The tech industry is still hiring, despite the recent setbacks that the economy has felt. Coding bootcamps can be a great way to enter the industry, but it pays to be cautious. When you don’t have time or money to waste on bootcamps that aren’t right for you, how can you be sure you’re getting a quality experience in a sea of options?
Many reputable bootcamps like Tech Elevator report their outcomes to the Council of Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR). The CIRR is an independent non-profit that verifies many of the claims on job placement rates, graduation rates, median salary, and more that you may see on a bootcamp’s website. CIRR gives you hard facts through its unbiased investigative process, where representatives survey students multiple times after graduation.
Tech Elevator touts impressive verified results from its bootcamps. But looking at the figures from CIRR reports doesn’t tell the whole story. Sometimes it helps to hear how Tech Elevator is affecting positive changes from those that have been through the program.
Taking the Leap
Jerry Adams, a recent Tech Elevator grad, now works as a software developer at PNC Bank. But before he got that job, he was trying to figure out his next move as the pandemic hit.
“I started out as a lifeguard, that was my job about two years before I started Tech Elevator. And then I transferred over to car sales and did that for a pretty long time,” Jerry said. “I was always interested in computers. I made a game sophomore year of high school, but it just kind of fell to the back burner. I always knew it was still there. So once the pandemic hit, I just decided to hop into it and see if it was something I still wanted to do. And it was.”
Jerry is one of Tech Elevator’s many graduates that are seeing results from the program despite the economic situation in the U.S.
Outcomes by the Numbers
CIRR’s reports on Tech Elevator show some amazing outcomes. The bootcamp boasts a 95% graduation rate and a 90% job placement rate for graduates. Tech Elevator has calculated that graduates typically see a $24,000 salary increase average across all of its campuses and the National Live Remote cohorts.
Jerry was intrigued by the fact that Tech Elevator always showed up with high reviews whenever he searched for the best coding bootcamps, but beyond his first impression, he felt he could trust Tech Elevator because it showed that it has high expectations from their students before they even applied.
“I did a lot of research on different coding schools, and a lot of them were very easy to get into. Like I would’ve just applied, paid money, and been able to go,” Jerry said. “But with Tech Elevator, I had to do an aptitude test. So I felt like if they take the time to actually give you something before you start going, then it’s a school that you definitely want to be a part of.”
Jerry wasn’t happy with where he was before the pandemic, and he was up for the challenge of the Tech Elevator program to improve his situation.
What’s Tech Elevator’s Program Like?
From the beginning of the program, Jerry saw the challenge exceeded his expectations. But he was determined to see a real change, and he found the strength to continue.
“The first two weeks were the hardest two weeks of my life,” Jerry said. “I went through college for one year and I realized it wasn’t for me, but Tech Elevator was harder than the college courses I took. But for some reason, I just didn’t want to quit. It was something I liked doing and wanted to figure out and keep going.”
Tech Elevator offers software development courses in two separate programming languages, Java or .NET. Jerry took the Java course, but both courses begin with four weeks of instruction on the fundamentals of the language. After he got over the initial hump, Jerry found the collaborative nature of the Tech Elevator experience to be a big help.
The Secret to Student Success
“There were a lot of people that went through and didn’t really interact with the group, but I’m not one of those people. I learn in a collaborative setting,” Jerry said. “So once I found my group of people we just worked together. We all helped each other. There are going to be lessons where you’re stronger than someone else and vice versa. They have that motivation, where you’re talking for hours on end. Even after you’re done with homework, you’re still sitting in the group just talking and having a good time. So making those connections, being friends with people, it kind of pushes you further to keep going.”
On an average day during the program, Jerry and his classmates reviewed the previous day’s work and learned new material from 9 a.m. until noon. Then, they’d work together in groups to finish their homework, which usually took around an hour. Unless they had Pathway Program sessions that day, they were free to enjoy the rest of their days after completing homework.
The program is a challenge, but you’ll have help along the way. Tech Elevator’s 95% graduation rate doesn’t come from just pushing students through, they’re only bringing in strong applicants that are committed to making a change and starting their careers in tech.
Will Tech Elevator Get Me a Job?
Tech Elevator’s Pathway Program has been very successful in finding students jobs after graduation. The school’s 90% job placement rate ranks the highest among bootcamps that report to CIRR. The program made a difference in Jerry’s job search almost instantly.
“I was the second person in my cohort to get a job offer,” Jerry said. “Even going through the program, before we even start looking at jobs and creating resumes, they have companies come in to talk to you about their values, what they’re looking for, and what they do. So even before we start looking into jobs, they bring the companies to us. Tech Elevator is definitely the reason why I have a job now.”
Developing Career Readiness Skills
The Pathway Program is the career support side of Tech Elevator’s program that prepares students to find their first job in tech. It runs deeper than many other bootcamps, as it runs throughout the program instead of focusing on the job hunt for the last month or so.
Kelly Brucker is the Pathway Program Lead at Tech Elevator. She oversees the program materials as a whole, supervises the Pathway directors on each campus and in the National Live Remote cohorts, and is constantly researching to find new material that makes the program stronger. Kelly and the Pathway team are always incorporating the latest best practices to make their students stand out from the competition.
“We have a lot of really smart people on our team who have spent countless hours in research putting all the content into the Pathway Program,” Kelly said. “And the beautiful thing about the program is that it’s always changing and evolving. I’ve been with the company for almost four years, and it’s completely different now than it was when I first started. That’s a good thing because we’re always adding value to it and we know what works.”
Students start the Pathway Program by completing the CliftonStrengths Assessment. This test helps students identify their top five strengths by testing their gut reactions to 177 statements. Students then take those strengths and turn them into an elevator pitch, which is then crafted into a resume. Then students take their resume summary and rework their LinkedIn profiles to ensure that their brand is consistent across all platforms.
Confidence to Start a Career in Tech
As students start to define their new journey by their strengths instead of their weaknesses, many start to believe that this career change is a real possibility.
“They may already have an awesome resume and great networking and interviewing skills,” Kelly said. “But even those students find value in the Pathway Program. The big thing is that they’re getting confidence. A lot of our students deal with impostor syndrome, either from day one, in the middle of the program, or some point after graduating. The Pathway Program helps with that impostor syndrome because it’s reminding them that they made it into this program for a reason. They do have the skills and ability to go out there and obtain a job as a software developer.”
Jerry was always good with interviews, but he struggled with learning to write a resume until he entered the Pathway Program. It also taught him how to take the weaknesses he’d identify in job interviews and back them up with strengths, and how to excel in coding challenges during the interview process.
“If I were to ever need another job, the Pathway Program has definitely given me a lot more skills that I never had before,” Jerry said. “It should be easier to go out and find a job.”
Tech Elevator graduates’ 90% job placement rate shows that stories like Jerry’s are the norm at this bootcamp. This is a place where students hone the strengths they already have and build the confidence they need to leap into a new career.
The verified 95% graduation rate, 90% job placement rate, and $24,000 average salary increase show that Tech Elevator is making stories like Jerry’s a reality for hundreds of graduates every year. And the fact that these claims are backed up by independent review from an organization like CIRR shows that these numbers are precise and verifiable.
If you’re looking for your own success story, take the Tech Elevator aptitude test to join the upcoming bootcamps in May and June.
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.