How we work with students to secure a job in digital

Perhaps the biggest concern faced by career changers is how they’ll find a job in a new sector.

While we can’t guarantee our students a job in digital, of those actively looking for work, 70% secure jobs within three months and 90% within four months.

How has the partnership between CodeClan and Scottish employers led to more than 250 of our students starting a new digital career?

Getting to know each other

Our 16-week software development course was established in 2015 to help provide a talent pipeline for companies trying to fill digital roles at a time when there was (and still is) a much-reported skills gap.

Since then we’ve been busy growing our list of industry partners, companies such as Tesco Bank, Adobe and Registers of Scotland, keen to hire new talent trained to the level of Junior Software Developer into a variety of digital roles such as Software Developer, Test Analyst and UX Analyst.

Our Industry Engagement Manager, Graeme Jarvie, meets regularly with potential new partners from across Scotland, a number that recently topped 160 and is now nudging towards 200.

New partners receive mini profiles of our students in Edinburgh and Glasgow, giving them an overview of their previous careers, interests and ambitions. Students access a list of industry partners and around halfway through the course they start using an internal jobs board featuring all current vacancies.

Partners also present to students on Friday lunchtimes, introducing their business, technologies they use, typical projects and the organisational culture.

“We’ve run masterclasses on things like Dev Ops, which I thought would be quite technical for the guys, but they loved it,” says Deloitte Digital’s Jonathan Meddes. “That sort of exposure and being able to give something back is really important to us.”

Preparing for interview

Around the same time as students get access to the jobs board, they work with our Careers team on updating their covering letters and CVs with their new skills. They also take part in mock technical interviews and code tests, giving them a feel for what employers are looking for.

In Week 14 of the course it’s time for Speed Networking, a chance for students to meet more partners face-to-face. Students have 10 to 15 minutes to meet companies informally, ask them about their roles and business before deciding if they want to go through the application process.

Watch our Speed Networking overview:

According to Catriona Dick, Head of Human Resources at Zonal Retail Data Systems, meeting students early “allows us to have a better understanding of each candidate and to build a picture of where they could slot in within our organisation.

“Candidates also build up better knowledge of us as a potential employer and we can ensure those who are particularly interested in us are the ones who we consider for employment.”

Making the most of our network

Applying for jobs with our industry partners is a seamless process as we have direct contacts who are aware of what we’re doing and are trying to hire from us.

Says Catriona Dick, “We’ve been lucky to secure a number of employees via CodeClan. They’re candidates with good technical skill and knowledge who also have life experience, often within a relevant field.”

Adds Chris Ellis, Computer Applications Services (CAS) Ltd’s CTO, “We have confidence in the course material that they’ve studied. We know what to expect when they arrive, what they need to learn and the weaknesses and strengths they’ve developed through the course.”

Thinking of changing career? Attend an info session in Edinburgh or Glasgow or read more about our Professional Software Development course.

Looking to hire new talent? Get in touch with Graeme Jarvie via email or LinkedIn.


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