Teaching tech skills to millions, and fast

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Kelly Marchisio, a 25-year-old computer programmer, told me recently. Ms. Marchisio was not assuming false modesty. Like many googles, she has an enviable academic background, including a master’s degree from Harvard. But her degree from Harvard graduate school of education had to do with interaction between neuroscience and teaching, a field far removed from software engineering. In 2013, Google hired ms. Marchisio as a custom service representative, a job that paid the bills but failed to ignite her intellectual passions. What she really wanted to do was code. Ms. Marchisio had taken several computer science classes at Harvard, sparking her interest in programming which happen to be one of the economy’s most in- demand skills. But how does someone with a master’s in education move from customer service to coding as an occupation? Economists and technologists agree that in the future, just about everyone’s job will involve more technology. During the last few years, many local and online schools have popped up to teach people how to code. They offer a vast range of prices and techniques. Some, like codecademy, are free, while others can cost thousands or even tens of thousands. Some offer more personalized coaching, while others leave students to figure out on their own. 

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