Since March of this year, perspectives have shifted in so many ways. COVID-19 caused many people to examine their lives in almost all areas: work, education, childcare, and social lives to name a few. Maybe you finally have a reason to leave the job you hate or maybe you’re one of the millions of Americans who’s been laid-off due to the pandemic. If you’ve wanted to change careers, now might be the perfect time.
Tech can be appealing for many people looking to change career paths. As more and more of our world relies on technology, the demand for employees fluent in coding, web development, and other tech skills is required. With the continued demand for qualified employees in the tech industry, making a career change to tech seems like a safe bet. And during a global pandemic, knowing you can work from home is a major benefit.
But going back to school can be intimidating. You might have doubts about whether you can get back in the swing of it. You might not think you can handle all the “tech stuff.” Maybe you think you won’t have time for school in addition to your family life. Those concerns are valid and the team at Thinkful figured out a way to help you answer them.
Thinkful’s Start Today program is exactly what it sounds like. It allows you to start a course after a brief screening. You input your email through their website and are immediately signed up for a 15 day all access trial. There’s no down payment required or commitment to enroll later. You have full access to the course for fifteen days to see if it’s the best thing for you.
It really seems like there’s a catch. Or this is too good to be true. But the Start Today program was designed for students from a variety of backgrounds and needs. Thinkful recognized that giving potential students the opportunity to test drive the course was the best way for folks to gain confidence in the program and in their own ability succeed.
Start Today gives you complete access to their course for 15 days, which includes:
- Access to the standard curriculum
This includes all of the readings, assignments, and homework. You get to participate fully in the class and all components for the two week trial. You’ll even be graded. If you choose to continue with your course, any work and grades that you’ve done will continue uninterrupted.
- Pairing with a mentor in the tech field
All Thinkful students are paired with a mentor currently employed in their field of study. During your two weeks in the Start Today program, you meet and talk with a mentor in your intended field. Just like your classwork, your mentor will stick with you if you choose to enroll at the end of your 15 day trial.
- Access to all Thinkful Slack channels and 24/7 tech support
Much of your Thinkful experience will occur on Slack—the chat and communication tool used by companies around the world. This is where you will talk with your classmates and collaborate during your course. If you ever run into an issue while working on an assignment, you can contact tech support 24/7 via Slack.
In most application processes, whether it’s for a school or a job, there’s an interview. Interviews can be anxiety inducing for applicants, and many employers can find it hard to get relevant information from a short interview with limited questions. When you enroll in Start Today, you get 15 days to decide if this is the best fit for you. You’ll see how classes fit into your life and get to learn about what a career might look like from your mentor.
Towards the end of your trial, you’ll get a reminder that your trial is almost over. If you’re in the zone and everything is working for you, then you can continue your course without interruption. If now isn’t the best time for you, you can follow instructions to withdraw at no cost.
Start Today is offered for three courses: UI/UX Flex, Product Management Flex, and Engineering Flex. You’ll notice all courses are “flex,” which means they are the 20-30 hour a week version of the course, or the part-time option. This is ideal if you are managing a job and going back to school simultaneously.
Let’s take some time to dive into the courses, what they teach, and why they might be the right fit for you.
UI/UX may sound highly technical when you read it for the first time, but it simply stands for user interface and user experience. The first course you will take is an intro to UI/UX fundamentals including user experience research, usability, and visual design among other things. You don’t need any prior knowledge or experience to start this course; you’ll get what you need when you begin. And don’t forget, you’ll be connected to a mentor doing the work.
If you’re thinking about changing careers, you likely already bring a lot to the table. It’s important to think about where your existing strengths and transferable skills might align with your new career path. Folks with an attention to detail, customer service skills, and an organizational mindset might find UI/UX an interesting course to pursue. You’ll be able to use your existing skills to complement and enhance your course work and eventual career.
Another important consideration is what careers are available after you complete your UI/UX course. There’s the possibility of working on the website interface for a variety of companies. Or you could develop internal tools for large companies like Bri Pizana does for Apple. These are just a few of the options available with a UI/UX career. You’ll want to talk more to your mentor about potential opportunities to find out what you might be missing.
Product Management Flex
You might have heard of product management before, particularly if you’ve worked in corporate America. An essential part of product management is understanding and connecting the work of various teams. Thinkful’s product management course begins with an overview of product management in the tech industry, focusing on the day-to-day functions of a project manager. You’ll learn about industry standards, common projects, and how to create a marketable product.
The strengths of a good product manager might vary. However, strong communication skills are a huge benefit. Since you’ll be working with many different people across the company, being a people person might be a benefit as well. This is not a job for someone who likes to work alone. While you can certainly learn organizational skills, having some basic planning and organization strategies in place will be a huge help in the project manager role.
There are many job options if you pursue a course in product management. If you’re interested in the creation of products, you might apply for jobs as a technical project manager. If you’re interested in or have previous experience in marketing, you might want to consider the product marketing manager role. For folks that love making goals and following through, your job as a growth project manager could be the best fit. There are many more opportunities and you can read more about jobs in product management on Thinkful’s blog.
Software engineering could be the right fit for you if you love problem-solving and enjoy getting creative. Like all jobs you’ll still work with people, probably on a team, so strong communication and people skills are still important.
Start Today allows you to engage in the full Thinkful experience. You’ll get to see how this course could fit into your life and what career opportunities await you. You really can change careers and Start Today could be the best place to begin.
If you have any questions, you can always schedule a call with an admissions representative before you sign up to Start Today.