Here at Karat, we’re wrapping up the end of the fall interviewing season which is the busiest time of year for companies hiring early career talent. As we reflect on what we learned this year, we’re are especially reminded of the dangers of pedigree bias, resume screens, and limiting early career hiring to a select pool of “top” sources.
More and more, companies are leaning into nontraditional and inclusive backgrounds and finding great candidates at coding bootcamps, so we invited Artur Meyster, Co-Founder and CTO at Career Karma to share some of his insights and words of encouragement on how to kickstart your career in tech.
- Choosing your career path
- Testing free online resources
- Finding the right coding bootcamp
Computer science, IT, and Silicon Valley are a few of the countless ways to describe the tech industry. The job titles in tech are confusing as well—developer, designer, engineer, scientist, and numerous other titles don’t clearly define the day-to-day tasks of the position.
The tech industry is growing at an unprecedented pace. Companies are looking for people to fill all sorts of roles. Finding the right position can be confusing if you don’t know what kind of job you want. Before entering the tech field, it’s worthwhile to understand the job titles and promotion levels a tech worker might experience in their career.
Explore Different Tech Careers
There are thousands of ways to learn coding and other tech skills online. People are experiencing option fatigue when picking career fields. Take some time to explore different tech roles before you choose a computer science career path. There are various ways to contribute to a tech company other than being a software engineer. For example, someone with a marketing background won’t find it difficult to transition to a digital marketing job with the right skills.
Digital marketers use different strategies than paper and television-based marketers, but there is a significant overlap. For math inclined professionals, a job as data scientists might be a better fit than a web designer.
Try Free Options First
The Internet is a treasure trove of free information. A fair amount of software engineers are self-taught. There are ample free coding resources that make teaching yourself to code a viable option.
Free resources are a great way to learn about the myriad tech jobs out there. Dabbling around with coding languages, data sets, and web design can help you determine which job will be the best fit. The right fit is essential. Fit is often better than pay since having a high-paying job doesn’t guarantee happiness.
Know Your Preferred Learning Style
Equally important to what you want to learn is how you want to learn. Learning to code isn’t a one size fits all scenario since different people learn in unique ways. Luckily, there are dozens of different ways to prepare yourself for entry-level tech work. Of course, there is the traditional college route, but that can take four or more years and often involves learning things unrelated to your future role.
Coding bootcamps are another way to learn how to code. These bootcamps each approach teaching coding skills in slightly different ways, making it easier to find the bootcamp that is a perfect fit. Self-paced courses offer teacher support but primarily rely on the learner to go at their own pace. Whether that’s a fast or slow pace is up to the learner. Part-time bootcamps are slower paced and take longer to complete than immersive bootcamps, which could have you ready for work in 12 weeks.
The last decision you need to make is whether you want to learn online or in-person. Online learning caters itself to flexible options, but those who want an in-person experience can fulfill that desire in Seattle, New York, or Los Angeles bootcamps.
Go to the Right Coding Bootcamp
Some bootcamps, like General Assembly, offer a wide array of courses to get your foot into the tech world. These schools offer great ways to learn skills, from web design to product management. They cast a wide net to get as many future tech employees as possible. The advantage of these bootcamps is their name recognition by tech companies as great ways to learn entry-level skills. Even the top tech companies hire graduates from these bootcamps.
There are other bootcamps, like Metis, that focus on specific roles in the tech industry. Metis focuses on data science and analytics. This narrow focus ensures that learners are getting top tier educations.
Pick Bootcamps Based on Their Perks
Bootcamps are competing with one another to get the highest enrollment. To increase their perceived value, bootcamps offer perks like deferred tuition and career counseling support. If you have trouble looking for a job and selling yourself, you might consider attending Flatiron School, which includes a career coach with tuition.
If paying for bootcamps is going to be difficult, a school with deferred tuition like Lamba and App Academy might be a good option. Basically, you go to school for free and don’t start paying your tuition until you land your first tech job.
The Right Option Is Out There
Breaking into the tech industry has never been easier. There are countless options to help you learn the skills you need for entry-level employment. When picking a future computer science <role, make sure to be true to yourself. Additionally, finding the right way to learn your desired skill set will prepare you better than cheaper or less intensive methods.