In recent years, the tech industry has begun to address systemic deficiencies in diversity and inclusion. While the conversations about diversity are setting impactful changes in motion, the progress leaves much to be desired.
According to a 2019 report by Wired Magazine, “The share of US technical employees who are Black or Latinx rose by less than a percentage point since 2014.” During the same period, the share of Black technical workers at Apple is unchanged at six percent, while Facebook saw a mere eight percent increase in female workers, up from 15 percent in 2014.
“Despite all the words, despite all the money, despite all the platitudes and initiatives, it’s hard to say that the companies are really taking it seriously,” Freada Kapor Klein, a founding partner at venture capital firm Kapor Capital, stated in the same report.
Hoping to solve this are industry players and training providers who are dedicated to making diversity a part of their mandate. One of them is Code Fellows, a coding bootcamp offering fast-track programs that prepare students for roles in software development and cybersecurity.
For Code Fellows, diversity and inclusion stand at the core of its operation. Its goal is to provide access to technical training without barriers to entry and ultimately, launch the careers of a diverse group of people so they can explore rewarding roles in tech.
“I’m proud to be working with a team that cares deeply about maintaining a safe and welcoming place for people from all backgrounds. It’s not enough to agree with the concept of increasing diversity. It takes work to move the needle and enact change. Diversity means better representation from communities typically faced with barriers that prevent access to the benefits of technology and the community that supports it.” — Jeff Malek, Code Fellows’ CEO.
Code Fellows offers an entryway into software development and cybersecurity with a robust curriculum and well-rounded support.Apply to Code Fellows today.
Six Core Values That Set Code Fellows Apart
To get to know Code Fellows a bit better, let’s take a look at their values. Below are the core values that Code Fellows believe are central to their mission.
“We challenge the status quo. The industry needs a more inclusive and collaborative approach to software development to influence the products that serve our increasingly diverse world. We are here to equip and prepare the talent needed to push the industry forward.”
“We receive and give feedback to fuel personal, professional, and community growth through iterative self-improvement. We are focused on progress, open to challenge, willing to fail, and above all committed to the good of the collective.”
“We celebrate differences and encourage curiosity to understand the people and perspectives around us. We accept people as they are and embrace the characteristics that make us all unique.”
“We believe in our students—sometimes even before they believe in themselves. We equip individuals, companies, and communities to impact the world around them, revealing their latent superpowers. By instilling confidence, desire, and self-determination in the populations we serve, we get to be part of how tech reshapes our world.”
“We seek the holistic well-being of our students, our partner companies, and the tech industry at large. Feedback is a gift: so we present candid feedback, delivered kindly and clearly. We do well by doing good.”
“We are on a global mission to change the hearts and minds of an industry, as well as the lives of our students. Remarkable change happens at the intersection of individual determination and a supportive community. We will settle for nothing less.”
Code Fellows: Diversity by Numbers
Code Fellows’ core values correspond well with its larger goal to help all aspiring developers and cybersecurity experts launch an enriching career—regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or background.
According to the school’s collected data, 41 percent of Code Fellows’ students are non-white, 26 percent are women while another 9 percent preferred not to disclose their gender, 14 percent are veterans, and 39 percent did not have a college degree.
These numbers demonstrate Code Fellows’ ability to provide education to all people and create an environment that values diverse experiences. And the school isn’t stopping there.
The school reports that graduates who landed jobs in full-time tech roles earned an average starting salary of $75,000 after completing their training at Code Fellows. This is a significant boost when you consider that around 50 percent of their students had an annual income of less than $25,000 prior to attending the school.
Code Fellows’ initiatives continue to create a bootcamp where all people feel empowered and able to pursue fruitful careers in tech, regardless of any factors that may have previously limited their access to the industry in the past.
Code Fellows’ Scholarships and Financial Aid Programs
“We are leading the way in building, refining, and adapting curriculum to ensure we are keeping up with the demands of the industry and preparing graduates for the rigorous expectations of a career in tech.” – Mitchell Robertson, Code Fellows’ VP of Business
The first step to a job is acquiring the right skills. This is where Code Fellows steps in. Its Software Development and Cybersecurity programs cover the most in-demand skills and are divided into four modules with varying levels of difficulty. Students with prior experience can take the skills assessment test and skip to the level that is most appropriate for them.
However, the path to landing a job isn’t always clear-cut. Code Fellows understands that there are multiple barriers to entry for individuals from underserved or underrepresented backgrounds, with the major one being financial restraint.
In tandem with its commitment to diversity and inclusion, Code Fellows offers a host of scholarships and financing options to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to gain the skills they need to find a rewarding career in tech.
Code Fellows’ Scholarship Fund aims to provide support to diverse candidates looking to transform their careers and thereby, their lives. So far, Code Fellows has given $3.5 million in scholarship funding to 700 students so they can start careers in tech.
“Improving the diversity of the tech industry creates a lasting impact for both employees and the companies they join. For individuals, tech jobs provide a path to high-paying, rewarding careers. For companies, more diversity in tech means an expanded talent pool, improved team culture, and better products,” –Jeff Malek, Code Fellows’ CEO
Code Fellows’ Diversity Scholarship is awarded to individuals that come from underserved backgrounds that are often underrepresented in the tech industry. Additional Scholarships
Code Fellows awards additional scholarships on an as-needed basis. These include:
- Full-Ride Scholarship. Awarded to a Black American in each cohort, covering the full cost of the program
- COVID-19 Scholarship. For individuals who have lost their employment due to COVID
- Career Changer Scholarship. For individuals looking to change careers and join the tech industry
- Underemployed Scholarship. For individuals who make less than $35,000 a year
- Recent Graduate Scholarship. For individuals who have graduated college within the last 24 months
- Pay it Forward Scholarship. For individuals who are making positive impacts in their community
- Transfer Student Scholarship. For individuals from another educational institution
Income Share Agreement (ISA)
Code Fellows’ students can opt for an Income Share Agreement (ISA) through MentorWorks, to fund their tuition. An ISA allows students to hold off tuition payment until they graduate and find a job that meets the minimum income threshold.
Once they do, they will start paying a percentage of their income for a set amount of time until the term is complete or until the maximum cap is reached, without accruing interest. As part of their innovative “fund and support” model, the MentorWorks ISA program issued by Blue Ridge Bank, N.A., offers ISA financing with career development and professional mentoring, as well as access to employers through their online Talent Accelerator Platform (TAP).
Loans and Payment Plans
Students can also apply for loans or payment plans with Code Fellows’ lender partners:
Climb Credit offers a pay-as-you-go payment plan, allowing students to pay their tuition throughout the program. Since this payment plan isn’t a loan, it doesn’t require a credit check.
Additionally, Climb Credit has three loan options:
- Interest-Only Option. Small monthly payments during the program and after graduation
- Fully Deferred Option. Pay nothing for six months while students are in the program
- Pathway Payments. Higher monthly payments with zero interest and fees for those looking for a short-term loan
Ascent also offers three loan options:
- Immediate Repayment. Loan repayments begin one month into the program
- Deferred Repayment. Start paying three months after completing the program
- Interest-Only. Low, interest-only payments during the program and three months after graduation
How Code Fellows’ Graduates Bring Diversity into the Workplace
Code Fellows’ ultimate goal is to pave a more accessible path for those who aspire to launch their careers in tech. The school strives to connect students with entry-level tech jobs and at the same time, prepare them for long-term career growth. To make that happen, all programs come with built-in career services.
In-Class Career Coaching
During the 201 to 401 modules, students receive 40 hours of instruction which helps them build personal branding, networking, and other interpersonal skills. It covers seven pillars of Code Fellows’ curriculum and comes with corresponding assignments:
- Professional etiquette
- Professional pitch
- Creating a network
- Job search readiness
- Targeted job search
- Professional materials
- Behavioral interview questions
The Qualifying Interview
Students are required to go through Code Fellows’ Qualifying Interview before advancing to the Career Accelerator Program. It’s a mock interview that simulates a real-world experience. It also offers tips to help students excel. Students can retake the interview if they don’t pass on the first try.
After Graduation: Career Accelerator Program (CAP)
Code Fellows’ Career Accelerator Program is designed to help graduates “prepare, connect, and apply”. This program is optional and designed to provide mentorship, portfolio reviews, mock interviews, and more for graduates who need additional support to secure a rewarding new career.
Graduates also get to meet and network with potential employers through various events. Partner Power Hours, for example, is a mix of fun sessions such as software testing workshops, talks by guest speakers, and industry networking events hosted at offices of partner companies.
Graduates also have access to the Talent Portal. The Talent Portal is a bias-free hiring platform that allows hiring companies the ability to hire the right person while excluding identifying features (like names, gender, race, or photos), removing the opportunity for bias. Graduates are then connected with employers who have partnered with Code Fellows to find talented new team members.
A Diverse Future Starts with You
Code Fellows offers comprehensive programs to help tech aspirants from all walks of life launch a career in software development or cybersecurity. The school provides a slew of financing options to help students cover the cost of tuition, thus eliminating a major barrier to entry in tech.
Are you ready to work hard, challenge the status quo, and change your life? Apply to Code Fellows 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.