Who’s hiring? Tech jobs expand over pre-pandemic levels in Washington

Seattle, WA — In the race to recover from the Covid19 Pandemic and recession some industries are leading the charge. KIRO 7 TV is committed to helping our region recover. That’s why we’re spending every day this week at 5:30 PM spotlighting the industries that are offering jobs now - and have the best chance for long term growth and stability.

Like all industries, tech jobs took a hit during the Pandemic, but the recovery has been robust. And It’s easier than ever to break into the field thanks to coding boot camps.

The concept: a short amount of time to get in shape.

Sarah Shatto used a homegrown boot camp as her entry into coding and tech when her time in retail ran out.

“The beginning of this starts with the Pandemic. I unexpectedly lost my job right as the pandemic hit,” says Shatto.

She joined Code Fellows, a Seattle-based boot camp that has removed the speed limits of learning.

“We saw that someone could learn everything they need to be effective in a tech role in a very compressed time frame,” says Code Fellows co-founder and VP of Education Brook Riggio.

Intensive training

Shatto needed that fast help. At Code Fellows, training starts with a day, then a week, then a month. Full software engineers can be drummed up in six months.

“It’s an incredibly tough program but that’s kind of how I got here,” says Shatto.

Riggio says his school is seeing more demand for coding and plans to build up their own digital classroom and campus.

“You don’t need to have written any code before to get started on the journey to change careers,” says Riggio.

Shatto took the leap in 2020, becoming a full time student, full time worker, and full time mom to a four-year-old.

“I don’t think from a personality standpoint I would have dove into code,” says Shatto.

But earlier this year she started interviewing for jobs during finals week. And now she works as a web developer for Nordstrom’s.

“It was a risk and in that risk, it was lot of hard work and a lot of grit,” says Shatto.

Weathering the storm

The University of Washington’s Office of Professional and Continuing Education says web development jobs rose more than 165 percent between 2015 and 2020.

When the shutdown came in 2020, tech was spared the worst losses. And it’s bounced back, as you can see in the graph below.

“Right here in Seattle, Amazon flipped the switch and all their software developers went home and continued doing the same work that they were doing,” says Riggio.

Code Fellows also flipped the switch to remove learning on a custom digital campus and classroom meaning even more people can access their program.

Riggio logged us in to the campus, which is made up of a virtual tables and chairs where students can “gather.” Sitting at a table allows you to video chat with classmates or teacher’s assistants to get help on projects.

“Good to see you all, sounds like you’re working on some Java Script Code,” says Riggio as he checks into one table where students submitted a ticket for help on an assignment.

Pandemic-insulated jobs

“Each one of those four different languages has 2,000 to 5,000 jobs available even right here in the Seattle area alone,” says Riggio.

In the end, Shatto found a job that’s resistant to the pandemic. But she had help in the form of scholarships and used her unemployment payments for the rest. Code Fellows is unique in that it is also certified by the state so

She also found hope for her family and the future. And she believes more people can do what she did.

“I am very thankful to code fellows for all their investment in me and all of my friends and those teachers -- that’s what I wanted to share the most about,” says Shatto.

Find more information about training programs and get help with your job search here.

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