Reinventing your career is hardly ever an easy feat. Can one truly dedicate themselves to homework, tutoring, and studying when they already have their hands full with family, friends, or even extraordinary events (i.e., a pandemic)? Well, you'd be surprised to know that many Practicum students decide to join us while navigating turbulent times. And the bootcamp turned out to be the perfect solution to their worries — and a great start to a new career. Let’s look at some seemingly precarious situations and see how starting something new can help you in the long run.
Moving to a new place
For Taiwanese-born Practicum grad Pinwei Wu, becoming a software engineer has been a long and winding road. After moving from Taiwan to the U.S., Pinwei followed her husband to a different state. Moving first to another country and then from state to state proved to be a major setback for her budding academic career. That is, until she saw an ad for a Practicum bootcamp. “I just signed up to see how it would go, and I think it went pretty well,” she recalls.
Practicum offers online coding bootcamps that you can join from anywhere in the world — all you need is Wi-Fi! Plus, tech jobs are flexible, allowing you to freely choose your place of residence.
In fact, things worked out just great for Pinwei, who says after completing the 10-month Practicum program, she felt “comfortable and confident to call [herself] a developer.” She also signed up for Practicum’s Career Acceleration Program, where mentors helped her put together a stellar resume and guided her through mock interviews.
By the end of her studies, Pinwei had such an impressive portfolio that it only took her a month to land a job as a software engineer! The most impressive fact is that Pinwei hadn’t worked for ten years, as she was busy moving around and raising kids.
This brings us to another significant fear for those looking to reboot their lives and careers: parenthood.
Staying at home with kids
Pinwei learned to code with Practicum during the pandemic lockdown. She and her two children all had to study from home. It’s easy to get distracted when you’ve got youngsters to look after, but Pinwei came up with a plan that helped the three of them concentrate.
“We set up a table for them next to me, so we could all learn together. I think I set a good example because they saw me learning things and studying very hard. I was like, ‘Let’s finish this and we can take a break together and go outside!’” Pinwei says.
Pinwei is now a developer at Workbay, a business that creates local job search platforms.
Elsewhere, Yanina, a stay-at-home mother of two, was getting anxious to rejoin the labor market. She once worked in banking and accounting, but after devoting years solely to her family, she felt as if she had a mountain to climb.
Being really good with numbers, Yanina dug up all sorts of statistics that suggested she’d have a hard time landing a new job. She found out that unemployed workers were more likely to get hired than stay-at-home parents. And dads were more likely to pass an interview than moms.
Never one to throw in the towel, Yanina turned to software programming but soon realized she wasn’t cut out for coding. And so, she enrolled in Practicum’s Data Analytics Bootcamp. “I was immediately hooked. Furthermore, the Practicum team made it a priority to accommodate students’ needs,” she says.
The program’s flexibility helped Yanina find the time and training for her new profession as a data analyst.
Surviving a world crisis
Like Pinwei, most of Yanina’s studies coincided with the pandemic. “Despite that, I was enjoying every task and every project, and my life became much brighter and more meaningful. I finally found my dream job!” she says.
Making crucial decisions, like reinventing your career, seems especially difficult in troubled times. But it turns out, a major crisis could actually spur you on. Having run into a roadblock, you might feel inspired to explore new territories.
“Though 2020 was a tough year, I will always be grateful for this life-changing experience. It introduced me to new perspectives,” Yanina says.
2020 had been a breakthrough year for the tech industry, as the whole world seemed to have gone online. Due to that, 2022 witnessed massive layoffs as giants like Amazon, Twitter, Microsoft, Meta, and Google announced plans to let go of thousands of employees.
It may seem like another crisis for the IT sector that could cast doubt on your plans to venture into a new career in tech. But don’t worry, the demand for skilled programmers and data specialists is still high. And it’s unlikely to ever dwindle down in the increasingly digital world that we live in.
Juggling other commitments
The story of Ryan Elmachtoub shows just how sought-after Practicum grads can be. After completing the Data Science Bootcamp, he received no less than three attractive job offers within a year – despite having previously worked in a totally different domain.
A successful mechanical engineer and project manager in construction, Ryan yearned for a new start. So he opted for data science, which he thought had a lot of potential and even “a sense of magic” to it.
Learning a whole new set of skills was anything but easy. And Ryan was still working full-time to support himself and his pregnant wife. It took him a month to get used to waking up really early and having no days off. But the hard work eventually paid off.
Ryan currently works for ZS, a consulting company on a mission to transform global healthcare, and he loves what he does.
“It's a growing industry,” Ryan says. “There's so much room for innovation, and that's really what I want: to innovate within the data science industry, because I think there are so many ways we can take what we've learned at Practicum and apply it to so many fields.”
Sometimes making life-changing decisions can be hard, and you may decide put off your plans until “the time is right." Practicum graduates prove that “the time is now” can be at any time and despite any difficulties. Check out Practicum’s bootcamps to make the switch to tech today!