General Assembly Empowers Students to Invest in Themselves With Hands-On Tech Training and Education

General Assembly Provides Hands On Tech Training

TL; DR: General Assembly offers tech-based training and boot camps to help students gain the skill sets and experience to break into the industry. GA distinguishes itself by offering a curriculum taught by industry experts and practitioners and providing students access to a global hiring network and alum community. We spoke with Devanshu Mehrotra, Lead Instructor of Data Science at General Assembly, about his experience with GA, education paths, and advice on career pivots.

Finding the right coding boot camp for you isn’t only about the curriculum but also the support and connections you will form there. This statement is something Devanshu Mehrotra, Lead Instructor of Data Science at General Assembly, knows well. Although he now works for GA, his relationship with the school started much differently.

In 2013, Devanshu quit his career in finance and accounting to pivot to something new. When he found GA in 2015, he was introduced to data analytics and was hooked immediately. He said having a non-traditional background didn’t determine his outcome at GA. The school gave him one-on-one attention and allowed him to flourish at his own pace.

“The instructors are able to guide you not only through the coursework but hone in and cater to your specific needs. They take care to meet every learner where their needs are,” said Devanshu.

General Assembly Logo
General Assembly’s boot camps can help people from all backgrounds to break into tech.

It was a revelatory experience for him. Unlike traditional academic settings, GA customizes the coursework to the individual student. And the instructors’ support plays a significant role in accomplishing this. Since the instructors are practitioners, they can provide real-life advice to help students get on track.

GA helps people change the trajectory of their careers with its hands-on boot camps and courses. It prepares students for the real world, giving them training and experience to solve issues for their future employers. GA also provides career resources and access to its global hiring partner network to help students connect and land dream jobs, just like it did for Devanshu.

A Support System of Instructors, Students, and Staff

General Assembly distinguishes itself from other tech-based schools in two primary ways: its connectedness and its instructor support. Its excellent curriculum and classes offer an essential foundation to learn the skills and expertise to excel in a tech career. But its educational framework starts with its instructors.

“One of the things that always separated GA from other boot camps was the type of instructor doing the teaching. GA instructors are not only academically inclined, but industry professionals that do this for a living who are excited about teaching with the hands-on application,” said Devanshu.

GA’s instructors are industry pros at top tech companies, and several are CEOs and startup founders. This background allows them to teach curriculum and real-world applications. They’ve been in the student’s shoes, so they can advise on what employers are looking for in top tech talent.

“The second part was the level of connectedness alums have after the fact. The sense of networking. The sense of family. I know everybody says that, but again, I have genuinely lived it,” said Devanshu.

Devanshu said students receive ample support while learning at GA. They can contact teachers, seek career support, and leverage financial assistance programs. Its career outcome services offer job-ready students counseling on branding and job placement according to their needs and desires.

“General Assembly also partners with different organizations to provide backend support for the career side and make it affordable. So there is an incentive for General Assembly to get you into a career,” said Devanshu.

Specialized and Custom Education Paths

General Assembly helps prepare students for employment, setting them up for success as top tech talent. Its boot camps don’t only focus on coding but also provide students with different tech opportunities. Students can learn tech skills in software engineering, data science, user experience, and data analytics.

GA’s shorter courses allow students to advance in their professional careers by providing training and curriculum for in-demand skills, including frontend development, product management, and digital marketing. With GA, people can choose their own educational path.

The GA team also continuously reevaluates its curriculum to ensure students receive the most relevant and essential skills and experience for their desired careers. Devanshu said traditional academia often struggles to keep up with changes in the tech industry, as evidenced in the slow rate of change in their curriculum. GA, however, makes conscious efforts to be proactive in this arena, and its AI integration is a great example.

a screenshot of General Assembly boot camp page
General Assembly offers various course options to fit different needs.

“We started to understand that everybody needs to know prompting because prompting changes the performance of the bottle. So we started to include prompt engineering in the general AI course. We truly believe AI use is a fundamental shift in how we do things,” said Devanshu. “So we want to ensure our students are engaging in that and not falling behind.”

How GA Added AI to Coursework

General Assembly has added AI to its coursework in different ways. It started with a two-hour to six-hour workshop on AI that focused on its business value and role in workplace productivity. GA also created a workshop for AI-based data analytics to teach users how to embed AI into their applications and ethically use AI.

“Then there’s another six-hour engineering boot camp, which expands and goes deeper into product engineering and the more technical aspects of it. So it truly is a comprehensive bootcamp, but broken up for leaders and engineers,” said Devanshu.

GA did its due diligence while incorporating AI into its education platform. It ensured that the people reviewing the curriculum development were practitioners and experts. GA also has an AI advisory committee that meets every quarter to discuss what is upcoming in the market.

“The committee keeps us ahead of trends because we understand the need for significant agility, not just agile methodology but real agility as well. And it cannot be had if we depend on just one person. So it is a lot of continually reevaluating our curriculum and what we’re putting out there,” said Devanshu.

Anyone Can Break Into Tech

Devanshu said anyone can break into tech regardless of their background or previous careers. But he said they should also have an interest in tech and problem solving and understand that rapid change will be the norm in the tech industry from now on.

“Don’t think it is a limitation if you come from a non-traditional background. It is actually a benefit to you because you have a wide set of experiences and can now dig deeper. As long as you approach it in a programmatic and organized manner,” said Devanshu.

Being teachable is another trait tech students should have because it will help them in the job market. GA has a global hiring partner network of nearly 20,000 top employers who trust GA grads. Devanshu said highlighting that soft skill on your résumé will help in the hiring process.

Devanshu has seen plenty of success stories — his own among them. After completing his data science boot camp, he went on to work for four different companies. And he credits that to his teaching, skill sets, and General Assembly education. He also had a couple of friends pivot from their careers and break into tech careers thanks to General Assembly.

“Our courses make you work. But that’s what you’re paying for. That’s what you want. I was there when my wife was applying for job after job. All it takes is one yes, and that industry specific preparation she received from GA got her the one yes,” said Devanshu.