By Angela (Ceresnie) Prince, former Climb CEO
Remember when coding bootcamps were just taking flight? Today it’s medical assisting bootcamps — and other accelerated career training programs — that are ready to soar.
Eight years ago in 2012, software development careers were projected to grow by 22.8%.
This anticipated increase in demand needed to be met with adaptations to how education programs are delivered, in order to train new workers and fill these roles. Cue the rise of the coding bootcamp industry.
What’s the next “bootcamp” career path?
Fast forward to 2021, and now healthcare jobs are projected to grow much faster than other industries within the next decade, at 15% overall. Medical assistant careers specifically are projected to grow at 19% by 2029. That increase equates to nearly 140,000 new jobs available in this field in less than ten years — similar to the web developer job outlook projection from before.
Chris Lofton, CEO of Zollege — the parent company of many coding bootcamps, medical assistant training programs, and dental assistant training programs — shared his insight on both industries.
“Healthcare bootcamps will be even more impactful than coding bootcamps,” Chris says. “Entrance into these healthcare programs is more accessible to everyone because of lower tuition and flexible learning models. Students will use these programs to launch their careers in healthcare and begin earning a living wage with health insurance, and some students will go on to become nurses or doctors. Ultimately, healthcare is simply a larger industry with more entry-level jobs and will always be in demand regardless of economic conditions.”
Many medical assisting (and other healthcare) programs are already set up to deliver education like bootcamps:
- They offer accelerated career training, often completed in 12 weeks.
- They offer job placement and career services assistance, ensuring that positive student outcomes are aligned with industry growth.
- They are career kickstarters that can also be stacked with additional credentials and used as stepping stones.
How will the industry grow?
Like coding bootcamps, the growth of these programs will be contingent on the clear value and accessibility that they can offer to students — as well as student demand.
“The coding bootcamp phenomenon is also a product of student demand due to a lack of employment and growth opportunities available through traditional higher education.” says Chris. “Of course, the need for developers is and will continue to be there, but students in these programs seem to be primarily college degree holders seeking increased earning potential and job security.”
With many students weary of the value of traditional higher education, non-degree–granting programs like career training will also remain under scrutiny for value and outcomes. This is important so that learners can feel confident they’re investing in a program that will actually lead them to a career. The more these programs can showcase their outcomes — from publishing graduate salaries to being verified by third parties — the more likely the industry will be to scale.
Additionally, while career training is often far less expensive than traditional four-year degrees, these programs have far less access to financial aid options. Because federal financial aid is only available to courses that have a minimum amount of credit hours, accelerated career-focused programs like medical assistant training are often left scraping together payment options for their students — and we know that financial access is a major barrier to entry for people seeking career transformation.
In fact, 3/4 Climb students who attended career-training programs stated that they would not have been able to attend their education program without Climb financing options.
Like the bootcamp industry, healthcare programs will need to embrace the fact that their learners need a variety of options to pay — from low-interest loans, to interest-free installments, to deferred tuition plans with no payments during class.
And ultimately, we as a society will need to embrace the facts in front of us — that these accelerated programs are viable and affordable options for people to begin high-growth careers.