We believe anyone can be a developer, and have designed a program that not only supports students as they get their first job in tech, but equips them with knowledge that will be used well beyond that first, entry-level position in the industry.
The goal of our coding bootcamps is to ensure every graduate is career ready. We combine technical training with career services to prepare students for both the career search, which starts during the bootcamp, and the job they’ll earn after graduation. Our curriculum is constantly evolving to match the ever-changing needs of the tech industry, and we’ve made significant additions to our non-technical training and career readiness programming to best prepare graduates for careers after bootcamp.
New and Improved Career Services: Our Approach
Grand Circus’ career services lead to incredible outcomes because we built the curriculum with a design-thinking approach that focuses on andragogy (adult education), and specifically to build students’ skills to meet hiring manager expectations.
We started by deeply understanding incoming student needs — fears, anxieties and future dreams while diving into a career-change accelerator that is a coding bootcamp. Next, we surveyed a diverse set of employers to understand which character traits and interpersonal skills can show immediate contributions to a team. These surveys included insights from hiring managers, HR professionals and savvy technical recruiters to cover a range of recruitment methods and ensure we’re teaching skills that matter the most during their hiring processes.
Once we collected the data, we brought together our career services team with learning leaders to create meaningful workshops that teach students effective job-seeking techniques, what it’s like to work on a team, and how to build successful career habits that students will use before and after graduation.
With these new sessions, there is an increased focus on interviewing practices, in-person communication skills and individualized self-assessment. This ensures students can understand actions that won’t result in their desired career outcomes and allow them to course correct with solutions.
The major goal of improving our career-readiness training was to create self-aware job seekers who, at any given moment, could assess whether their own actions were leading them towards or away from their established career goals.
By focusing on creating job-ready individuals, we transitioned to more impactful sessions that equip students with job-seeking knowledge they’ll use to earn their first career in tech and will continue to serve them as they transition to future jobs. These new lessons increase the amount of planned discussions and draw on leading industry research.
Career-Readiness Curriculum: Some of Our New Offerings
Imposter Syndrome & Feedback Workshop
Many students come into a coding bootcamp with the feeling of “I don’t belong” or “I’m not good enough to work in tech.” Changing careers is challenging and so much of it is having the right mindset for the transition. In this session, we highlight ways to identify imposter syndrome and how to reduce chronic self-doubt.
Students also learn the most effective ways to give and receive professional feedback and practice these new skills one on one. This helps students gain a new confidence as they grow their careers and work alongside diverse teams.
Career Inspiration and Exploration
Students learn how to plan, search and execute the career-search process with custom Grand Circus resources that provide motivation and the necessary accountability in the job search. Students gain a tactical understanding of how to build positive habits, score future goals and navigate the best job boards online.
Standing out to employers often starts with a resume or LinkedIn profile, and we help students elevate both. This session teaches students how to craft a professional online presence with LinkedIn, using its magical potential — from appropriate profile photos, summary, experience, skills and endorsements, to finding groups and companies. Our hiring tips to help students perform a social media audit and polish their technical resumes.
Interview Prep and Mock Interviews
Interviewing for a tech position typically includes both behavioral and technical elements. We expose students to both styles, giving them several opportunities to prepare and practice for the experience.
Our interview prep sessions teach students to become an interview “STAR” by learning about the interview process, the dos and don’ts of communication, nonverbal cues and the STAR method (Situation or Task, Action you took, Results you achieved). Our team covers best-practice strategies for technical and behavioral interviews, and works alongside students to develop a story-telling approach and create rapport with interviewers.
Additional Career Services Resources:
As students work through the career search, our team continues to be a resource throughout each step by answering questions, making employer introductions and providing individualized feedback. Some of the other ways we support students include:
Career One-on-One Sessions
These weekly, private coaching sessions are designed to clarify career goals and deliver on career-assistance needs. Students can ask questions privately and dive deeper into their own personal career ambitions. During the first session, we co-create a plan that is curated for their career success during and after bootcamp. After the first session, each 1:1 session also contains a theme or prompt to keep the job search progressing for each individual.
Resume & LinkedIn Work
Following our Employable You session, students begin building their technical resumes. They get access to a complete Grand Circus resource guide with best practices on how to craft their profile into one that will stand out to hiring managers. With more structured opportunities for resume review, students get personalized feedback and gain a clearer understanding of what employers are looking for.
Company Info Sessions
Each bootcamp, we feature a variety of employers to talk about their hiring process, work environment and answer any questions. After the presentation, students get the opportunity to network with employers and explore if their openings are a right fit for their career goals.
Earning a career in tech takes a lot of dedication, hard work and investment from our students. Before joining a coding bootcamp, however, it’s important that students understand the necessary commitment and prepare themselves for the hard work ahead. The investment in learning should provide a new appreciation for the level of difficult work that you complete, and a greater understanding in how to teach yourself new technical skills, whilst having a toolkit to tackle your job search.
We believe that anyone can be a developer, and our career services team is always identifying new ways to support that. We’re excited for these new sessions to support incoming students as they explore exciting tech opportunities.