Technological ability is viewed as one of the top in-demand skills for employers. In a hub like New York City, people who have these technology skills — from basic computer use to web development — have a higher chance of getting hired and building a successful career.
These 20 organizations know that, which is why they’re building up their communities through education in technology.
Fewer than 10 percent of NYC schools teach computer science, and only one percent of students receive it.
ScriptEd works with kids in under-resourced schools to equip them with the professional coding and technology skills they will need in the job market. It brings coding directly into the schools, and the classes are taught by volunteers who are programmers in the area. This connection often leads to internships as volunteers bring students into their companies.
Based in New York, Chicago, and the Bay Area, CodeNow has four options for students who want to learn programming. It has weekend workshops, online tutorials, seasonal hackathons, and a summer app development competition. Its alumni have gone on to study computer science, form coding clubs within the community, and even work at GitHub.
New York Urban League’s NEXT Academy
For the past 90 years, the New York Urban League has worked to empower communities through employment services, college access, and financial education.
Its NEXT Academy offers two tracks: a six-week program for students and a four-week evening program for parents. The students learn about STEM fields and engage in labs to put their knowledge to work, while parents learn why STEM education is valuable and what opportunities their children have by pursuing it.
Schools That Can
While its headquarters is located in New York City, Schools That Can has expanded across 15 cities in America.
Only eight percent of low-income students graduate from college, and Schools That Can is working to close the skills gap by providing education for urban youth. Not only did STC offer 500 scholarships in 2015 for STEM camps, but 80 percent of its attendees are eligible for a free or reduced lunch.
All Star Code
All Star Code was launched in 2013 to provide young men with the skills that will allow them to break into STEAM fields. African-Americans comprise less than one percent of startup founding teams, and this organization works with students throughout their careers to learn soft skills as well as technical ability. Its team members mentor students and help them with internships and fellowships to offer a support system for success.
The New York Public Library offers TechConnect, a subsection that focuses exclusively on bringing tech resources to New York City. Its ProjectCode is a free 10-week class for anyone who wants to learn coding. The topics range from an intro to tags to CSS and website layouts. The last three weeks are collaboration tasks that give students a chance to work on a project together and use the skills they just learned.
The Coalition for Queens was founded in 2011 and works to increase the entrepreneurial and tech ecosystem within Queens. As part of that, the organization created Access Code, a 10-month software development program to prepare students to enter the STEM workforce. It’s possible to reach out to the organizers directly to hire an Access Code graduate for an internship or job, proving the value of its training.
STEM Summer in the City
Last year, the New York Public School System launched STEM Summer in the City to students from grades 2 through 10. These camps last five weeks and are free to attend. Along with weekly lessons and challenges for attendees, these camps also offer cultural field trips around New York City to let students connect with their town and apply what they learned.
Mobile Dev Corps
Mobile Dev Corps is a 16-week program funded by the city’s Tech Talent Pipeline and provided by The Flatiron School to prepare New Yorkers in the field of mobile development. Participants must be residents of the city and at least 18 years old, with no previous development experience and an income of less than $50,000 annually.
More than 50 percent of all jobs require some form of technology and digital skills, a statistic that’s expected to grow to 77 percent by 2020. NPower works with military veterans and underserved young people to give them these technological skills. Its development program runs for 22 weeks twice per year, with 15 weeks of classes and a seven-week paid internship.
Code Crew offers two programs to help people in New York City increase their coding skills. The first is I CODE NY, which provides free courses and workshops within the city’s boroughs. The next is Hello Girl, an outreach program that brings affordable computer science education to people who identify as women, regardless of their backgrounds.
Black Girls Code
Kimberly Bryant founded Black Girls Code to boost women of color in the STEAM field. The organization works specifically with teen and pre-teen girls to build a foundational education in programming along with a love for exploration and problem solving. Along with events in New York, Black Girls Code also has programs across Dallas, Chicago, Miami, and more.
CoderDojo NYC is a non-profit that teaches kids 7 to 17 the basics of programming and coding. Its goal is to create positive memories and experiences with STEM to encourage a lifelong passion in the field. Parents can also get involved as volunteers and mentors to the students.
ChickTech is dedicated to encouraging women to participate in STEM careers, creating a positive work environment for diversity and retaining women who are currently in the field. It has annual high school programs to teach young women programming and business skills with the help of mentors so they can stay competitive in the male-dominated STEM industry.
STEM From Dance
STEM From Dance is working toward a world where black and Latina women are represented equally in STEM fields. Its programs combine dance with programming lessons and camps so young women can foster a love of STEM while doing something they love. Not only does this organization teach girls about STEM, but it also fosters confidence and friendship.
Breakthrough New York
Breakthrough New York works with students from low-income backgrounds to get them on track to attend college. This organization knows that students with the highest potential are most likely to be ignored in the classroom as teachers focus on helping the struggling students. Its program starts working with students in middle school and continues through graduation with mentoring and internship programs. The goal of its 10-year program is a 90 percent graduation rate.
Bronx Academy for Software Engineering
The Bronx Academy for Software Engineering is a four-year technical high school that prepares students to enter career fields related to STEM. Teachers work with students to set their career goals and create a plan for development. The high school’s extracurricular activities include robotics, math club, 3D printing, and student government.
I Have A Dream NY
The goal of I Have A Dream NY is to provide all children in New York with the resources, skills, and ability to pursue higher education. To achieve this, the organization provides long-term support through tutoring, workshops, test prep, and summer camps. This includes its Science Explorers camp, which engages kids in engineering, science, and math to consider STEM careers.
While YearUp doesn’t specifically work with students to become programmers, it does work to give disenfranchised youth the skills they need to pursue a career they’re interested in.
YearUp starts with a 21-week course on professional development followed by a six-month internship through one of its corporate partners. The goal is to get young people between 18 and 24 on the path to a career of their dreams within one year. It operates in 20 cities across the country.
Fedcap works with veterans, people with disabilities, and underserved citizens of New York to achieve the vocational training they need to enter the workforce. It offers classes on technical skills like computer use and data entry, along with office skills training to help people entering the workforce.