Coding Bootcamps Create Opportunities for Both Employers and Employees
Short-form learning programs can help employees navigate a job market that’s in constant transition. Unlike traditional academic degrees, they provide training in less than a year, making them a good option for employees to quickly gain in-demand skills. For those specifically interested in exploring a career in tech, coding bootcamps such as Hackbright Academy and Devmountain can be the start of a meaningful new path.
Employers who offer access to this type of learning opportunity can attract a more diverse workforce. It can also help retain their current employees by offering new pathways within their organization. According to a recent survey, 44% of workers say they would likely remain with their current employer for three or more years if they were to earn a degree or certification through an employer’s education benefit.
Meggie Enxuto, vice president of education for Strayer University’s Hackbright Academy and Devmountain, recently explained the benefits of offering short-form learning opportunities through tech bootcamps.
Can you describe recent trends in the workforce, particularly in the field of tech?
Covid fundamentally altered the workplace and what jobs are available to which people. Many employees began to question their career paths and explored what might be next for them. For companies, there were equal amounts of uncertainty and opportunity. They had to be open to remote work as well as finding new people to fill tech roles at different levels. And there’s been a surge of interest in tech roles as job applicants see those positions as being more amenable to remote work and a flexible work/life balance.
Our work is focused on helping those who might be new to tech gain education and experience in a relatively short amount of time.
Why do you think employers take upskilling more seriously now?
Upskilling can help solve staffing challenges, which includes recruitment efforts and retention. Some employers already use bootcamps as part of their recruitment for external talent. Five of our partners sponsor tuition for people to join their company and participate in the program, which means the bootcamp tuition is covered. For folks who are already interested in bootcamps, this can be an appealing part of their job search.
At Hackbright, we’re also seeing employers gravitate toward sponsoring externally identified cohorts: folks who haven’t been hired but who the employer would like to see upskilled. It can lead to great outcomes as employers often hire directly out of the class. Our goal is to have an entire cohort hired into their sponsoring company. I think this approach will become more common for HR teams in the coming months and years.
Are you seeing HR leaders realign budgets for more learning and development and diversity initiatives?
We are. Typically, these budgets come from recruiting and then diversity. Because it can be relatively expensive to hire a software engineer, if an employer can sponsor a cohort and hire a batch of employees all at once, they can save resources.
Diversity-wise, there is still a problem in tech across categories – gender, race, and sexuality. A lot of companies are taking stock of that because it’s a different world, even from five years ago, in terms of what employees expect from their company’s culture. Through investment, organizations can attract competitive employees who want to work in a diverse environment.
Hackbright has had a unique focus on diversity since the beginning—especially around gender equality. It provides a safe and diverse learning environment.
What types of companies are interested in upskilling through tech bootcamps?
We work with a variety of organizations because there are essential tech roles within different industries. It’s not just traditional software companies but also biotech, retail, health care, etc. These employers have as much of a need for qualified IT talent as traditional tech companies like Google or Facebook.
What sets Hackbright and Devmountain apart from other short-form learning programs?
We’re proud to have been around since 2012 and 2013 when the first bootcamps were really starting. We’ve worked with employers long enough that we can scale new relationships to meet an organization’s training goals. We understand how to source talent, especially in certain geographies. Every company is different in terms of the employees they’re looking for. We can provide specific curricula to grant the baseline knowledge and skills that our partners need.
To learn more about Hackbright and Devmountain’s work, connect with Workforce Edge staff here.
Unlike traditional academic degrees, short-form learning programs provide training in less than a year. These programs are a good option for employees who want to quickly gain in-demand skills. For those specifically interested in exploring a career in tech, coding bootcamps such as Hackbright Academy and Devmountain can be the start of a meaningful new path. And employers who offer this kind of learning opportunity can retain their current employees while recruiting a talented, diverse workforce.