A JavaScript course in New York only expects women to pay for tuition once they have landed their first job after graduation

Set sail for rewarding tech careers with Grace Hopper Academy

21 Jul 2016

Next week, a new cohort of women will join a fast-paced 17-week programme that will ground them in fullstack JavaScript development. And the amazing thing is the students will only pay tuition once they secure a job after graduating.

Grace Hopper Academy runs a 17-week programme to empower women coders as fullstack engineers and developers.

The experience starts with a four-week part-time course, Foundations, which is completed remotely before coming to campus.

That’s followed by the full-time 13-week immersive programme, held on-campus in New York City. While on campus, students learn through a mix of lectures, hands-on workshops, projects, pair-programming, and more.

Deferred tuition

Remarkably, Grace Hopper Academy claims the unique position of being the the first women’s engineering school where students only pay tuition after securing a job. The payment owed for the programme is then paid monthly over the course of one year.

This deferred tuition model means that the success of the school is completely aligned with the success of its students, but there are additional reasons for this strategy.

By enticing more women to engage with coursework through this model, the academy hopes to turn out qualified candidates who may not have otherwise attended classes due to up-front costs. In doing this, the school is breaking down barriers to entry, which has been identified as one factor contributing to the homogeneity of the tech sector.

Grace Hopper Academy’s curriculum is based on the award-winning educational programme taught at Fullstack Academy. The core of the curriculum is to expose students to the latest in modern software development for the web and mobile. Fullstack JavaScript is the most popular and widely supported software language in the world.

Through the course, students will dive into the tenets of computer science, back-end development, front-end development and databases as well as tools and best practices.

For those interested in attending the NYC course, applications are accepted on a rolling basis with new cohorts starting every seven weeks. Candidates will also have to complete an online assessment and Skype interview.

The woman behind the name

Grace Hopper was an American computer scientist and US Navy rear admiral. She was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer in 1944, invented the first compiler for a computer programming language and spearheaded the idea of machine-independent programming languages, leading to COBOL, one of the first high-level programming languages.


Rear admiral Grace M Hopper

‘A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. Sail out to sea and do new things’

The US Navy destroyer USS Hopper is named for her, as is the Cray XE6 Hopper supercomputer at NERSC.

The Grace Hopper Academy is working towards increasing diversity in the technology industry, where women reportedly occupy only 15pc of engineering roles in tech companies. Only 18pc of computer science undergraduates are women and only 35pc of graduates from coding schools are women, according to the academy’s figures.

As endeavours go, the Grace Hopper Academy approach is interesting and thorough and ideal for students who understand coding and want to further their careers.

As Hopper herself famously said: “A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. Sail out to sea and do new things.”

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Manhattan skyline image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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