CLEVELAND — COVID-19 has led to historic job loss, but those in the tech industry have seen enormous growth.
The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates tech jobs will see an 11% growth over the next decade, adding about 500,000 jobs by 2029.
Tech Elevator is an intensive coding bootcamp program that runs 14 weeks. It’s not cheap, but some grads said it’s worth the cost to change careers.
“We train people to become software developers,” said Marty Mordarski, campus director for Tech Elevator in Cleveland.
When the pandemic hit, their coding bootcamp classes went virtual — the demand for tech talent went through the roof.
“Large and small, established and startup; there’s a good mix,” Mordarski said of who’s hiring their graduates. “Locally, we work with companies like Progressive Insurance, Key Bank, PNC — National General Insurance have hired a number of our grads.”
It costs $15,500 for the 14 weeks, but with a job placement rate of over 90% and an average $23,000 per year salary increase, Mordarski said grads see the value.
The average age is 30 — and the majority have degrees in fields other than tech.
“The folks who come to us are typically career changers, meaning that they have opted into this,” Mordarski explained.
Those folks include people like 24-year-old Seth Boyle. He had been working part-time as a barista in between music gigs.
Then, the pandemic hit, the coffee shop asked him to take a voluntary layoff and, “all of my gigs, wedding gigs, any performance I had booked for the next six to eight months, canceled,” Seth said.
Seth wanted a change — and more importantly, needed stability.
With little to no background in coding and computers, he turned to Tech Elevator, a program his sister had completed and told him about. A week after he graduated in August 2020, Seth landed a job as a software developer for a local startup.
Seth said the job provided “a lot more stability, and it was a huge relief to have consistent income in a growing industry." His partner is now in the program herself.
“Organizations have realized if you have the skills, the aptitude and the right attitude, they’re willing to bring you in to entry-level or junior-level roles because they know you can continue to learn and grow,” Mordarski added. Tech Elevator classes in Cleveland remain virtual currently, but have attracted students from all over the state.
BLS data also indicates that the median salary for tech jobs is more than $88,000 per year.