Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech.
Education has changed drastically from what it used to be. The traditional four-year path of going to college or university is no longer the only route to pursue. For employers, talent can be found from a number of different places. As the workforce continues to evolve amidst the pandemic, tech jobs are certainly going to become the norm over traditional jobs.
To that end, acquiring tech talent should be the first priority of any business. The current pandemic has only accelerated a trend that was already occurring. Employees with versatile skills in technology are going to become incredibly important to keeping businesses afloat. Therefore, it is important to discover where to recruit this talent and, more importantly, how to keep them working with you long-term. Let’s start with the former.
As mentioned above, going to college is not the only option for receiving a qualified education in a certain field. Trade schools, sometimes referred to as vocational schools, have been popping up all over the country and offer competitive courses for students.
What separates trade schools from a traditional educational path is that they are far more specialized. For example, App Academy is a top-rated trade school that offers courses in web development, engineering immersion, and full stack development. What is so appealing to students, however, is the fact that some schools such as App Academy do not charge tuition until a student is hired as a software engineer with a certain salary.
Hiring tech talent from a trade school is a great alternative because of the turnaround time for these intensive courses. Students can complete their education in under a year in some cases. Recruiting from the top trade schools can result in a steady supply of cutting edge tech talent that can propel your business to new heights.
The second alternative for identifying potential employees with a large amount of tech talent is graduates of bootcamps. Similar to trade schools but even more specialized, bootcamps have been popping up all over the country from New York to San Francisco. Years ago, coding bootcamps were the only kind anyone ever heard about.
In today’s day and age, however, a large number of bootcamps exist for a number of fields. For perspective, a tech need that will be high in demand within the coming few years is the ability to analyze data for business decisions. This task typically requires a data scientist. Prior to a few years ago, this career did not receive much attention so few pursued it. That has changed today as many have begun to realize their unique talents.
Fortunately for them, data science bootcamps have become widespread throughout the country. Anyone, of any age, has access to the knowledge required to enter the field. Simply looking to hire fresh college graduates limits the potential pool of applicants when intensive bootcamps can offer graduates who have hands-on experience and industry mentorship.
Competitive Benefits and Salaries
Now that some of the best places to find top-notch tech talent have been covered, the conversation becomes how to retain them. It is one thing to hire a team of tech-wizards whose combined skills elevate your company, but to actually keep them wanting to work for you is harder.
As you may have guessed, it usually comes down to benefits and salaries offered to employees. Most professions in the tech industry have seen a rise in wages over the last few years and this is only set to increase. Programming is a valuable skill and, as mentioned, coding bootcamps have been around for years. Look at some of the salaries of graduates from top coding bootcamps and it becomes clear that their versatile skills are rewarded.
Keep in mind that coding and programming are older professions in the tech industry. Most of the newer jobs will follow the same trend in regards to salaries, so ensuring your employees are well compensated is the best way to retain them.
As the future of work develops, it will become more and more apparent that a unique set of tech skills will set employees apart. Recruiting employees from trade schools that offer specialized courses in certain fields is a great way to get experienced talent. Alternatively, if you know a specific field you want an employee for, then a bootcamp may be the better recruiting option. Regardless of where you recruit an employee from, offering them a competitive salary and benefits that respects their extensive skills will be the only way to keep them around as demand increases.