Changing Careers With CareerFoundry
Whether you’re starting from scratch or simply looking to upgrade your skills, CareerFoundry can help you to pursue an exciting career in tech. With career-change programs in UX design, UI design, web development, and data analytics, you could join thousands of others who have taken the leap towards that dream job. You’ll get one-on-one mentor and tutor support throughout the program, as well as a job guarantee, and a wide range of career services. And with 96% of graduates landing a job in tech within 180 days, CareerFoundry’s outcomes speak for themselves.
The tech industry and tech culture in general might seem skewed towards young people, but that’s not the case. Having a different perspective—one that has been influenced by previous careers and life experience—is highly valuable within tech. Differing approaches to tech matter and they can be informed by many things that are not related to age.
One thing that the school makes clear is that it is never too late to transform your career. CareerFoundry has seen students of all different ages and backgrounds come through their doors and go on to work for top companies such as Google, Apple, PayPal, Facebook, VISA, Amazon, BBC Worldwide, and dozens more. But don’t just take our word for it. Let’s take a look at what some of CareerFoundry’s graduates have to say.
A Pastor Turned UX Designer
Let’s take a look at Jeff’s story. Jeff was a pastor for 19 years before he came across CareerFoundry’s UX design program. He not only made the transition from an offline career to an online one, but he also made that transition later on in life. “Being middle-aged, it was a little intimidating taking on such a drastic career change, especially in a field that has the reputation of being oriented towards a younger demographic,” he said. “However, I’ve found that relevance, creativity, and ability are a mindset and often we can be our own worst enemies.”
Although Jeff valued his time as a pastor, he found himself craving something more creative, and soon realized that UX design was “really a perfect marriage of how my brain works! There’s this analytical, logical side, but also this creative side to it as well.”
“The more I got into it, the more I fell in love with the concept.” To Jeff’s delight, he realized that UX designers were also in extremely high demand. This meant job security, which was especially important to him as he and his wife were looking to set themselves up for a financially stable future.
When it came to finding the right school, Jeff said that what steered him towards CareerFoundry was the fact that they offered a program that covered voice interaction design, which was his particular area of interest. He also felt that other local options for studying UX were not rigorous enough for him. What he liked about CareerFoundry’s program was that it was longer, with an in-depth curriculum that would enable him “to come out with marketable skills that would enable me to handle job interviews and make myself more attractive to future employers.”
Aside from the contents of the program itself, what Jeff really enjoyed about his experience at CareerFoundry was the personal attention, care, and support that he received throughout. “The tutor and mentor that were assigned to me were phenomenal! They really devoted their time and gave really great feedback; I could tell that they had actually looked at my assignments and given it some thought,” he said.
Jeff also highlights the positive impact made by CareerFoundry’s support network, stating that his career specialist was “excellent when I had challenges regarding the job application process. He took the opportunity to personally connect with me, and that really makes a difference.”
And the support didn’t stop there. After finishing the program, Jeff took CareerFoundry’s Job Preparation Course, which helped him polish his portfolio and get him ready to land his ideal job. “In the space of a few months, I had a couple of interviews and eventually got to the point where I received two job offers at once. I was able to choose, and I’m now working at Duke Energy, an energy company in about seven states here in the US.”
Jeff is now enjoying his role as a design strategist in the energy sector and hasn’t looked back since. “I’ve made this career change later in life, and I’d really like to say that you’re never too old to break into the field,” he said. Jeff’s story highlights that if you have the right attitude and a strong work ethic, nothing will stop you from succeeding.
Rediscovering a Passion for Design
Finding your dream career is rarely a straightforward process. In fact, it can come with many ups and downs. This was certainly the case for Amanda. Although her vision was clear from an early age— she decided at just 9 years old that she wanted to be a designer and went on to study graphic design at university—she fell out of love with this vision during her studies. Amanda found her course to be unrewarding, and she quickly lost interest, coming to the conclusion that perhaps a career in design wasn’t for her after all.
So after putting her ambition to be a designer aside, Amanda decided to pursue a career in digital marketing instead. As time went on, she felt the pressure to join the corporate world, and when she did, she was left disillusioned: “Getting a corporate job was the end of my digital marketing career. I realized I didn’t enjoy it at all.”
Amidst this career crisis, another factor to consider was thrown into the mix: Amanda’s husband had just been offered a job 400,000 miles away, in New York. Unhappy in her own job, Amanda thought long and hard about relocating with him, but was unsure of what her career prospects would be. After some reflection, she realized that the part of digital marketing that really appealed to her was the design aspect to it: creating visual assets for social media, contributing to platform redesigns, and working with developers.
So when her company made her redundant, she decided it was the perfect time to go back to her original career plan, pursue her passion for graphic design, and relocate. “My mind was already in New York. It was time for me to go,” she said. Shortly after arriving, Amanda began designing an app for a family friend’s company where she came to the realization that user experience and user interface design would be perfect for her; it would allow her to analyze consumer behavior while simultaneously being creative.
She then began studying an online design course with the Interaction Design Foundation. She said that the course “was great, but I soon realized I wanted a much more focused, in-depth, and practical education in UX and UI design. I knew it needed to be online because I was moving to New York. That’s when I discovered CareerFoundry.”
What drew Amanda to CareerFoundry was the freedom and flexibility offered to students, so she signed up for the UI Design Program. “I loved the fact that our work was reviewed regularly. It taught me not to take feedback so personally. In the real world, people will always offer criticism—and your product is going to change to suit different people’s needs continuously. As I always had to get second and third opinions on my work, I learned how to listen to people’s thoughts and adopt a collaborative mindset.”
The UI design curriculum, designed by experts in the field, equipped Amanda with the fundamental skills needed for her new career. But more importantly, what Amanda really appreciated was the support provided by CareerFoundry’s mentors, who helped make sure that she not only had a strong portfolio to present to potential employers, but that she also felt confident and ready for her job search.
“It might have seemed premature to start looking for jobs while I was still enrolled as a student, but the app that I’d designed for my family friend paired with my portfolio from CareerFoundry meant I felt well-equipped to start job hunting. I even applied for jobs that I knew I wasn’t going to get, just so that I could get a better sense of the job market and what people were looking for.”
After some time looking for jobs, a dream opportunity appeared as a designer at Ellevate Network. During a phone screening, Amanda impressed them with details of her thorough education at CareerFoundry and how prepared she was for the role. Unsurprisingly, she got the job as the first designer the company has ever had. “As the community at Ellevate actually encouraged me to make the switch into design, it just felt so right.” Amanda’s role has given her the creative freedom to pursue her passions and allowed her to use the valuable knowledge she gained at CareerFoundry. She is currently working on improving the design of the website and re-configuring the company’s membership application process.
For Amanda, the detour was worth it to rediscover her passion. “UX and UI is now my full-time job, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve done so many different things, and now I know that this is my passion. I want to use my brain to make design better for normal people. I absolutely love what I do.”
From Uber Driver to Web Developer in a Matter of Months
For some of us, our goals can feel out of reach due to outside circumstances. Houston-based Gabriel, who comes from a working-class immigrant background, had always dreamed of working in the tech industry as a web developer, but unfortunately, Gabriel had no choice but to put his dream on hold. “After finishing high school, I had to work to help provide for my family. My dreams to become a software engineer faded away,” he said.
With his career goals put to one side, Gabriel began working as an Uber driver. But his passion to pursue a career in tech was still very much alive, and after discovering coding bootcamps, he began to seriously consider the idea of a career change.
Like many people looking to change careers, a traditional route such as a full-time college degree just wasn’t a viable option for Gabriel. What he needed was a program that allowed him to organize his time effectively. Having a flexible schedule was a huge game-changer for Gabriel, as he was able to fit his studies around his work, and therefore learn the skills he needed while keeping his job. “I have always been fascinated by computer programming, and CareerFoundry provided a budget-friendly approach to reach my goals to become a developer.”
Aside from the flexibility, what really stood out about CareerFoundry was that the Web Development Program allowed him to gain the skills needed in a shorter period of time so that he could make a faster career transition. He also enjoyed the practical and hands-on approach to the bootcamp, commenting that “during the course, I enjoyed the times when I was pushed to find a solution.”
CareerFoundry pride themselves on making sure that their graduates are ready for the job market by focusing on real-world projects. Despite the challenging nature of a bootcamp, you are not alone on the journey. Having joined CareerFoundry with no prior experience in tech, Gabriel understands first-hand the value of having access to the expertise of a mentor who knows the industry.
Within just three months of graduating, the job Gabriel had dreamed about for so long finally became a reality and he landed his first role as a developer. Although it was a challenge, Gabriel is thrilled to have taken that leap. His story is a perfect testament to the rewards that can be reaped if you’re willing to take the risk and put in the work. With dedication, anyone can achieve their ideal career. As Gabriel says, “Don’t let anything stop you. Hard work always pays off!”
As you can see, there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to a career in tech. Forget age, background, or experience—everyone has something unique to bring to the industry. That’s what makes tech such an exciting place to be! With enough drive and dedication, the right tools, and a solid support network, you can transform your career and do something you love. Why not get the ball rolling today? Take that first step and check out CareerFoundry’s career-change programs.
And, if you’re having trouble deciding which route is best for you, you can sign up for a free introductory short course. This is a great way to get a taster of what each field entails.
Still wondering how it all works? Don’t worry, you can also speak to one of CareerFoundry’s expert advisors. They’ll help you gain clarity on which program is the right fit for you. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain, so take that first step towards the career you want right now.
You can also get a taste of what CareerFoundry is like with their shorter introduction courses. Try out their Intro to UX Design course here.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.