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.
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.
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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.