Career Karma has placed thousands of job seekers into re-training programs at a time of unprecedented uncertainty
With nearly 70 million Americans filing for unemployment since March, the pandemic has hurtled the U.S. job market into a more uncertain and dynamic 21st century. Lots of theoretical discussion about how we need to upgrade our country’s training and educational infrastructure to support workers across the life of their careers has suddenly become all too real all too fast.
Into that void has emerged a Cambrian explosion of more than 9,000 job retraining programs and bootcamps. But navigating all of these choices can be overwhelming. Which programs actually place candidates successfully? Which ones account for the different needs people might have around responsibilities like family? Making the wrong choice can cost $10 to $50,000 and years of someone’s career.
Career Karma, built by a team with real, lived experience in navigating this problem, has become a one-stop shop for these questions and has successfully placed thousands of workers into programs. We’re excited to be part of their journey as part of their $10 million Series A round.
Ruben Harris and Artur and Timur Meyster taught themselves how to break into the tech industry more than five years ago. Between cold-calling, bootcamps and knocking down doors, they landed at high-growth tech companies in the Bay Area without any direct prior experience in the software industry. Their post detailing their singular relentlessness was when they first landed on our radar.
But they didn’t stop just there. They flipped those experiences around to help thousands of other people into the door behind them by building Career Karma.
Today, more than 1 million job seekers are visiting their site per month, navigating career options in everything from software engineering to sales to design. They’ve transformed people’s lives. For years, Kesha Lake, a mom and music teacher, struggled to finish college while balancing other responsibilities. Career Karma matched her to four different bootcamps and today, she’s a remote software engineer for StitchFix.
It also isn’t a directory. Ruben, Artur and Timur know from personal experience that job seekers need emotional encouragement and insider tips from others who have paved the way. Career Karma customers are split up into “Squads” that share insider knowledge on how effective programs are and encourage each other to persevere through the sometimes tough or unexpected parts of job retraining. As Ruben likes to put it, the most helpful mentor isn’t often the person who has “made it.” It’s the person who is only one to three steps ahead of you, who most clearly remembers all the details on how to get to the next career milestone.
Career Karma members also share bootcamp projects and progress on their reskilling journeys, making their pages much more of a living document on where they are now and where they hope to go in the future.
In some ways, we think of it as a Y Combinator or an accelerator for individual talent and Career Karma has big ambitions. Ruben, Timur and Artur have set out to impact 1 billion people’s careers and we’re excited to be some of the rocket fuel to help them get there.