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A New Kind of Education: Cameron Monaghan’s Journey to JRS

A New Kind of Education: Cameron Monaghan’s Journey to JRS

Cameron Monaghan was looking for something. He had just graduated from the College of Charleston, with a Computing in the Arts degree. Now, he needed a next step. “I was looking around,” says Monaghan, “and trying to stay involved with some of the tech events in Charleston. That’s where I discovered the JRS Coding School.”

Discovering JRS Coding School

Monaghan was faced with a decision: continue his post-college job search, or enroll in the inaugural coding session at JRS Coding School. He chose JRS. “It was the first year of the program,” he says, “and tuition was discounted, so I knew I wanted to take advantage of that.”

Beyond the tuition discount, Monaghan says he was specifically drawn to the JRS teaching model. “They are part of a larger company, and classes are taught in a way that mirrors what their software developers actually do,” he explains. “We’re learning from instructors who are known throughout the field. Everything they’re telling us has significance. These are the real skills that we need and that we will use as professional developers.”

“In some of my undergrad courses I’d think ‘what am I going to use this for?’ but I don’t get that feeling at all here. Everything I’m doing and everything I’ve done has had a significant impact on me.”

Furthermore, the specialized curriculum stood in direct contrast to the four-year degree he had just earned. In college, he was introduced to a wide variety of topics that were not relevant to his chosen field: web development.

Finally, Monaghan felt that the 12-week timeline of the course would allow him to build the skills he needed in a reasonable amount of time. “I had already gone through four years of school,” says Monaghan. “I couldn’t really commit to something for another year or two years. I’m looking to get a job and start earning money.”

Life at JRS Coding School

Coding school has given Monaghan a glimpse at life as a full-time developer. He rises early, he cooks breakfast for himself and his family, and he arrives to JRS prior to the start of class. He  gets his mind focused, chats with the instructors, and catches up with his fellow students. From 9am to 5pm, lectures, exercises, and group work are continuous. “I am constantly learning,” says Monaghan. “The tech industry has so many different niches and things change daily.”

The full-day class schedule is noticeably different from Monaghan’s undergraduate classroom-hours, but he has embraced this new program. “It’s so much more real,” he says.  “I know that I’d be happy completing this course and jumping right into a job.”

Monaghan credits his education at the College of Charleston for helping him quickly recognize key terms early on in coding school, allowing him to fully focus on new concepts as JRS students tackle more complex aspects of JavaScript. “We all paid to come here, learn the field, and get a job. In some of my undergrad courses I’d think ‘what am I going to use this for?’ but I don’t get that feeling at all here. Everything I’m doing and everything I’ve done has had a significant impact on me.”

Whether coding schools replace traditional degree programs remains to be seen, but in the meantime, Monaghan is happy to be playing a role in what he describes as a, “new kind of education.” “It’s really cool to be a part of. I’m just excited. I’m excited to see where this goes.”

Standing out as a Junior Developer