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Tuition-Free Java Training at City Colleges

High tech skills within reach

Cognizant’s Enterprise Engineering practice provides leading-edge software development services to clients. To meet our talent needs in this space, Cognizant partners with City Colleges of Chicago and DPI Tech Ready Illinois to provide a tuition-free, unpaid pre-apprenticeship Java training program designed to bridge the skills gap from non-technical to software developer.
This pre-apprenticeship is a competitive, rigorous, and fast-paced training program for early to mid-career professionals. The training consists of 16 weeks of hybrid learning with six hours of face-to-face learning and two hours of remote learning per week. This includes self-directed exercises, projects and homework plus real-time instructor-led coaching.
After successfully completing the pre-apprenticeship training, candidates will have the opportunity to interview with Cognizant for a paid Full Stack Java Jr. Developer Apprenticeship.

About the program


The blended classroom format includes in-person lessons, self-directed theory, outside homework and instructor-led online sessions. This five-module program requires learners to satisfy the grading rubric to move on to the next class.

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This training consists of 16 weeks of hybrid learning. You will participate in 8 hours of total instruction per week with self-directed exercises, projects and homework. Evening sessions are online and instructor-led.

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Required resources
Required resources

In-person sessions will be held in a computer lab. However, for online sessions and homework, participants will need to use their own laptop or desktop computer with internet access.

someone working on the laptop

City Colleges of Chicago’s COVID Testing Requirements

On the first day of class, students must show a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours prior to class. Then students must also adhere to a weekly test, which can be done at the Wilbur Wright campus. If the student tests positive, they cannot attend in-person and no accommodations are currently provided for an online option.



The pre-apprenticeship Java training is a professional-focused, part-time, 16-week, online and in-person, tuition-free, with no out-of-pocket costs program that expands your skills and knowledge with hands-on projects in coding.

After successfully completing the pre-apprenticeship training and technical interview, candidates have an opportunity to interview with Cognizant for a paid full-stack developer apprenticeship.

Participants receive on-the-job learning with formal classroom instruction to help master the knowledge needed for career success. Salaried positions starts at $25/hr and offers a progressive rate schedule after 6 months of proven competency.

Who should apply?

See if you’re an ideal applicant for our pre-apprenticeship java training program.


Applicants have a college degree (Associate or Bachelor) or military equivalency.


Work experience preferable in banking and financial services and/or technology related role. A minimum of 2-years is required for those with a bachelor’s degree and 5-years required for those with an associate’s degree.

Seeking a career change in software development

Applicants want to acquire a new set of technological skills to transition into a full-stack developer role with Cognizant and commit to a rigorous, fast-pace, part-time 16-week Java training program with approximately 10-20 hours of dedicated learning per week.

Skills and abilities

Applicants who recognize the ever-changing nature of today’s technological economy, and want to keep up with industry changes and gain relevant skills, and who have the foundation of technical skills and enjoy working in fast-pace environment.

Authorized to work in the U.S. (without restrictions)

Applicants must legally be authorized to work in the United States without the need for employer sponsorship, now or at any time in the future.

Background check

Applicants must be able to pass a background check.


What do I need to sign up for the pre-apprenticeship Java training program?

Before clicking on the “sign up now” link – be prepared to upload your resume, submit responses to three short answer questions, and write a brief statement on why you are interested in pursuing a software development career at this point in your career.

Can I continue working while doing the pre-apprenticeship Java training program?

Yes, although you should be focused on building your Java programming skills to be eligible for the paid apprenticeship. You may expect to spend ~20 hours per week dedicated to learning between class and homework/practice.

What is the daily time commitment?

Online, synchronous instructor-led sessions on Wednesday evenings from 7-9 pm, in-person classes on Thursdays from 7-9 pm, and Saturday in-person classes from 9 am-1 pm. Additionally, there are rigorous homework assignments and projects to complete on evenings and weekends. Expect to spend at least 2-4 hours a day on self-directed learning, and six hours per week on instructor-led instruction.

What skills will I have after I complete the pre-apprenticeship program?

You will complete the program with a wide range of in-demand Java development skills, including: objected-oriented principles, Java data structures, spring framework, REST and Web APIs, Java Unit Testing/Mocking (Junit, Mockito) and 12 Factor app.

What is the last day I can sign-up for the pre-apprenticeship Java training program?

August 5, 2022

Are there any information sessions I can attend to learn more?

Yes, we have three 30-minute virtual information sessions scheduled on July 11 and 25 from 5-5:30pm (cst) AND July 22 from 11:30-12pm (cst). Contact to learn more.