Watch out, business schools? The rise of 'boot camps'

Source: General Assembly

Ash Kamel wanted to expand his skills and be more marketable in the corporate world. But he didn't choose to do it by enrolling in an expensive and time-consuming business school program.

Kamel, who graduated with an electrical engineering degree nearly a decade ago and became an entrepreneur, enrolled instead in a three-month, classroom-based "boot camp" at General Assembly, a four-year-old startup that offers short-term intensive courses in design, business and computer programming. He saw it as the quickest and most efficient and inexpensive way to learn coding—a skill which has become vital to multiple industries.

"In retrospect, this was quite a gamble," said Kamel. "[But] it turned out great for me."

He credits the program with helping him secure a full-time software engineer position at DegreeCast, a startup search engine company in New York City.

Boot camps like the one Kamel chose have become increasingly popular over the past few years, as students weigh the cost and time involved in going back to school—particularly for skills like coding that are immediately marketable and don't require a graduate degree.