Randall moved to Los Angeles from New Jersey because there’s opportunity in California. “But I only had a certain set of skills, and so I started looking up opportunities to further my education and learn new skills.”

He considered tech boot camps, but they were all expensive and potentially risky, so he looked for alternatives. Those searches led him to Calbright.

He was immediately suspicious: could this be real?

“I was really skeptical about Calbright, because it was 100% free,” he said. “That’s too good, there’s no way it’s real! But I went to an orientation session, just to see, and then I was like ‘okay, it is clearly free, but I’m still suspicious.’ Since I didn’t have to pay anything, I signed up to keep going and figured I’d do that until something got sketchy, at which point I’d disappear. But it never got sketchy, it was real coursework, at a real community college, and it was really free, and I love it!”

“It was real coursework, at a real community college, and it was really free, and I love it!”

– Randall Wall

He decided to enroll in Calbright’s Data Analysis program because it offers skills that can be used in almost any 21st century job. He also decided that since Calbright lets him study at his own pace, he was going to go fast. 

He made it through the entire Data Analysis program and earned his certificate in just two months.

“I wanted to do it, and I wanted to get it done,” he said. “I wasn’t working, so why wait? I made that my job. It was a no-brainer to utilize it. You get free tuition, there’s an option for free wi-fi, you get free Coursera access, you get free enrollment to take the Google Analytics’ professional certificate, Calbright gives you all that! My parents raised me to take advantage of the benefits you find in life, and this was a huge benefit for me. So I decided to put my best foot forward and blitz through the course and set myself up for success.”

He said that while Calbright is designed to give students all the help and support they need, “I didn’t need much help. The program is so seamless and straightforward. I read the documentation that was provided to me, I read the emails, I read what I was supposed to do, and the interface is really user friendly. I didn’t need to reach out to anybody because it was all there.”

Now he has a new set of skills, is working on new freelance projects, and says he has a line on a job that he’s excited about. 

“Now that I know what to do with SQL, the way I sift through excel sheets or look at information has changed,” Randall said. “I’ve been able to expand my skills, and I’ve been applying the skills that I’ve learned from here to friends’ businesses so that I can build a resume with real world application. When opportunity comes for me to land that job in tech I can be useful in it, and maintain it, and turn it into something that’s fruitful and beneficial to my life-long career. I’m happy I went with data analysis.”

He said he tells people about Calbright all the time, and they have the same reaction he did at first. “It’s too good! There’s no way it’s real! Nobody believes that this is really free!  But seriously – it is. I’m really doing it.” he said. “When you think about it, it’s crazy that there’s an institution like this, but it’s also crazy that there aren’t a lot of institutions like this. Why did nobody ever do this before?”

Randall Wall