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Posted November 22, 2016 by

How coding bootcamps benefit both recent college grads and employers

College students using laptop computers in class

College students using laptop computers in class. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

With technology careers in high demand, coding bootcamps have become a popular method for recent college grads to gain the additional skills needed to jump start, advance, and succeed in a career in technology. Coding bootcamps are short – but intense – training opportunities focusing on teaching students the latest, in-demand technical skills.

Revature is a technology talent development company providing a turn-key talent acquisition solution for corporate and government partners and no-cost coding bootcamps for university graduates. Revature recently announced several strategic partnerships to provide free on-campus coding bootcamps with the City University of New York (CUNY)Arizona State University, Davidson College and the University of Missouri – with more partnership announcements planned into 2017. A college degree is required at the time of attendance for the on-site bootcamps. Students are typically graduates or even graduating seniors who are ready to deepen their skills and have a job when they graduate. The coding bootcamp is typically 12 weeks, full-time.

“Revature is training the next generation of software engineers, a profession that continuously needs people current – and even ahead – of the technology curve,” says Joe Vacca, CMO at Revature.We started these university partnerships to create a pathway to high-paying coding careers for graduates across the country.”

According to a recent report, 73% of coding bootcamp graduates surveyed report being 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 computer coding knowledge or skill. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software development careers are projected to grow 17% through 2024.

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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 May 31, 2016 by

How new overtime laws will affect employers

How the new overtime laws will affect employers

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

The new overtime laws that go in place on December 1, 2016 will impact 4.2 million workers who will either gain new overtime protections or get a raise to the new salary threshold.

This is cause for concern for both employees trying to understand the new overtime laws as well as employers who are doing everything they can to understand how these changes affect their business, hiring plans, and compensation packages.

It could result in big changes for those who aren’t prepared, says Stephania Bruha, Operations Manager at Kavaliro, a national staffing agency that employs IT professionals, management, and administrative staff.

 

“We at Kavaliro expect to see many more of our clients limiting employees to 40 hours per week, or requiring executive approval to work overtime hours,” says Bruha. “Recent graduates and new employees may have an advantage here, as they are starting fresh and don’t have to overcome habits from the past.”

Bruha recommends employers get in front of this change. “We will be reassessing our employees more than a month before the new overtime laws go into effect to ensure that if status changes take place, they are well adjusted prior to the go-live date,” says Bruha.

Communication will be key, as in all HR and hiring matters, to ensure your employees understand how they could be affected.

“The worst thing that could happen is for your employees to misinterpret policies and think you are saying they are not allowed to report more than 40 hours a week,” says Bruha. “This is especially important for people who are new to the workforce, like new college grads, who may not know their rights, or have a little experience with labor laws. Employees need to know that you must report all hours worked, but they also need to understand if their company has set requirements for time entry.  Your employer may have severe penalties for violating the policy related to timekeeping because it is so strictly regulated by the Department of Labor.”

Small and mid-sized employers are going to take a hit

Employers – particularly small and mid-sized employers – are going to take a hit with the new regulations, says Kate Bischoff, a human resources professional and employment/labor law attorney with the Minneapolis office of Zelle LLP, an international litigation and dispute resolution law firm. Bischoff is co-leading a June 2, 2016, webinar titled Preparing for Changes to FLSA Overtime Regulations, discussing this topic and more. They will need to raise salaries over the $913 per week threshold or pay overtime.

“This may mean employers hire more people so the need for overtime is less or they raise the costs of their products and services to cover the additional labor costs,” says Bischoff.

New grads or interns looking for work typically don’t wonder whether their first post-grad job will be paid on an exempt (salaried) or a non-exempt (hourly) basis, points out Arlene Vernon, an HR consultant who works with small business owners and corporate clients providing HR strategy and management training. And it’s probably not a consideration regarding whether or not they take a particular job opportunity. However, since a new grad may find himself choosing between two job opportunities, employers need to realize that competitors may change how they present salary and compensation packages based on the new overtime laws, which in turn cold affect the decision an employee makes when deciding between two companies or job offers.

Exempt versus non-exempt employment offers

Let’s say Company A offers the grad $48,000 per year as an exempt position, and Company B offers the grad $46,000 as a non-exempt position. There is the potential that the resulting annual pay under Company B could be higher than Company A if the employee works overtime.  If the person is choosing a job based solely on compensation, this would be a consideration.  However, the real decision is whether the job is the right fit for the person, not whether the employee is eligible for overtime.

“From an employer perspective, all companies, including those hiring new grads, need to re-evaluate all their positions paying less than $47,476 to determine how to handle any job reclassifications to non-exempt status,” says Vernon. “This could impact all or some incumbents in jobs paying around this new limit.”

In making someone hourly, companies are not required to merely take employees’ salaries and divide them by 2080 to get an equivalent hourly rate.  Many companies will assess what overtime the person might be working and recalculate the hourly rate so that when the employee works overtime the employee’s final pay equals the full salaried amount, says Vernon, admitting that this can get confusing.  But in this scenario, the employee may be making less per hour, but the same or even more on an annual basis when you factor in overtime, depending on the employer’s approach.

Some companies will be giving certain employees raises to bring them to $47,476 and keep them as salaried. “This may ultimately cost the employer less money than paying overtime at the lower wage,” says Vernon.

Employers must educate employees

Employers should educate employees who are moving from exempt to non-exempt on what work can and cannot be performed outside of regular work hours, adds Vernon. Exempt employees are accustomed to answering texts and emails at night and during weekends.  They may work whatever hours are needed to get the job done.  As a non-exempt employee, they must track and get paid for any non-scheduled hours worked which will increase their pay, but may be against company policy. Typically hourly employees don’t get to randomly create their own work schedules, while salaried employees do.

“This practice needs to be unlearned by managers and employees,” says Vernon.

For example, are managers who email the now-hourly employees at night and over the weekend now authorizing the employee to respond to the email and inadvertently approving overtime?  Or do managers need to learn to save employee communication for the work week to control payroll costs?

These are among the many changes, challenges and questions employers are sorting out.

“December 1 will be here before we know it,” says Vernon. “This change will have considerable impact on all employers no matter their size and whether or not they hire one or more grads below, at or above the new FLSA range.”

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