Udacity Says It Can Teach Tech Skills to Millions, and Fast Online

Farhad Manjoo for the NY Times writes:  “I’m the least experienced person on my engineering team at Google,” Kelly Marchisio, a 25-year-old computer programmer, told me recently. “I frankly might be one of the least experienced engineers at Google, period.”

Ms. Marchisio was not assuming false modesty. Like many Googlers, she has an enviable academic background, including a master’s degree from Harvard. But her degree, from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, had to do with the interactions between neuroscience and teaching, a field far removed from software engineering. In 2013, Google hired Ms. Marchisio as a customer service representative, a job that paid the bills but failed to ignite her intellectual passions.

What she really wanted to do was code. Ms. Marchisio had taken several computer science classes at Harvard, sparking her interest in programming — which happens to be one of the economy’s most in-demand skills. But how does someone with a master’s in education move from customer service to coding as an occupation?

“I’m superexcited with efforts to get girls and young people into coding, but for a long time I’ve thought, ‘What about me?’ ” Ms. Marchisio said. “I’m here now, I’m already in the work force. You can have me tomorrow if you just train me.”

Economists and technologists agree that in the future, just about everyone’s job will involve more technology. During the last few years, many local and online schools have popped up to teach people how to code. They offer a vast range of prices and techniques. Some, like Codecademy, are free, while others can cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. Some offer more personalized coaching, while others leave students to figure things out on their own.  SNIP, the article continues @  the NY Times, click here to continue reading……

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