Vanderbilt boot camps boost workforce talent to meet influx of tech jobs

Tech jobs have increased by thousands in middle Tennessee as companies including Amazon, AllianceBernstein, Oracle and EY announced Nashville hubs in the last five years. The Nashville metropolitan area ranks third in nationwide tech job growth over the last decade, following only San Francisco and Silicon Valley, according to NTC and Cushman & Wakefield.

Philippe Fauchet

“Nashville is home to a sizable tech ecosystem that’s exploding,” said Philippe Fauchet, dean of the School of Engineering. “The city has a constant stream of tech companies moving to Nashville and our well-known health care and music companies are expanding their tech talent base.”

Fauchet says universities play an important role in building a workforce for such innovative ecosystems. “The global demand for data analytics, the internet of things, and artificial intelligence will fall short of filling positions. For this reason, tech companies need a reliable talent source; access to top research universities gives companies a competitive edge in tech hiring.”

Vanderbilt University Boot Camps prepares students for the field of web development, data analytics, cybersecurity, or digital marketing through a hands-on environment.

In addition to supplying tech companies with top notch engineering and computer science graduates, the Vanderbilt School of Engineering teamed with the Owen Graduate School of Management and with Trilogy Education Services to accelerate the tech workforce through boot camps in coding, data analytics, cybersecurity and digital marketing. Tech tracks for boot camp alumni launching in the fall include cloud computing, advanced front-end development and advanced back-end development.

Upskilling the workforce or addressing employees’ skill gaps on an accelerated timeline is the focus of tech boot camps. Since Vanderbilt’s part-time, 24-week boot camps launched in 2019, 634 adult learners have graduated and earned certificates. Another 283 students are currently enrolled. Of all students enrolled and graduated, nearly one-third are women, about 40% are 26-35 years old, and almost two-thirds are non-white. And graduates have been hired by more than 100 companies, including Cigna, Nissan and Bridgestone.

The average salary increase for certificate earners is $15,920. One data analytics graduate more than doubled that figure. “I chose to attend so I could make a career change from sales into data. Now I’ve found a perfect role that combines the two. The program enabled me to earn a $40,000 increase in my annual base salary within five weeks of our final,” said Charles Glover.

Students have access to career-planning assistance like coaching, resume support and technical interview training. “I found the curriculum, instructional staff and career services personnel to be outstanding,” said Tim Edwards. “Without this program, I am confident it would have taken me much longer to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to move into a profitable new career in development.”

Tyler Porter has an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt and was curious about boot camps. “When employers hear that you work full time, you’ve been spending 20 to 25 hours per week studying web development and the curriculum is supported by Vanderbilt, you grab their attention. Even with only six months of study, I found a great job within months of applying,” he said. Tyler said mentor support and encouragement also set him ahead in app development job searches.

“Our boot camps provide rigorous training with career and professional development opportunities and offer a terrific experience and value for both our boot camp graduates and our employers,” said Fauchet.

Contact: Brenda Ellis, 615 343-6314