Want a job at Amazon? Here’s where to get tech training in NYC

For thousands of tech-savvy New Yorkers, a highly competitive job hunt is on the horizon.

Amazon’s HQ2 arrives in 2019, bringing with it a promise of 25,000 jobs — half of which will be tech-related, according to the Wall Street Journal.

New York City’s talent pool was a key factor in its decision to place HQ2 in Long Island City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a press briefing on Nov. 13.

“There were many other factors but what came shining through was where could you find the best talent in the world, and I know from the meetings I was a part of and my team was a part of, you not only wanted the best talent, you wanted diverse talent,” he said, addressing John Schoettler, Amazon’s vice president of global real estate and facilities.

The agreement between New York City, Empire State Development  and Amazon stipulates that each entity would invest $5 million in 2020 ($15 million total) to fund workforce development programs over the next 10 years.

“You’re also going to see an opportunity to create a pathway for a lot of folks who have wanted to get into the technology community,” the mayor said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Nov. 14.

Those that want a chance to be part of that future workforce can prepare now by enrolling in tech courses at any one of the city’s schools, including Fullstack Academy, CLC Technical Training, New Horizons, City Tech — but it will cost you if you don’t get a scholarship. Tuition for some programs approaches $15,000.

Knowing it can get expensive, we’ve gathered a list of programs that offer free, low-cost or deferred tuition or training to help in your quest to become a tech wiz with chops good enough for Amazon.

Low-cost or free

MotherCoders/ Google: A West Coast training program for women with college degrees and work experience (with free on-site childcare) is coming to New York City. The classes are designed for moms who are re-entering the workforce, entrepreneurs, or those already working. Tuition is normally $4,500 with on-site childcare and $4,000 without.

Subject matter: HTML, CSS, and Javascript skills, marketplace trends and issues
Duration: Nine weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays or Saturdays only
Where: TBD
Requirements: Must be a New York City resident, identify as a woman, older than 21 years old, have a bachelor’s degree and at least two years of work experience and are caring for at least one child 17 years old or younger
Additional costs: $500 security deposit which is returned upon completion of the program. If the deposit is a significant barrier to participation, contact apply@mothercoders.org.
Apply by: 11:59 p.m. Dec. 16 at mothercoders.org

NYC Web Development Fellowship: There’s free training to help prepare for an entry-level career as a web developer (front-end, backend or full stack) at Fullstack Academy. Participants receive training materials, laptops and Metrocards throughout the program.
Subject matter: Fullstack: JavaScript-driven curriculum will get you fluent in the latest web technologies such as Node.js and React; front-end, back-end development and databases.
Duration: 17 weeks
Where: 5 Hanover Square, 11th floor (Manhattan)
Requirements: Must be 18 years or older, a New York City resident, if employed, have an annual income of no more than $50,000, and have no prior employer experience in web development.
Apply by: Check fullstackacademy.com for the next round of applications.

NYC Department of Education: The DOE has more than 800 free classes for those over 21 across all five boroughs. Certified teachers lead each class, which includes technology courses. The directory of spring classes is not yet available.
When: Day and evening, Mondays through Saturdays
Additional costs: Some classes require fees for textbooks, certification exams, and/or uniforms.

Borough of Manhattan Community College: This no-cost CompTIA A+ and CISCO CCNA computer training program includes workshops and time with industry leaders and graduates. It can earn students up to four college credits toward their associate degree.
Subject matter: Computer network support, soft skills training, resume preparation and mock interviews.
Duration: 22 weeks
Where: 25 Broadway, 8th floor
Requirements: Must be unemployed or underemployed, older than 18, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and pass reading, math and technical assessments.
Next dates: Jan. 28 – July 26: Mondays through Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Jan. 28-Aug. 31: 6 to 9:30 p.m., and Saturdays 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Register at: bmcc.cuny.edu or 212-346-8410 ext. 8420

NYPL Project Code: The library offers a free introduction to coding in two two-hour sessions a week for 10 weeks, which finishes up with a capstone project in which students build their own websites.
Subject matter: Scripting, HTML, CSS3, website layout principles.
Duration: 10 weeks (Feb. 12 – May 25; May 20-Aug. 7)
Where: Manhattan branches — Columbus (742 10th Ave.) and Science Industry and Business Library (188 Madison Ave. at 34th St.)
Registration opens: Jan. 8 at nypl.org

Delayed tuition payment

Flatiron School’s Access Labs: This is a rigorous coding boot camp that trains those who otherwise couldn’t afford to enroll or access such training. Students learn full stack web development, hear from guest speakers, work on solo projects and get postgrad support. Tuition is typically $15,000 but it is paid after the student gets a job.

Subject matter: HTML5, CMS, Rub frameworks, JavaScript and front-end frameworks with React and Redux.
Duration: 15 weeks 
Where: 81 Prospect St.
Requirements: Must make under $35,000 annually and be 21 years or older.
Repayment: Pay 10 percent of your income each month until the full $15,000 is paid, after achieving a job. If the full program is completed and a qualifying job, apprenticeship or internship offer is not received by the student within six months, the tuition balance will be waived.
Program dates:  Dec. 10 – March 29; Jan. 7 – April 19; and Jan. 28 – May 10

Pursuit: This four-year intensive program trains adults who need to advance their careers. The school promises to offer technical mastery, industry fluency and professional skills as well as help with career prep and job searching through its programs, “Pursuit Core” and “Pursuit Advance.” The latter helps guide postgrads through their careers. 
Duration: Core is 10 months and Advance is 36 months
Requirements: Must be 18 or older, make no more than $45,000 annually, live in New York City.
Repayment: Pay 12 percent of earnings for three years after the first tech job, but only if the annual salary is at least $60,000. If a tech job is not achieved or pays under $60,000, no payment has to be made.
Applications: Will open at pursuit.org.

Grace Hopper: This program is meant to empower women by offering affordable training that includes lectures, hands-on workshops, projects, networking and more.
Subject matter: The curriculum covers full stack JavaScript: computer science, front-end development, back-end development, databases, tools and best practices, and has a CTO program. By offering deferred tuition, the program says it gives women a hand in entering the tech world.
Duration: 17 weeks, including a four-week part-time portion called “Foundations.”
Where: Fullstack Academy, 5 Hanover Square, 25th floor
Requirements: Must identify as female and have a proficiency in programming.
Repayment: Tuition is $19,910; however, students make a $3,000 deposit that is put toward total tuition. Deferred tuition of $16,910 will be paid in nine monthly installments once a full-time software engineering job is secured.
Apply by: Jan. 6 for a Feb. 18 start at gracehopper.com.

And from time to time, the following schools and groups have free introductory classes, seminars, info sessions, talks and support:

General Assembly (10 E. 21st St.); Flatiron School (11 Broadway, second floor); Noble Desktop (594 Broadway); and meet-ups like Women Who CodeLeague of Women Coders and Code Crew.

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