In recent years, demand for software developers has far outpaced the available talent supply. Data from Statista shows there were about 25 million software developers worldwide in 2020, and this figure could reach 28.7 million by 2024. Yet, this is still not enough to fill the projected worldwide talent shortage. In effect, companies are at risk of losing $8.4 trillion in revenue.
Sophie Leroi, Associate Director of Career Services of coding bootcamp Galvanize, echoes this.
Many people looking to acquire these skills enroll in coding bootcamps to speed up their education process. But not all bootcamps offer effective end-to-end programs from education to career development, like Galvanize. Galvanize hones future software engineers through their 12-week Hack Reactor Software Engineering course. After three years, the school has successfully launched thousands of software engineering careers. Read on as we find out what makes Galvanize bootcamp a worthy career launchpad for budding software engineers.
Galvanize-Hack Reactor Software Engineering Program is widely recognized for its rigor and success in preparing students for today’s in-demand tech careers.Sign up for a Galvanize info session here.
What Does It Mean to Be a Career-Ready Software Engineer?
Being a career-ready software engineer means knowing beyond knowing tech jargon and having familiarity with tools. Career readiness equates to having the core skills, an analytic and strategic mind, being communicative, and being a great collaborator. In the end, companies are hiring people and not machines.
So, how do you become career-ready?
For decades, students remain caught up in the myth that a college diploma alone is a ticket to employment. As long as you hit the metrics of traditional learning, from attendance to exams, you can march on the stage, toss your graduation cap, and land straight on a job. However, there is a glaring lack of effort among universities in providing career services for school alumni.
A Gallup-Purdue Index report shows that only 16 percent of students find the career services of their schools effective. This is a worrying figure that contributes to why hundreds of graduates are in a sink-or-swim situation after school. And it’s a concern that Galvanize seeks to address, through a back-to-back program that merges immersive training in software engineering and comprehensive career services.
What Is Hack Reactor?
Galvanize acquired Hack Reactor in 2018 to establish a leading software engineering bootcamp. Hack Reactor offers a unique and state-of-the-art software engineering course that mimics the daily experiences of a real-world software engineer.
The course is offered online and on eight different campuses. Given the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic, however, Hack Reactor Software Engineering remains online until February 2022. Students can choose whether to apply for a full-time online course that runs for 12 weeks or a part-time online course that takes 36 weeks to complete.
The course is broken down into three sections: introduction, advanced lessons, and application. The bootcamp implements a hands-on approach with minimal lectures that students extensively apply through exercises and projects.
The Hack Reactor Classroom Experience
For those uninitiated in the software engineering landscape, these may sound complex. But plenty of Galvanize students with diverse backgrounds could attain technical and behavioral skills successfully. Take it from Galvanize alumni Joe Buono, a musician; Kim Luu, a hospitality management graduate; and Stephanye Blakely, a coding and text-based games enthusiast.
From Writing Lyrics to Writing Code
Seeing Joe’s musician peers moving into tech and finding career success sparked his curiosity about the field. After deciding to delve into some programming courses on his own, he eventually enrolled in Galvanize’s Hack Reactor software engineering course.
As a musician, Joe is used to constantly practicing to perfect his craft. This skill proved helpful to him when he moved into software engineering. Joe says, “If you study music seriously, then you know how to practice.”
One highlight of his coding experience is pair programming, where he worked with another student on a project. Joe says, “It’s very exhausting because you’re trying to write code and communicate clearly with the team at the same time. That’s a big cognitive load, but that was a massive contributor in building confidence for me.”
From a Hospitality Career to Software Engineering
Kim Luu was looking for a career that impacts the lives of people. And she thought hospitality was right for her as the field’s core is engaging with people. While pursuing a Master’s Degree in Hospitality Management, she realized otherwise.
Upon the suggestion of a friend, she explored coding and stumbled upon software engineering.
“I realized that with software engineering, I can make an even bigger impact. Because the world is changing so fast, only software can keep up,” Kim says.
From Coding as a Hobby to Coding as a Career
Stephanye has always been into coding, with a fervent interest in building text-based games. This interest grew into a hobby and, eventually, pushed her into pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. Unfortunately, Stephanye had to leave the program to earn money by working odd jobs.
When the pandemic hit, however, she realized she needed a sustainable and fulfilling career.
After enrolling in the Hack Reactor Software Engineering course, Stephanye says, “I spent all those years teaching myself little bits and pieces of programming, but I never considered myself to be good at it. It was only through this experience that I realized not only can I do this for a living, but the experience I had in the class is actually going to contribute to that.”
The expectations, aptitude, and skills of each student before entering the bootcamp affect their overall experience. But the rigorous process of Hack Reactor, from prep course and technical interviews to actual programming, helps them establish a career in software engineering in the most efficient way.
Where Are Hack Reactor Graduates Now?
Based on the 2019 outcomes report of Hack Reactor, the second quarter reflected an 83.76 percent graduation rate. Among the graduates, 79.44 percent secured jobs that pay an average of $91,000 annually within 180 days after graduation.
But with the pandemic, there was, understandably, a dip in enrollment and hiring rate in the first half of 2020. “The whole world was on pause, waiting to see what was going to happen and how everything was going to be impacted [by the pandemic]. This slowed down job searches,” Sophie says.
Besides this, she notes there are generally three career barriers to entry for software engineers when applying:
- Application Tracking System (ATS), a software that scans resumes for keywords that match the employer’s requirements;
- Ability to demonstrate behavioral and technical skills with self-confidence during interviews;
- Avalanche of job applicants resulting in a steep competition.
From an 83.76 percent graduation rate, only 70.4 percent graduated on time in 2020. The compensation rate also decreased from $91,000 to $75,000.
Sophie reiterates the job market has bounced back since.
“Job prospects are great right now. A lot of jobs are available, and significantly more companies are open to remote work, which opens up opportunities even further because job seekers are not confined by location,” Sophie says. And she’s not the only one seeing this rise. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there will be a 22 percent growth in the job market for software engineers.
This rise could be attributed to how companies have integrated flexibility into their work arrangements—allowing employees to work whenever they can and wherever they are. That also affected how career-seeking graduates approach potential employers, with many hiring managers seeking talents across the globe.
“Finally, in-person strategies became non-existent. Our grads had to do more 1:1 networking rather than having the opportunity to connect organically at meetups, conferences, or other events,” Sophie says.
Galvanize’s Formula to Building a Career
Galvanize’s winning combination to a career consists of four pillars.
- Thinking outside the box
Galvanize students must establish a strategic plan before they start floating their resumes. To come up with a plan, the school’s Career Services team encourages students to think outside the box and tap nontraditional channels that may work for them.
The career prep curriculum at Galvanize includes personal branding through resumes and social media, establishing connections, learning how to search for jobs that align with your skills, and sharpening your interview skills. Finally, students learn to come back stronger after every rejection. Sophie sums it up perfectly: “Set expectations so you can ride the waves of a challenging job search without losing confidence or steam. It’s important to the process.”
Beyond employability, another goal of Galvanize is to help graduates build long-term careers. Because of this, the ability to work autonomously, having high competency, and exceptional communication skills are ingrained since Day 1.
Sophie adds, “We also introduce them to the concept of the ‘tour of duty’ early on so that they focus not only on immediate next steps in their career, but they also take a more holistic approach to their new career, and they are able to envision early on where they will want to be after two, five, or 10 [years].”
Is Hack Reactor Worth It?
Through the Hack Reactor Software Engineering course and Galvanize Career Services, thousands of students have found career stability in tech. Stephanye landed a job as a Full Stack Engineer for DentalHQ, Kim works as a Software Engineer for Intellivision Entertainment, and Joe is now a Front End Engineer for Amazon Web Services.
For the second half of 2020, 75.4 percent of Hack Reactor students graduated on time, with 75 percent of them landing a job in 180 days. They also reported a $22,000 median compensation increase, which places the compensation rate at $80,000.
The continuing uptrend in Hack Reactor’s graduate outcomes establishes it as a bootcamp worth trying. Add to the fact that many of them are working for top companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and LinkedIn. If you want to learn more about how you can build success as a software engineer with Hack Reactor, join any of Galvanize’s upcoming info sessions, workshops, and events 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.