COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus native Corrin Kocher had just lost her job in the retail industry, a casualty of the pandemic. 

She's always liked computers, and while researching new career paths, she discovered Columbus' Tech Elevator program. 

What You Need To Know

  • recent survey by global financial company Prudential found that 53% of Americans said they'd switch to a new industry if they could re-train

  • Corrin Kocher turned to a Columbus-based tech company to help ease her into a new career after losing her job during the pandemic

  • Although it was a financial risk for Kocher, she encourages others to try new programs if they're having trouble in their current careers or want to try something different

“Over the last 10 years, probably did a good mix of retail and I was also a technical project manager so I was sort of in the realm of coding, and I was getting to work with developers. And that was actually what sort of got me thinking about coding in the first place,” Kocher said. 

So last September, Kocher enrolled in Tech Elevator's 14-week virtual coding boot camp.

She said it was like learning a new language. In fact, computer programing is the process of creating instructions for computers using programming languages. 

The fast-paced program was grueling, but Kocher caught on and the job offers began to roll in. 

"It was so crazy. It would be so hard; you'd start the day and you'd say, 'I have no idea what they're talking about. I don't know how I'm going to grasp this concept,' and after like eight hours of homework, you get it and it was a great feeling. I think I had three job offers before I graduated, and they were all really nice offers,” she said. 

A recent survey by global financial company Prudential found that 53% of Americans said they'd switch to a new industry if they could re-train. 

Columbus Tech Elevator's Campus Director Vinny Sanfillipo said he isn't surprised by that data because technology is changing lives every single day. 

“What would the pandemic life been without Zoom, with all the communication softwares that we use to stay in touch with the people that we love? And at the end of the day, that represents thousands upon thousands of developer jobs behind the scenes making that work,” Sanfillipo said. 

For Kocher, well, she's enjoyed the last year working as an associate software engineer at Columbus-based Insight. 

She has this advice for anyone looking for a new career in technology. 

“It was a risk financially. It was a really a big stressor on our time, but in the end, it was totally worth it. I thought I would come out of it enjoying the job, but maybe not loving it. And it's actually, it's so much more fun than I thought it would be,” Kocher said. 

Tech Elevator is located at 1275 Kinnear Rd., inside the Rev 1 Ventures building in Columbus. 

The company offers 14-week courses in coding, three times per year. The next series starts in September in person. 

Sanfillipo said as opposed to a traditional four year college offers 400 hours of real world experience, Tech Elevator offers upwards of 800 hours.  

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