42 is an innovative educational model that was designed to develop the skills needed to jumpstart a career as a software engineer. We’re not a traditional university, and we’re not a coding bootcamp – here’s what makes us different:
The 42 program is free. There are no fees, no tuition, no required purchases such as books, no required devices, nothing. The school is funded by French billionaire, Xavier Niel, who wanted to create a coding training facility like no other.
Since there aren’t any courses at 42, students can try a “branch” of our curriculum to see if they like it. If they don’t, they aren’t committed to an entire semester or course; they can move to the next branch and topic. This allows students to explore as well as pursue with depth the areas of programming that they are passionate about.
The program design at 42 uses project-based learning and gamification, meaning goals as well as peers provide motivation for students rather than rules. Students at 42 are passionate about what they do and learn, which is itself motivation to pursue the curriculum. Furthermore, the 42 community is incredibly welcoming but at the same time inspiring: you will be mentored by other students, and you will mentor others, which pushes you to be your best.
Timeless skills for the workplace
Unlike coding bootcamps, at 42, the skills you learn have enduring value. Whereas programming languages are constantly evolving and can become obsolete from one day to the next, the ability to learn a language in 2 weeks is an enduring skill that the digital world needs and wants.
Learn how to learn
The nature of our program teaches students how to learn, and ultimately, how to be resourceful and problem solve. If they don’t know how to do something, they find out how to do it. They discover how they learn, and use that as a skill in the workplace.
In traditional schools, there are exams and grades with a pass or fail system. At 42, students have to master a project and skill before they can move to the next level: they have to display competency because software has to work. Autopilot cannot function 95% of the time; it has to function 100% of the time. Students have an open environment to try, fail, be corrected by peers, try again, and learn until they get it right. This gives them confidence of what they truly know when entering the workplace.
Real work, not just theory
A lot of traditional computer science and engineering programs focus heavily on theory, and students don’t actually spend that much time writing code, learning programming, being forced to think, and designing systems and networks. At 42, you’ll spend most of your time working on projects, writing code, designing systems, and more. Students love the hands-on, real-world approach to learning, and in creating, are digesting and absorbing far more material.
Learning not bound by time
At 42, you can learn as fast or as slow as you need. There is no restrictive quantity of time within which you need to learn, such as a semester. Students can progress at their own pace: for those who find traditional education boring because it’s too slow, 42 challenges them and they can move as fast as they can. On the other side, students who need more time to learn can take longer: the point is that they learn skills, not pass within a given timeframe.
Ready for the workplace
Arguably the point of college and university is to prepare for the workplace. 42 was founded on the belief that the traditional education system wasn’t providing needed skills for the digital workplace. 42 students spend hours and hours coding, working on projects, working in groups, and working in a professional work environment. Transitioning to the workplace is easy, and of great benefit to employers.
Real-time curriculum changes
Our curriculum changes simultaneously with the needs of the tech industry. We’re currently adding AI and blockchain to our curriculum, working with leading industry professionals to help develop skills and understanding what employers need. Since we don’t have teachers and professors, the speed with which we can develop the curriculum and offer students the opportunity to learn is far faster than other colleges or universities.
42 doesn’t have classes, courses, or rigid working hours. We’re open 24/7, so students work when they want to work. It’s up to them to manage their time. If the traditional education system didn’t suit you, try 42! A huge part of our student population didn’t do well with traditional educational structures but are thriving at 42 and are incredibly talented programmers.
A passionate and welcoming community
We have yet to find a community that matches that of 42. Students are so passionate about what they do, they love learning, and no one cares what your background is. We value your work, your creativity, your contributions.