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From Aspiring Accountant to Web Developer: Making a Career Change in Under a Year

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From Aspiring Accountant to Web Developer: Making a Career Change in Under a Year

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When Ty Ackerman graduated from University with a Graduate Diploma in Accounting and an Undergraduate Degree in Bachelor of Business Administration, he was on track to become a Chartered Professional Accountant in just over a year. His future looked good, money in the financial industry was promising, and accountants were still in demand across the board.

But, Ty knew something was missing: “I had worked a few co-op terms in accounting, and though I never really liked the work, the money was good.”

“I just kind of assumed that nobody really enjoyed their job - working was just something that people had to do.”

While interviewing at accounting firms Ty remembers hearing about his day-to-day tasks and being very disappointed. “There was little space to show my creativity, very long hours (especially during busy seasons) and more often than not, I’d be stuck in an office room for hours on end.”

At the same time, the potential decline of the accounting industry was creeping into Ty’s mind. Though there was still a high demand for accounting services and money was good, technology was growing and there were more and more automated tools available every day. Ty started to worry that there was a surplus of aspiring accountants, and not enough demand for them.

“I decided it was time to make a change.”

Ty considered the careers he could get into and knew there were a few criteria a new one had to have. First, it had to be something that interested him. Second, it had to be a growing industry with in-demand positions. And third, it had to be something he could be fully trained in in less than a year.

“I had just finished a 5 year program and didn’t want to do another 2 - 4 year program at another university or college. I thought back to the one course I enjoyed the most in University, which was an introductory programming elective. I remember completing weekly assignments, and then spending an extra couple hours refining my code, testing for every use case, and adding multiple features.”

Ty knew he’d found the career for him. After doing some research online, he found multiple Bootcamps in downtown Toronto that advertised launching a new coding career in a matter of months. “I thought it was actually too good to be true, so I toured all their campuses.”

“The reason I chose HackerYou was because they were the only Bootcamp that actually cared about me and my new career, and not just getting a tuition cheque.”

“In fact, HackerYou actually rejected me from the Bootcamp and told me to try a part-time course first to validate my interests before investing. Every other school emailed me my invoice the same day.”

“On top of that, I loved how much HackerYou embraced diversity and inclusivity. A lot of schools preach diversity, but at HackerYou, I never ever feel like the odd one out. The HackerYou community is something special in itself - if I ever have any questions about programming, my career, personal growth, or even sports, I have hundreds of people ready to help me out.”

Ty took part-time Web Development at HackerYou in 2017, then graduated from Cohort 18 of our Web Development Immersive Bootcamp in 2018. He was hired as a UI Developer at Scotiabank before the Bootcamp was even finished, and today Ty is a Software Engineer at Amdocs, a Toronto based software company.

“My job allows me to work remote 100% of the time, my schedule is more flexible, and I make more money now than I would have if I had stayed in accounting."

On top of being a successful developer, Ty is also a valuable member of the HackerYou Community. Since graduation he’s returned to HackerYou to level-up with our Full-Stack Masterclass, and continues to give back by mentoring current students as both a Bootcamp Buddy and a Fishbowl mentor.

“The most difficult thing about changing careers is making connections with people in the industry. Being a mentor for a student not only allows them to ask me programming and career questions, but I can also serve as an example of what is possible if you trust the process and work hard!”

For someone getting into tech for the first time, Ty’s advice is just to do something, anything to validate your interests. “Making a career change is a big deal, so you want to make sure you do your due diligence and carefully vet the decision. Take a free Intro to HTML course online, make the wireframe for a website, watch YouTube videos about coding, tour campuses, talk to people in the industry. Then, once you know you’re interested, invest 100% of your time and energy into it."

If you’re interested in making a career change like Ty, our free Web Dev 101 Workshops are the best place to start. We’ve got lots of sessions coming up - so RSVP now to save your seat!

RSVP to Web Dev 101


Ty Ackerman is a graduate of HackerYou's Part-Time Web Development Course and Full-Time Web Development Immersive Bootcamp. Ty currently works as a Software Engineer at Amdocs. View Ty's portfolio here.