Treehouse Introduces Techdegrees: The Next Step in our Evolution

Ryan Carson
Views from the Treehouse
5 min readMay 10, 2016


Today we’re proud to introduce the Treehouse Techdegree, a guided-learning experience designed to prepare students for entry-level developer jobs at companies across the country. This program is the culmination of everything the team has been working toward since I started the company back in 2010.

In the last 6 years, nearly 600k students have enrolled in our basic subscription courses and Treehouse has become well known for our expert teachers and high-quality videos, content and interactive tools. Now, with Techdegrees, we’ll be offering intensive courses specifically for people who want to make a career out of technology.

I’m incredibly proud of this new qualification — put simply a Techdegree can change your life. We’ve already seen people realize their dreams of getting a well paid job in tech through our programs. This is what motivates me — creating something that can help people get the job they want and transform their life. It is our mission today — as it was when we founded the company 6 years ago.

The idea for Treehouse came about while I was running my first company, Carsonified, which focused on hosting industry events, conferences and workshops for web designers and developers. While I loved the idea of bringing people together, exciting and empowering them with knowledge, I realized I wasn’t able to do it at the scale. I remember asking my wife — ‘how can we teach people at a larger scale, while keeping it affordable to the students?’ Being the very practical woman she is, she simply replied — ‘we should just hire a teacher and film them teaching a course and put it on the internet’. Boom — and this is how it all began.

In August 2010, we introduced our $25 and $49 basic subscription plans, with courses focusing on Front End and Back End Web Development. In 2012, we decided to make Portland, OR, Treehouse’s permanent home and now, nearly six years later, we have 110 employees, have offered 500 courses and helped almost 600,000 students.

Treehouse Teachers, working on our curriculum

From day one, we’ve taken a student first approach — creating a structure and curriculum that keeps students engaged, while allowing them to work at a pace that fits their learning style. Our content is 100% original and created in-house; from our high-quality videos to the interactive tools we have in place to give students the additional resources they need to learn new concepts. But perhaps the most important element in delivering an online education of this caliber is our passionate team of full-time teachers — all experts in the courses they’re teaching. Our teachers are committed to changing students’ lives and continuously gathering feedback and updating their methods to deliver the best online education experience possible. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from students that they love Treehouse because of the way we teach. Some of our teachers even get recognized in the street sometimes. They really are rock stars.

After a lot of hard work, and a little bit of luck, got my first dev job!! Thanks @treehouse couldn’t of done it without you!!!
- Jacob Mishkin

Our mission has always been to bring technology education to people everywhere, to help them achieve their dreams, but we understand that not everyone has the same dreams. We realized that people are coming to treehouse for a number of different reasons: some want to learn to code as a hobby, others are looking to brush up on or learn new skills, and some folks are looking to get into technology for the first time — often after already having completed a college education in another subject or having spent years in an unfulfilling job. For those people especially, the thought of going back to school to earn a computer science degree can be daunting, time consuming and expensive.

Techdegree is a solution to this problem, taking students from zero to skill ready by providing them with a quality tech education and qualification, in a more affordable price and in a more effective way.

The Techdegree is designed to be a passport into a new life.

A Techdegree program only takes 6–12 months on average to complete and starts at $399 per month. Each course has been designed by educational experts and employers to ensure that Treehouse students have the very latest skills and qualifications needed to get great jobs in tech. Techdegrees will be initially offered in six key topics:

  • Front End Web Development
  • Full Stack JavaScript
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Python
  • Java

In addition, the courses will include 12 real world coding projects that are reviewed and graded by Treehouse staff, a dedicated Slack channel to get help from other students and Treehouse staff, a final proctored exam, and one-on-one video mentorship for students. The 12 real-world projects are designed to be shown on a resume and show prospective employers that Techdegree graduates are trained and ready for the job at hand.

You’ll build real-world projects and finish the Techdegree with a complete portfolio of work.

With over 500,000 unfilled computer science jobs across the United States in 2015, we believe that Techdegrees offer a ready made solution for both students and employers.

And we are confident employers will agree with us. Treehouse is already recognized and valued by employers such as Buzzfeed, Home Depot, Kaplan, Mailchimp and NASA who have used Treehouse products to give their employees new tech skills. Our goal this year is to continue conversations with companies across the country, in a variety of industries, to drive awareness of Treehouse and our certification.

While some online schools promote themselves as the bridge into Silicon Valley, we believe that opportunity is everywhere. Our economy is changing fast and there are new roles in tech in every corner of the United States, in every city, and every state. No-one should be denied that opportunity if they want it. That’s why a Techdegree from Treehouse can become your passport into a better job and a better life.

For more information on Treehouse and the Techdegree program, visit us here.



Ryan Carson
Views from the Treehouse

I'm a Father, entrepreneur and lover of movies. Founder and CEO of @treehouse.