Boston, Massachusetts is one of the top US-based tech hubs in the country, demonstrating a projected eight percent growth in tech jobs in the next five years. It’s home to household tech companies, such as Amazon, IBM, Deloitte, and Wayfair, and to coding bootcamps dedicated to honing Boston’s tech talents. One of these bootcamps is Launch Academy.
Founded in 2013, Launch Academy has served as the training ground for over a thousand students in the local Boston community. The bootcamp attributes its success to its 18-week program. The program delivers a well-tailored curriculum that gets updated every 90 days based on the in-demand skills required by hiring managers at companies seeking to bring entry-level engineers onto their teams.
The founders of the coding bootcamp are accessible to students from Day 1. During the application period, they ensure that each candidate’s career goals and life situation align with Launch Academy’s program structure. Applicants participate in multiple phases that test their readiness for a career in software engineering and compatibility with the coding bootcamp.
Once training begins, students are expected to have the drive to be successful in tackling the rigorous program. But while learning is an essential first step into a tech career, guidance from the bootcamp does not stop when students graduate. Launch Academy helps its alumni evolve into their initial and future roles by providing them with lifetime access to their curriculum.
Launch Academy offers an immersive 18-week Full Stack Development program that comes with lifetime access to bootcamp’s curriculum and career services.Apply to Launch Academy today.
How Launch Academy’s Lifetime Access for Alumni Works
The Lifetime Access of Alumni to Launch Academy is one of their value-added benefits for their students. Alex Schwartz, the Career Services Manager at Launch Academy, gave us a deeper insight into how they build a lifetime partnership with their graduates, thus, forming an active alumni network.
From the onset of the program, Alex and his team get to know each Launch Academy applicant. They dig into the why’s, what’s, and how’s of each potential Launch Academy student. A three-week optional prep course called “Preflight” precedes the program, where students practice how to code and test their commitment. Those who complete the program receive a $1,000 scholarship as an incentive.
The main course kicks off with an eight-week pre-work phase, accessible virtually at a part-time schedule. Here, students familiarize themselves with how Launch Academy works. Students don’t pay tuition until their second week, providing them with a week to re-evaluate if they are ready to go all-in with the program.
Every phase of the program is a chance for students to validate two things:
- Is software engineering for them?
- Does Launch Academy fit their learning style?
Once students have established foundational coding skills, the 10-week immersive phase commences. The curriculum varies from cohort to cohort, as Launch Academy puts in massive effort to adjust to the changes in the industry’s skills demand and tech tools. The intent is that by the time students enter the job market, they bring with them modern skills that employers are seeking.
Exploring Launch Academy’s Career Services
During the 10-week in-person phase, students learn how to create an effective resume, a LinkedIn and GitHub profile, and develop a separate profile that goes into the internal job portal of Launch Academy. The said portal is where Launch Academy’s employer partners get access to budding developers.
Having soft skills centered around communication and collaboration are as vital as having the right technical skills. Alex says, “We do technical interview practice. While they’re on campus, the career services curriculum prepares students for their job search.”
Beyond the basic preparation for profiles, resumes, and interviews, Launch Academy ensures that students receive supplemental education about the tech industry.
Alex adds, “We do a lot of work on things like learning about the industry, [as] a lot of students will come in knowing that they want to learn how to code and knowing that ‘software engineer’ is a job. But [plenty of them do not know] that there [are] hundreds of possible job[s] they could potentially get into. We do a lot of educating around what sorts of positions there are in the industry, [and also] connecting [the students] with alumni who work in those positions.”
Launch Academy invites alumni who work in different industries to meet with current students to discuss their day-to-day roles in their current software engineering jobs. This serves to inform and provide students with first-hand insights into what it’s like to work in tech. They also have a chance to explore other roles aside from software engineers and developers, like becoming a sales engineer if that is their preference.
The Launch Academy post-graduate career services program lasts for eight weeks and is anchored on milestones that they need to achieve through the resources the team provides. “We have structured goals and milestones grads have to achieve in the eight weeks following the program to make sure that they can keep their learning momentum going,” Alex explains, “and keep themselves on track towards getting the job. I’ll meet with them every week to make sure they stay on track with that.”
Of course, not all graduates can find a job in eight weeks, let alone determine which position they want to apply for. But you do not have to worry as the Career Services team will still be there to assist you until you break into your first job. “So what we tend to do is try to provide students with a lot of opportunities to just learn about the industry, learn about the positions that are out there, and they can make those decisions themselves,” Alex says.
Launch Academy goes beyond launching you into your first role. The bootcamp is committed to bridging you to a long-term career in tech, and it does so by offering lifetime access to their alumni.
What Does a Lifetime Access to Launch Academy Mean?
Launch Academy has a network of over 1,000 alumni in the Boston area, which new graduates can tap into to build connections. The bootcamp recognizes how collaborative many of the alumni are. They make vacancies in their companies known to Launch Academy, thus, expanding the net of opportunities for the new cohorts. This could be credited to how supportive the Career Services team is, which in turn inspires a culture of paying it forward.
The Launch Academy Career Services program has two facets. First, the team helps students prepare for the job market before they graduate. Second, the career services team continues to present opportunities for Launch Academy graduates who are hunting for their second, third, or fourth job. Yes, even after landing your first job, Launch Academy is still there to help you in your next career move.
The Career Services team does not simply blast your profiles to over 400 employer partners, either. They make a conscious effort to ensure that the opportunities they float for interested Launch Academy alumni are current and relevant to their experience.
Alex shares, “Even now, we have people who reach out and they haven’t been in the program for years. And maybe they’ve gone off and done something else, and we haven’t heard from them in a couple of years. They’ll call us and say, ‘Hey, I’m ready to start looking for a [new] job. [Or] I need some help learning this [new] technology. Is there anything you guys have there?’ And it’s great to be able to reconnect with those people, too.”
Some graduates from the first cohorts still access the current curriculum of Launch Academy. This lets any alumni learn by themselves and keep their technical skills up-to-date. But the best part of the lifetime access feature? There are no additional costs. The tuition covers your tech education and access to their career services long after graduation.
Above all else, this is an important aspect of the program that sends a strong message to Launch Academy graduates: Being a part of the Launch Academy community is forever. The genuine camaraderie during and after the program is what makes Launch Academy stand out from a sea of coding bootcamps. Launch Academy truly is the lifetime learn-to-code partner for its students.
Be Part of the Launch Academy Community
Based on the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR)-reviewed graduate outcomes report of Launch Academy, 76.7 percent of those seeking in-field employment in 2020 secured their first job within 180 days. They reported a median annual salary of $73,500, with 18 percent of them earning over $90,000. These are all impressive numbers considering the challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a Launch Academy alumni, you can rest easy knowing that you are not alone in your journey. Alex says, “The [alumni] networking side of Launch Academy is huge[ly] [beneficial] for students who want to get their first job or [want to] get into the industry.” The insights from other graduates become powerful resources that can make a great impact on someone else’s career.
Does this sound like the right coding bootcamp for you? Start building a long-term career in tech when you join the Launch Academy community.
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.