3 ways to skill-up your own tech talents

Accelerate and preserve your tech skills

Indiana’s technology industry is growing and transforming into something bigger and better. With technology and tech-enabled businesses in sectors such as healthcare, IT security, manufacturing and marketing constantly looking to hire highly skilled workers to accelerate their growth, even workers already in the industry are looking to “skill-up” their tech talents to grow along with it.

There are many good choices for Hoosier adults already in the workforce who are looking for a change and are passionate about pursuing a job in technology. For those looking to further their education to progress throughout an existing technology career, there are good options there, too. Different programs are designed for:

  • degree-seeking workers looking for a more traditional education experience
  • workers interested in gaining tech skills quickly in an immersive learning environment
  • enthusiasts wanting to pick up tips and tricks from fellow techies.

Indy has a program that is sure to be a perfect fit for you.

Immersive options for accelerated learning

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Students at Eleven Fifty Academy learn in a non-traditional immersive environment

Indianapolis features coding schools dedicated to connecting people pursuing the craft of coding to the resources they need to do so. Whether you’re a first time coder or an old pro wanting to skill up your current talents, programs such as these are ideal for busy working professionals looking for an alternative educational program to a traditional degree-path.

The Iron Yard, one of the largest coding schools in the country, came to Indianapolis in May of 2015 to offer free crash courses and an immersive code school to those interested in learning to code. Program participants can dip their toes into the world of code with one-night crash courses that are designed to gain exposure to coding, or you can jump into the deep end with the 12-week code school that takes you from zero to job ready in a fast-paced, immersive environment. Classes are taught by industry-experienced instructors in five major programs:

  • Back End Engineering focuses on the logic and database needs required to run and scale web applications through courses in Python and Django, C# and .NET, Java and Clojure, and Ruby on Rails.
  • Data Science focuses on using programming to find, extract, clean, analyze, and present data. Data developers work with researchers, statisticians, and developers from other disciplines to draw intelligence from data. Data Science currently features a course in Python.
  • UI Design covers an incredible amount of ground from foundational design concepts, user experience and product design to writing clean, extensible code. The User Interface Design course focuses on HTML, CSS, Sass, and basic Javascript functionality.
  • Front End Engineering focuses on creating experiences in web browser that users see and interact with. The JavaScript and MVC Frameworks course covers a broad area, from web design principles to complex JavaScript applications that manage data.
  • Mobile Engineering focuses on creating native experiences designed specifically for mobile operating systems and the hardware they run on. The course, Objective-C, Swift and iOS SDK allows builders to create apps for iOS devices from Apple Watches and iPhones to Mac OS X apps and everything in between.

For information on The Iron Yard’s tuition and available scholarships, click here.

Eleven Fifty Academy is a nonprofit coding academy that teaches the most relevant and up-to-date coding coursework using an immersive learning environment available to those of all skill levels who wish to gain or further their knowledge about coding. For true beginners needing to start at the very basics of coding, they offer extremely immersive Accelerated Learning Programs as well as a more brief Coding 101 course. For those looking to become more experienced in languages they are already familiar with, they offer courses ranging from 4 hour briefings to 5 day classes. Courses are available in the following programming languages: @Work, Android, Big Data, iOS, Java, Javascript, .NET, Python, Ruby on Rails, and Unity.

Click here for information on scholarships available through Eleven Fifty Academy.

A traditional degree path for non-traditional students

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Get a degree from a higher education institution at your own pace

For those working professionals wanting a degree-path means of higher education while still maintaining full-time employment, many of Indiana’s nationally-accredited universities offer the opportunity to obtain various certificates, bachelor’s and master’s degrees all completely online.

Indiana University offers an online Certificate in Applied Computer Science to non-degree seekers looking for beginner-level computer science education through their downtown Indianapolis campus at IUPUI. Students learn how to design and implement algorithms, adapt to technological change, and be efficient in at least two programming languages through courses in web development, computer science concepts, and software project management. Earning a certificate in applied computer science prepares you for entry-level positions such as database management, web development, multimedia, system administration, or user support.

WGU Indiana, a nonprofit online university, offers the most options for a convenient, flexible education online under the guidance of dedicated mentors and is directed at working adults. With the majority of students earning a degree in two years, WGU Indiana provides an affordable educational solution for students, charging tuition by 6 month semesters as opposed to traditional credit hour pricing. They offer a number of bachelor’s and master’s degrees through their College of Information Technology: Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Bachelor of Science in Software Development, Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance and Master of Science in Information Technology Management.

Click here for more information on the many degree programs WGU Indiana has to offer.

Purdue University gives working professionals who have already secured a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field multiple programs to choose from in order to further their education and obtain a master’s degree. The flexible nature of their programs, as well as extensive access to advisors who help create a plan of study to best fit educational needs and career goals, make it possible for you to earn a degree at your own pace.

The Master of Science in Computer Science is a non-thesis, 30-credit hour program that allows students to participate in groundbreaking research and future discoveries in a diverse and stimulating environment with the option to choose from a number of research concentration areas.

The Master of Science in Electrical & Computer Engineering is a 30-credit hour program with curricula providing the foundation to excel and lead in a global computer engineering environment through courses covering fields and optics, VLSI and circuit design, computer communications and networking and much more.

The Master of Science in IT Project Management and Master of Science in IT Business Analysis programs, both 34-credit hours for those lacking prior relevant certifications, combine the IT functions of an organization with the business domain needed to run one. Both programs are taught by faculty with years of field experience in technology, business, and positions combining the two and focus on topics such as IT policy and law, IT economics and procurement management and business and data analytics among many more.

Casual learning via real-world connections

Finally, for those looking to build upon their education, meet people and network within the Indy tech community, Indianapolis is home to hundreds of Meetup groups dedicated to bringing together Hoosier techies to bond over technology and learn from one another. Groups include three of the most popular in the Indy area:

These popular tech Meetups bring together hundreds of tech-minded individuals to listen to presentations by tech leaders, enjoy local coffee or beer, and offer each other tips and tricks of the trade.

To find other tech get-togethers, head over to Meetup.com or to find a calendar of upcoming developer-centric events, visit the Indy Hackers.

Whether your schedule is better fit for a traditional degree path or a more casual style of learning, Indianapolis has an endless array of options available to those looking to skill up their tech talents to be able to grow along with the ever-transforming technology industry. Whichever educational path you choose, it is guaranteed to change your career and your life for the better.

Eleven Fifty Academy

CATEGORY: Education Technology, Nonprofits Technology CITY: Fishers

Eleven Fifty Academy helps to close the nation's growing technology skill gap by creating a coding ecosystem.

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Indiana University

CATEGORY: University CITY: Bloomington

A public research institution, grounded in the liberal arts & sciences, & a leader in professional, medical, & technological education.

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The Iron Yard

CATEGORY: Education Technology, University CITY: Indianapolis

The Iron Yard exists to create real, lasting change for people, companies and communities through technology education.

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Purdue University

CATEGORY: Education Technology, University CITY: West Lafayette

Purdue is a vast laboratory for discovery, known not only for technology and engineering programs, but also for imagination innovation.

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WGU Indiana

CATEGORY: University CITY: Indianapolis

WGU Indiana, indiana.wgu.edu, is an online university for the 21st century.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kaitlin writes about the tech industry in Indiana. She is studying media and public relations at the IUPUI School of Public and Environmental Affairs.