Martin Ramsin, founder and CEO of CareerFoundry, knows first-hand what it’s like to change careers. Throughout his career, Martin transitioned from a software engineer to a product manager to a CEO, propelled by his goal to always think bigger and become a visionary. That said, he’s no stranger to the challenges of learning new skills and applying them in the real world.
Martin knows how beneficial online courses and easily-accessible educational materials can be, having taught himself how to program through such avenues. But he recognizes how his journey as a self-taught programmer “lacked structure.” Most importantly, he understands how isolating the experience can be. In his own words, “It’s a pity that when you learn online, it’s solitary and lonely. Why does it have to be that way?”
Based on his personal experience—and recognizing what appeared to be a huge gap in the market—Martin founded CareerFoundry in 2014 to provide a unique online learning experience that offers flexible, accessible training for career-changers, all while maintaining a collaborative, human-centric learning environment.
During the bootcamp’s initial phase, Martin and his colleagues offered training sessions exclusively within the city limits at a co-working space in Berlin. After a year, they moved the bootcamp online—a decision that has since allowed them to reach a wider demographic, create a borderless network, and offer flexibility to their market: career changers.
As Martin notes, “Now we are profitable and growing sustainably, which I think is the biggest accomplishment along with the [human-centric] culture we have created and the team we have.”
CareerFoundry provides excellent training courses in UX and UI design, web development, and data analytics that can help you get a kickstart in tech.Speak to CareerFoundry’s program advisors.
A Brief Overview of CareerFoundry
The recent COVID-19 crisis and the unprecedented need for digital transformation have altered today’s workforce. According to a survey, 80 percent of businesses are experiencing a skills gap. Simply put, their workforce lacks the necessary abilities to navigate digitally dependent industries. On the upside: the skills gap has provided opportunities for many professionals who needed to change careers, particularly in technology.
For many, career switching is not a decision made merely on a whim. Among the reasons people decide to switch careers is to achieve a work-life balance, better salary, higher job satisfaction, and career growth. But for all these to materialize, one must upskill or reskill.
CareerFoundry is on a mission to “make career change accessible and effective.” To do so, CareerFoundry offers programs designed to equip students with today’s most in-demand skills, from UX design and UI design to data analytics and web development. It also has free introductory short courses, which serve as a good starting point for those unsure of what career path they want to pursue.
Why Choose CareerFoundry?
Let’s look at some of the reasons why students prefer CareerFoundry.
An Online Education That Is More Accessible and Affordable
CareerFoundry offers a mix of introductory courses and comprehensive career-change programs that cater to different audiences. Whether you want to work with sophisticated programming tools or secure a more creative job in the tech industry, CareerFoundry will equip you with the skills you need.
Additionally, the bootcamp offers a supportive learning environment that enables everybody, from all walks of life, to build a tech career they’ll love. “We have a powerful sense of community at CareerFoundry. Diversity, equity, and inclusivity are essential,” says Martin.
Case in point: CareerFoundry doesn’t have strict prerequisites for prospective students, like a background in tech. As long as you are motivated and determined to pursue a new career, CareerFoundry will welcome you.
According to Martin, most CareerFoundry students are between 25 to 45 years old, bringing skills acquired from different industries. This experience gives them a competitive edge as they often bring unique abilities that most employers in tech look for, such as knowing how to interact and understand users, work under pressure, or come up with innovative solutions.
CareerFoundry also accommodates students who simply don’t have the availability to commit to the school full time. Programs last between five to 10 months, allowing parents, carers, and working professionals to learn at their own pace without quitting their day jobs. In fact, over 40 percent of CareerFoundry students are juggling their studies with their full-time jobs.
This low barrier to entry and welcoming culture has allowed CareerFoundry to “attract more people from underrepresented groups in tech.” Students come from all over the world, with about 80 percent from the United States and Europe. Aside from that, more than half of CareerFoundry’s students are women.
CareerFoundry’s main programs’ tuition range between $6,500 to $7,900 and can be paid up front. Otherwise, you can make a deposit and pay the remaining balance in the next eight to 10 months. You can also consult with a program advisor to explore other possible payment options.
A Career-Focused Training That Brings Results
Everyone at CareerFoundry—from staff to students—is focused on achieving outstanding results. Martin says, “How we measure ourselves in our success [depends] on whether our students are successful in their career change.”
As such, every student is supported by a mentor and tutor who each have relevant industry experience and expertise. Many come from well-established companies, like PayPal, Yahoo!, and Skype. This elite faculty ensures that students acquire industry-relevant skills and knowledge and are guided by seasoned professionals.
CareerFoundry also ensures that its graduates enter the workforce with the relevant technical skills and the essential soft skills they’ll need to thrive in their careers. Through the bootcamp’s career services, students take a job prep course where career specialists help them to build their confidence and fine-tune their skills before joining the job market. They also help them map out their career plans according to their strengths and goals.
“So most of [the students] have some skills that come from other professions…[They are taught] how to talk about these transferable skills in job interviews…and how they can present them,” Martin explains.
He also adds that career specialists work closely with the graduates to monitor their progress and motivate them. “It can be demotivating when you get a rejection, and you [still] need to keep applying for jobs. It is crucial to apply for the right jobs and not just shoot out 10,000 applications. [You have to] be intentional about it. So we offer a lot of support on that end,” Martin says.
On top of this, CareerFoundry has a job guarantee for every career-change program they offer. This job guarantee states that if you cannot secure a job within six months of completing your program, the bootcamp will refund your money, provided you meet certain conditions. CareerFoundry’s Job Guarantee doesn’t require that you have any related experience in the field or a degree. This isn’t a bad deal considering what CareerFoundry can offer.
Based on data from a recent outcomes report, 96 percent of CareerFoundry graduates secured jobs within 180 days of completing their programs. They also reported an average salary increase of $13,725 post-program. Many CareerFoundry graduates are hired by top companies like Google, Visa, Amazon, eBay, the BBC, and Facebook.
A Human-Centric Global Community
CareerFoundry students receive comprehensive support from their assigned tutors, mentors, and career advisors throughout their training. Martin adds, “…[W]e have a community on Slack that has a very active community of career changers. That’s pretty powerful because changing careers is a difficult thing to do.”
He also shares that despite the growing population of students in the bootcamp, CareerFoundry prioritizes delivering high-quality education. He also adds that the hurdles he encountered as a CEO of CareerFoundry pushed him to mature and taught him how to value people. Martin says, “I think that comes from that human-centric idea [that I envisioned for CareerFoundry] from the beginning.”
Since its inception, CareerFoundry has grown into a community of 5,000 graduates across all programs, 370 mentors, 270 tutors, and 100 career specialists. The bootcamp gives members access to a global network that they can tap into, to gain insights, find new opportunities, or form friendships with others on a similar journey.
The Future of CareerFoundry
Although CareerFoundry has achieved many milestones, Martin shares that the bootcamp is always a work-in-progress. They are tirelessly improving what their programs offer to ensure that they deliver a high-quality learning experience.
“We do a lot of research before we build a new course. We scrape job ads, and we look at what skills are required on those job ads, what are the must-haves, and what are the nice-to-haves,” he explains. “We also [encourage] specialization…[For example], you can graduate as a web developer who also specializes in Python or cloud computing.”
Although CareerFoundry already implements a learn-by-doing approach, Martin wants to increase students’ exposure to real-world experiences through internships or projects. Martin also looks toward making CareerFoundry even more financially accessible for those unable to take the programs for financial reasons.
“So in the United States, we’re working with student loan providers and income share agreements, but [we are still] trying to make it more affordable,” Martin shares. Once he achieves these goals, he envisions CareerFoundry to be a bootcamp that is available to everyone, including those in emerging countries.
“Our mission is to make a career change accessible and effective everywhere,” he says.
Navigating a volatile job market can make the prospect of switching careers seem especially daunting. But with the help of CareerFoundry, you can be confident about reaching greater heights in your career. Get in touch with CareerFoundry’s program advisors for more information.
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