INDIANAPOLIS — As the unemployment numbers grow, there are some industries that remain stable and continue to hire. One of those industries is tech. Eleven Fifty Academy is a non-profit tech school teaching cybersecurity and coding. RTV6 learned of a free opportunity that can help Hoosiers rebound into a new career.
A finance graduate from Butler University, Marquese Martin-Hayes had no experience coding until he found Eleven Fifty Academy. It was an opportunity that he says changed everything for him.
"I was actually in a good position, I was making good money previously in the business world," Martin-Hayes said. "My issue was value, was being able to be in control of my career. I had never spent any time coding. I went to their intro to coding class and I just felt like just barely understood. But it was very interesting."
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That intro class was enough for Martin-Hayes to enroll in their three-month course. He graduated in December and is now working as a support specialist. Less than six months later, he is playing an important role helping companies thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I think it is also clear through this pandemic that the things that are going on of how much is actually placed on the internet," Martin-Hayes said. "Businesses are not a business if they don't have a website. It gives you a chance to be in that new frontier and have a say in how that new frontier develops and I think that is super cool."
Kelly Karrmann with Eleven Fifty Academy says their beginner intro course is great for those looking for a new job and those thinking about a new career path.
"The tech industry is still hiring," Karrmann said. "The opportunities this opens for individuals to get their foot in the door in the tech industry and make decent salary and know this industry is growing and growing. Tech is not going away and the opportunities to work from home are huge. Obviously we have so many people who are unemployed right now and this is a stable career path."
The course is completely free and the only commitment is time. The six-hour course is split over two evenings of interactive sessions with instructors through Zoom.
"We really walk you through slowly learning HTML and CSS and you have a little final project at the end," Karrmann said. "And it is really great because if you finish the final project, you actually get a badge for your LinkedIn profile which is great for recruiters or employers. You are actually going to be learning how to code."
This is an opportunity to help Hoosiers figure out if a career in web and software development is a right fit.
"In less than a year I will make $20,000 more than I did previously with exponential growth in salary and in value, where before my growth was definitely stunted," Martin-Hayes said. "Coding gave me the ability to say you know what, this is my value, I know what I am worth, I know what I am capable of and I can show that to you. And that gives you an opportunity to say hey this is what I would like to do with my career."
Eleven Fifty Academy pivoted quickly to add online courses to their curriculum and will keep them once the stay-at-home orders are lifted.
The free beginner course is Monday and Tuesday, May 4 & 5, from 6 p.m. to 9 .pm. Hoosiers can register for the class up until the class begins.
Those who enroll in Eleven Fifty Academy and take their three-month or six-month coding academy, Eleven Fifty does offer career services to help students build resumes to prepare for a career immediately upon graduation. Karrmann says the average salary of an Eleven Fifty graduate is $55,000.