No job after coding school? Get a refund

American coding school Byte Academy guarantees a refund of tuition fees for students who cannot land a job six months after graduating from full-time courses.
American coding school Byte Academy guarantees a refund of tuition fees for students who cannot land a job six months after graduating from full-time courses.PHOTO: ST FILE

At Byte Academy, an American coding school starting boot camps here in the next few months, students are guaranteed a refund of tuition fees - which come to $10,000 before government subsidies - if they cannot land a job six months after graduating from full-time courses.

However, country manager Diana Lim stressed that the school makes sure it corrects misconceptions about positions available to students after the boot camp. For its data science and financial technology boot camps, it also makes it clear that students need prior programming experience.

"We are upfront with them that we cannot teach them what a four-year programme can offer, but we can equip them with fundamental skills," she said.

A strict admissions process gauges prospective students' ability to code and whether they have the "drive or passion" to switch careers, Ms Lim said.

The refund guarantee comes with some expectations, such as:

  • Completing the course with satisfactory evaluations, without repeating any phases;
  • Accepting all career services recommendations;
  • Being responsive in communications with career services; and
  • Applying for at least five relevant jobs a week and submitting search logs.

Ms Lim said the job guarantee covers internships that can be converted to full-time positions.

"We make it clear that graduates (who are career switchers) can't expect to go into a senior developer role just because they have leadership or management skill sets - they are starting from ground zero."

The school can complement traditional courses, said Ms Lim. "We fill the gaps in areas where the syllabus cannot change as fast as what the industry requires."

Yuen Sin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 17, 2017, with the headline 'No job after coding school? Get a refund'. Print Edition | Subscribe