Divergence Academy offers courses on emerging technologies with a strong focus on data science, cloud, cybersecurity, and AI. Established in 2014, the academy is the first data science-focused educational institution in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas.
Since then, it has expanded its course offerings, and graduates have gone on to work in top-tier tech companies such as IBM, HP, NTT Data, and T-Mobile.
The school’s emphasis on job placement plays a critical role in its success. Beyond equipping students with essential tech skills, Divergence Academy also helps them land jobs in tech.
Its Career Services team actively organizes various career support events and initiatives that involve employers and learners. The school also consistently partners with new companies to grow its employer network.
These efforts reflect in Divergence Academy’s status as a VET-TEC Preferred Provider, one of only 15 training providers in the country to be granted this status. As part of this exclusive group’s commitment to veterans, the school will refund tuition and fees if a student is unable to find meaningful employment within 180 days of completing their program. Because it has more skin in the game, the staff of Divergence Academy works tirelessly to help their veteran learners secure a tech job as soon as possible.
“At Divergence Academy, not only have we developed courses that train our students with new technology and best practices, but we also have ample resources for interview prep, resume review, and networking opportunities,” said Fallon Lineberger, Placement Specialist.
“We provide weekly employer presentations, career workshops, career fairs, and virtual happy hours for students and employers to learn and engage with each other. In addition, we are actively adding new courses to keep up with the competitive marketplace.”
The school received the HIRE Vets Gold Medallion Award in 2021, further validating its commitment to helping veterans land meaningful jobs in tech. The award is described as “the only federal-level veterans’ employment award that recognizes a company or organization’s commitment to veteran hiring, retention, and professional development.”
Explore how Divergence Academy helps its graduates stand out in the Texas and national tech job markets.
To prepare them for the job market, Divergence Academy students benefit from immersive tech training, a vast employer network, and networking events.Learn more about Divergence Academy here.
Student-Centered Career Events at Divergence Academy
Closely working with employers and students is one of the ways Divergence Academy ensures it remains on top of the national job market. The school holds several events and initiatives to support students during their job search, which also benefits employers.
One of these is the weekly “Industry Day Lunch and Learn”. During this event, employers showcase their company, work culture, and career opportunities in front of Divergence Academy students and alumni.
The Lunch and Learn creates an opportune environment for both employers and students. Recruiters gain access to qualified job candidates while students get to learn about various industries, specific hiring needs, and available career opportunities.
This event takes place every Friday, typically consisting of around a half-hour company presentation, followed by a Q&A session between employers and students. Every Wednesday, Divergence Academy releases a post across its social media platforms to inform students which company will present that week. The attendance rate at this event has grown significantly, from 10 students in attendance last year to about 80 students per week today.
It’s no surprise that several Divergence Academy students have obtained job interviews and job offers from attending a Lunch and Learn. When armed with the right questions and attitude, students have a great chance of making a memorable first impression that opens up many opportunities during this event.
Virtual career fairs are also a regularly scheduled event at Divergence Academy. These career fairs are held four times a year and present solid networking opportunities for employers and job-seekers. Potential employers can meet and interact with a diverse talent pool—over 95% of whom are veterans—specializing in cyber, data science, machine learning, and AI. Employers can pre-interview students during the career fair, giving students a chance to impress early on.
David Ratcliff, a Cybersecurity Professional Penetration Tester alumni, who participated in the event said: “I really enjoyed it. I made some great connections and got three opportunities to interview with the companies that attended.”
Divergence Academy also has its Grad Spotlight Brochure, another initiative for graduates to showcase their unique attributes, talents, and skill set to potential employers across multiple industries. Each spotlight includes a 150-to-200-word write-up about their education, credentials, and certifications. The Grad Spotlight Brochure helps accelerate the process of one-to-one matching between graduates and employers.
The school also releases regular “Job Dive with Divergence” newsletters, targeted at their student and alumni body. Each newsletter features curated career opportunities delivered directly to their inboxes. These newsletters inform readers about the best jobs currently available from Divergence Academy’s extensive Employer Network Group in the fields of data science, Cloud, SecOps, and cybersecurity.
Divergence Academy’s Employer Network
Divergence Academy works closely with employers based in Texas, also the school’s headquarters. That said, some graduates who prefer to work for larger companies outside Texas have the opportunity to do so through the school’s employer network.
From SMBs to Fortune 500 companies, Divergence Academy’s network of employers and managed service providers (MSPs) runs the gamut. Members of the employer network include Accenture, Uber, and ProVision.
“Divergence Academy works with both well-known and local employers all over the country to build their technology teams with our learners. We have meetings with prospective employers every week, so our network is continuously growing,” Fallon said.
Divergence Academy is connected to 300 employer partners, including about 30 based in Texas. Meanwhile, the network taps into about 200 national companies with local offices. Through continuous weekly conversations with Talent Acquisition Managers and HR Directors from SMBs to Fortune 500 companies, the school has a good pulse on the job market. It also has up-to-date information on talent acquisition pain points.
“We have the perfect opportunity to craft custom talent solutions that will serve both employers and our program graduates. This allows for further military/veteran talent adoption in our businesses and forwards momentum in embracing diversity and inclusion,” said Fallon.
“Companies have access to our diverse and unique student base. The majority of our students are military, so we provide a workforce of individuals who hold skills that civilians have never acquired,” he added.
Currently, Divergence Academy does not require a fee for hiring recent graduates, so employers can save money by working with the school as compared to working with a recruiting company. In addition, the school also provides employers with services that include personalized course creation, apprenticeship program advice, veteran hiring training, and recruiting for experience-level candidates.
Finally, Divergence Academy works with many employers on its Bowsprit paid internship program, allowing companies to hire interns at half the cost. The school takes on half of the payment for these interns, and companies can closely examine its learners in their work environment for a short period. The Bowsprit program is another opportunity for employers to assess the skills of Divergence Academy students. It also allows students to gain skills in a real-world work environment.
“Our employer network is vast, so this provides students with ample opportunities to work at several different types of companies. It allows our students to bypass the system and go directly to the hiring manager,” shared Fallon.
Staying Plugged Into the National Job Market
Divergence Academy works closely with numerous companies and organizations nationwide. It also hosts regular and recurring free events, which are joined by its hiring partners and student body. Its initiatives and partnerships create a win-win situation for both parties.
On one hand, employers get firsthand access to Divergence Academy’s job-ready graduates. On the other hand, students get to learn more about the companies while also getting firsthand access to hiring opportunities.
If you want to learn more about Divergence Academy and how it can help you land a job in tech, visit the Divergence Academy website. You can also start by browsing Divergence Academy’s course catalog today.
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