7 On Your Side: Man lands lucrative second career after learning coding

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- If you're in a rut at your job, there's a popular industry in the Bay Area looking for new recruits. 7 on Your Side's Michael Finney talked to one Bay Area man who chucked his career for something more lucrative.

You don't necessarily have to go back to get a four year degree to switch jobs. The coding academy may be a good alternative.

Sam Tran of Fremont is one year into his new career as a software engineer. Just 18 months ago, the former psychology major worked in human resources.

"I would say that life as a software engineer is awesome. It's fantastic and it's well worth the effort," Tran said.

Tran quit his previous job because he found life in HR to be unfulfilling. He had dabbled in coding and decided to pursue it as a career. He enrolled in the Flatiron Coding Academy in New York where he lived at the time.

"It was a new journey, a new chapter and I wanted to embrace change," Tran said.

The 12-week program costs $15,000. Online classes are available for $500 to $1,500 a month. At the end of the 12-week program, Tran had no problem getting interviews and offers.

Chandler Hoisington is the vice-president of engineering at RMS in Newark.

While a four year degree is much more expensive, Hoisington says you can get so much more than just coding from a college education.

"You could probably weigh a four year degree over a coding academy. But overall, if you can code, you can code," said Chandler Hoisinton said.

Coding academies are intense with 60 to 80 hours a week in class time and homework. Hoisington highly recommends it.

"I have some friends who are trying to get into coding who ask me, what should I do. Should I go back to school. I said, look, try out one of these programs," Hoisinton.

He says you'll leave with all the fundamentals and a strong foundation. Within three weeks of graduating, sam had three job offers.

"I wouldn't call it a bidding war. I would call it me fulfilling the demand," Tran said.

Salaries range from $60,000 thousand all the way to $200,000. The demand for coding is high and jobs are plentiful in the industry right now.

Hoisington says no particular skill set is required to become a coder as long as you have a passion for it.

"Your background does not matter. You just come in and show them you can code," Hoisinton said.

Both Flatiron and Hoisington suggest picking up a book and trying some basic coding first to see if it interests you before enrolling in an academy.
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