It’s no secret that the tech sector is lacking diversity. Fewer than 5 percent of employees identify as Black or Latino at top tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, and the representation of women of all races and ethnicities hovers between 30-40% at some of the most successful tech companies. While the focus is often on large tech companies and their lack of diversity, the underrepresentation of women and racial minorities is a problem at any company size. As startup founders and heads of talent acquisition grapple with designing an overall hiring process that will lead to more diverse teams, there are actionable and concrete ways to build a more diverse pipeline. One of these ways? Source candidates from coding bootcamps and organizations that are helping to close the diversity gap in tech.
Coding bootcamps are generally accessible to varying levels of experience and are much more affordable compared to four-year institutions, enabling a higher percentage of underrepresented communities to enroll. Students completing an online coding bootcamp can often balance learning with a full-time job or family, allowing a larger pool of people to get involved. On top of that, more and more coding bootcamps offer programs and scholarships specifically to support and uplift underrepresented groups. There are also programs that aren’t technically coding bootcamps, but offer awesome support and education to individuals entering the tech field.
We’ve highlighted eight of those programs, each doing their part to get more underrepresented candidates into technical roles. So if you’re looking to diversify your technical pipeline, start by looking for graduates or members of these top bootcamps and programs.
This Bay Area bootcamp was specifically created to empower women in the tech industry by providing all-women classes in a supportive atmosphere both in-person and online. They put a strong focus on not only teaching their students coding skills, but also assisting them with the hiring process. Since they started in 2012 they’ve had over 800 women graduate and find positions at companies like Amazon, Reddit, Slack, Uber, and more.
This powerhouse tech training school started an “Opportunity Fund” in 2014 to provide scholarships to underrepresented talent through the help of sponsors. These bootcamps are readily accessible with 20 campuses across six countries, courses available online, and part-time options. Through their social impact objectives and different financing options, GA aims to provide a program for anyone who wants to learn to code whether they can afford it yet or not.
Alchemy aims to make the tech industry more accessible by offering a number of scholarships for specific underrepresented groups. By partnering with Women Who Code, Lesbians Who Tech, and HispanicPros, as well as offering their own in-house scholarship, Alchemy creates opportunity for everyone.
With over 60 chapters across the country this nonprofit offers in-person classes for women in a judgement-free environment. Their goal is to make sure women of all races, income, and education levels can have the opportunity to learn web development without feeling intimidated. They offer free casual events like “Code & Coffee” at their NYC chapter or an “Intro to R” class for only $50, with scholarships available if students are unable to front the cost of the class.
This all-women bootcamp offered in New York and Chicago is a perfect opportunity for students struggling with fronting the cost of a program as there is no tuition payment required until they land a job after graduating. Grace Hopper boasts a post-grad employment rate of over 84% within 180 days of completing their course. And with over 400 alumnae who have been hired at companies like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn, it’s a great place to find talented candidates.
Another bootcamp for women, as well as non-binary students, Ada Academy is looking to change the face of the Seattle tech industry. Ada is a highly selective program only admitting 10% of applicants. But, once accepted, students are provided a six-month course at no cost followed by a paid internship in the industry for five months.
Code2040 isn’t a coding bootcamp, as they focus particularly on promoting the careers of Black and Latinx developers through training and professional development rather than training new engineers. This is especially pertinent because only about 4-7% of software development jobs are held by African-Americans, and 5% by Latinx individuals. Every year they offer an all-expenses-paid program for students majoring in computer science-related fields, and aim to provide resources and tools that will help students get ahead in the industry.
Another notable opportunity in tech for underrepresented communities is this yearly scholarship given to queer, non-binary, and trans candidates who are looking to enroll in a coding bootcamp. After awarding scholars with up to 50% of their tuition cost, they stay in touch and connect students with other recipients to create a support network for post-grad opportunities.
All of these bootcamps and programs make diversity in tech education a priority, further expanding the talent pipeline for companies. Sourcing candidates who have completed any of these bootcamps can help you bring in more diverse talent and bring you one step closer to creating a well-balanced team.
Want to hire talented software engineers from underrepresented backgrounds? Get in touch with our team here and find out how we can help.