How Flatiron School Graduates Continue to Get Hired During COVID-19

Jess Feldman

Written By Jess Feldman

Last updated on July 27, 2021

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Despite an incredibly difficult job market with almost every industry impacted by COVID-19, Flatiron School job-seeking graduates saw an 86% job placement rate, thanks in major part to the consistency, determination, and focus of students in Flatiron School’s bespoke job search framework. We caught up with Mollie Khine, Flatiron School’s Director of Coaching, to learn more about their Career Coaching team, the importance of personalized career coaching support, and the biggest takeaways from Flatiron’s recent job outcomes report. 

Flatiron School recently released its 2020 Job Outcomes Report! What kinds of success have Flatiron School graduates seen amidst the current job market? 

We are incredibly proud to share our 86% placement rate for job-seeking graduates included in the 2020 Jobs Report, which included full-time salaried roles, full-time contract, internship, apprenticeship, and freelance roles, and part-time roles during the reporting period. The entire world was hit by the pandemic in a way we’ve certainly not seen in our lifetimes, but the resilience and perseverance displayed by our students and job seekers is truly inspiring. Although jobs in tech were hit significantly less hard by the pandemic than other markets, many companies did slow or completely pause their hiring for a time. Toward the latter part of 2020, we began to see more job offers come in — specifically for remote roles or remote to start with a future return-to-office date. Our graduates have received job offers from companies, like Spotify, Major League Baseball, Priceline, Washington Post, Twilio, Salesforce, Twitter, and NBA, to name a few — and we’ve seen a mostly even split between offers from small, medium, and large-sized companies.

Overall, I couldn't be more proud of our students and job-seekers! Being a human in 2020 was just plain hard, yet I continue to be inspired by the resiliency and determination that Flatiron students put forward each day. 

Is it taking bootcamp graduates longer to land a job in the current job market?

In our recent Jobs report, you can see that just over half of job-seeking grads — 53% — found their job within 2 months of starting their job search, whereas it took longer for others. A job search is unique to each person, and can be helpful to plan for a slightly longer search than what may have been possible pre-2020.

How did Flatiron School graduates who are women fare in job placement in 2020?

This is a particularly exciting outcome in our latest job outcomes report! 

  • Female-identifying students achieved a 90% overall placement rate versus an 83% overall placement rate for students who identify as male. For job-seeking women graduates included in the 2020 Jobs Report including full-time salaried roles, full-time contract, internship, apprenticeship, and freelance roles, and part-time roles during the reporting period
  • Women’s average starting salary surpassed men’s in 2020 by $3,915, so they're actually making more money than our male graduates. For job-seeking students who accepted full-time salaried jobs during the reporting period and disclosed their compensation. The average starting salary for students who took full-time contract, internship, apprenticeship, or freelance roles and disclosed compensation was $31/hr for graduates who identified as male and $33/hr for graduates who identified as female. Average pay for a part-time role was $24/hr for graduates who identify male and $30/hr for graduates who identify female.
  • Women represented 33% of our total graduates versus 21% at a comparable four-year program

The numbers tell the story: At Flatiron School, we are quite literally changing the face of tech and doing our part to create a more equitable society in the process. 

The report covers students who graduated from an On-Campus or Online program between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019 — Did your team see any difference between those finding jobs earlier in 2019 versus those who were on the job hunt as COVID struck the U.S. in February 2020?

The main difference we saw is patience. In early 2020, we saw a handful of students receive job offers which were then put on hold or in some cases retracted due to company-wide hiring freezes. For students who graduated right as the COVID lockdown began, we immediately offered three extra months to prepare and dive into a job search, knowing that the external environment was uncertain thus providing more flexibility and extended support on their job search. 

What kinds of career services does Flatiron School offer in 2021?

For many of us, the idea of a career change can be intimidating — that’s why Flatiron School invests in highly personalized job search support to make sure you’re well-equipped to land a new role after graduation. 

The overall career support provided by Flatiron School encompasses: 

  • Individualized career coaching support. Each student at Flatiron School has a completely unique background, and that’s what makes our community special.  Our team of Career Coaches will meet you exactly where you’re at - whether it’s a first “real job” or a career pivot after a 25-year career.  If it’s the idea of networking that makes you nervous,  how you speak about a gap in your resume, or how to build credibility for yourself in a new industry, we tailor our support to where you need it most!  Career Coaches work with each job seeker until you get a job offer or for up to 180 days.  We also offer coaching support to our alumni who are in the midst of a second or third job change, and continue to celebrate their career progression years later.
  • A robust career prep curriculum with over 50 lessons, including:
    • How to connect your past experience to your current field of study
    • How you can introduce yourself to potential employers
    • How to build credibility with your online presence
    • How to negotiate in order to optimize your compensation package
      We also offer a post-work curriculum for all graduates to continue building on their technical skills.
  • A clear job search game plan to provide a simple structure to your job search to ensure consistent, forward progress. A job search can often feel like a roller coaster, and to quote one of our Career Coaches —  it’s consistency that yields results. 
  • Extensive Employer Network. Where your Career Coach is your dedicated, 1-on-1 partner through every step in your job search. Our Employer Partnerships team is working to build partnerships that enable a talent pipeline between employers and Flatiron graduates, presenting career-launching job opportunities for our students with green GitHub profiles!

When do you recommend students begin their job search?

We always encourage new students to first dedicate themselves to learning their new trade. Achieving technical mastery of the concepts that we teach is a major effort and requires focus, and will set you up for success later when you begin your job search.

With that in mind, I also recommend that you take a moment early on to share with their personal network when you’ve joined Flatiron School to let them know you are learning a new discipline. Once you’ve graduated, this same network of friends, family, mentors, former colleagues or roommates, etc. will likely be the very first to support in a job search. It’s also a helpful practice of accountability to help you stick to your goals, and will later demonstrate to your network that you’ve followed through on your commitments.

Who are the Career Coaches at Flatiron School?

In order to support each student individually, Flatiron School has a staff of more than 100 seasoned professional coaches. Our career coaches come from various backgrounds,such as recruiters, human resources administrators, or former executives. Many have also run independent coaching businesses. 

Coaching is all about asking empowering questions to both support and challenge you to make forward progress towards your goal, and the team could not be more caring, thoughtful, and supportive of meeting each student exactly where they are at — whether they come to Flatiron to land their very first job in tech or have decades of life and professional experience.

When do Flatiron students begin working with their career coach?

Students are introduced to our career coaching team through Career talks early in their program, and begin working with their specific Career Coach about one month prior to their graduation date. 

Even with a strong support system (a spouse, roommate, parent, etc), having someone who’s fully invested and excited in every detail of your job search is pretty special. When you get that reply to a cold email, or a recruiter invites you to an interview, your Career Coach wants to hear the good news and the bad, and can even work with you to review your response or prep live for your upcoming interview.

What are the job search habits that have made past Flatiron School students successful in the job hunt?

This one is simple. Successful students stick to their job search plan with discipline and consistency. The job search takes a lot of effort, and often without any immediate markers of success. Trust the process, put in quality work each week, and make the most of your coaching sessions to seek out constructive feedback and work through the blockers that will inevitably pop up. Thousands of Flatiron School graduates have landed jobs, and alumni often tell us the job search skills are ones they will take with them for life. 

Flatiron School's framework is based on three core pillars:

  1. Building credibility and improving communication skills - This can come in the form of written articles, or video blogging and actively sharing what you know. This also helps to improve your technical writing skills over time.
  2. Networking - Connecting with and learning from professionals in your field that do the type of work that you're aiming to do. 
  3. Technical skills - We encourage our graduates to continue learning and growing their skill set through repetition and practice, and provide many opportunities for them to do so. 

Do you have any advice for those who are uncomfortable with networking?

Most people are uncomfortable with networking! That’s completely normal. I like to think about networking as seeking to learn from others in your field about the work they do, the problems they are solving, and the team of people that they work alongside. When you learn a new skill set, even if you're good at it, you still need to figure out: 

  • How does this skill set fit into a broader technical team?
  • How does that fit into a broader company? What about another company?
  • How can I utilize my skills to add value? 

The more professionals you connect with, the closer you are to figuring out (and being able to speak well about) how your skills can contribute to the field. You’ll also have some fun in the meantime, and most importantly, build relationships with others who often end up being a support to you in your job search or in your career.

How does Flatiron’s Career Coaches help students with Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter Syndrome is real! But it's also in our heads. Our coaches work with students to tackle both external blockers (not getting responses on emails) and internal blockers (self-doubt). Any of our Career Coaches would likely share the sentiment that there is nothing more rewarding than seeing someone turn a corner and actually believe in themselves. 

Which types of companies are in Flatiron School’s employer network?

We have a team dedicated specifically to advocating for and enabling a talent pipeline between hiring partners and Flatiron School graduates. Behind the scenes, our Employer Partnerships team is working to build those connections that turn into career-launching jobs for our students. 

Our Employer Partnerships team also facilitates networking and apprenticeship opportunities for our students. They are knowledgeable about the current job market, and current employer needs, so we can make adjustments to our program if needed to ensure that our graduates are best-equipped for their potential field. 

How does Flatiron School’s Career Coaches help students with employment or salary negotiation?

When a job offer comes through, our coaches work with students every step of the way, until the offer is signed. This means talking with students about things like:

  • What actually happens when you get the offer? 
  • What might you say? 
  • How might you address questions or ask for an increase in the compensation package offered?

Our Career Coaches are happy to role-play with students who are nervous about these kinds of discussions and offer supportive and constructive feedback. In fact, I’d recommend this type of role-play prep for anyone.

When you get that offer or get a bump in pay that you were seeking, we celebrate too!

If a student receives multiple job offers, what is your advice for choosing the best fit for them?

This is a great situation to be in! Our coaches would use the same methodology that they'd use in other interactions to help anchor back to your goals: 

  • What is most important to you? 
  • What did you come here to do? 
  • What's the reality?
  • What are your options and what do they mean for you, your lifestyle, your family, your future? 
  • What do you think is the way forward?

Though we do provide structured guidance throughout the program, we often take less of an advice approach. Career Coaches instead focus on helping you uncover your own answers that you can feel good about, which usually comes in the form of those empowering questions, helping to increase self-awareness and confidence that will serve you in your career ahead. 

What does the Career Prep curriculum cover?

At the end of their curriculum and in partnership with their Career Coach, paid Flatiron students go through a Career Prep curriculum that covers everything related to your job search. That covers:

  • The required job-seeking mindset 
  • How to tap into a level of authentic confidence
  • An action plan on how you might manage your job search structure based on the other things you have going on in your life
  • Personal branding and how to optimize your LinkedIn, GitHub, Twitter, blog, and portfolio site
  • Resume optimization
  • How to tackle networking, including your elevator pitch; how to set up an informational interview, and ideas for building your network
  • Interviewing best practices, including technical interviewing and negotiating job offers
  • Ongoing professional development

What lessons has Flatiron School’s Career Coaching team learned about job placement during the COVID-19 pandemic?

We learned that our job search framework works. In a competitive job market, and significant economic disruption, it became even more important to approach a job search with structure, consistency, and disciplined effort, and this has continued to pay off for our students. 

Unlike many job-seekers who feel alone in their job search, Flatiron students have had their Career Coach with them throughout their search. 2020 reinforced just how important it is that we all have people in our lives who can support us through challenging times, and I want to thank each of our Career Coaches for being that support to Flatiron School students.  

Find out more and read Flatiron School reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with Flatiron School.

About The Author

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman is an accomplished writer and the Content Manager at Course Report, the leading platform for career changers who are exploring coding bootcamps. With a background in writing, teaching, and social media management, Jess plays a pivotal role in helping Course Report readers make informed decisions about their educational journey.

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