We recently came across this article in Education Dive promoting universities to provide more experiential learning in their classrooms. Experiential learning combines theoretical learning with real world work. For example, Wheaton College sent a group of students to study and live in Puerto Rico for a semester to learn about gender-based violence in the wake of Hurricane Maria; and Georgia State University’s Digital Learners to Leaders initiative helps students team up to solve community issues using IoT, such as creating an app that rewards users who recycle with points redeemable for certain products.

Research from a 2014 Gallup study shows that only 30% of Americans are actually engaged in their work. However, experiential learning changes that stat. By being actively involved in extracurricular activities or internships during college, the odds that a student is engaged in their jobs upon graduation nearly doubles!

At Buildschool, students learn to code by shipping real apps to the App Store. Not only does it look great on a resume, it is also invaluable experience that prepares students to create value in the real world. We don’t just want our students to get any job after they graduate from Buildschool; we want them to work in one where they will feel engaged and thrive!

The job interview experience has also been transformed by the Buildschool experience. Without experiential learning, interviewees and employers had to rely on practice projects as the measuring stick to predict readiness and performance on the real world job. With Buildschool, the interviewee and the employer can talk about real job performance. A couple of Buildschool graduates have shared their experiences on the job hunt:

Buildschool provided the knowledge/experience to work for the job. This boosted confidence since I was able to answer the questions that interviewers were asking. We also have mock interviews which prepare us for questions normally asked. We also have “real work experience” since we all take part in creating an app within Buildschool. Most schools do not provide “real work experience” (Usually comes from external internships). — Jonon

Most importantly Buildschool made me believe that I can code. That knowledge made it possible for me to go and apply for jobs. I was able to convince others, pass my trial period and show that I can solve problems without additional help. Before Buildschool I wasn’t sure if I could actually become a software engineer. Once you believe in yourself you can convince others. Algo hours and coding challenges helped as well; they were asked at interviews. Having project experience and a live iOS app helped a lot during job search. — Alex

Many graduates of traditional education institutes can testify that all the advanced data structures and algorithms work does not accurately reflect the day to day life of an engineer. While they are important foundational skills, they don’t help engineers build real user facing products. Buildschool puts that real world experience front and center of the curriculum, and our alumni have found that their skills have greatly improved their ability to perform at a real job:

I use that knowledge every day. At work we structure data, organize classes, read JSON, apply simple animations and we practiced all that with Sophie. Internet has become my best friend when I look for answers now, but in the beginning I would go back to Buildschool class projects to recreate some features and that was a big help. I had a compilation of Buildschool lectures to remind me how some life cycles work to help me with some common interview questions that were actually asked. — Alex

Yes, everyday I am doing iOS development with the skills I learned at Buildschool. — Jonon

Buildschool prepares students for their job in a completely different way than traditional education institutes. From the tools and processes to coding practices, students learn way more than just programming skills:

I had taken some computer science classes in university. These university classes taught us what code is and how to slap together things to make stuff work. However, university doesn’t teach how to code in the industry. University code doesn’t teach scalability, robustness, styling, etc… (Many things that job employers look for). Buildschool teaches how to “code in the industry” while coupling the tools companies use (Jira, Github) to ensure the most relevant experience. — Jonon

Buildschool gave me practical knowledge, I was able to share my coding stories with others. Previous jobs mostly taught me theory and didn’t convince me I can code. Buildschool teaches you through practice and cohort community. — Alex

If this post inspired you to pursue a coding career and learn by building, please apply on our Application Page.  Cohort 6 starts this summer!

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Post Author: Sophie Novati

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