As Launch Academy's VP of Career Services, I see every day how scary the job market can be. There's no doubt: Landing a job is stressful, and it takes lots of dedication and perseverance. Here are three key ways to get hired in today's job market:
Demand is critical. More demand for a particular skill means more opportunities for employment and better salaries.
The coding bootcamp model only works because it plays off market demand. Coding bootcamps teach skills like web development and data science because there is a massive deficit in skilled workers. By 2020, for example, there will be a need for 1.4 million web developers in the U.S. ...but only 400,000 to 500,000 skilled applicants available. Demand means developers can command higher salaries, find jobs more easily, and don’t need to have a formal degree to find work.
It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know.
Trite but true. Building a network of people in your field is vital. Many career opportunities come from the bonds you form with others. Every networking event, classmate, coworker, and class is a potential job lead for you down the line. Develop those relationships! The best advice we can give you is to stop saying “I should” and just go do things. Don’t let the “maybes” take control.
All our programs are built for networking. Our On Campus program includes many hours with interpersonal projects and pair programming; positive personal relationships arise. We also built in a Career Day with our Boston hiring network and a guest speaker series to give Launchers a jumpstart in the market.
Building a network online is a different beast. Our online program is built with the tools and tech to connect you with other living human beings wherever possible. It has dual benefits: The quality of teaching increases and you build actual human relationships.
Your portfolio, resume, social networks, and online profiles are your first and most important impression to your potential new employer. When competing for a job, your personality and skills will matter, but before you get to show the market your value, you need to get its attention first. In a large pile of resumes, that sense of polish is what makes you stand out. That extra effort is what gets you the interview—and someone else a continued search.
When we began building career services into our program, we noticed an immediate response from the market. That extra shine at the end accounts for most of our 95 percent graduate-to-job ratio. We’ve proven that before you can show off your skills as a programmer, that first step of polished professionalism is critical.
Corinne Babel is VP of Career Services at Launch Academy.