Coding bootcamps have become increasingly popular as a way for people to gain the skills they need to launch new careers in tech. But what kind of jobs can coding bootcamp graduates expect to land once they complete the program? In this post we’ll dig into the various roles and industries bootcamp grads can pursue, and give some tips for navigating the job search to take your first step in your new career.
What’s your endgame?
First, it’s important to consider where you want to find yourself working down the line. While our course prepares grads for a job in web development, there are many different branches that that path can lead to. Some grads may end up working in app development, UX/UI, or a field that combines their particular interests or former work experience like health tech or ed tech. While your first job out of bootcamp might not be exactly tied to this goal, keeping your goal in mind can help you choose jobs that will give you the experience you need to make the jump.
Front end? Back end? Both?
Once you have your end goal in mind, the next thing to consider is what you want your specialty to be: front end, back end, or full stack development. Front end development involves creating the aspects of a website or app that users interact with, while back end development involves building the infrastructure that supports the front end behind the scenes. Full stack development combines these two focuses. Generally speaking, front end development tends to be easier to break into, and a majority of Rithm’s grads go into either front end or full stack development for their first jobs.
Big companies vs. small companies
Software engineers are needed at all kinds of companies, from large, developed organizations to small start ups. There are pros and cons of working at each.
In a large company, it’s more likely that you’ll work on a team with experienced engineers. This can provide an invaluable opportunity for mentorship. It’s also likely that large companies will provide a more structured path for advancement, professional development resources, and exposure to large-scale projects. Since large companies tend to have many teams segmented into specific tasks, working at these organizations may allow for mastery of the specific skill your team works on.
On the other hand, small companies or startups usually have the opposite kind of work environment. You will likely work on a small, close-knit team. You may get less guidance or mentorship, but this also means that you may have a great deal of autonomy. Whereas working at a large organization can allow for a deep understanding of a specific skill or task, at a smaller organization you will likely be responsible for a little bit of everything and will gain a broader range of experience.
Both sorts of work environments will give you invaluable experience that will help you as you continue through your career. Not only will you improve your engineering skills, but you’ll also learn what sort of environment you prefer working in, and can apply that to future job searches.
💡 Tip: Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good
You’ve probably heard this before: the first job is the hardest to get. This adage is popular for a reason – it’s true. Think again about your end goal that we talked about earlier. It’s likely that you won’t have the experience necessary to make that end goal your first job out of bootcamp, and that’s okay. What’s important is that you’re making the first move into your new career and gaining the experience you need to meet your end goal as your career progresses. Don’t focus on making your first job your dream job. Once you have more experience under your belt, that’s when you’ll have recruiters sliding into your DMs 😉
But wait–are you saying I won’t get a mid-senior role right away?
Here’s the truth: Most Rithm grads get junior level roles after they graduate. And that’s okay! The point of a bootcamp is to give you a strong grasp of the skills you need to get your foot in the door of a new tech career. While some bootcamps might advertise that their graduates get mid or senior level roles, those are generally grads that came into the program with prior tech experience. For a bootcamp grad making a career change from an unrelated field like teaching or nursing, landing a more senior role without having ever worked in the industry isn’t realistic – and it isn’t even something you’d really want. A position that allows for on the job learning and mentorship will be much more helpful for you overall.
Regardless of what any bootcamp tells you, there’s no program out there that’s the equivalent of having actual work experience in the industry. Our goal is to set you up for success to thrive in your first job and keep the momentum going for the rest of your career.
Putting it all together
The job search process for bootcamp graduates can feel daunting, but it’s important to remember that your first job is just the beginning of a fulfilling career in tech. By keeping your end goal in mind, specializing in a particular area of development, and exploring a range of work environments, you can gain the experience and skills you need to succeed in your new career. And while you may start out in a junior-level role, remember that with hard work and dedication, you’ll work your way up and achieve your career aspirations.