Program turns anybody into developers

UTD is partnering with Fullstack Academy to create bootcamps that teach students technical skills.

Fullstack Academy, a tech-immersion program based in New York, reached out to UTD expressing interest in partnering with the University. Department Head of Electrical & Computer Engineering Lawrence Overzet offered to collaborate with the Academy because he thought it would greatly benefit students in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“Fullstack Academy is absolutely integral in the creation of the content for these bootcamps, and UTD is critical in terms of vetting it all out,” Overzet said.

In 250 hours across 26 weeks, students will learn new technical skills in the fields of cybersecurity, coding, data analytics or development and operations.

“A bootcamp is a very focused educational opportunity that allows one to go from very little knowledge on a subject to be ready for an entry-level position somewhere,” Overzet said.

The bootcamps – which are open to the general public – are scheduled to start in November 2021 and require their own applications.

“This is a completely separate application and tuition; it’s not part of the UTD application process at all,” Overzet said. “The admissions process has criteria for being admitted, and it depends on whether or not you will be benefited from this opportunity.”

The total tuition is $11,995, but UTD students, faculty and alumni are offered a $500 discount, and those who apply for the November 2021 cohort will instead be given $1,500 through UTD’s Founders Scholarship.

Due to the pandemic, the bootcamps will be conducted in a completely virtual format.

“We originally wanted the bootcamps on campus, but due to the pandemic, these first offerings will be virtual,” Overzet said. “We hope to eventually have some on-campus presence again.”

The program aims to help people without a STEM background become qualified for an entry-level position in a tech-related career. However, it is still open to those who are already STEM-oriented.

“This bootcamp would help people who really want to get into a STEM career and don’t have the ability to do so through an ordinary degree program,” Overzet said.

Despite the short time period the tech bootcamps have been around, Overzet said he is already receiving inquiries from colleagues about how they can be involved in the program.

“There is already so much excitement surrounding the bootcamps,” Overzet said. “I think the participants of this bootcamp will find a ready audience for their talents.”