In 2020, a survey by Statista revealed that women only made up 19 percent of the software developer world. It also showed that Black and Latino software developers only constituted 6.2 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively. Accordingly, the survey spelled out a big diversity gap in tech, which needed urgent resolution.
Many companies have been addressing this systemic defect by injecting a pipeline of diverse tech talent. Why? Because a diverse workforce spells out several benefits, including better cultural awareness, increased creativity brought by unique perspectives, higher productivity, and eventually, higher economic gains.
Case in point: A McKinsey report in 2021 reiterated that the US GDP could see an increase of $12 trillion if the gender gap diminishes by 2025. Another study by the Boston Consulting Group found that companies with a more diverse workforce earn 19 percent more in revenue than companies lacking in diverse talent.
Put simply, increasing diversity and inclusion in the workplace should be a top priority for organizations.
Catalyte is a unique software development company focused on developing tech talents from diverse backgrounds into bonafide software developers. It offers a software development program that aims to bridge the gap in tech by expanding access and building a higher-performing tech workforce.
Read on to see how Catalyte achieves this goal through its industry-relevant software developer program.
Catalyte contributes to bridging the skills and diversity gap in tech by providing a high-quality and free software developer program to people from nontraditional backgrounds.Join Catalyte today.
How Catalyte’s Developer Program Creates Diverse and Inclusive Tech Workforces
Catalyte doubles down on building diversity in tech by offering software developer training at zero cost, making it easier for learners from diverse, nontraditional backgrounds to acquire the skills they need to get into tech. As to who gets accepted into the program, Catalyte promotes fairness by utilizing an artificial intelligence (AI) powered algorithm that operates in two simple ways.
- Applicants’ data such as name, address, and education are not considered when selecting students for a cohort. The algorithm is programmed not to consider data that can introduce bias and keep historically excluded groups out of the tech industry.
- A two-hour online screening is what the algorithm uses to assess applicants’ software engineering potentials. This is an unbiased assessment for spotting talents from nontraditional backgrounds.
Beyond the free and fair access, Catalyte helps students hone mastery of in-demand software development skills to prepare them for jobs as front-end, backend, or full stack developers. After graduating from the program, students are hired into a two-year paid apprenticeship. There, they further hone their skills and get the practical experience they need to stand out.
The apprentices build compelling tech portfolios by solving real-world problems with their coding skills. Coaches also guide them as they develop and deliver applications for Catalyte’s clients.
Catalyte’s motivation for making its software developer program as accessible as possible was explained by its Chief Platform Officer, Greg Sybersma. According to Greg, the future workforce will be the strongest when it is made up of people from different backgrounds and educational experiences. This would help the tech industry experience higher productivity and innovation as talents share their unique ideas.
So far, here are some impressive statistics on Catalyte’s journey in building a diverse and inclusive tech workforce.
- 48 percent of graduates didn’t have a four-year degree when they joined
- 77 percent didn’t have prior tech employment experience
- 42 percent had no previous tech-related education or experience
- Program participants’ ages range from 18 to over 60 years. This involves new high school graduates to people looking for a second career after retirement
- 23 percent of technical staff are women (21 percent above industry average)
- 10 percent of technical staff are Black (40 percent above industry average)
- The average yearly earnings of a person before they joined Catalyte is $25,000/year
- After two years, graduates’ salary is over $65,000 per year.
- After five years, graduates’ average salary is about $98,000 per year—almost four times their salary before joining Catalyte.
- 91 percent of graduates would go through the program again
As Catalyte pursues its goal of an inclusive tech environment, it does not soft-pedal on providing quality tech training.
Student Reviews: Catalyte Software Developer Program Moves the Needle
Catherine Booker already had a degree in intercultural communication, but it was her love for language that led her to the world of coding. From there, she enrolled in the Catalyte program and found camaraderie alongside other women in her cohort.
“The importance of women in the Catalyte program was very empowering,” shared Catherine. “I was part of a project with a group of women…We called ourselves the ‘Hack-hers,’ and that was an awesome experience for me because I didn’t expect that from the program at all, knowing about the stereotypical software engineer,” she said.
Seeing the inclusive environment fostered by Catalyte, Catherine, who’s currently working full time as a software developer, seeks to pay it forward by helping more women break into tech. “I’d like to help open the doors for more women just like the women before me have… I would just be grateful to be a part of that—if someone were to see me, especially a Black woman, to see that if I can do it, she can do it, too.”
While curiosity led Catherine to Catalyte, it was the need for a better career and higher pay that motivated Mike Norris. Mike Norris graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Information Systems. Despite high hopes to land a job in his field, due to the dot-com bubble burst, Mike struggled and eventually ended up working as a security guard.
A few years later, Mike’s chance at a better life came in the form of Catalyte.
“I had nothing to lose. I already had student loans I couldn’t pay. I had a job that was never going anywhere. In three years, I never received one raise and I worked every holiday and every night,” he shared. “I had nothing to lose by taking advantage of this opportunity.”
So, he took the leap of faith, hoping that learning how to program would lead him to a lucrative career. It paid off.
“Today, I own four houses. I own four cars, and I travel the world thanks to Catalyte.”
“Catalyte is too good to be true. A lot of us come from different backgrounds [and] we would not have the life we have if not for that opportunity. There is a way out. You just have to work for it and you should never lose that drive.”
With the help of Catalyte, Mike continues to enjoy a rewarding career as a software architect at Catalyte.
The colossal cost of learning to code in colleges is often a barrier for many who wish to cross into tech. Melissa Rodriguez experienced such challenges before finding Catalyte. Although she wished to become a software engineer, she was unable to pursue her dreams due to the high cost of additional training.
“Software development is about expressing your creativity and creating awesome things. I have always been interested in computers, and I love being able to do what I want. I just didn’t think it was an option for me since I didn’t have money to pay for an expensive tech school.”
Then, Melissa found Catalyte. Being a woman of color, Melissa was a little nervous about whether tech would be a welcoming industry. However, her experience with Catalyte’s inclusive community gave her a calming reassurance.
“It’s so surreal that I made it through. Learning to code is one of the hardest things I’ve done, and I take great pride in it.”
Be Part of a Diverse Tech Workforce
Catalyte contributes to bridging the skills and diversity gap in tech by providing a high-quality and free software developer program to people from nontraditional backgrounds. It promotes an inclusive environment for everyone, which it does by ensuring students are commended for their abilities. They also encourage students to interact and learn from each other and learn from people with different backgrounds. That way, they can develop new ideas to solve problems.
Follow the path of several other happy alumni and begin your software engineering journey when you apply to Catalyte today.
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.