How a 10-week Coding Bootcamp Helped this Student Transition From Low-paying Service Job to Rewarding Tech Career

Kathleen Mattos attended a Deep Dive bootcamp for free thanks to tuition assistance opportunities

Back in 2019, Kathleen Mattos was working different service jobs including child care and retail. She wanted to attend college, but was struggling to save enough money and did not want to go into debt.

Then she came across the CNM Ingenuity’s Deep Dive Coding Bootcamps. Kathleen already had some background with computers and these fast-tracked programs, many of which just take 10-weeks, offered her an accelerated career opportunity. She also learned that thanks to funding from the Workforce Connection TechHire New Mexico program and a scholarship from the Schumann Foundation, she could get her entire tuition covered.

“The funding from Workforce Connections and extra help from the Schumann Foundation made my whole career switch possible,” Kathleen says. “Up until that point I had to work, but with the funding I was able to just concentrate on the bootcamp.”

After graduating from the bootcamp, Kathleen was hired on as a Deep Dive coding mentor, and then an assistant instructor. She ultimately decided to enroll in the Data Science Bootcamp and received an additional grant that covered her tuition.

With two bootcamp certificates, Kathleen started to apply for jobs, but was also contacted by a Texas-based startup via Linkedin. They saw her skillset and immediately hired her as a contractor. That startup uses high-resolution images and machine learning tools to identify current issues and potential future issues to critical infrastructure. She’s on the web application and development side and is currently building a platform that reports on and visualizes that company’s data.

“Kathleen demonstrates what it is to be a part of the Deep Dive community. Not only has she been a student, but has also helped current students as a coding mentor. Kathleen has built a great set of skills and now is using them professionally, and we’re proud of her success,” says Esteban Martinez, the Employer Relations Manager for CNM Ingenuity.

Looking back, Kathleen says the transition has felt incredibly quick. She went from low-paying jobs to being her own boss and working on cutting-edge projects in a matter of months. She credits the Deep Dive program for much of that success.  Kathleen says she’s also grateful that she had her current job during the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s been able to work from home the entire time and has been engaged in important work.

Upskill Sandoval, a new workforce development program launching this month, will focus on helping Sandoval County residents who have been displaced by the global pandemic to receive funding for training and education in high demand fields, just like Kathleen. Program partners include Sandoval County, the Schumann Foundation, the Rio Rancho Regional Chamber, Workforce Connection of Central New Mexico, CNM and CNM Ingenuity.

“We are working together to bring all of these resources together to support Sandoval County residents,” said David Heil, Sandoval County Commission Chairman and Schumann Foundation Board Member.  “The future of Sandoval is bright as we work together to provide free training and education to those who need it most so they can get back to work.”

Learn more about the Upskill Sandoval program here and Deep Dive here.