Header: Lorenzo Herrera via Unsplash
There are certain industries where it seems almost impossible for outsiders to get their foot in the door. Case in point, the tech scene. But what if you could test drive a range of digital skills (coding, UX/UI and more) and then study for free in your chosen digital field?
StartSteps, a Berlin based startup, is making it happen. To learn more, we spoke with Hanna, who is currently learning to code for free at StartSteps.
Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hanna: Hey, I’m Hanna, 26 years old and living in Berlin for one year. I studied tourism management, but I always wanted to work in the event sector. In my free time I love cooking, playing music and I’m new into puzzles.
Hanna in front of her laptop © Private
Did you already have experience in the tech sector before participating in StartSteps?
Hanna: During my studies I had some IT lessons and I was into online marketing for one semester and received a Google Adwords Certificate, but it wasn’t enough time to really dive into the topics.
Next Compass Course begins on February 22nd. It contains: an one-month navigation course, an introduction to the digital skills & jobs of tomorrow.
- Learn coding, marketing, data & UX/UI
- 100% financed by the Jobcenter or the Agentur für Arbeit
- One Month Full‑Time
- Study online & at home (Monday to Friday)
- StartSteps will send you a laptop for the course
What was your motivation to participate?
Hanna: When I discovered the StartSteps course, I was immediately interested in the idea of a one month orientation of the tech scene. As I studied tourism and worked in the event sector all my life, I was completely jobless when Corona came. The idea of upskilling myself for the tech sector made total sense to me, as the future job market will definitely require tech skills, not only during this pandemic. In addition to that I was excited to connect with people who are working in the start-up scene in Berlin and have interesting insights to present of their jobs and experiences. When they called me after I registered and informed me more about StartSteps and the course in detail I really wanted to get the chance to participate and get to know this start-up.
What lessons did you learn? What moments do you remember most?
Hanna: I am currently three weeks into the one month course. So far we have learnt the basics of coding, dived shortly into project management, received very special and interesting tips for the job application processes, met some very motivated persons with unique biographies and have done some days on online marketing and UX/UI.
This week we begin one week of data science and in the end there will be a final orientation and definition of career bootcamp recommendations. I’m already curious for what is coming next.
During the online marketing lessons we had the task to develop our own business idea as a team and we learnt how to best promote it on the very competitive job market. I think that and the lesson how to set up an own webpage and an online shop in just one day, is a lesson that could be always useful in my future.
What would you like to pass on to people who are also considering participating?
Hanna: If you’re interested in even if only one of the topics (ata, web development, online marketing or UI/UX Design) and your Arbeitsvermittler allows you to take this course - take the opportunity to discover the tech scene and to meet such inspiring and motivated people!
Also, if you think listening to a Zoom call all day long for 22 day could get boring or too hard, don’t worry. The course is organized very diverse with a lot of different speakers (and breaks of course) and through the interaction with the other course participants and the speaker the day goes by so fast. If you want to participate and you are currently not listed as unemployed, get in touch with the Agentur für Arbeit and also with the StartSteps team, they are happy to help you with the application process.
Do you have any suggestions for improvement or wishes for how StartSteps should develop?
Hanna: It would be really great to create an easier way to participate in the course for people who are interested but not registered with the Agentur fur Arbeit or Jobcenter. I discovered the course myself and it was very hard to persuade my Arbeitsvermittler that the course was reasonable for my biography.
So far, I really like the idea of StartSteps to excite people for the tech scene, as it will become more and more important in our world. Keep on working like that guys!
What is your next step in life? How did your participation in the programme contribute to this?
Hanna: Finding a new job soon is important to me, as I really don’t like not to work. Getting the best training from Tom for the application process, will hopefully help me to write cover letters and CV’s successfully to get my dream job. Getting more into the exiting world of online marketing would probably require an internship, so maybe that could be an option for me.
Understanding, that I don’t want to work as a web developer in the near future, was also a realization for me after the course. Although after collecting more experiences during employment, I could picture to myself to open up an own business someday. For that, it will help for sure, that I can create my own website/online shop, that I know some coding basics and also how to lead a company to successful social media marketing.
StartSteps is a Berlin based startup that aims to help people navigate the crowded world of online learning, and career bootcamps. They empower diversity in tech, by building a free educational pathway to take those registered in Germany as unemployed through a one month orientation course, to try a range of digital skills (coding, UX/UI, data & digital marketing) before setting them up with government vouchers to continue their studies for free at specialised career bootcamps (e.g. Le Wagon, Ironhack and many more).
Graduating students continue their studies for free with the educational provider that they choose, studying the topic that they feel most studied to them.
StartSteps believes the time to reskill and upskill, is now, so apply here.