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    Take the Leap: 4 Inspiring Alums Who Made the Switch to Coding Careers

    By Fullstack Academy

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    Today’s job market is constantly shifting. If you decide you want to switch careers, online courses and immersive experiences like coding bootcamps provide the structure and support needed to effectively learn new skills and change jobs quickly.

    Anything is possible if you are willing to fully commit to it, so we spoke to four Fullstack alumni about how they made the switch and chose to break into a career in tech.

    An Alternative Approach to Education

    Zach Caceres’s education and work experience have been anything but traditional.

    He left school in the 9th grade and substituted class time for taking online courses and researching topics in his local library.

    Zach then attended music school in his late teens and eventually enrolled in NYU while working in IT on the side. After graduating, he founded a magazine and tried to develop and launch a video game.

    During this phase of his journey, he realized he needed to learn to code. “I realized that web development was the most useful technical skill set that someone like me could have today,” he says.

    Zach devoted all his time and energy to learning to program. After learning Python, he enrolled in Fullstack Academy’s Software Engineering Immersive program in New York.

    For Zach, coding bootcamps struck a happy medium between college and self-learning: The curriculum was structured, but he was able to build things he was interested in.


    Taking Time to Properly Prepare

    Jasmine Munoz took a practical approach to her college education and subsequent first career.

    Having excelled in math and science, she prepared for a career in chemical engineering and graduated into Illinois Tool Works’ (ITW) Emerging Leaders Development Program. While she appreciated her role at ITW, Jasmine felt unfulfilled.

    It was during this period that she started coding for the first time. At first, she was coding for a couple of hours each day. This turned into five to six hours each day after work and 10 hours every weekend.

    From there, she decided to enroll in Fullstack Academy’s Grace Hopper Track in Chicago, a deferred-tuition option available to women+-identifying applicants. This financial model was perfect for Jasmine because it made switching careers feasible.

    After graduating in 2018, she accepted a position as a software development engineer at Expedia.

    What Self-Paced Learners Needs to Succeed in Coding Careers

    Unlike a lot of the coding career changers we’ve featured, Syk Houdeib was not unhappy with his first career—he actually loved his job as a teacher but wanted to push himself in a new direction.

    When his partner started learning to code, he realized coding was exactly the challenge he needed.

    Syk had no source of income while learning to code, so he set a hard deadline: He wanted to be working in web development within a year.

    There were two big resources that helped him succeed:

    • GitHub. Of all the tools and resources he leaned on, Github was the cornerstone. Syk used the platform to store his code and host his projects, collaborate with others, and keep track of his learning.
    • Communities of other learners. Having a network of people—particularly people who were learning to code at the same time—was also an important resource that helped to teach and encourage Syk.

    Bootcamps vs. Self-Paced Learning

    When Beth Qiang was first introduced to computer science, she hated it.

    Partly through her college education, however, she liked realized she enjoyed statistical modeling and graphical programming, so after graduation, she took a job as a data analytics consultant.

    Over the next year, Beth learned R, SQL, SAS, and Python and realizes coding was what she really loved and that her job didn’t let her do enough of it.

    As she made her career transition, Beth knew she wanted the structure and extra motivation that bootcamps provide (as opposed to teaching herself), plus she also wanted to be in a community of other like-minded career changers.

    Just a few months after graduating from Fullstack Academy’s Remote Immersive program, Beth was happily employed as a software developer and now works remotely full-time.

    What’s holding you back from changing careers? Do you need your self-confidence bolstered or a bit more guidance? Fullstack Academy provides the structure, knowledge, and community that have helped countless grads change their lives. Apply today.

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