TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND PRIOR TO CODING DOJO.
Prior to Coding Dojo, I had just graduated from college. I majored in communications and minored in criminal justice. What led me to a coding certification was that I wanted to advance my technical skills. The field of PR that I wanted to enter was very technically focused. I was looking to acquire extra technical knowledge that would help me advance in my career and the skills that I was building for that field of work.
HOW DID MIA SHARE HELP YOU WHEN APPLYING TO TRADE SCHOOL?
I think it helped a lot. Since I had just graduated, I definitely did not have the money to go to a coding boot camp. What I did know was that those types of skills were exactly what I needed to get a good job. Then Mia Share was presented as an option where I was able to learn and pay once I landed a job. ISAs allowed me to continue my education with no second thoughts. And the process to repay has been easy. There are constant reminders, and at the end of the year, I get a notice if there are any missing payments or documents. They are incredibly thorough.
“I would recommend Mia Share to anyone who does not necessarily have the funding to go to college but is looking to advance their skill sets in order to make that career leap. It fills in the gaps for families and lower-income individuals who need a little help. I think the greatest thing about Mia Share is you can learn now and land a job, everything else gets figured out after that. You don't have to stress in the beginning about finding the funding to receive your education and progress in your career.”
DID SUPPLEMENTING YOUR EDUCATION WITH A CODING CERTIFICATION HELP YOU LAND A JOB?
I absolutely believe so. The company that I work for, they have a heavy interview process and onboarding can be difficult if you are unfamiliar with the workload. There are lots of tests and writing samples that you have to submit. I wholeheartedly believe that my technical background is what separated me from other candidates. Even the position I was hired for pays higher than the average communications entry-level position. I feel like it’s helped me tremendously in my field, as well. Currently, I am making $60k. I've only been with the company for a year and a half and I've already been promoted. I am on track to make $75k by the middle of next year, and I think that has everything to do with my coding background.
TELL ME MORE ABOUT HOW YOUR CODING BACKGROUND HAS HELPED YOU IN YOUR FIELD.
Well, most of the clients that I work for are focused on software development. It's helped me easily understand the language and, in turn, write content for them. My work is viewed by different levels of audiences. The reader could be someone that does not know much about coding or software development, or they can be military officials or military publications that know more than I do on the subject. It's been useful, having the background knowledge I have, because the content I write about is really technical.
DO YOU SEE YOURSELF CONTINUING YOUR EDUCATION?
I believe in the next year or so I'm going to do another career jump. I think I'm more interested in doing coding full-time like front-end development. Well, currently what I'm doing in PR, bleeds over into so many aspects of work. Through PR, I’ve realized I really liked the social media aspect of it. A lot of the positions I've looked into are heavier on the coding side and businesses pay more when you have more than just basic skills. I'm just looking to build on my skillset to make the jump to a career where I feel I will have more creative freedom and also more chances for salary growth.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE THINKING ABOUT A TRADE SCHOOL EDUCATION?
Absolutely. If I could go back, I think I would have gone to a technical boot camp first, and started working right away. I probably would have still gone to college, but it would have made it easier to start working right away and develop those skills even earlier. And I think it would have helped with my student loans significantly, as well. I think it would have been the best decision for people in my position where you don't necessarily have the full funding to go to college.
I also felt like some of the skills I learned in the boot camp, even though I went through a four-year university, it was not as in-depth or given as much detail as my trade school education. I learned a lot more on the technical side in just three months versus all of the classes I had to go through in college.