Online trade schools are revolutionizing how tech workers finance their education

Tech workers are in high demand, with reports suggesting there could be a global shortage of more than 85 million tech workers by 2030.

In an increasingly online and connected world, the demand for tech workers has skyrocketed. But supply is struggling to meet that demand. A report from the organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry estimates there will be a global shortage of more than 85 million tech workers by 2030. This ongoing shortage has been dubbed the “war for talent,” and it’s a battle that’s being fought by a wide range of industries, no longer just tech companies themselves.

In response to the heavy demand for tech talent, online trade schools like the Bloom Institute of Technology (BloomTech) have been offering flexible tuition packages to incentivize enrollment. Some of these packages include new financial instruments that have been making it easier than ever for people to pursue tech work, including income share agreements, tuition refund guarantees, and risk-free trials.

Watch the full video on BloomTech:

Online schools like BloomTech are enabling people to enter some of today’s most profitable industries with far fewer barriers to entry, all while still providing best-in-class education. One of the ways BloomTech achieves this is through a unique financing model.

Becoming a remote data engineer

Freethink caught up with Temsy Chen, a work-from-home data engineer that graduated from BloomTech after being a stay-at-home mom for nearly a decade. Like many stay-at-home parents, Chen doubted her ability to earn after not working for so long. But after completing the data science program at BloomTech, she was able to land a remote data engineer position. 

“I thought for sure that if I went back to work, that I would be making 5 digits,” Chen told Freethink. “But now I’m making low 6 figures. It really surpassed all my expectations.”

Chen attributes some of her success to the high demand for tech workers, comparing herself to a “data plumber” who writes and rewrites code the way a plumber would route and reroute the piping underneath a kitchen sink. And like plumbing, data science can be taught at a specialized online trade school, but with the benefit of learning from home. 

Of course, pursuing an education beyond high school requires time, money, and a lot of effort. Choosing a school is no easy task with so many available. Chen chose BloomTech for their data science course and made use of their financial incentives with income sharing, as well as their flexible schedule.

“The biggest reason I went with this bootcamp as opposed to any others is they have a thing called an ISA [income sharing agreement]…” Chen said. “They don’t get paid until I get paid. To me that was so important, I have kids, I didn’t want to put myself in debt.”

Income sharing agreements typically ask for a fraction of tuition up front, but once someone graduates and scores a job making $50,000 or more, students begin paying off the rest of the tuition. This helps to delay and offset making tuition payments until the graduate is in a better financial position. 

Financing online education in the future

BloomTech offers additional incentives in the form of tuition refund guarantees and risk-free trials. Virtually unheard of is the tuition refund guarantee, in which BloomTech graduates are entitled to a full refund if they are unable to land a job paying a salary of $50,000 or more within 365 days of graduation. And with courses that range from four to 18 months, there is a ton of flexibility in scheduling part-time or full-time students.  

Students can enroll in courses like full stack web development, data science, backend development, and Web3 development. That last course, Web3 development, is sometimes known as “crypto” development because of its inclusion of blockchain technologies like Bitcoin and Ethereum – some of the most exciting and new online financial instruments.

As a new technology, Web3 is rapidly growing and offers some of the most lucrative positions in tech work due to the sheer scarcity of Web3 developers. The average salary of a Web3 developer is $100k to $150k per year, with top earners reaching $300k or more. According to a report by LinkedIn, Web3 job postings grew 395% in the US from 2020 to 2021 (during the 2021 crypto bull market). 

However, it is also the only course at BloomTech that does not offer a tuition refund guarantee, making Web3 a riskier prospect, but one with the potential for big rewards. And for those with a riskier appetite for success, a course on Web3 development offers an opportunity to work on the cutting edge of online finance.

While Web3 remains a high-risk, high-reward job market, the other three courses correspond to markets that are well-positioned to continue growing into the future. According to the Dice Tech Job Report, companies have been hiring tech workers at an astounding pace, with trends from the first half of 2021 to the first half of 2022 showing year-over-year hiring increases of: 

  • 94% for full stack development
  • 102% for data engineering
  • 111-131% for backend development

Although the trends are clear, it can still be difficult for aspiring tech workers to decide what to specialize in. That’s one of the reasons why BloomTech offers students the ability to sample courses as part of three-week, risk-free trials that cost them nothing. In addition, BloomTech offers a free intro course on HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) — two programming languages that are often considered the cornerstone technologies of the internet.

With unique financial products, risk-free trials, and flexible scheduling, BloomTech is making it easier than ever for people of all backgrounds to land high-quality tech jobs. And for students like Temsy Chen, a stay-at-home mom of 10 years, online trade school makes it possible to work toward those in-demand jobs while not sacrificing heavy amounts of money and time. 

As working from home is becoming more accessible, the education needed to do that work is thankfully becoming more affordable. 

“If I had to switch careers again in 10 years, that would be okay,” Chen said. “I came into this with no background, and you know, if you’ve ever picked up a new hobby, I think it was just like that.”

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