It is no surprise technology and digitization are changing the world. Everything we do and touch, both personally and professionally, has become increasingly digitized – banking mobile apps on our phones, health and fitness equipment, GPS-based home delivery services, HR and payroll at our jobs. It’s an economic trend that is growing exponentially and showing no signs of slowing down.

As our world becomes more digitized, however, it also carries the risk of passing by millions of people who may not have the skills, education, or background needed to compete in today’s economy. That is why it is imperative that we have a 21st-century higher-learning system that encourages and helps people to succeed.

That is where coding bootcamps come in to play.

Coding bootcamps are on the rise across the country, offering thorough, short-term curriculums on computer coding to students looking for employment in high paying, next-generation web and software development jobs. These programs, which typically run between 12 and 24 weeks, and cost a fraction of a typical four-year college degree, serve as a pathway to success for many people and are engaging students in the new tech economy.

Having served as a community organizer who has fought to secure funding for early education development programs, and being the son of a hardworking teacher and a college educator, I am well-aware of the importance and benefits of the traditional education system.

However, as the world continues to evolve rapidly, we must have programs and organizations in place that help prepare more Americans for a variety of employment opportunities in the 21st century. Coding bootcamps are an excellent option for many people and achieve that goal.

The pioneers of the coding industry are not just located in the traditional “tech hubs” like Silicon Valley or New York. According to Course Report, there are more than 100 bootcamps in 44 states and online, breaking down the barriers zip codes once created, which restricted far too many people from accessing cutting-edge technology and educational opportunities.

Skills-training programs and next-generation workforce training initiatives have a meaningful impact on under-performing communities across the country. The New York Times highlighted innovative public-private partnership efforts that brought skills-training programs, such as coding schools, to rural Kentucky. The results of these efforts are extraordinary: Americans looking for a new and exciting career path are thriving without having to uproot their lives and families, all because they had the proximity and opportunity to learn computer coding.

I am witnessing the coding revolution first hand here in the Midwest. For example, devCodeCamp, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is connecting people with high paying jobs in the technology sector. On average, students coming out of devCodeCamp are landing jobs paying $50,000 a year or more at major companies and organizations.

Coding schools are also an attractive opportunity for thousands of Americans who want to avoid a lifetime of student-loan debt. In fact, many coding schools are offering flexible payment plans. DevCodeCamp, for example, offers free housing, allowing students to temporarily relocate to Milwaukee free-of-charge while they prepare for their careers in the coding industry.

Coding bootcamps are a needed and valuable resource in today’s global economy, and demonstrate the importance of non-traditional skills-training programs. These schools offer students of all ages the opportunity to learn skills that impact every facet of the American economy, earn better paychecks while fulfilling much-needed career positions, and generate positive contributions to society. That is what education in the 21st-century should be about.