No prior experience? No problem.
According to a recent study published by LinkedIn, most millennials will have changed jobs four times by the time they’re 32. That’s twice as many times in the first 10 years after college as generations before them. And many millennials won’t just switch jobs, they’ll change careers entirely.
For Eastside resident Andrew Sorensen, this reality hit not long after earning a degree in music from Central Washington University in 2012. Not interested in teaching, Sorensen knew finding a job in his field would be difficult.
After graduating and returning home to the Eastside, Sorensen eventually got a job as a car salesman. But while working at Audi Bellevue, he quickly found himself yearning for something more – something different. That’s when he realized about 80 percent of the people he was selling cars to were software engineers. “I’ve always been interested in computers,” Sorensen said, “but I never had the actual vocational skills to go in and learn code.”
In the months that followed, Sorensen continued working in sales but knew he was ready to make a change. “Eventually I said, ‘OK, this isn’t working. This isn’t the career that I want. How can I get out of sales and get into software engineering?’”
That’s when he discovered Coding Dojo.
After learning about Coding Dojo through a family friend, Sorensen decided to attend an info session. He was immediately sold and enrolled in a three-month intensive training bootcamp at Coding Dojo’s Bellevue campus.
Sorensen came to Coding Dojo with virtually no coding experience other than one class he took in college and some prep courses he took online in preparation for the bootcamp. “You have to work your butt off,” Sorensen said, “but I really enjoyed it. I didn’t feel like I was working.”
Sorensen’s experience is not unusual. Coding Dojo today announced the results of a recent analysis stating that 34.7 percent of Coding Dojo graduates have no prior coding experience. But lack of previous experience doesn’t hinder Coding Dojo grads when it comes to finding great jobs in the tech sector.
A few months after graduating from Coding Dojo, Sorensen interviewed for a job with global online travel company Expedia, where he now works as a software engineer.
“Going to Coding Dojo was probably the best decision I’ve ever made about anything,” Sorensen said. “I successfully made a career change. That’s a difficult thing to do, but Coding Dojo gives you all the support you need.”
In less than a year, Sorensen did more than just make a successful career change, he more than doubled his income.
According to Coding Dojo’s recent analysis, 56.6 percent of its graduates go on to earn more than $70,000 in entry-level web developer and computer programming roles.
For people looking to make a career change, bootcamps like those offered at Coding Dojo provide major career leverage in minimal time. “Bootcamp graduates are industry ready in three to four months, whereas getting a computer science degree takes years, and not everyone has the luxury of waiting that long to realize the benefits of education,” Coding Dojo VP of Product Management, Kevin Saito, said.
But a career in coding isn’t for everyone. “You should make sure that you do enjoy problem solving,” Sorensen said. “It’s one of those things that if you don’t enjoy coding, you’re going to have a bad time. You should make sure it’s something that you’re interested in.”
Sorensen doesn’t have plans of changing careers again anytime soon. In fact, the 26-year-old software engineer is working to earn rank as a senior developer by the time he’s 30. “That’s my goal,” he said. “And I want to buy a house.”