Career Insight

Should I Pay to Learn to Code?

Kenzie Academy students learning to code around laptop.

Free stuff rules. Whether you’re using free websites, applications, or videos, learning a new skill like coding for zero dollars is the way to go, right? This begs the question, why should I pay to learn to code? There is a wide range of benefits from paid education beyond those that free lessons can offer. Let’s explore them as we highlight what you can expect in a Kenzie Academy program from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).

The Quality of Education

“You’re not just learning to code, you’re learning to recognize code. I’m going to learn how to interact with others, work with a team, learn how to talk about code, and explain not just ‘why’ it works. I can talk about the ‘how’ and give my own opinion of why I did it the way I did.”

– Jeffrey Simpson, Kenzie Alum, Software Engineering

Free coding education comes in different shapes and sizes ranging from short videos, to succinct lessons on apps or websites. Kenzie Academy from SNHU however, offers a structured curriculum with a well-defined learning path designed to prepare you for an entry-level job in the tech industry. This means the lessons and support you receive are all geared toward making you a well-rounded expert in coding, software engineering, or web development.

In a Kenzie Academy program, you’ll also have access to Learner Success Advisors, Facilitators, and Coaches who are all available to answer questions, provide feedback, and guide you as you grasp difficult concepts. This is especially beneficial if you’re new to coding and need extra support to stay motivated and engaged.

A Flexible Pathway

“I started right before COVID hit and the classes were online. So it was perfect for me. It was convenient … I could do it at home.”

– Katrine Jackson, Kenzie Alum, Amazon Career Choice

Free coding lessons can essentially be completed any time, anywhere. Kenzie Academy offers that flexible scheduling with the Kenzie asynchronous learning model. This means you can attend your course’s live sessions, watch on-demand recordings, and attend optional sessions like kickoffs, study halls, or Q&As whenever you want.

Prior to the start of your program, you will receive a course invite. Once accepted, your sessions populate on your academic calendar, and then you can adjust your weekly schedule according to all your other responsibilities.

The Best of All Worlds

“If you want something that’s going to give you more than just the typical bootcamp but you don’t want the 4-year commitment of going to college to get a degree, Kenzie is the nice, sweet spot.”

– Jessica Benson, Kenzie Alum, Software Engineering

Most free coding lessons can be completed in hours or days — and that’s not enough time to get proper job-readiness training. Our condensed approach puts you on a fast-track path, however, programs are either 9 or 12 months to fully prepare you for the tech space.

Look at it this way: a free coding lesson can be completed in a very short amount of time … with varying degrees of subject comprehension. Typical coding bootcamps can be completed in 3 to 6 months, and then there is the traditional 4-year degree. Kenzie Academy is the “sweet spot” in the middle. Kenzie programs extend past the typical 3- to 6-month bootcamp length to give you the appropriate time to absorb coding concepts, develop your skills, retain information, and combine it with hands-on experience. This also means you are ready to enter the industry without having to spend 4 years on a traditional degree.

The Collaborative Approach

“Being able to work on capstones and learning how to work with such vast personalities was a necessity. And I got to meet a lot of people that I could learn from who were also learning the same things that I was. And that was really, really helpful.”

– Ashley McKenzie, Kenzie Alum, Software Engineering

The workplace is full of collaboration, and coding education in a Kenzie Academy program is no different. Collaboration and teamwork teach you to work through any projects, issues, or roadblocks as a unit. By working together with other learners, you are better prepared to engage with the moving parts and cooperation you can expect in a job. This collaborative approach also gives you a platform on which to learn new concepts through a different lens you may not have already been familiar with.

Networking Opportunities

“If you make those connections and you utilize those connections, you can definitely make everything work. You can create your own pathway into the industry.”

– Zachary Kline, Kenzie Alum, Software Engineering

Free coding lessons can teach you skills but they may not offer networking opportunities for you to capitalize on. In a Kenzie Academy program, your skills training and networking options go hand-in-hand. You are able to connect with other learners, industry experts, and companies looking to hire via livestream events, employer-led info sessions, and career fairs. Having these networking opportunities at your disposal can help you begin the transition into a tech career even before you graduate from your program.

The Support

“Every time I have doubts or I’m just unmotivated, the Kenzie Team has tips for everything. They’ll help you through so much and there have been long nights I’ve spent just frustrated, trying to learn this, and I come to them and they are like, okay, calm down a little, let’s take this step by step.”

– Alyssa Wiser, Kenzie Alum, Full-Stack Web Development

As you learn to code in a free course, there is a big chance you’ll run into questions or roadblocks. When that happens in a Kenzie Academy program, you will have the backing of the Kenzie Instructional Team to help you problem-solve and teach you how to find the answer. In fact, the Kenzie Academy support begins the moment you show interest in one of our programs:

  • The Admissions Team guides you through the admissions process.
  • Financial Services answers your program cost questions, helps you evaluate your financing options, guides you through the financial aid process, and helps you graduate in the best financial situation possible.
  • Learner Services helps you set educational goals and keeps you on track through the entirety of your program.
  • Academics is there to mentor you, teach coding fundamentals, and guide you through the process of using your new knowledge in real-world scenarios.
  • Career Services help you fine-tune your resume, portfolio, job interviewing skills, and more while helping you prepare to get your first job in tech.

Kenzie Academy from SNHU

Kenzie Academy programs are offered by Southern New Hampshire University, a nationally recognized, accredited higher education institution. But what does this mean to a potential learner?

First is the ability to access federal financial aid if eligible. This includes options such as loans or grants that can be used to cover the cost of program tuition. While Kenzie Academy education isn’t free, having access to federal financial aid can potentially ease concerns and provide a solution for paying for coding education.

There is also the ability to transfer completed, eligible program credits earned through Kenzie Academy programs and apply them toward a degree at SNHU or other institutions. This means the educational journey doesn’t need to stop in a Kenzie Academy program — you can start here and resume your educational journey at SNHU whenever you want.

Kenzie Free: Take Coding for a Spin

The idea of investing your time and money in a 9 or 12-month technical training program can be overwhelming. It’s part of what makes free coding education such an attractive option for many. That’s why the Kenzie Team developed Kenzie Free — a series of free mini-courses designed to help you decide if a career in coding is for you by introducing HTML and CSS, two staples of web page creation.

Kenzie Free is for beginners and experienced coders alike. Tutorial videos teach you about industry tools and programming concepts as you write code, plus you get to see the results of your work in real time. Remember: Kenzie Free is the place to make mistakes, play around, learn, or get a refresher.

Put Your Future in Motion

“If it was easy, everyone would do it. But anybody could do it. You just got to stick with it. And I believe in anybody that’s going through this program. And the help is there. All you gotta do is be here.”

– Manny Ledoux, Kenzie Alum, Software Engineering

Financially investing in a coding program is investing in your future, and Kenzie Academy is ready to guide you through your tech journey. From the moment you show interest in our programs to beyond your graduation, we offer one-of-a-kind support. Apply today and get started on the future you want.

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