When a College Degree Isn't Enough | Markle | Advancing America's Future

When a College Degree Isn’t Enough

Publication Date: April 27, 2017

SEATTLE—Last June, Martin Chibwe, a computer-science major, graduated from Evergreen State College, in Olympia, Washington, a liberal-arts campus with a hipster ethos that shuns letter grades and urges exploration (“We don’t tell you what to take,” its website promises). His computer-science courses covered topics like programming, machine learning, and artificial intelligence; Chibwe even did a project on recommendation algorithms for an online library.

But days after getting his diploma, and despite the big investment ($39,000 in student loans), he sought another credential to “stack” on top to make him more marketable. He enrolled in Udacity’s iOS Developer Nanodegree program, a five-course cluster from the online platform known for its techie-skills focus. Cost: $900.

“I knew I needed help to land a job,” said Chibwe. In January, he was hired to develop apps at the National Center for Telehealth and Technology near Tacoma, Washington.

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