How You Can Invest in Yourself Despite Rising Education Costs

Individual frustrated over work

Living through inflation hasn’t been easy for anyone. In fact, according to Time Magazine, everyday costs are continuing to rise and current levels of inflation are at a 40-year high.

Sounds scary, right? It doesn’t have to.

Prices are increasing, but so are the number of career opportunities in tech that offer financial growth and job security. Many of these opportunities are available in a work-from-home setting allowing you greater freedom and flexibility in your schedule. All you have to do is invest in yourself and make a change for the better. 

We know that sounds intimidating; making a sudden change into a new industry comes with a lot of variables and unknowns. In addition, education costs have also increased, and taking on a four-year degree in the face of the student debt crisis doesn’t just mean a hefty time commitment but another cost to bear as well. These fears are completely understandable and shared by many.     

Fortunately, there is a cost-effective alternative to traditional degrees that can get you thriving in a fulfilling career in tech in just 10 months: the Digital Skills Bootcamps offered by The College of Professional and International Education at California State University, Long Beach.

These days we’re all trying our best to manage and be frugal which is why we’re here to explain how participating in a bootcamp means investing in yourself and your future. 

Why? Because you’re worth it.

Current Trends in Digital Skills Careers

Group of diverse individuals working in an office

So, why should you start a career in tech? Let’s talk about that.

Careers in tech have always been the way of the future however, the COVID-19 pandemic has expedited that timeline. During the pandemic, several companies switched to the digital landscape to ensure their work could still be completed which resulted in a much higher need for skilled tech workers. 

In fact, according to LinkedIn’s data, we will likely see about 150 million more tech-related careers across many industries on a global scale. The growth in this sector will only continue to increase. 

Both the demand for skilled tech workers, as well as their salaries are increasing at a notable rate. According to the Dice Tech Salary Report, the average salary for individuals employed in tech saw a salary increase of about 7%. For comparison’s sake, most other sectors and hourly workers saw an increase of only 4% in the face of a 7% increase in inflation as of December 2021.  

As it stands, the current salary of most careers is unable to do much in the face of such steep cost hikes; however, tech workers are in-demand and staying competitive. 

Rising Educational Costs

Switching to a career in tech may seem challenging however, there are many viable pathways toward breaking into the industry, here are a few.

The traditional route of a four-year degree can be a great way to network and learn the fundamentals. However, many might find this difficult due to the rising cost of college tuition–which has risen, on average, by about 5% in the last few years. Along with the hefty financial commitment, a four-year degree can be difficult to balance due to the considerable time constraints as well.

Self-training can also be an excellent way to expose yourself to an array of concepts and techniques at a fraction of the cost. If you put in the time and energy to find free resources, online classes, and networking opportunities you could potentially gain globally recognized certifications and other opportunities; however, the learning curve can be quite steep if you’re a beginner with no previous exposure.    

Accelerated career-prep programs are a great option if you’re looking for flexibility and a program that delivers hands-on training based on your level of experience. This route of training is usually favored by many thanks to its flexibility, price tag, and fast pace.

So which is right for you? While a four-year degree is certainly a viable option, more top companies such as Google, Apple, and IBM no longer list a college degree as a requirement on their job postings. They now ask for equivalent experience in the field. You can certainly gain that experience through self-training; however, an accelerated career-prep program such as those offered by The College of Professional and International Education at California State University, Long Beach will provide both training and networking opportunities in an industry that is growing exponentially with no signs of slowing.

Letterboard stating “Invest in Yourself It Pays The Best Interest”

Sometimes you do have to spend money to make money. This is why we view our digital skills bootcamps as an investment! You are spending in the short-term to maximize your financial, professional, and personal growth in the long run. Plus, with our bootcamps, you can be ready to start a new career in tech in less than a year, which means you’ll start seeing the returns on that investment very quickly

Are Bootcamps Worth It?

Bootcamps are considered to be a “fast-track” to a new career for good reason! As we previously discussed the majority of tech careers don’t require a four-year degree, they just require that you have relevant experience. This is due to the high demand for qualified workers to fill the sizable tech skills gap. 

The bootcamps offered at CSULB allow you to learn through hands-on project-based learning from current industry professionals, ensuring that you are honing the cutting-edge skills employers are hiring for. 

To put this in perspective, if you did pursue a four-year degree you would have to spend more time and money on the prerequisite courses alone just to eventually take the lessons you’d need. This could cost you upwards of $1,000 per prerequisite class.

Benefits of The Digital Skills Bootcamps at CSULB

Our Digital Skills Bootcamps offer a variety of benefits, all with the intent of filling the tech skills gap with qualified workers looking for fulfilling careers. Here are some of the benefits we offer.

No Experience? Not a problem 

Contrary to popular belief, a tech career isn’t just for the computer or math obsessed. Our bootcamps are designed so that participants of all skill levels and backgrounds can complete their program of choice with current industry skills and experience.

Career Services

We also provide personalized career assistance up to 6 months after program completion such as networking opportunities, job placement assistance, career coaching, resume and LinkedIn optimization, and more. Breaking into a new industry and job hunting is stressful, but with our program, you won’t have to do it alone.

If you were to receive career coaching elsewhere the cost averages around $125 per session and hiring a professional resume writer can cost anywhere from $100-$400. With our bootcamp these services are included in the cost and are available to you longer than just a single session or resume commission.

Online Courses for Busy Schedules

We understand that you may have familial or occupational commitments, that’s why our bootcamps can be taken online with live, online courses in the evenings and on weekends.

The ability to take our classes remotely not only provides greater flexibility but also removes the need for potential childcare costs. This could result in savings from $700-800 a month.

These are only a few of the benefits and savings you have to gain with any one of the Digital Skills Bootcamps offered by The College of Professional and International Education at California State University, Long Beach

Return on Investment from our Bootcamps

Many individuals are hesitant to invest money because there is usually an inherent risk or gamble associated with spending money to make money. 

Let’s talk about Return on Investment (ROI).

Orange Calculator with ROI scrabble tiles

The ROI is a financial metric used to measure the potential gain or benefit made on an investment. By participating in one of our Digital Skills Bootcamps you could potentially have a significant ROI. 

Here are a few of the entry-level salaries for digital skills positions you would have the opportunity to train for in one of our bootcamps.

  • Associate Data Scientist
    • This role expects you to be proficient in business intelligence analysis and data mining. You will conduct hands-on research, build predictive models, and create dashboards.

Average salary: $89k a year.

  • Cyber Defense Analyst
    • In this position, you would help protect an organization’s data by collecting information on past events to help prevent or mitigate potential threats in the future.

Average salary: $86k a year.

  • Software Engineer
    • This professional’s responsibilities include utilizing skills in coding to build and maintain company websites or software as well as solving problems within digital infrastructure and ensuring systems are running as efficiently as possible.

Average salary: $72k a year.

  • Junior Digital Marketing Specialist
    • In this role, you would create and manage a company’s marketing campaigns ensuring that the company’s brand and vision are maintained, driving web traffic to the stores, and securing sales and revenue goals.

Average salary: $78k a year

Let’s say your current salary is $50k. By investing $16k in yourself with the Data Science & Analytics Bootcamp you could potentially earn $89k employed as an Associate Data Scientist in just your first year. In this situation, your ROI would be $23,000 for the first year alone and it could be even greater the next year.*

This is what we mean when we say it’s an investment; you’ll invest upfront but you’ll start seeing returns as soon as you start your first job in your new industry. 

Again, all of the salaries above are entry-level. They each stand to see tremendous financial growth with experience spent in the field. The Digital Skills Bootcamps are a smart, cost-effective investment that will pay dividends for years to come.  

*Salaries vary based on a number of factors, including position, location, experience level, skills, as well as work and personal history.

3 Steps to Finance Your Education

Financing your education with a digital skills bootcamp is easy. 

  1. Step one: Choose from a variety of Digital Skills Bootcamps
  2. Step two: Test-drive a 30-hour Introductory Course for a taste of what you will experience as a learner. 
  3. Step three: When you’re ready to commit to the full program you can choose from three payment options:
Pay in Full
After completing the Introductory Course, pay tuition in full prior to starting your first class.
0% Interest
Monthly installments with no interest. Available to all learners.

Personal Financing 
Learners may qualify for personal or private education loans from lenders.

Need more information on your payment options?

If you have any questions about payment or the bootcamps themselves, our admissions advisors are ready to help.

Break into Tech with a Fulfilling New Career

Letterboard stating “You Can If You Think You Can”

You are worth a career that is both rewarding and satisfying! Invest in yourself with one of our bootcamps and know that you are capable of breaking into tech in less than one year.

At the Digital Skills Bootcamps our team of industry professionals will provide invaluable hands-on training in cutting-edge skills and tech in a live and online environment. 

Our dedicated career services team is ready to provide personalized support with job placement assistance, career coaching, and LinkedIn and resume optimization for up to 6 months after program completion. All of these services and more are included and exclusive to our bootcamps.

We hope you’re excited about investing in yourself because we’re excited to be with you every step of the way. Have any questions? No worries, we’re here for those too! Feel free to check our FAQ on the bootcamps or get in touch with our admissions advisors by calling 562-359-4787 or filling out the form below. 


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