How to Land an Internship After Coding Bootcamp
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- Coding internships can open the door to a career in tech.
- Most internships run during the summer months for about 12 weeks.
- It's a great way to build skills and strengthen your network in tech.
Tech is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the American job market, as well as one of the best-paying. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for computer programmers in any industry was $89,190 in May 2020.
With more experience and skill-building, you could work your way up to become a computer network architect. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $116,780 in May 2020, reports the BLS.
Many coding bootcamps allow students to build the skills they need to land lucrative jobs after completing the program. What can you do to make yourself stand out from the candidate pool? What if getting a coding internship helped you make a six-figure salary?
Coding internships are one pathway to landing a great job after you complete a coding bootcamp. They can help you build real-world skills and grow your network, two valuable components in a successful job search. Continue reading to learn more about coding internships and how to approach them strategically.
What Is a Coding Internship?
Coding internships vary in length, similar to other internship opportunities. They may also go by a variety of names that don't include the word "internship," such as "co-op" or "fellowship."
Internships commonly last 12 weeks. These are often offered in the summer months to accommodate a traditional September-May academic calendar. If you're attending a bootcamp, you may want to start your studies with plans to finish in May. That way, you will be free to accept any summer internship opportunities that arise.
There are coding internships that last longer than 12 weeks but they are often part of bootcamp programs, such as Ada Developers Academy.
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Why Opt For a Coding Internship Instead of a Job?
If you're changing your professional path midway through your career, getting an internship may seem more like a movie plot than a strategic decision. However, there are several compelling reasons to get a coding internship before you begin your new career.
First, you may want to get a feel for the day-to-day experience in a certain subset of the field. If you're interested in data science, you can apply for internships in that area to confirm the daily tasks fit what you're looking for.
Additionally, an internship can allow you to get practical experience in coding. Depending on the company and the internship, you may work on smaller projects by yourself, on midsize projects with fellow interns, or on large-scale team projects. Either way, you'll have the experience to add to your coding portfolio, which can make you a stronger candidate when you look for a full-time job.
Finally, you'll expand your network. Leveraging your network is important for a job search in any industry, and tech is no exception. When you complete a coding bootcamp, you will likely already have begun to establish your network in tech.
A coding internship can help you to meet new people in tech, build relationships, and showcase your skills. If you land a coding internship, it's important to maximize all the networking opportunities you get. Interns are often given access to upper-level management in a way entry-level employees are not. If it's a good fit, an internship could lead to a coding job interview.
How to Land a Coding Internship
Do you think a coding internship might be the best choice for you? Here's some advice on how to make it happen.
First, utilize your bootcamp career resources.
- Review Your Resume and Cover Letter: Many bootcamps provide career advisors or support staff to help students with resumes, cover letters, and even salary negotiations. Be sure to tailor your resume, cover letter, or portfolio to the internship.
- Practice: Participate in a mock interview, share your elevator pitch, and whiteboard your ideas. Most bootcamps build this into their curriculum, but seek it out if yours doesn't.
Second, focus on your network.
- Utilize Your Bootcamp's Network: If your instructor worked at a company, apply to internships there, and ask your instructor if they will be your reference.
- Take Advantage of Other Opportunities: Attend as many auxiliary lectures and networking events offered by your bootcamp as you can.
- Contact Your Existing Network: Most industries have tech specialists now. If you're leaving a field, use your existing network to see if there are internship opportunities available.
Finally, you can send some cold applications. Maybe you're dying to work at Microsoft. Apply to their internship program. You might just get it!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Coding Internships
Are there coding bootcamps that offer internships as part of their curriculum?
There are several coding bootcamps that offer coding internships as part of their bootcamp programs. However, it is not standard. Be sure to examine the curriculum at each bootcamp you're considering. Many coding bootcamps share their course offerings on their websites.
Sometimes coding bootcamps call their internships something else. For example, Rithm School calls their internship program "Company Projects," rather than an internship.
How long should a coding internship last?
It depends! Jax Code Academy is a remote or hybrid program that offers an optional three-month internship as part of the bootcamp. If you apply to internships outside of a bootcamp curriculum, you can expect them to be at least 12 weeks in duration.
Many major companies — like Slack, Salesforce, and TikTok — offer summer internships that last three months. However, there are other opportunities that last longer. Apprenti and YearUp offer training and 6-month internships as part of their programs.
Are there online coding internships?
Yes, there are. While remote internships did exist before the COVID-19 pandemic, they are more common now. Online, search for internships with the location listed as "anywhere" or "remote."
While distance internships open up many opportunities for aspiring programmers, networking and building relationships may require more effort. As these are the primary benefits of an internship, it's important to plan how you will manage this aspect of a remote internship.
Feature Image: Peter Cade / Stone / Getty Images