Written By Jess Feldman
Although Academia de Código is based in Portugal, the coding bootcamp is preparing career changers for global tech roles! Luis Santos, Head of Student Outcomes and Business Development, explains what students can expect from their extensive career support, and the types of tech roles that Academia de Código graduates typically land. Learn more about Academia de Código’s global hiring network, and why employers hire Academia de Código graduates.
Meet The Expert: Luis Santos
When do career services begin for students at Academia de Código?
Career services begin in the first two weeks of the bootcamp — Getting to know students early helps us better prepare them for the next steps. We start by having 1:1 conversations with every student to get to know them personally (their interests, motivations, fears), and to clarify every step of the career services throughout the bootcamp. Job hunting is practiced throughout the bootcamp through weekly career development tasks.
What is Academia de Código’s approach to helping students find jobs?
One of our priorities at Academia de Código is helping students find jobs. Typically, people come to our bootcamp not just to upskill, but also to learn software development in order to land a job and ultimately change their careers and lives. Our core curriculum was designed to manage the full cycle of a student’s job hunt.
What goes into the careers curriculum at Academia de Código?
We have a comprehensive Career Curriculum at Academia de Código, including personal brand-building, networking and communication, job application support, interview prep, salary negotiation, and post-graduate career support.
With our brand-building unit, we start by building a student’s brand through workshops around self-assessment of their skills and background. Incorporating past experiences helps them showcase their personal brand in their portfolio, resume, LinkedIn, and Github. We strive to ensure students are always honing their strengths and thinking of what makes them stand out from the crowd. Recruiters tell us all the time how Academia de Código graduates stand out!
With the networking and communication portion of our careers curriculum, students start networking as early as possible. We host workshops on networking and effective communication, like:
Our curriculum includes job application support where we focus on:
What can Academia de Código students expect to have in their portfolios when they graduate?
More than having projects to show in their portfolio, graduates are prepared to talk about software engineering, such as why they use certain technologies and methodologies. After they finish the bootcamp, graduates can expect to showcase:
How does Academia de Código prepare students for job interviews? And does Academia de Código help students with negotiation and compensation?
We do deep interview preparation for both personal and technical levels. First, students have to get the interview, then they have to succeed in an interview where they have to perform on both personal and technical levels.
We believe negotiation is a critical aspect of landing a job. Often we see that students are stressed or don't know how to go about negotiation, so we help them negotiate to ensure that they receive a salary that is fair for their skills and dedication.
Our bootcamp is full stack, so graduates are prepared for front end, back end, and full stack development. Graduates typically land jobs as software developers and software engineers in a huge variety of technologies. Over 95% of our students get jobs where coding is a crucial part of their job, and they usually aim for a type of career where they can become creators and makers!
What is the median salary for Academia de Código graduates?
The median entry-level salary for our graduates in 2021 was €20,000 a year, which is above the average salary in Portugal but not as much compared to the European average. One of our priorities moving forward is to increase the average salary in Portugal as more jobs become available globally with remote work.
How much time should Academia de Código students expect to be on the job search?
Based on our 2021 data, we are proud to say that 98% of our students found a job within three months!
Does Academia de Código have partnerships with employers? Are those mostly with European employers?
It’s a priority of ours to constantly acquire new partnerships. We have an outreach team that meets with companies daily in Portugal, around Europe, and internationally. We approach companies, get to know their needs, and explain our curriculum and why they should hire our students. At the moment, we have more partnerships with international and European employers, many of which reach out to us based on our reputation and referrals from companies who hire our students and realize the quality of Academia de Código graduates. So far, we have 286 partners that have hired our students, and this number keeps growing!
How do students engage with the employer network at Academia de Código?
In the last few weeks of the bootcamp, students are presented to our employer network to discuss a company’s culture, employment opportunities, and if they might be a good fit for their career goals. Our goal is to understand an employer’s needs (what they look for in tech hires and technologies) as well as understand what our students’ goals are plus their skills and interests. From there, we try to match students and employers, which is why a significant part of our students are hired even before they graduate!
What are today’s employers looking for in their tech hires?
Every company has a technical benchmark for clean, maintainable code, but there are important characteristics that employers are looking for that are beyond technical skills. Employers are looking for a job candidate’s hunger to learn, passion for technology, love of what they do, proactivity, adaptability, and accountability. Tech is an ever-changing industry, so skills in adaptability and problem-solving are very important. Employers want people who can find solutions for problems instead of waiting for someone to come and help or have a solution ready for them.
So, what do employers like about Academia de Código graduates?
Employers value that we teach students how to learn! In our curriculum, we go deep with numeral systems, computer architecture, operating systems, and object oriented programming. The goal of the curriculum, besides learning software development, is for students to understand why they are using specific technology or a specific framework instead of just following a recipe and trying to make things happen just by using it. Employers appreciated that we focus on fostering a student’s responsibility, accountability, and communication skills, which can be hard to find.
Employers love the variety of backgrounds and experience our graduates bring to the workplace. Plus, employers like how our graduates’ create and maintain code with fearlessness! While our graduates may not know everything when they finish, they will have the tools to keep learning. Our graduates relish the challenge of learning something new, going deeper, and going the extra mile to succeed in their task. They will try their best to find a solution and if they can’t, they will know the questions to ask.
How can bootcamp grads assess if a company is the right fit for them?
When our students are making career changes into tech, they may not know exactly what they’re looking for. Initially, we break down the different types of companies, from startup to corporations to consultancies. We explain the type of work, the type of conduct, the responsibilities that they can expect in all of them, and different types of roles and technologies, so they can understand if it aligns with what they're looking for. When they receive an offer, we sit with them and write the pros and cons of that opportunity, and try to give them as much information as possible for them to make the right decision.
Does your team help international students find tech work in Portugal?
As Portugal becomes more of an international European tech hub and a great place to work and live, we are welcoming more international students to our bootcamp which we love! Companies in Portugal love that we are helping international students find jobs. We want more international students to join our bootcamps!
Why is it important to showcase past experiences when embarking on a software engineering career?
We want graduates to feel proud of their past experience and bring these experiences to their future roles as software developers. We help them identify the most relevant experience and incorporate this into their profiles in order to show employers transferable skills that make them stand out.
Does Academia de Código continue to support bootcampers in their job search after they’ve graduated?
Academia de Código graduates have career services for life! For recent graduates, we continue our career services post-bootcamp by providing 1:1 support if they are not succeeding at landing a job right away. This is a great opportunity to revamp their resumes, Github, or LinkedIn, or practice mock interviewing. We also help our graduates with job applications and introductions to employers. If they are not succeeding, we try to find the reason and work with them on it.
We make it a priority to ensure graduates know they can come back to us when they’re looking for their second or third jobs, too. We are here for them however long they need our support. Our career services team also follows up with our graduates to see how they’re doing in their roles, if they’re content, and if they’re looking for new opportunities. Graduates continue to get access to our employer network so they can connect with employers and see what opportunities are available.
Jess Feldman is an accomplished writer and the Content Manager at Course Report, the leading platform for career changers who are exploring coding bootcamps.
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