Why Employers Are Drawn to Online Boot Camp Learners
Many of today’s leading employers are beginning to embrace new models of education, including online learning. As a result, we see a number of employers hiring online boot camp students due to their work ethic and combination of hard skills (technical knowledge) and soft skills (adaptability, collaboration, creativity, etc.).
Because of the fast-paced nature of an online boot camp, students pick up on these core skills and best practices while building a robust portfolio of projects to show off to potential employers.
One quality in particular that stands out about online boot camp students is their ability to learn quickly. With new tools and technologies routinely being introduced, this skill is essential for anyone working in the tech landscape. Proceeding through the accelerated pace of an online boot camp tells an employer that you’re ready for a rapidly moving, demanding career.
A survey of 1,000 HR managers and technical recruiters at U.S. companies found that the majority of employers “think bootcamp graduates are just as prepared and likely to be high performers as candidates with computer science degrees.” The same survey also found that 80 percent of these hiring professionals have offered jobs to boot camp students within their company, and 99.8 percent would do it again.
Why Do Employers Seek Out Online Boot Camp students?
There are a number of skills and qualities that help set boot camp students apart from other candidates:
1. Remote Work Experience:
Recently, more companies have been shifting to remote work, and the trend is likely to continue beyond 2020 due to COVID-19. Through the virtual format of an online boot camp, students gain experience in working remotely, a significant value add to potential employers.
As Matt Mullenweg, the Chief Executive of WordPress, notes, there is “an opportunity for many companies to finally build a culture that allows long-overdue work flexibility.” Companies like WordPress are already remote-friendly, while many others are beginning to shift more towards telecommuting.
2. Personal Accountability:
Creating a culture that encourages accountability is an ongoing process for many employers today. Sam Reese, CEO of Vistage Worldwide, writes in an article for The Business Journals, “[Accountability is] the ability of a person to provide focus on an initiative, make the necessary decisions and garner support from their organization to achieve success.”
Online learning is a great way to practice personal accountability by prioritizing regular attendance and keeping up with lessons. This self-drive translates directly into workplace accountability, with online boot camp students often becoming dependable employees who can be counted on to complete tasks on time.
3. Lifelong Learning:
Lifelong learning is essential given the rapid changes we are seeing in the tech field today. A recent publication called The Future of Lifelong Learning suggests that 375 million workers across the global workforce may need to learn new skills by 2030.
Those who attend online boot camps typically possess a strong desire to obtain more knowledge and information. This curiosity allows them to continuously learn, expand their skill set, and share their newfound knowledge with employers.
4. Technical Skills:
Many companies today are struggling with a tech talent shortage due to a digital skills gap. In fact, 70 percent of executives say current employees lack tech and computer skills. As such, those who complete an online boot camp have an advantage when it comes to the tech skills gap.
A significant portion of a boot camp’s curriculum is focused on teaching in-demand tech skills. students gain a wide set of technical skills, put them into action, and walk out with an impressive professional portfolio and the confidence needed to succeed in a wide range of tech professions.
5. Soft Skills:
While technical skills are critical, organizations today are also looking for professionals that possess equally strong soft skills. Research has shown that the seven top characteristics of success at companies like Google are soft skills such as communicating and listening well, critical thinking, and being able to collaborate across diverse teams.
Soft skill development is a fundamental part of a boot camp, with many involving team-based projects that simulate real-world work. Online boot camp students can expect to learn soft skills such as collaboration, communication, adaptability, critical thinking, and more.
Which Companies Hire Boot Camp students?
Top companies recognize the skills and talents that an online boot camp education can offer. With the demand for technology professionals far outpacing the current supply, companies like the ones below are looking to hire skilled candidates from a wide range of educational backgrounds.
This world-leading technology powerhouse recruits for both entry-level and experienced positions without requiring a formal education. Instead, Apple is looking for strong communication skills, attention to detail, and collaboration — all skills that can be learned through a high-quality online boot camp.
Arguably one of the most well-known companies in the world, Google recruits for highly skilled technology roles, with many only requiring what Google refers to as equivalent practical experience.
This industry-leading technology company hires for top roles that require technical experience and industry knowledge. Online boot camp students are often equipped with in-depth technical expertise and knowledge that is understood by industry professionals.
4. Bank of America
As one of the largest companies in the financial industry, Bank of America offers a wide variety of highly skilled roles in multiple fields. For many of these roles, the company is seeking candidates from a wide range of educational backgrounds.
5. Penguin Random House
The world’s leading book publisher Penguin Random House removed degree requirements in recruiting back in 2016. The company attracts talented candidates in highly skilled roles from a very diverse range of educational backgrounds.
Resources to Help You Get Started:
1. Identifying a High-Quality Online Boot Camp:
With a wide range of online boot camps on the market, it is important to identify the characteristics of those that provide a top-quality learning experience. Asking these seven questions can help you choose a boot camp that meets both your education and career goals.
2. Tips for Effective Online Learning:
Thanks to the many advancements in modern technology, online boot camps have become more accessible than ever before, allowing students to receive the same high-quality experience and outcomes offered by in-person education via a virtual experience. Are you taking an online boot camp for the first time? Here are 10 tips to maximize your online learning experience.
3. Preparing for Your New Career
Are you wondering which soft and hard skills employers are looking for? When you begin your job search, it is important to customize the skills section of your resume to match what companies require from the role. Our online boot camp includes a Career Services team that is there to help you with resume writing and building your online professional presence.
Once you’ve created a resume, started applying for roles, and caught the attention of a company, you may be invited to interview with a hiring manager. Our Career Services team is also there to help you prepare for a successful interview through mock scenarios, live negotiation practice, and more.
For many of today’s employers, it’s no longer essential to have a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree, or post-secondary education. Instead, employers are often looking for a blend of valuable soft and hard skills combined with technical knowledge. These skills can be taught in a traditional degree education, but also through an online boot camp.
Whether you want to change jobs completely, stay current with evolving technology, or show your current boss that you’re ready for more responsibility, you can become more valuable with newfound digital skills. Following an online boot camp education, you can become a greater asset to any employer.
Ready to start your online boot camp journey? Rice University Boot Camps are designed to prepare you for a career in today’s fast-growing tech industries.