University-Run Boot Camps Offer Students Marketable Skills — but Not Course Credit

Level, a venture that offers students courses in data analytics, has a motto of sorts. It’s written in large letters across the program’s website: “Real skills. Real experience. Two months.”

The motto sounds a lot like the boot-camp style of education offered by companies like General Assembly. But Level, a product of Northeastern University, is neither a private company nor a Silicon Valley startup. It is one of the first boot-camp programs created by a traditional university, and it exists alongside Northeastern’s master’s programs in subjects such as urban informatics and information design and visualization.

Level enrolls students for short, intense periods of study that do not lead to course credit. The program costs just under $7,000, and it caters to customers who want to make a quick career shift without investing in a master’s-degree program. Students who are enrolled in boot-camp-style programs like Level have not been eligible to receive federal financial aid, though that’s beginning to change, thanks to an experiment being announced on Wednesday by the U.S. Education Department. Northeastern says Level students can pay for their experience with the help of private lenders. <Read more.>

Via Ellen Wexler, The Chronicle of Higher Education.