Your Secret to Taking a Gap Year and Getting Ahead

Katie Dunn By Katie Dunn ● November 30, 2020
Momentum taking gap year coding school
More than ever before, stu­dents are con­sid­er­ing tak­ing a gap year.
The upcom­ing aca­d­e­m­ic year is filled with much uncer­tain­ty, and with schools like Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty switch­ing to remote learn­ing and main­tain­ing tuition at $50,000 and up, many stu­dents are unsure if col­lege with­out the full col­lege expe­ri­ence is worth the invest­ment. But with this con­sid­er­a­tion comes a whole new set of ques­tions — what are the ben­e­fits of tak­ing a gap year? What are avail­able gap year oppor­tu­ni­ties? And how can I stay safe from COVID-19 while doing some­thing that is mean­ing­ful to me?

The ben­e­fits of tak­ing a gap year are exten­sive. Accord­ing to the Amer­i­can Gap Asso­ci­a­tion, peo­ple who’ve tak­en a gap year report­ed strong per­son­al out­comes, such as growth and matu­ri­ty, pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment, or time to solid­i­fy a plan lead­ing to greater career sat­is­fac­tion.” Con­nie Albers, Par­ent­ing author, puts it best — A gap year isn’t a break from learn­ing, it’s a way of learn­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent, even hon­ing a skill that will make you more valu­able when you do return to the classroom.” 

The way to make the most of gap year ben­e­fits is to take the time to find gap year oppor­tu­ni­ties that are engag­ing to you. Per­haps there’s always been a skill you want­ed to pick up, or com­pa­nies you want­ed to learn from that you haven’t had the chance to reach out to. Tak­ing a gap year is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty for you to begin accu­mu­lat­ing new skills or hon­ing the skills you have, and even estab­lish­ing rela­tion­ships with com­pa­nies you are inter­est­ed in.
"A gap year isn’t a break from learn­ing, it’s a way of learn­ing some­thing different"
Code school grad­u­ate Mason Whitak­er went through code school the sum­mer before he start­ed col­lege. Now, at the age of 24, he is a Project Man­ag­er at Sun­rise Tech­nolo­gies where he leads imple­men­ta­tions of Microsoft Dynam­ics 365 for the man­u­fac­tur­ing divi­sion of a world­wide ser­vice orga­ni­za­tion. On a recent episode of the pod­cast Get a Job, Here’s How host­ed by Katie Dunn, Momentum’s Direc­tor of Career Devel­op­ment, Mason shared the incred­i­ble sto­ry of why he decid­ed to com­mit to code school and the impact the deci­sion had on his col­lege expe­ri­ence and career. Cod­ing class­es ulti­mate­ly pro­vid­ed him with entre­pre­neur­ial oppor­tu­ni­ties that set him apart from his peers and enabled him to jump head­first into a reward­ing pro­fes­sion­al career.
Momentum taking gap year learning
That’s why tak­ing a gap year at a code school like Momen­tum makes sense. Momentum’s 16-week Soft­ware Engi­neer­ing Immer­sive course teach­es you full stack devel­op­ment skills for high-demand tech jobs — skills that you can also use to accel­er­ate your start back in the class­room. It’s a great finan­cial return on invest­ment because you can learn pro­gram­ming, and then spend the rest of your gap year work­ing as a soft­ware devel­op­er. I’m par­tic­u­lar­ly excit­ed about this idea as it checks all the box­es for me both as a par­ent and as a career coach,” Katie says, It enables stu­dents to have a pro­duc­tive year, gain a future-proof skill set and not only repay the invest­ment in their edu­ca­tion, but also put some mon­ey away for the future.”
"It enables stu­dents to have a pro­duc­tive year, gain a future-proof skill set and… put some mon­ey away for the future"
Tak­ing a gap year and attend­ing code school is also a COVID-19 safe option. Most code schools are now ful­ly remote, mean­ing you can explore talk­ing to peo­ple from all over, while learn­ing from expe­ri­enced instruc­tors and get­ting plugged into a com­mu­ni­ty that will inspire you for years to come — all from the safe­ty of your own home. Code schools like Momen­tum have also built struc­ture into their program’s online sched­ules and ensure live teach­ing — key dif­fer­en­tia­tors from what pass­es for remote learn­ing at many high­er edu­ca­tion institutions.

Get in-demand skills, remotely 

Learn how to make a gap year valuable 

Fur­ther­more, you can choose how you pay for code school. For exam­ple, you can pay for Momentum’s course month-by-month. That’s $4,550 per month­ly phase for four phas­es ($18,200 total). And if you need help pay­ing, you can work with great lend­ing part­ners who know the ins and outs of code school, such as Climb­Cred­it or Skills Fund. Plus, as you com­plete each phase of the pro­gram, it’s easy to start work­ing as a soft­ware engi­neer or return to school, even if you need to pause after a par­tic­u­lar phase. Each phase of Momentum’s course trains you in soft­ware devel­op­er skills you can apply right away. If you’re look­ing for options to be pro­duc­tive and to spend your time and mon­ey wise­ly dur­ing your gap year (all while stay­ing safe from COVID-19), learn­ing to code is a great option. It’s time to set your­self up for a future-proof career.

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