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Posted November 08, 2016 by

Coding bootcamps provide students with chance for a career reboot

Group of young business students working together on computers in office. Coding bootcamps provide a unique learning opportunity.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Job seekers who are looking for change should consider this unique opportunity that provides steady career growth–in a sector where there is a shortage of workers. The opportunity? Coding bootcamps.

Coding bootcamps are short – but intense – training opportunities focusing on teaching students in-demand technical skills. They are offered across the country.

According to a recent report, 73% of coding bootcamp graduates surveyed were employed in a full-time job requiring the skills learned at bootcamp, with an average salary increase of 64%. Roughly half of the jobs in the top income quartile — defined as those paying $57,000 or more per year — are in occupations that commonly require applicants to have at least some coding knowledge or skill.

Grand Circus, a technology learning institute in the heart of downtown Detroit, offers a variety of 10-week coding bootcamps that teach skills that prepare students for today’s information technology job market. Coding bootcamps have risen in popularity and are available for students throughout the United States, Canada, and other part of the world, all with different requirements, costs and training. To learn more about coding bootcamps, review this list of the best coding bootcamps in the world, or this comprehensive guide and complete coding bootcamp school list.

Coding bootcamps fill skills gap

“Coding bootcamps have become incredibly effective in filling some of the skills gap America is facing,” says Jennifer Cline, Senior Marketing Manager, Grand Circus. “As new technologies emerge, colleges unfortunately can’t keep up with the ever-changing demands of the industry.”

The Grand Circus program teaches students the practical knowledge needed to launch a career in technology by focusing on both the technical and soft skills that employers are looking for. Students learn how to build functional applications and websites while developing the skills and resources to effectively find a career and work well on a team.

Employers are noticing – 92 percent of Grand Circus grads get hired within 90 days of graduation with an average starting salary of $48,000. Each Grand Circus bootcamp costs $7,500. In Detroit alone, employers like Quicken Loans, Fathead, TitleSource and Domino’s Pizza are hungry for .NET (C#) programmers for enterprise development. Grand Circus is also one of 10 Google for Entrepreneurs tech hubs in North America, serving as a platform for start-ups and established organizations to connect. Grand Circus has also partnered with Microsoft Ventures and Amazon Web Services to provide entrepreneurs with the tools and resources they’ll need to be successful and build world-class companies.

“One of the cool things about our coding bootcamp programs is that we’re nimble enough to change our curriculum based on the needs of today’s job market,” says Cline. “We work with more than 80 companies that hire our students. These close partnerships with tech companies allow us to constantly evaluate our curriculum while also introducing our students to some of the industry’s best opportunities.”

In-turn, students also get support from these hiring partners. These employers host students at their offices and let them see the inner workings of an IT department, contribute to career or informational panel discussions, and provide mentoring and feedback to students.

Coding bootcamps teach more than tech skills

But coding bootcamps do more than just teach code and tech skills. Coding bootcamps teach students how to work in small groups – something that’s a must in the technology sector, as much of the work is project or group based and collaboration between team members is crucial. Coding bootcamps teach students problem solving, analytical, and communication/interpersonal skills – which are all important when relaying results of that project work to management. A previous background in coding, or experience in IT is not necessary. Many students are also seeking a career change, and attend coding bootcamps to shift careers.

Learning code makes you a needed asset in today’s industry, says David Gilcher, lead resource manager at Kavaliro, a woman-owned and minority-owned firm employing more than 300 IT professionals, management, and administrative staff around the country.

“We are finding more roles seeking out prospective candidates with development skills even if the role doesn’t require them daily,” says Gilcher.

Infrastructure and data are two fields where scripting skills are necessary because it includes handling automation, integration, reporting, and analytics. Gilcher has clients seeking accountants with some scripting skills with Excel, utilizing development languages including VBA, Python, and JavaScript.

“A grasp of these development skills, regardless of career field, will set job seekers apart from the competition,” says Gilcher.

Gilcher says most employers they work with are seeking recent college graduates or boot camp graduates with skills in ASP.NET, PHP, Java, JavaScript, C#, C++, Swift, and Ruby on Rails. But in IT, the skill sets are always changing. Those who continue to learn new skills will progress the furthest in IT careers.

“As more clients seek mobile, big data and automation solutions, new development languages will evolve or be replaced with others,” says Gilcher.

Students who attend coding bootcamps often have a diverse and varied background. Grand Circus bootcamps – and many others across the country – are open to students of all backgrounds and experiences, not just college students, and not just for those with a college degree.

“We’ve trained teachers, nurses, finance managers, baristas and so many other professionals to become effective developers, and then we help them land the job of their dreams,” says Cline. “Most grads go on to be junior-level developers, and take the skills we’ve provided to grow their careers long term.”

Employers are able to attend a Student Demo Day at Grand Circus, to get a first-hand look at projects/work completed by Grand Circus students using the coding skills learned at bootcamp. Employers know coding bootcamp graduates are getting specific training in the in-demand programming languages, says Gilcher.

“Coding bootcamps can be a great source of finding new talent,” says Gilcher.

Networking opportunities created at coding boot camp

Students attending coding bootcamps should focus on relationship building with instructors and classmates. These are all valuable networking contacts. Those classmates may have future openings at their companies and contact colleagues met at coding bootcamp. They may progress to manager or executive level roles, and seek to hire professionals they developed relationships with at coding bootcamp. Or, they may someday launch a startup, and seek that hard-working, talented IT professional met at coding bootcamp.

“For those that are attending coding bootcamps, I recommend they maintain solid relationships with those they meet there because those are going to be the people that know hiring managers or will become hiring managers,” says Gilcher.

Coding bootcamps can provide a new career path for students, and certified, trained, ready-to-work job seekers for employers.

“It’s really a win-win for both parties,” says Cline. “We’re helping students find fulfilling careers while also providing talent that allows local companies to grow.”

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Posted July 25, 2016 by

10 digital skills to help you land an amazing job

Young photographer at the studio doing some retouching photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

The digital age arrives with many benefits. Our lives are faster, online, and the information is easily accessible at the click of a button. However, you cannot be left behind, and you need to keep up with technology because it might end up replacing you if you don’t. In fact, it’s already happening. Many jobs that have been a staple of society in the past 100 years are slowly being given to automatons.

Those are the jobs that require little social interaction and are based on pure demand or logical thinking. A human employee in simple services can be replaced by a few buttons. We’re moving forward, and many already believe that the younger generation needs to make sure their digital skills are sharp in order to fit into the future. How do you defeat this robotization of services and jobs? Learn to be the one who controls and creates them.

It does not mean you necessarily have to learn how to build robots, but it means that you need to understand what sort of skills and talents future employees expect from you. Digital skills are certainly among them because they will play a major role in shaping the future. Your concern should be to belong among those who participate, instead of those who just watch, and here’s what you should definitely know to land a great job.

1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Even though SEO has been around for quite a while, it’s not known to many who have had no handle in creating or taking care of a website. However, keep in mind that skills using it are required by around 14% of companies in the digital industry, and that number is expected to grow. It’s an essential tool used to optimize a website in order for it to generate traffic and conversation. It’s an imperative skill for many jobs and one that will definitely impress employers in the industry.

2. Coding (HTML5 or JavaScript)

It may sound like a no-brainer, but coding is a major part of web browsing, especially in an age where websites are becoming more interactive. Numerous tech giants have switched to HTML5, dropping previous languages in order to create a better and seamless internet experience. The same applies to JavaScript, which works greatest with animation and making interaction an easy process. They’re tools that will be used in the future and some highly recommended for those interested in the field.

3. PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

In essence, it’s a very simple method that companies are looking for regarding marketing. It implies increasing a specific website’s traffic by buying ads on search engines that make potential customers click on it. However, you need to hone your skills in identifying promising keywords, creating a compelling ad, and measure the results. These will be excellent skills to have if you’re aiming to submit a winning job application at a tech titan in the industry.

4. Analytics

It’s not enough to implement digital strategies. Analytics are crucial and highly sought-after by employers because it means you are comfortable with analyzing and evaluating how those techniques are progressing. You need to be able to compare them constantly with others and provide excellent insight. It’s an incredible skill that will certainly land you a job. Everyone is looking to get better.

5. Android or iOS Development

Smartphones are taking over, and learning either one of these two platforms will look great on your resume. They have tremendous potential for the future because they are not going anywhere. You could find an amazing job if you master at least one of them.

6. PaaS (Platform as a Service)

Cloud software is everywhere, and many believe that they will ultimately become the quintessential platform for companies. PaaS is a tool that will help you develop these web applications that will no longer require customers to download sizeable programs on their hard drives. It’s a builder of accessibility.

7. Personal branding

Through the use of social media, you can create an excellent personal brand that will land you a fantastic job. You only need to learn how to do it. It implies understanding the use of all social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, websites, blogs, and everything else to create a beneficial image of yourself.

8. Writing online content

Everything is on the internet, and the ability to create quality content is highly sought-after. If you combine it with SEO and a few marketing skills, you could reach for a high-paying digital marketing job. It’s important to know how to flow between platforms, and manage your content for every situation.

9. Web design and creating websites

There are numerous tools out there to use, and mastering a majority of them will certainly make you desired on the job market. All you need is a bit of coding, tremendous amounts of creativity, and the patience to actually learn all the tools. Everyone and everything needs a website. Be the one who creates them, and you will be needed as well.

10. Image and video editing

Online digital media is in full force, so there will always be a need for someone who has extensive skills of image and video editing. Be it for advertising, marketing, or basically any industry, these are very valuable skills to learn. They look impressive on your resume, and every company needs someone with these abilities. If you truly want to impress them, grab the Adobe collection and master it.

We have moved fast into the future, and our steps need to be quick in order to keep up. Basic knowledge of Microsoft Office is now not something employers require, but something they expect. Focus on the most advanced tools that will set you apart from the crowd of millennials still stuck behind technology.

Want more information about how to integrate technology into your career? Visit our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Amanda Wilks, guest writer

Amanda Wilks, guest writer

Amanda Wilks is a digital marketing intern and a part-time writer, passionate about social media and personal branding. She loves helping individuals create unique online identities and achieve their much-desired professional acclaim.