Tech careers are becoming more and more popular. Last year alone, there were 3.9 million job postings for various tech roles in the US, according to a recent CompTIA report. As the demand for tech professionals grows, so do the numbers of resources helping aspirants gain relevant skills to launch a new career in the field.
Technology and computer science-related courses are so popular that according to EdTech magazine, 27 percent of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) focus strictly on these topics. However, with such a wide variety of online learning platforms available, it can be difficult to decide which one to choose.
Hearing from alumni who have taken the courses can give you an idea of what a learning platform can offer. This may help you in your decision-making process. Otherwise, it will be more difficult to tell which ones are best for your career goals and needs.
In this feature, two learners share their experience of the Codecademy platform.
Codecademy offers courses in web development, data science, cybersecurity, and more that can help train your for tech jobs.Sign up for Codecademy today.
What Is Codecademy?
Codecademy is an online platform that helps people learn in-demand programming skills for careers in technology. The platform prides itself on providing a hands-on learning experience, as well as career guidance through the power of community.
Two Codecademy learners share their experiences after pursuing different paths with the platform. Let’s take a look at how Codecademy helped Bernard and Isabella find success in tech.
Bernard’s Experience: Codecademy Courses and Bootcamp
Bernard first heard about Codecademy back when other tech learners were still using textbooks to get their tech education. The first course he took was Python and since then, his tech knowledge has expanded enough for him to land a job as a Full-Stack Developer at Resonate in London, England where he resides.
81% of participants stated they felt more confident about their tech job prospects after attending a bootcamp. Get matched to a bootcamp today.
The average bootcamp grad spent less than six months in career transition, from starting a bootcamp to finding their first job.
Scholarship Opportunities Are Available
He said he was recently reintroduced to Codecademy when the company ran a scholarship for people affected by the pandemic last year. “I was working in bars and pubs as a musician and doing some teaching on the side. When the COVID-19 outbreak hit the UK, I knew it was likely that I was going to be unemployed for some time. I decided to start learning how to program with the hope to find employment post-Covid.”
Bernard found the interactive nature of the course attractive, and he took his time learning the concepts as the course allowed. With Codecademy, learners explore concepts incrementally, which means they take their time to accumulate basic knowledge before moving on to the more complex concepts.
“I think Codecademy provides a really clean, sensible way of learning and solving problems because of the amount of practice you end up doing,” Bernard shared.
He did not stop there. Bernard has since taken on at least three more Codecademy programs. This positive experience led him to take the next step and enroll in a bootcamp.
“I contacted the Prince’s Trust who put me in touch with Generation, a nonprofit organization that aimed to train young people and launch lasting careers. They were very impressed with the work I had completed on Codecademy and placed me on an AWS re/Start intensive bootcamp for cloud engineering.”
Before he took on that opportunity and even during the three-month bootcamp, Bernard continued to use Codecademy to further his knowledge in software development.
He was able to access articles, videos, and otherwise engage in a practical, hands-on learning environment. The approach helped him manage the learning curve and apply the new concepts he learned in different scenarios. In his view, Codecademy has built an interactive eco-system that allowed his learning to thrive.
Structured Learning with Career Paths
When he reflects on his experience, he notes that the Codecademy learning paths are one of the beneficial features of the course. “The platform provided clear learning paths that assumed no prior knowledge and each lesson seemed to develop on what was taught before.”
Codecademy offers Career Paths, a series of curated courses to help learners acquire tech skills based on the career they choose. For instance, a student that intends to be a data analyst but is unsure of what they need to study to get there can select the designated Codecademy Career Path and take the specified collection of lessons, quizzes, videos, projects, and interview practice.
These courses are more intensive than others and can span between six and 12 months. Potential learners who are unsure of a career path can take a quiz that will help them find an ideal path that matches their interests and strengths.
Certificates of Completion
Bernard said another thing that learners can look forward to is the Certificates of Completion that Codecademy offers with select programs. These, he said, helped him in his bootcamp admissions process because certificates can “provide evidence that you’ve accomplished something”.
For him, certificates also show a genuine interest in a subject matter. “During the application process, you want someone to take a chance on you, so you want to prove that you’re willing to learn.”
Because of his experience with Codecademy, Bernard had a head start on many of the concepts taught in his bootcamp and was in a position to help out his fellow classmates. “I used Codecademy in the mornings and nights to brush up on concepts,” he said, referring to knowledge he already learned during the bootcamp. “Because of that, I was able to provide support to other people in the cohort.”
It was through the bootcamp that Bernard ended up interviewing with Resonate, his current employer. The company allowed him to transition from cloud engineering to software development and he ended up joining the team as a full stack developer. His appointment to the position meant further learning and even more use of Codecademy resources.
“I had to learn a new programming language, which was Java, and I used Codecademy as part of that learning process.”
“I still have and use a Codecademy Pro account. There are a lot of technologies on the platform, and if I need to get used to the syntax of a new language, a short time on Codecademy is normally my first step. I genuinely enjoy how the topics are taught on the platform,” Bernard said.
“As technology moves quickly, there is a feeling that everyone within the industry is learning, and therefore companies seem to be happy to employ you if you show them you have a genuine interest in learning new things. Using Codecademy, completing personal projects, and attending webinars help build this picture.”
Overall, he believes his experience is proof that Codecademy can provide tech aspirants with valuable skills and act as an auxiliary tool beyond the training.
His experience shows that individuals with different skill levels can participate: “There’s a ton of stuff to learn, and it’s really clearly laid out and the syllabi are well thought out. There is a path to technology for anyone, and I would massively encourage anyone to use Codecademy.”
Isabella’s Experience: Codecademy Career Path
Isabella lives in Ecuador and works as a UX/UI Developer. Her transition to coding is one she describes as ‘intense’. Coming from a non-technical background as an undergraduate marketing major, she developed an interest in coding and started taking classes with Codecademy in October 2020.
After only six months, she was able to land an internship with the Google Summer of Code Program as a Front-End Engineer with an organization called OrcaSound. The paid internship program allowed her to collaborate with the open-source organization and add real-world experience to her repertoire.
“As a member of their front-end team, I’m going to completely redo the entire front-end of their website. And I’m working with the UX team to put the designs into reality. It’s a lot of open-source collaboration,” she said.
This is a real-world project that she is passionate about. “OrcaSound is an open-source organization and their goal is to be able to let users listen live to orca sounds in Washington State. The idea is to lead conservation of the animals and understand orcas more in their natural habitat.”
Her start was admittedly pretty interesting and unique. “I took the Full-Stack Career Path in order to learn both the front end and the backend. I thought that was the best route I could take just to find out which one I liked the most. Right now, I want to also learn TypeScript because it’s really in-demand,” she shares.
Isabella talks about the challenges she went through when she started learning. She shares that she would code during the day and attend classes late at night. “A lot of my classes were at 3 am in the morning. And then I would start coding in the afternoon. It was kind of intense, but I really enjoyed it,” she says.
Beyond Technical Skills
More than developing her coding skills, her Codecademy experience helped sharpen her approach to learning. “Personally, it has really helped me be more patient with myself and try to take a step back and realize it’s okay to start all over from scratch and always keep learning.”
Learning How to Learn
Codecademy has helped Isabella learn skills like how to use React, CSS, and HTML. Throughout her internship, she has revisited her Codecademy classes, continuing to make progress in the Front-End Engineer Career Path.
“It’s always good to go back and relearn things so that you can do the best possible work that you can. Later on, I’d like to learn TypeScript or a lot of other Back End languages so I can contribute more.”
Isabella said she did not enroll in any other bootcamps while she was taking Codecademy’s Career Path but complemented some of her studies with YouTube videos. “I thought Codecademy was the best option.”
In the future, Isabella said she hopes to find an employment opportunity at a startup based in Europe. She has one piece of advice for those looking to embark on a similar journey, “Learning how to code is a very humbling experience from my perspective because it’s a complicated process and you need to hold yourself accountable.”
“At the same time, you need to be OK not knowing the answers to everything but be willing to keep going anyway. Find someone that can help you, whether it’s a mentor or a friend. Even someone that doesn’t necessarily know how to code, but can check out your projects and just give their perspective as an end-user — if it’s a good project or needs some improvements. And yeah, just keep going.”
Pick Your Career Path with Codecademy
Both Codecademy alumni above had very different learning experiences. However, they provide an insight into what this learning platform can offer—from teaching crucial skills to offering a wealth of resources that you can use at any point in your career.
Find out more about the platform and register to Codecademy 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.