After a successful pilot program, LinkedIn and Edlyft are expanding their partnership in 2023, with a mentorship opportunity for CS students.
Last year, Edlyft partnered with LinkedIn for Coach[In], a 12-week program that provided San Jose State University students with a unique opportunity to improve their skills and gain confidence in their abilities to enter a career in tech after graduation. After a successful pilot program, Edlyft looks forward to a newly expanded partnership in 2023.
The pilot Coach[in] program offered select students 1:1 mentorship from a LinkedIn engineer, academic support from Edlyft for up to two of their fall computer science courses, advice and career support from LinkedIn recruiters, access to LinkedIn Learning modules, and a stipend upon successful completion of the program. 71% of program participants took advantage of Edlyft’s academic support and reported that Edlyft helped them feel more confident in their technical skills.
The Coach[In] program perfectly aligned with Edlyft’s mission to empower Computer Science (CS) students from historically underrepresented groups. Coach[in] was open, but not limited to, students who self-identified as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American, or Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander, first-generation, low-income, transfer students, LGBTQ+, and/or female.
The underrepresentation of women and people of color in the tech sector has been a longstanding issue, and persists into today’s job market. In 2022, a survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that out of the total number of those employed in “computer and mathematical occupations” only 26.7% are women, 9.1% are Black, and 8.6% are Hispanic.
Edlyft offers a unique approach to closing this gap in representation: providing mentorship opportunities and resources to college students just beginning their computer science journeys. Introductory-level computer science courses are notoriously difficult. Students entering college with little to no prior coding experience, and without any industry insiders to lean on for support, can often feel behind.
Mentorship, a like-minded community, and academic support can often make the difference between a student who decides computer science isn’t for them, and one who feels empowered to keep taking courses and eventually enter the tech field.
“Edlyft gave me hope,” said San Jose University student Breanna Chi. “I wasn’t scared to ask questions like I was in class. My mentor created an environment where it was safe to ask ‘dumb questions.’”
Edlyft surveyed the Coach[In] participants before and after successful completion of the program. 83% of Coach[in] students increased their technical skills. Students’ confidence to pass technical interviews, a rigorous and difficult step of the computer science job hiring process, in which interviewees must solve complex problems on the spot, improved from 20% to 70%.
The survey also asked students to rate their level of confidence that they’d continue to take CS courses in the future on a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 representing “very unlikely to continue taking CS courses” and 5 representing “highly likely to pursue further CS courses.” By the end of the program, 92% of students had increased to or maintained a 4 or 5 in terms of confidence they’d continue in CS, with an overall average of 4.75.
Learning the ins and outs of the tech industry from an engineer at a top company is not only a great networking opportunity—it can also help students begin to see themselves in the field. “I really enjoyed my experience learning, solving problems, and collaborating with mentors,” said one student. “It made me more excited to enter the industry.”
In the inaugural year of Edlyft’s Intern Development Program, select students from across the country received academic and career support from mentor engineers at top tech companies, like Dropbox and AirBnB.
This year, Edlyft is thrilled to welcome LinkedIn as an official partner company for the 2023 Intern Development Program. LinkedIn engineers, along with engineers from Dropbox and Tinder, will support students at HBCUs, HSIs, and universities around the country. Students will participate in mock interviews, receive application support, and learn the ins and outs of navigating a career in tech.
Mentors who participate in the program gain the opportunity to be inspired by incredible students, grow their leadership and communication skills, and nurture the next generation of tech professionals. LinkedIn engineers interested in offering mentorship can sign up here (internally).
If you are part of a company looking to grow your pipeline of highly-qualified, underrepresented talent or an engineer with knowledge to impart to young CS students, consider partnering with Edlyft. Learn more here.
Edlyft is building software that companies like Google, Dropbox, and LinkedIn use to offer job training programs to college CS students. Companies pay per trainee and use Edlyft's platform to both up-skill and screen for talented future employees. A Black-women-led startup backed by Y-Combinator, Kleiner Perkins, and Kapor Capital, Edlyft is powering the modern way in which candidates will funnel into in-demand roles at every Fortune 500 company through apprenticeship and training.