From San Francisco to New Haven: Holberton is proving that an affordable, world-class technical education is possible

American employers face a critical talent shortage. There are more than 7 million technical jobs in the US, with expected job growth of more than 24 percent by 2026. Yet many of these high-paying jobs will remain unfilled because there simply aren’t enough highly skilled professionals available to meet the demand. From the automotive sector to banking, agriculture, retail, healthcare, and transportation and logistics, just about every type of business today is a technology business.

Meanwhile, our country is in the midst of a student loan crisis. The average price for a college education has mushroomed almost 400 percent over the past thirty years, and four out of 10 Americans who attend college are taking out debt to pay for it. Three out of four millennials are now in debt, and within five years of graduation, nearly 30 percent of college graduates face serious financial struggles relating to that debt, including loan delinquency and default.

Students need access to the technology economy, but doing so requires enrollment in a high-quality — typically extremely expensive — education. Holberton School is addressing both the need for tech talent and students’ need to pay for it without being subjected to a lifetime of debt.

That’s why I’m thrilled to see Holberton expanding their footprint to New Haven. This new facility will double the number of software graduates within a few years, bringing skilled, high paying jobs to the local economy while bringing a talented and diverse student body into the tech ecosystem.

Holberton School, which trains full-stack engineers in only two years, charges no upfront tuition. Instead, graduates pay a portion of their post-graduation salaries to the school for 3 years only if and when they find a job. Holberton makes a world-class technical education accessible and affordable to all — regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, learning style — and now geographic location. Holberton students range in ages from 18 to 58, more than half are people of color, and 35% are women. While the San Francisco location is a huge success with graduates landing lucrative jobs with employers like Apple, Tesla, Facebook and LinkedIn, not everyone can afford to live in San Francisco (even with no upfront tuition), nor is it realistic or reasonable for everyone to move there. There’s a need for technical talent everywhere. It’s not just Silicon Valley which needs great engineers. So do Detroit, De Moines, Rochester — and New Haven. Employment in Connecticut’s technology industry grew by over 1,000 jobs in 2017, and the sector contributed $16.2 billion to the state’s economy.

Holberton’s increased footprint in New Haven is just the beginning as they continue to expand their reach and scale. Through partnerships like this one with economic development organizations and local leaders and businesses,

Holberton is proving that it’s possible to make the tech economy an inclusive economy.

Congratulations to the team on reaching this important milestone. It’s a thrill and a privilege to be a part of an organization on a mission to make an affordable, world-class technical education accessible to all.