Whether you’re interested in changing careers into tech or upgrading your skills to secure emerging tech roles, bootcamps can be a great starting point. While technical skills are crucial, job search and coaching are equally important to succeed in the hiring process. Granted, most bootcamps provide career services as part of their programs, but few offer experiences as comprehensive as QuickStart.
QuickStart is an online IT skills training platform that partners with leading American universities to provide intensive bootcamps in Cybersecurity, Data Science and Analytics, Cloud Engineering, AI/Machine Learning, and Web Development. All programs implement a hands-on learning approach under the guidance of expert instructors.
The question is: are these bootcamps effective in helping you launch your tech career?
To find out, we spoke to Gwen Gayhart, QuickStart’s Director of Career Services, and Ali Syed, QuickStart’s Director of Student Services as they walked us through the services they provide to ensure student success.
Can I Get a Job After QuickStart?
Yes, you can definitely get a tech job after QuickStart. In fact, many already have. According to QuickStart, 69 percent of QuickStart’s eligible grads (and counting!) get placed in tech jobs within six months. Beyond the numbers, many QuickStart alumni have shared their success stories since completing their IT bootcamp training. Among them are Brent Mattocks and Cassidy Williams.
Brent Mattocks, Cloud Engineering Bootcamp
Brent had a successful career in the fitness industry, but when a lifelong health issue required a lengthy hospitalization, he realized it was time to consider a path that would allow him the flexibility to work from anywhere. With guidance from his brother, an IT professional, Brent chose to enroll in QuickStart’s Cloud Engineering Bootcamp. After attending a hiring event with SkillStorm, one of QuickStart’s employer partners, Brent received a job offer for a Cybersecurity Analyst role, one he finds both challenging and fulfilling.
Cassidy Williams, Cybersecurity Bootcamp
Cassidy obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology that she hadn’t yet started using. With a father and grandmother both working in cybersecurity, she decided it was a field worth pursuing and enrolled in the Cybersecurity Bootcamp. Hardworking and ambitious, Cassidy took full advantage of QuickStart’s career services to optimize her profile and résumé and start applying for opportunities. Within six weeks of completing her bootcamp, she received an offer and now works as a Cybersecurity Analyst for GM Financial.
Behind every QuickStart student’s success lies a comprehensive job search support system available throughout their bootcamp journey and beyond.
Quickstart provides its IT Bootcamp graduates with robust career services equipping them with skills and knowledge to break into tech and find fulfillment in the IT industry.Learn more here.
A Review of QuickStart’s Career Services Program
QuickStart’s Career Services Program is twofold. It (1) equips you with critical job search skills and (2) connects you to employment opportunities with its hiring partners.
QuickStart’s Director of Career Services, Gwen Gayhart, says the aim of the career services program at QuickStart goes beyond finding the first tech job for the graduates: “Our goal is to empower students with critical skills and the structure of a repeatable process that they can use over and over again throughout their career.”
Read on to learn more about QuickStart’s Career Services Program.
Career Preparation Education Course
Throughout the bootcamp training, you can tap into QuickStart’s self-paced course called “Prepare Yourself for the Job Market”. As the name implies, the course includes assistance in creating an effective LinkedIn profile and résumé, as well as access to resources and tools to make the process easier.
You will learn how to utilize tech tools and receive tips and tricks to make your job hunt easier. You will also learn to build your professional brand and expand your network. Contained within the Prepare Yourself for the Job Market course is also a psychological component designed to help you gain confidence to reach out to recruiters and hiring managers.
LinkedIn Profile Guidance
Given its sizable user base – over 800 million users as of this writing – LinkedIn is an essential tool for a successful job search. That said, standing out in a sea of millions can pose its challenges.
At QuickStart, you will learn how to make LinkedIn work for you – from presenting yourself professionally to establishing an online presence to boost your visibility to employers. Gwen suggests that you should build your LinkedIn profile before writing your résumé.
Not only does an active profile allow for greater accessibility, but a well-crafted profile can also often be reworked to easily build a quality resume. With a solid LinkedIn profile, you can tell a clear and compelling story about the problems you can solve, not to mention build and grow a network of professionals willing to help.
“You don’t need 5,000 connections. In fact, you don’t even need 500,” says Gwen. “What you need is a solid group of maybe 25 people, or even 15 or 20, who you can […] develop enough of a relationship with that they’d be willing to vouch for either your character or your skills and work ethic.”
Through a specially-designed report card, QuickStart will grade your LinkedIn profile and provide personalized recommendations for profile optimization.
No matter how impressive your résumé is, there’s always a risk that it will not get to the hiring manager’s desk. In a bid to streamline the hiring process, recruiters have implemented applicant tracking systems (ATS), which are built to filter out applicants whose résumés do not reflect the desired skills or qualifications for the role.
QuickStart’s resume-building guidance helps you craft a résumé that can get past the ATS bots and properly highlight your skills and experience. Instructions are given to build a marketing package that tells a cohesive story along with ongoing support to identify jobs that would be an ideal fit and support in growing a professional network.
Gwen notes that building a profile and résumé is much like writing an essay in middle school.
“First, you’ll make a ‘thesis statement’ (the problems you claim you can solve) in your headline and summary sections. The rest of your profile or résumé should then provide supporting evidence of that claim.
Job Interview Preparation
Finding the right hire for each graduate is an individualized process. Job interview prep at QuickStart includes technical and behavioral interview practice. Gwen shares that QuickStart teaches graduates to position themselves in the hiring process to help hiring managers to identify what they are looking for.
It’s about seeing what kind of problem the person doing the hiring is looking to solve, rather than saying you are a perfect fit without knowing what is required. “Have a conversation with them. Hear what they need and what you can do to help accomplish that for them.” Doing so can be a game-changer, especially for career changers, as it shifts the hiring manager’s focus from their typical wish list of requirements (degree, x years of experience, etc) to a bigger-picture consideration of what they want the new hire to help them accomplish.
Additional Areas of Career Support
QuickStart has just launched a new Career Services portal powered by Prentus.The portal is a feature-rich platform that does not just facilitate connecting QuickStart grads and employers via an online talent marketplace. It also serves as a home to a thriving and engaged community of current students, new grads, alumni, employers, and advisors ready and willing to provide support, guidance, encouragement, and instructional and informational group sessions for graduates. Alumni are invited to discuss various job search and career topics and answer new-grad questions at special “A Day in the Life” sessions.
Additionally, QuickStart organizes employer presentation sessions, internship opportunities, employer partner introductions, and referrals.
Two Types of Career Opportunities
As QuickStart students come from diverse backgrounds, they require different levels of career support. While students with some tech experience might need only a little help and guidance, true career changers need more guidance. Understandably, graduates with different experience levels would encounter varying opportunities in the tech job market.
QuickStart offers two types of career opportunities. The first one is traditional employment, where alumni are hired by tech companies directly. The second type falls under a model known as “Train-to-Hire”, which are IT staffing firms that hire QuickStart alumni for entry-level tech jobs and provide additional training, from professional skills like working collaboratively in agile teams to client-specific technology, then deploy them to work with the firm’s clients.
Ali Syed, QuickStart’s Director of Student Services, gives a quick breakdown of these career opportunities.
The Train-to-Hire option is designed for graduates who come from non-tech fields. Train-to-hire means employment as a W-2 employee with a two-year contract at IT staffing firms such as Revature, and Skillstorm.
Extra training and certifications are built into Train-to-hire. After completion of the Train-to-Hire contract, employees gain the necessary experience in tech and can be converted to full-time employees of the client IT company. These opportunities are ideal for anyone who could a bit more time and practice to gain the confidence necessary to work independently in a tech capacity.
Traditional employment is a career opportunity for graduates with IT backgrounds. It is employment for entry-level roles under QuickStart hiring partners that include Adobe, Amazon, American Express, Gemini, GM Financial, GE Corporate, Microsoft, Ernst and Young, Tesla, Accenture, and many others.
QuickStart provides a variety of personalized career services not only to help you land your first tech job but also to equip you with job search skills you’ll utilize throughout your career. The tech industry changes fast. Having a repeatable process ensures you’ll be ready for the next job and the one after that, which is the recipe for a successful and rewarding tech career.
Eager to learn more about QuickStart’s career services? Click here and confidently break into tech with QuickStart!
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.