It's quickly becoming the No. 1 choice for 20-something and 30-something career changers who are fed up with their current gigs and want to learn a valuable skill quickly.
Coding—also called programming or software engineering—is the go-to field for these types of transitions. Coders learn how to build websites, apps and the digital products and programs that companies use to carry out their operations. Three-month training boot camps have been popping up all over the nation and are churning out coders who can immediately command a $90,000 salary (or more).
As with most careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), African-American, Latino and female software engineers are sparse. So Nas, alongside corporate heavy hitters like Microsoft and Google, is doling out scholarship money to people hoping to attend General Assembly—a coding school with locations in New York City, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, London and Washington, D.C.
"This is the start of what hopefully will be a contribution to what will be a more diverse and accessible community worldwide,” Jake Schwartz, General Assembly CEO, told Betabeat during an interview.
Each of the donors is tackling an underrepresented group in STEM.
Nas' venture capital firm, Queensbridge Venture Partners (yes, the kid has an investment company; he's invested in companies like Lyft and Dropbox), is funding scholarships for African Americans and Latinos with the Opportunity Fund. Google is donating scholarship money for women. Microsoft and a veterans-advocacy group called Hirepurpose are funding scholarships for vets.
Biggie once said that "real G's move in silence," and Nas rarely broadcasts his investments and other projects he's involved in, but this partnership needs all the bells and whistles it can get. Software engineering is a great opportunity for career changers, people who didn't go to college and even reformed convicts. Shout-out to Nasty Nas and his venture capital group.
Queensbridge Venture Partners—how appropriate.
Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.