Ready for a ‘Switch?’

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 4.35.59 PMMeet Jonathan Lau, co-founder of new startup Switch!  Switch aims to help professionals young and old enter the tech industry by matching them with the right tech school for them.  We love what Jonathan is doing here, it is never to late to take a leap of faith into a new profession, especially when the profession is growing rapidly! Check out what Jonathan had to say about his new venture!


My Story

A few years ago, I completed graduate school at MIT in environmental engineering and started work as a data scientist at an environmental consulting firm.  At work, I discovered that I really enjoyed programming and wanted to become a software engineer, but I didn’t want to spend lots of money and years getting another degree studying things that were probably not industry relevant!

I finally stumbled across a programming bootcamp in Boston. A $10k, 10-week course that helped me eventually find a great job at a Boston tech startup.  I realized then that these types of immersive, vocational programs could help transform our workforce and transition into the new economy.

While there are some great technology education programs out there, there are also some bad ones.  Some programs use unethical advertising strategies to solicit students and are not doing a good job educating, despite what they may claim.  That’s one of the main motivations behind www.switchup.org, to help students find the best courses and to add transparency to this new and growing technology education industry by aggregating alumni reviews.  There are certainly lots of good programs out there worth considering!

What is Switch?

Switch is a platform launched in 2014 designed to help learners discover alternative educational paths to their dream tech jobs. Think of us as the TripAdvisor for switching into a tech career.

Founded by a coding bootcamp alum and self-taught developers, Switch publishes unedited reviews of technology bootcamps, interviews industry figures, analyzes educational trends, mentors students, offers scholarship and financing options, and connects employers with graduates.

We’re here to support the “switch” process end-to-end, from the moment a person first flirts with the idea of career change, to the day they begin their new job.  We’re releasing a course recommendation tool in a few weeks, so stay tuned!

Advice for career changers

Switching into a technology career ain’t easy, but it’s doable!  You just have to believe in yourself, follow your heart, and work really, really hard.  Technology bootcamps are one of many education pathways that you can take to help enhance your career.  There are also plenty of online courses, meetups, and workshops in all the major cities around the country.  Talk to as many people as you can and try to find a role model/mentor.

There are many paths to a new career, so take your time to find the best fit for you! Hopefully resources like Switch will help you navigate that process.

Feel free to drop me a line at jonathan@switchup.org or visit http://www.switchup.org, if you want to learn more about technology bootcamps! I’m happy to share my experience with you all.

Jonathan is an MIT/Stanford alum, and former data scientist, who went through an immersive learning program in Boston before becoming a software engineer.  He loves education, startups, and helping people figure out their career path

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: SIOBHAN BRENNAN

Siobhan BrennanSiobhan Brennan is a senior at Fairfield University pursuing a degree in Communication and Sociology & Anthropology. She had her fifteen minutes of fame in the second grade when I was on the PBS show Arthur . . . and she is still waiting for her big return to stardom (dream big, ladies!!) Nothing gets Siobhan going like a good Instagram filter or a witty and charming twitterhashtag, which is why she believes Social Media is the marketing of the future. Siobhan has been known to crush an entire Netflix series in days, with her record being the entire Game of Thrones series in one week. Her idol since the beginning has been Liz Lemon and in true Liz Lemon fashion, yes, she would ALWAYS prefer to be bought mozzarella sticks than a drink at a bar.
 
Read more about and from the author: Siobhan’s WiLab Profile