It’s a different kind of staffing model. Meet App Academy, where candidates are trained on skills they need to be Web developers. The twist? They don’t pay for the training. Instead, they pay a placement fee after they find a job as a developer. (Read: recruiter’s fee)
Candidates in San Francisco and NYC who go through the academy are immersed in a full-time Web development program. Through hands-on projects, these folks are taught to build Web applications with current popular programming languages like Ruby on Rails and Backbone. You don’t need prior programming experience. Just the drive and an appetite for building apps.
The fact is that demand for these developers is sky-high. App Academy charges 18 percent of the candidate’s first-year salary. And that salary could be anywhere from $60,000 to 90,000. Candidates have to pay the fee in the first six months they start working. But people are flocking to it.
The mobile/tablet segment is sizzling hot. Applicants are thrilled to get the opportunity to be trained and then hired. This is a field where skilled professionals call the shots. Prove yourself and you can command big salaries, the length of time you are willing to spend on the project, flexibility — the list is long. And if the project is successful, you can add that to your profile. Then, you are even more marketable.
And App Academy is not alone -- there are other training models. Take Hack Reactor, which requires students to pay around $17,000 for a 12-week program. Students pay up-front, thought the whole idea is that you pay to learn and then get hired. App Academy, however, is far more akin to the staffing firm.
And candidates are lining up to sign on App Academy’s dotted line. This is no ordinary application process; the academy and others like them are looking for the best and the brightest and put these folks through the hoops before they take them on. Then the Academy itself is not for the faint of heart. It’s 16-hour days for 3 months. It’s software boot camp.
It could be the next big thing for the industry. Businesses are struggling to find candidates with the skills they need. For niche skill sets, staffing firms could work with the customers that require this specialization. The staffing firms can provide the raw talent and work with the buyer to provide the training. A few months later, everyone’s in business. The battle for talent could be won even before the war gets underway.