A 26-week intensive program for career changers in technology
DePaul University’s Career Change Program (CCP) is designed for those seeking a career change into the field of computer technology through an intensive, highly integrated, pragmatic education program taught by practitioners in the field.
The program requires no prior significant computing knowledge. It is designed for adults with a bachelor’s degree (in any field) who have a strong interest in technology and an aptitude for computer programming and web design. Exceptions to the degree requirement will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Our 26-week program will give you the foundational knowledge and skills needed to enter the workforce as an entry-level programmer, full-stack developer, or similar position.
The program will be delivered through a carefully constructed combination of in-person and online lectures (as appropriate), tutorials, and lab work. Through a rigorous curriculum and capstone project, students will complete the program with a portfolio that showcases their software development skills.
The capstone projects are designed to encourage students to demonstrate competency, think critically, and apply all the skills they’ve acquired in the program as an integrated whole, to address challenging, worthwhile problems in technology.
Graduates of the program earn a certificate of completion from a well-respected university in this field with a long track record of success in preparing students for employment in technology positions in a variety of industries.
Employment opportunities are expanding as there continue to be shortages of qualified individuals in the computer technology field. While this program is new and we do not yet have job placement information, we expect graduates of the program to qualify for positions in firms similar to those attained by new graduates with a major in computer science. DePaul graduates with a baccalaureate in computer science and good academic records have great success finding jobs. Graduates of the undergraduate program tend to accept employment with large firms and financial institutions in the Chicago area and nationwide. The online resources of DePaul University’s Career Center are available to students in the CCP. Employment outcomes, of course, cannot be guaranteed.
Students in this program will, among other skills, be able to:
- Implement multi-tier applications with the tools and technologies most effective for modern applications
- Use Python to write computer programs that interact with files, datasets, spreadsheets, web clients and servers
- Use competencies in cloud computing concepts, architecture, standards and strategies using services from providers such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft utilizing best practices
- Analyze workload patterns and resource management
- Use competencies in DevOps, continuous integration, and continuous delivery and use tools for build automation, test automation, virtualization and containerization
- Apply the capabilities provided by various data analysis methods and visualization tools to provide end-to-end solutions
- Explain key cybersecurity practices with emphasis on secure software development
- Experiment with different open-source software products and technologies as well as learn about emerging technologies and anticipate future uses
- Develop soft skills to become an effective member of today’s global organizations
- Analyze and assess business challenges to determine the most appropriate technologies needed to enable business and technical strategy, solve problems and provide business value
In order to successfully install the various software packages used in the program, students must have access to a modern, stable computer with full administrator rights. Both Windows and Mac OS are acceptable. Most of the coursework will be completed on the student's personal computer, but some topics will have the student utilize services in the cloud. Access to most of these cloud services will be provisioned to students, however, there may be some cloud services that are only accessible via the use of a student’s own credit card. Students should expect to spend a small fee to access these services.
For a complete program description, download the program's
Autumn Quarter 2021:
Application Deadline:Aug. 11, 2021
Entrance Exam:Aug. 19, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. CST
or Aug. 21, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. CST
Tuition Deadline:Aug. 26, 2021
Classes Begin:Sept. 9, 2021
Classes End:Mar. 3, 2022
Your completed application and application fee must be on file by the application deadline in order to sit for the entrance exam. Applicants sign up for one of the exam dates and should reserve two-and-half hours on that day (about 30 minutes for an introductory briefing and 2 hours for the exam). Only applicants who meet the admission criteria will be allowed to take the qualifying entrance exam. Applicants will be notified of their exam results and their place in the program by the Monday following the exam.
Official transcripts (and any required supporting documents if your degree was earned outside the U.S.) must be submitted no later than the tuition deadline.
Days & Times: Mondays & Thursdays, 5:45pm-9:00pm, and approximately half of the Saturday mornings, 9:00am-12:015pm at DePaul's Loop Campus (*)
(*) While most class meetings are scheduled on campus, there are certain dates when the class will meet remotely (via Zoom or a similar tool).
What if I cannot make it to every class meeting?
Attending every class meeting is strongly encouraged; however, if a student must miss a class session, he/she may view a recording of the missed class.
Online: Async Section
This section is paired to the section that meets on campus. It is for individuals who are not expected to attend campus classes. It has no required meeting days.
Students will have access to the recordings of the paired on-campus section. They are expected to follow the same weekly agenda of topics and assignments as the class that meets on campus, but can view the course material at a time of their own choosing.
Autumn Quarter 2021
Full payment of tuition must be received by the tuition deadline, unless a student is participating in the program's payment plan or a third-party billing arrangement.
Cancellation Policy: DePaul reserves the right to cancel any program before that program’s first scheduled meeting, in which case tuition fees (but not convenience fees) will be refunded.
Refund Policy: The university's refund policy allows a return of 100% of the tuition fee if a student drops the Career Change Program during the first three weeks of classes, no later than Sept. 27, 2021. Students who request to drop before the 13th week of classes, no later than Dec. 6, 2021, will not be charged for 50% of the tuition. Refunds, if applicable, will be issued after the drop is processed. Any convenience fees paid will not be refunded.
The application fee may be paid, using a debit/credit card, while completing the application for admission online. To pay this fee by check or money order, make payable to DePaul University and send it to:
DePaul University Institute for Professional Development
243 S. Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60604
Fees are payable by check or money order made out to DePaul University, e-check, or by credit/debit card. Students who elect to pay tuition using a credit or debit card will be assessed a non-refundable 2.75% convenience fee.
A payment plan that allows students to pay their tuition over the duration of the program (six monthly installments) is available. There is a non-refundable $60.00 fee to participate in the payment plan and the first installment is due by the program’s tuition deadline.
If a third-party (corporate or government entity) is financially sponsoring you, DePaul can bill that organization directly for the tuition only (other fees and books cannot be billed in this manner). A tuition voucher or a financial guarantee/billing authorization is due one week before the program’s tuition deadline.
This program does not qualify for participation in the university’s Employer Tuition Deferral Plan.
To participate in the payment plan or a third-party billing arrangement, contact the Institute for Professional Development office for details.
The Institute for Professional Development is pleased to announce a new need-based financial award, the
Chou Family IPD Scholarship, to provide funding for students interested in our certificate programs in Autumn Quarter 2021. Applications will be accepted through Aug. 13, 2021 for this scholarship.
Textbooks are a separate purchase to be made by students. Students should expect to purchase three to five books, each estimated to cost between $30-$50, throughout the length of the program. Some of the textbooks may also be available for online reading via the DePaul library system.
Reading materials for certificate programs consist of textbooks and supplementary handouts. Textbook readings are considered preparatory in nature and are typically assigned prior to lectures; supplementary handouts are frequently distributed in class to provide additional information.
Textbook selections to be announced.
The program is designed for individuals who have completed a bachelor's degree and who pass an entrance exam. Applicants should also have basic experience with a personal computer running Windows or macOS and mobile devices running iOS or Android.
Applicants are required to pass a qualifying entrance exam as part of the admission process for the Career Change Program. The entrance exam is an aptitude test consisting of math and logic questions. Once you have applied for the program, you will be sent information on how to register for the exam (held online). The exam will be given on Aug. 19th at 5:30 p.m. CST and Aug. 21st at 10:00 a.m. CST, and you’ll be able to select which day you wish to take it. Applicants must have access to a stable desktop or laptop computer, equipped with a webcam and reliable Internet connection, to take the entrance exam. Applicants will be notified of their exam results and placement in the program the following week.
Official transcripts showing the conferral of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution must be received by the tuition deadline. Transcripts must be sent directly from the institution of record; we do not accept transcripts sent from applicants. DePaul alumni can request a free electronic transcript from DePaul. Transcripts should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Domestic transcripts submitted to IPD for any administrative purpose will become property of DePaul IPD and will not be returned.
Degrees earned outside of the U.S.: these applicants must provide a course-by-course transcript evaluation as well as proof of English proficiency. Visit the
Transcript Evaluation page for additional information.
The Career Change Program is catalogued as a non-credit course of DePaul University. A certificate of completion from DePaul University is awarded to those who successfully complete the program's requirements. Program requirements include individual programming assignments, quizzes, in-class lab work, and a capstone group project. No midterm or final exams are conducted.
The Career Change Program is a graded course. A final grade letter as well as DePaul transcript (upon request) will be available upon program completion.
Application & Registration Procedure
All interested parties should apply for admission using the Institute for Professional Development's
online application; or download and complete the
Application Form and email to email@example.com. Upon admission, the Institute office will contact the prospective student with registration information and instructions.
You do not have to be an existing DePaul student to take this certificate program. Registration is restricted to individuals who apply for admission to the program and receive an acceptance letter. IPD staff will register applicants upon receipt of payment and registration form.
Regular DePaul students cannot register themselves via the university's registration system. If interested in enrollment, regular DePaul students should begin by submitting an application for admission. Students must meet the program's admission criteria.