You did it! You’ve completed your bootcamp and have landed your first tech job, ready to take the tech world by storm. And while it may seem like the hard stuff is over and done with, the truth is your journey has just begun and there’s a lot of work ahead.
Before you get discouraged, remember this: the tech world is constantly evolving and changing and continuous learning is an essential part of tech. And that’s also the beauty of the field–you’ll never be bored and always have the chance to learn something new to advance your career.
So even after you’ve completed your bootcamp, there’s still work to do. Don’t worry–we don’t mean to say you’ll be taking bootcamps or courses for the rest of your professional career! On the contrary, the steps to take towards advancing alongside tech are smaller, more deliberate steps you can take to stay up to date with tech.
In this post, we’ll cover both how to stay up to date with the latest happenings in tech as you enter the workforce and how to use your tech knowledge to advance your tech career.
Things to Do After Finishing Your Bootcamp
Before we take on learning more and advancing in your career, let’s cover the immediate steps post-graduation. You should have been involved in the job search process throughout your entire bootcamp, but now’s the time to focus all your efforts on it, given that your classes have ended. As you jump feet first into landing your first tech job, remember to:
Dedicate time to your portfolio and resume: you could be the world’s most qualified candidate, but if your portfolio and CV don’t reflect that, your chances of landing that job are little to none. During your bootcamp, you should have completed some great projects that serve as perfect materials for your portfolio in your resume--make sure you include them!
Ironhack’s tip: hiring managers don’t just look for hard tech skills when deciding who to interview; they’re also interested in your soft skills and what you’ve learned in your previous career/roles.
Be patient: the job hunt can be tedious and discouraging at some points, we’re not going to lie. But you’ve taken an incredible step by successfully completing your bootcamp and as you keep applying and looking for new opportunities, you will find one that’s the perfect fit.
Be open to new opportunities: you probably chose to take a bootcamp with a clear goal in mind, be it a specific role or job that you want to land. And while that’s a great reason to take a bootcamp, it’s important to be open to other opportunities; even if you had one goal in mind, see what else is out there!
Continuing Your Education Post-Bootcamp
In a perfect world, you’d graduate from your bootcamp and never have to learn anything new ever again, right?! Unfortunately, the tech world is moving so fast that continuous learning is a given and something to which everyone, regardless of how they got to be in tech, will have to commit.
But before you panic, understand one thing: your continuous learning will complement both what you learned in your bootcamp and what you learn on the job throughout your career; this isn’t a complete career change or learning from zero. Everything you learn will be backed by something you’ve learned before, enhancing your knowledge to reflect the latest updates in the tech industry.
To keep learning post-bootcamp, we recommend:
Attending conferences: conferences and meetings are incredible ways to not only learn about new developments in your industry, but also meet like minded professionals and network. Search for conferences either in your area or in a different city (your employer may sponsor your trip!) and pick the sessions that are most relevant to your interests and work; you’ll learn from top industry leaders and be able to bring what you’ve learned to your day to day.
Upskilling: staying up to date with happenings in your field isn’t just a good idea for your own knowledge; it’s also crucial to maintaining your job security. Upskilling is when you or your employer take the initiative to learn/teach you new and more advanced skills related to your job so that you’re able to advance alongside tech.
Reskilling: for those who are worried about their job being taken over by robots or AI, reskilling is a great option and one that allows you to use your solid foundation of tech knowledge to learn skills in a different area (typically one with a shortage of qualified applicants). Expanding your skillset is not only valuable for your own tech knowledge, but also for making you a more attractive candidate.
Workshops: if you want to learn a specific, smaller-scale skill such as a specific programming language or how to become proficient in Figma, workshops are great ways to get specialized and detailed instruction. You can choose from in-person or online courses or workshops as well.
Other resources: from books to online videos, there is so much information out there and no matter what you choose to learn, you’ll be surrounded by tons of information and help.
Advancing Your Career Post-Bootcamp
With your bootcamp behind you and a bright, tech-filled future ahead of you, it may be tempting to get comfortable where you are. And while you could do that, the tech industry has incredible room for growth; you can achieve practically anything you put your mind to.
With your first job in tech secured, we recommend the following for advancing your career:
Learn from those around you: if this is your first job in tech, this is specifically for you: learn from your teammates and colleagues! There’s truly no better way to learn than from hands-on experience and luckily for you, you’re now surrounded by a bunch of tech professionals who saw potential in you and want to help you grow. Ask questions, raise any concerns, and see what you can learn from those around you.
Network: the best resources for growing your tech career are those already in the tech field; they know how it works and what the industry needs, in addition to possessing valuable knowledge about tech. Take any chance to network and create genuine connections, prioritizing quality over quantity when it comes to networking.
Upskill/reskill: just as we mentioned above, reskilling and upskilling are essential parts of your tech journey and you should be open to learning new skills or tools throughout your career so that you’re able to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise. The last thing you want is to find your dream job and not have the necessary skills to land that role!
Rely on your bootcamp connections: throughout your bootcamp, you will have made incredible bonds with both fellow students and instructors and these connections can serve as fantastic resources as you advance in your careers; nurture these connections and make sure you’re also available to be a resource to your fellow Ironhackers.
Be open to new opportunities: most of us have some idea of how we want our careers to go and changing that image in our heads can be quite daunting. Even though it may be challenging to head into the unknown headfirst, you did it once already when you chose to take a bootcamp and it turned out great! If a new opportunity comes your way, keep an open mind and decide if it’s the right decision for you.
The path after your bootcamp may seem unknown and scary: we get it. During your bootcamp, you’ll be guided through each step with the intention of preparing you for success and being on your own may once you start your first job may be quite daunting. However, at Ironhack, we offer career services for up to a year after you graduate from our bootcamps, ensuring you find a job that reflects your interests and goals and support throughout the adjustment period.
Ironhack’s bootcamps are designed with your future tech career in mind; we focus on teaching students what hiring managers are looking for and centering our efforts on ensuring our students are job-ready after they graduate with high quality deliverables and proof of what they’ve learned to put in their portfolios.
Our expertly designed curricula and syllabi reflect the tech job market and the holes that we’re trying to fill; for those already in tech and looking to further enhance their offerings or add on an entirely new skill, our bootcamps in web development, UX/UI design, data analytics, and cybersecurity are just what you need.
If you’re interested in beginning your tech journey today and reaching unforeseen levels of advancement in tech, you’re in the right place. Check out our courses, choose from part or full time bootcamps, and decide if you want to attend in-person or remotely; our bootcamps are completely customizable to your needs.
At Ironhack, our students and their futures are our priority. Are you going to be our next Ironhacker?