The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a lot of change for people. Many took time amid the shutdowns and workplace shakeups to consider a new career path. In the process, some may have encountered barriers in their path to a new career. For those from backgrounds that may not have included higher education to a less-than-ideal economic situation, the hurdles standing in the way of change may have seemed insurmountable.
Entrepreneurs, educators, and mentors Sergei and Vadim Revzin saw a problem that needed a solution. They set out to break down the typical obstacles keeping people from accessing lucrative jobs in the information technology industry and changing their lives.
The Revzin twins have met the moment with School16, an online education program that teaches coders and even non-coders the skills necessary to secure desirable jobs in the tech sector.
When considering a career shift, the old school of thought likely involved years of education and tens of thousands of dollars of investment, especially if the new chosen career required a highly technical skillset. That thought process has been changing as of late. Likewise, School16 questions who should have access to these high-paying tech jobs and what they need to do to gain that access.
“I think there’s a shift happening right now, where more and more people are looking for alternative pathways into well-paying careers that don’t involve spending years or tens of thousands of dollars at the established institutions,” Sergei Revzin explained.
Having worked hands-on with tech startups as a venture investor, Revzin is well-aware that some of the highest-paying careers can be in the technology industry. The School16 program makes these jobs accessible to anyone regardless of background, experience, or economic situation. The course lasts eight weeks and is taught by professionals working in the tech industry. It’s more affordable than traditional college at only $3,500 for the whole program, and offers many need-based scholarships and flexible payment plan options.
A New Way to Skill Build
The School16 course is not the first education system to come from the Revzin family. In 1981, the brothers’ father Samuel Revzin created a school that offered a revolutionary new model of education, prioritizing student interest and talents over a rigid curriculum. That school was called School No. 16, inspiring not only School16’s name but also the Revzin brothers’ dedication to innovative education systems.
School16 has positioned itself as a beacon for people seeking a change as the pandemic wanes. The pandemic prompted many of these changes, given its effect on many traditional, non-tech jobs.
“People outside of tech who had traditional retail jobs, teaching jobs, and nursing definitely felt the negative impact. And so it forced people to question their career choices,” Revzin said.
Deemed the “Great Resignation” in the press, a record number of people left their jobs between 2020 and 2021, many seeking opportunities that were more lucrative and secure. The tech sector was a popular choice for people looking for something new, as it didn’t suffer some of the same adverse effects of the pandemic as other industries.
“People in tech were relatively insulated from the negative impact of the pandemic,” Revzin said. “In fact, they ended up making more money.”
A Different Kind of School
School16 is a program for people who want to break into the tech industry, whether they know how to code or not. The course works against the misconception that you need to have technical coding skills to obtain a job in technology. Taught by experts in the technology field, the live classes are recorded and can be accessed at the student’s convenience. Lessons focus on tech business teams such as sales, marketing, product management, and operations, as well as how they function.
Students are given projects and objectives to obtain instead of traditional grades. There is an emphasis on teaching tech language to non-coders, giving students a solid foundation to build their new careers. With students worldwide, School16 boasts a 99% graduation rate. After graduation, the school supports students with career development and mentorship.
“The next generation of tech employees are going to be people that are transitioning careers that need support,” explained Revzin.
Careers in the technology sector are some of the most well-paid available. The average salary for a data analyst starts around $60,000 a year, SEO professionals can start around $57,000 a year, and technical writers can start around $68,000 a year.
The Revzins and their team see School16 as an answer to the call for accessible career changes, especially in the wake of the pandemic. They have seen first-hand the benefits of a non-traditional pathway to education and well-paid employment.
“Students will tell us, ‘I was thinking about a master’s degree, or I was thinking about going back to school, and then I came across School16, and I just think that that’s a much better option for me,'” Sergei Revzin said.
School16 has paved the way for students to realize tech career dreams without spending tens of thousands and investing years into an advanced degree. In the process, it has built a new educational model to help people realize these dreams and create new professional lives.