January 31, 2019
Integrated Career Search, Farewell to Graduation, and 9 Month Classes
Caleb Hicks

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When we started Lambda School we wanted to build the most outcomes-driven school in the world. Our first value at Lambda School reads: Student Obsessed – We are relentless in pursuit of student outcomes.

We've gotten a pretty good start over the past 18 months. We've hired world class instructors and instructional designers, we launched Lambda Next – our full-time alumni career support program that sticks with students until they're in a job they love, Build Weeks – where students from various cohorts of the school work together to build production-ready applications, Principles for Success – our weekly career readiness workshops designed to teach the non-technical skills that separate the inexperienced from professionals, and recently announced Async – our mastery-based progression program, where students are able to work on every concept until they have mastered it.

Today we’re doubling down on student outcomes with three announcements – we're integrating the job search directly into our curriculum, replacing graduation with job celebrations, and extending the posted course length to nine months. 

Change One: The job hunt now happens during Lambda School, not after it

Like students at most schools, Lambda School students have gone through three stages:

  1. Learn
  2. Graduate
  3. Look for a job

Unfortunately, life changes after graduation in a couple of difficult ways. The extrinsic motivation and social accountability that propels a student through challenging coursework disappears. The concrete daily schedule becomes completely open. Support from friends and family dries up. At the end of the day, despite new skills and ambition to get started in their new career, many students have to find work of any kind immediately, often resorting to Uber, a temp job with a friend, or the same job they had before class. All too often, those students fall out of practice, and for every passing day it becomes harder to get into the first new job.

So we're integrating the job search into the course. Students will begin working with our Careers team within a month of starting class, working on their portfolio, building their network, and creating their job search plan. They'll work through our new series of Career and Professional Development workshops spread across the course. They'll build their first team capstone projects in Lambda Labs, our internal apprenticeship program, about halfway through class. And then they'll begin their job search in earnest working with their assigned Career Coach. All the while, they'll be participating in our Company Presentations series, where hiring managers with open positions from companies like The New York Times, Uber, and Etsy recruit students in private presentation and Q&A sessions.

All of these changes are made in the hope that many students will be hired before completion of Lambda School.

Change Two: Graduation will be replaced with Job Celebrations

Graduation is an outmoded tradition that serves as a false finish line for students and the school. Tradition tells graduates that the learning is over, and tells the school that the job is done. Neither of these are true at Lambda School. So to keep our eye on the real destination we're trading graduation ceremonies for job celebrations. Every student will get their time in the limelight, but that will happen when they've reached the real goal of landing that first job. 

We're expanding on our tradition where students share their offer selfies when they accept a job with a weekly schoolwide event to celebrate every newly hired student, giving each one the chance to share their story and advice with the entire school. 

Change Three: Lambda School is now nine months full-time

In order to accommodate these and other curriculum changes, beginning in May Lambda School's posted length will be nine months full-time. The part-time length will be adjusted accordingly.

Some students will be hired sooner, while others will study the full nine months. Now, however, a student can plan on a set amount of time to attend Lambda School and land a job, instead of a finite amount of time to attend Lambda School and an unknown amount of time afterwards.

Importantly, a Lambda School student will end up with 1,500-2,000 hours of training. Because we are working full-time and more every day, Lambda School students will spend a similar amount of time during their nine months at Lambda School as a Computer Science student would during the CS-focused portion of a four-year CS degree.

We’re really happy that we’re able to make this happen with no change in cost to students. So you’ll be able to attend up to 9 months of Lambda School and pay nothing until you land a job making more than $50,000 a year, at which point you’d pay 17% of your income for two years, with the same maximum $30k cap.

While our posted course length will change for everyone in May, current students will be able to opt-in to the nine month schedule right away.

We're just getting started

We have a lot of things we're very proud of at Lambda School, but we're just getting started. Come join us.

If you’re interested in kicking off your own career in tech, submit an application to get access to our free precourse work.

If you want to experience what it’s like to learn at Lambda School, you can shadow any of our live courses.

If you’re hiring or you’ve got a project you’d like our students to build for free, get in touch with our Co-op team.

And finally, we’re hiring! If you’re also obsessed with getting students into great jobs in a new career, check out our careers page to see our open jobs or get in touch about how you want to help us change career and technical education.