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Dec 11, 201812:39 PMInside Wisconsin

with Tom Still

Computer science education taking many routes as workforce needs grow

(page 2 of 2)

“Boot-camp style short courses reach a different population than our traditional comp-sci programs,” said Nancy Nelson, who is deputy to the campus provost for continuing education. She expects students who will enroll in a Thinkful short course will be far more likely to be women, minorities, older, and already holding a bachelor’s degree in another field.

The first Thinkful cohort will launch its training in mid-January, Nelson said, and others will follow in each month after that.

“As we considered this option, what we liked most about Thinkful’s approach was the one-on-one mentoring and their overall connections with each student,” she said.

It’s tempting to think of short-course schools as having a fly-by-night approach, but Thinkful is a member of the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting, which monitors such schools to ensure they perform as advertised. Thinkful has 140 full-time employees and 300 mentors in offices across the United States.

It also has a leading Wisconsin financial backer, the Milwaukee-based Golden Angels Investors. One of Wisconsin’s largest angel networks, the Golden Angels invested in Thinkful through a partnership with Owl Ventures in San Francisco.

(“Thinkful’s) best-in-class guarantee to students, coupled with exceedingly high employer satisfaction, positions them for significant success,” said Tim Keane, director of the Golden Angels. “Online education is a rapidly expanding category.”

Feeding the giant baby of workforce demands in computer science will require many approaches to education and training. There will be room for quality programs of all types, in Wisconsin and beyond.

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About This Blog

Tom Still is president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. He is the former associate editor of the Wisconsin State Journal.

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