Coding bootcamps first came on the scene in the early 2010s. Their goal was simple: to increase access to fast-tracked intensive learning for less than the costs of a bachelor’s degree. Initially, bootcamps struggled to gain broad acceptance among employers.
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Their reluctance was embedded in the perceived lack of knowledge of bootcamp grads on the fundamentals of coding. Over time, that view has changed as bootcamp graduates started taking root in the digital economy workplace and proving their merit.
In a report published by the coding-based technical skills and assessment platform, HackerRank, nearly one in three hiring managers has recruited bootcamp grads. Seventy-two percent of them strongly endorsed bootcamp grads as being equally or better skilled than the other hires. The positive view rested on their ability to absorb and apply new skills and knowledge in a snap.
Over the years, tech giants such as Google, Apple, Tesla, and Netflix have followed suit. Job descriptions were rewritten and the four-year degree requirement lifted. What we’re seeing now is that employers are putting a candidate’s skills and potential over her academic pedigree. This, in turn, opened the gates for more career-advancing opportunities for bootcamp grads.
The message is clear. Bootcamp grads can no longer be ruled out. What started as just another alternative to the traditional learning route has grown into a legitimate sourcing channel for tech talents.
With the bootcamp model gaining credibility as an intensive yet effective career pathway, admission into top-tier ones has been—for lack of a better word—intense. As such, Flatiron School, one of the industry’s leading providers of immersive IT education, launched preparatory workshops for those seeking to improve their chances of getting in.
Flatiron School’s Preparatory Workshops
Bootcamps are a learning sprint, not a marathon. To perform well, one would first have to get into prime shape. This is where Flatiron School’s preparatory workshops come in. Recognizing the increasing standards of bootcamps, Flatiron created practical opportunities by which aspiring bootcampers can gauge their technical skills, knowledge, and, for some, interest in the industry.
Coding Bootcamp Prep Online
Although a preparatory workshop, the Coding Bootcamp Prep Online does not lose out on depth. Modeled after Flatiron School’s immersive coding program, the workshop employs a three-pronged approach that integrates theory and practice.
- Practice. If you’re worried that having a rudimentary understanding of programming won’t make you stand out, a coding portfolio will do the job for you. Students of the Flatiron coding prep workshop focus on three overarching applied experiences: the Konami Code, Dodger Rock, and Tic Tac Toe with an AI. Each of these demonstrates the students’ proficiency and potential to progress in the field.
- Interview Prep. This is the last leg of the prep workshop. Contrary to what you may think, this section does not prepare students for the bootcamp application interviews. Rather, it gives them an idea of the practices that the Flatiron Career Services Team employs to turn its graduates “into no-brainer tech hires”. In this leg, Flatiron School’s employer partners provide students with actionable tips to improve their job search experience.
Data Science Bootcamp Prep
This prep workshop meets the needs of those looking to get into even the most selective data science bootcamps. Its curriculum covers key data science fundamentals, primarily Python, SQL, and machine learning. Similar to the coding prep workshop, this workshop also emphasizes hands-on learning. This is where the fun comes in. Halfway through the workshop, students can choose from two applied experiences: the Nearest Taxi Rides and Movie Regression.
- The Nearest Taxi Rides. In this project, students help a hypothetical taxi service increase its revenue by predicting the length of a ride for any given pickup location. The longer the ride, the higher the fare. To do so, students gather and parse data from NYC Open Data. This has a wealth of public information on trips taken by cabs in New York City. The project is designed to test a student’s understanding of machine learning algorithms.
- Movie Regression. What makes a movie a hit? Previously, predicting the success of a movie was a hit-or-miss process. Studios and producers relied on experience to gauge a movie’s financial performance. Over the years, this process has shifted to a more sophisticated one with data as the primary barometer. In this project, students get a firsthand experience of the work that happens behind the scenes (pun intended), albeit on a smaller scale. By sifting through information collected from 300 sampled movies, they create a model that can predict a movie’s box-office potential.
Hacking 101: Intro to Cybersecurity
As companies transition to remote work, cybersecurity diligence has become more of a priority. For those looking to pursue a career in cybersecurity, this prep workshop gives a preview of the day-to-day tasks of the industry’s analysts.
Despite only lasting for two hours, the workshop covers one of the core concepts of cybersecurity: virtualization. To underline the value of virtualization, let’s start with a simple analogy.
Imagine that you just bought a five-story house by yourself. Since you live alone, there’s a lot of space in the house that goes unused. There are also the costs that go into maintaining it. Suppose that you have acquaintances on the lookout for apartments. This gets you thinking: Wouldn’t it be more beneficial and profitable if I subdivide the house into individual living spaces?
In the picture above, you were able to curb your expenses and efficiently utilize the space by creating smaller units for interested tenants. Virtualization works in the same way. Through this, companies can create a virtual environment that allows a user to run multiple operating systems in a single physical server. This cuts the costs on hardware and adds efficiency. The simplicity this technology provides is what makes it a crucial point for instruction among aspiring cybersecurity analysts.
In keeping with its emphasis on applied learning, Flatiron School provides practice labs by which students can further familiarize themselves with virtualization. The Hacking 101 workshop was developed in partnership with SecureSet, a cybersecurity bootcamp recognized for its quality instruction and training.
How To Land a Tech Job: The Complete Curriculum
This workshop is different from the other three as its audience consists of individuals who are already bootcamp-certified. Its curriculum covers the full spectrum of the job search experience—from building your brand to preparing for interviews and negotiating a fitting salary.
The tips and tools listed in this workshop are patterned against Flatiron School’s proprietary job-search framework. In its roster are articles, templates, videos, and resources that students could utilize to gain headway in the job search journey.
Flatiron’s career services have gained a reputation for its success. To establish credibility, Flatiron’s outcome stats are verified by third-party auditors.
In its latest 2019 Jobs Report, 614 of 660 Flatiron graduates landed a job within a year since they completed their respective programs. This translates to a 93% employment rate. Of them, 73% are in full-time roles reporting an average starting salary of $74,566.
*for job-seeking on-campus and online graduates included in the 2019 Jobs Report including full-time salaried roles, full-time contract, internship, apprenticeship, and freelance roles, and part-time roles during the reporting period (see full Jobs Report here).
*For job-seeking students who accepted full-time salaried jobs during the reporting period and disclosed their compensation. The average starting salary for students who took full-time contract, internship, apprenticeship, or freelance roles and disclosed compensation was $33/hr. Average pay for a part-time role was $24/hr (see full Jobs Report here).
Why Take the Flatiron Path?
Flatiron’s preparatory workshops offer a menu of benefits. For one, the workshops are free of charge. They’re also self-paced, allowing students to access materials at their speed and convenience.
Moving up the benefits ladder, students of the preparatory workshops who express interest in joining Flatiron’s immersive bootcamps are better-prepared applicants. Apart from all of these, perhaps Flatiron’s main distinguishing feature lies in its online learning platform that leverages real-time collaboration and real tools.
The platform that powers all of Flatiron’s online workshops is premised on the value of collaborative learning. That is, true understanding comes not from the memorization of concepts but the effective communication and application of such. Students can interact with a global community of students and coaches. So, you get instant feedback when you need it.
Simulated tools are good. Real ones? Even better. Using the platform even students of preparatory workshops get their hands on some tools and workflows that tech professionals use in the workplace. Mastery of these ups the level of competency that bootcamp admissions teams look for in prospective members.
Hit the Ground Running with Flatiron School
As employers cast a wider net for recruitment, the industry has witnessed more and more talent being leveraged from previously untapped pools. In a recent report, the global bootcamp market is slated to expand by nearly $440 million. The increase in student enrollment was identified as its main driver of growth. For those planning to attend a bootcamp, its growing appeal could be a daunting aspect. With so many opting to go down that road, how does one expect to stand out?
The recruitment narrative within the tech industry is transforming. Aptitude precedes academic pedigree. The same could be said for bootcamp admissions. For admissions teams, to be a top contender, one must demonstrate one’s skills and commitment to learning. And what better way to do that than to join one of Flatiron School’s preparatory workshops?
Ready? Set. Go!
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.