Coding boot camp 101: 500 MU graduates, five years, any major

Vice Provost Jim Spain: “The goal for us is just to provide an opportunity for our students to gain access to an exciting career in IT that are made more available by this partnership and this relationship that we have with Revature.”

A global technology talent development company will provide a free computer coding boot camp on campus for MU students and graduates. The new program, Revature at Mizzou, was announced as a partnership with MU via Twitter on Oct. 20.

This 12-week program will teach in-demand computer languages, such as Java and Microsoft’s .NET framework. Upon completion, students are guaranteed employment with Revature, given professional certification and placed in jobs at top companies in either the Kansas City or St. Louis area.

“The goal for us is just to provide an opportunity for our students to gain access to an exciting career in IT that are made more available by this partnership and this relationship that we have with Revature,” said Jim Spain, vice provost of undergraduate studies.

Spain said the program will benefit students at a personal level.

“The reputation of our IT program, we don’t see that as a primary outcome — we see the benefit of our students being able to access an educational professional development program that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to that opens some doors with companies,” Spain said. “Our computer science/IT graduates are already very … successful in being able to secure exciting career opportunities.”

Spain refers to the new partnership as a “crossing-the-finish-line opportunity” for MU students pursuing IT careers. He also pointed out that Revature opens doors for students that do not necessarily graduate from IT programs because the company welcomes diverse applicants of all majors and backgrounds.

A study conducted for Oracle Academy found that 7 million job openings in 2015 valued coding skills, which is 20 percent of career jobs, also known as jobs that pay at least $15 an hour. Some occupations for which coding skills are useful include data analysts, artists, designers and scientists.

Spain said within the first two to three days of the partnership’s announcement, 100 MU students had already signed up for the program, and a handful of them were accepted.

"The pool is narrowed down by Revature based on the degree programs that the applicants graduated from and/or the applicants’ successful completion of online training modules,” Spain said in an email.

It was Revature that approached MU about a partnership, Spain said. The company saw potential in the diverse pool of students at MU.

“One of the reasons [Revature] sought out MU was because we are so comprehensive in the nature of our academic programs,” Spain said.

In a news release, Revature CEO Srikanth Ramachandran said MU is a “perfect partner” for the company.

“Combining MU’s academic excellence with Revature’s accessible, no-cost approach to talent development, Revature at Mizzou is a winning formula,” Ramachandran said in the news release. “It breaks down barriers, so students from any background can quickly realize their potential and secure a rewarding career while creating a diverse talent pool of highly-desirable technology professionals to support workforce needs in the Kansas City and St. Louis region.”

Revature at Mizzou also offers RevaturePro, a self-paced online program for students with all levels of experience and from all majors. It is also offered at no cost and places students with a mentor for one-on-one guidance, creates a comprehensive online portfolio, and offers opportunities to join the Revature software development team.

Kannappan Palaniappan, interim chair of the MU computer science department, could not be reached for comment.

The program is projected to hire 500 MU graduates within the next five years.

Revature at Mizzou is now accepting applications for the January 2017 boot camp.

Edited by Claire Mitzel |

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