Thanks to the weak economy in the United States and the huge number of unemployed and under employed people, as well as the almost insatiable appetite of the technology industry for coding talent, all sorts of learn to code and coding training institutions have sprouted all over the place. These schools teach people to learn how to code so they can get jobs in the fast growing technology industry.
How vast is the demand for such skills in California? It is so bad that many big corporations, especially Facebook, are pushing the US government to loosen its Visa requirements so more and more engineers from developing countries can come in and get hired by American software companies. Of course, the critics of such initiatives see this as exploitation of cheaper immigrant labor. Moreover, they claim that these software companies that try to portray themselves as friends of immigrants are actually looking for captive labor. Why is that? It takes 5 years for somebody petitioned in under a labor visa to get a green card. Within this period, you can’t switch employers or else there might be bad consequences to your immigration status. In other words, they have you for 5 years. Regardless of the morality, the politics, the economics issues at stake, there is big money in training people already in America to learn how to code. This is precisely the kind of business opportunity that has resulted in many coding academies, coding schools, and coding learning institutions that is behind the establishment of many coding academies, coding schools, and coding learning institutions.
In California, however, if you put up such a learning institution, you have to comply with the regulations of a California state agency called the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education or BPPE. The BPPE has sent a cease and desist letter to several coding institutions saying that they aren’t licensed, regulated by the BPPE and must comply or pay a fine and shut down. As you can well imagine there’s a lot of people who are up in arms regarding this because a lot of the coding institutions don’t position themselves as schools, instead, they position themselves as innovation companies or companies working on innovative technology. Arguably, such research companies fall out of the orbit of the regulatory responsibility of the BPPE. Be that as it may, this poses serious consequences to people looking to get jobs in the fast growing tech industry in California. It can dramatically impact California tech companies’ competitiveness.