your boss’s office with your full-time coding bootcamp paid for, plus paid leave. And cupcakes. But think realistically, anticipate concerns, and have these backups in your back pocket:
#6 Help Your Employer Find the Money
Budgets are tight. Bootcamps are expensive. Asking an employer to cover your tuition is not a small ask. Help your boss out!
#7 Know what you’re committing to
Have you successfully convinced your boss to front the cash for your coding bootcamp tuition? Tell us what worked (and what didn't) in the comments below!
Liz is the cofounder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students researching coding bootcamps. Her research has been cited in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and more. She loves breakfast tacos and spending time getting to know bootcamp alumni and founders all over the world. Check out Liz & Course Report on Twitter, Quora, and YouTube!
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