MISSOULA – Montana Code School at the University of Montana is actively recruiting students for its next cohort, the third for Missoula and the inaugural cohort in Bozeman. The next cohort will run May 23 through Aug. 12.
Montana Code School aims to expand Montana’s pipeline of computer programming talent to address the acute and immediate need among the startups by training junior programmers for employment in the state’s booming tech sector.
Montana Code School also recently hired Kelly Nash, a graduate from Montana Code School’s inaugural cohort, as its first executive director. Nash brings her direct experience as a Montana Code School graduate to the position along with 13 years of experience as an educator at UM, as well as time spent in both elementary and middle school educator roles in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
“A lot of people want to stay in Montana and earn a livable wage,” Nash said. “Attending Montana Code School can be an on-ramp to a tech job with a good salary without the time commitment of a four-year degree. Startups, as well as established Montana technology companies like Cedar Mountain Software and Wisetail, also benefit from an increased local pipeline, which enables them to grow their businesses while continuing to locate in Montana. This is a win-win for all sides.
“It’s especially gratifying working with women, Native Americans and veterans, as they are populations traditionally under-represented in programming jobs,” she said.
One of Montana’s leading technology firms, Bozeman-based Wisetail, recently announced its plan to create more than 100 tech jobs in Montana with an average salary of $75,000.
“Montana Code School’s innovative approach to training the next generation of tech sector talent is helping ensure home-grown talent is ready to take the good-paying jobs we are aiming to create,” said Justin Bigart, CEO of Wisetail and founder of Wisetail Works. “Early on, we saw the promise of Montana Code School and invested in their program through Wisetail Works. Today, we are proud to have hired Juniper Emnett, who was a graduate of Montana Code School’s first cohort. We congratulate Kelly Nash on taking the helm of this important organization and welcome the next cohort to Bozeman.”
In September 2015, Montana Code School received a $100,000 grant from Wisetail Works to support the school’s development of a virtual learning environment.
“Our experience with hiring a graduate of Montana Code School has been very positive,” said Bob Jaffe, owner of Cedar Mountain Software. “Hiring folks who need training has some risks. But a Montana Code School graduate has demonstrated their initiative, desire and capacity to learn quickly. Our programming work is in areas not directly covered by MTCS, but our new employee had no problem jumping right in and being productive from day one. We will definitely keep our eye on MTCS for our next hire.”