ZTM Career Paths: Your Roadmap to a Successful Career in Tech

Andrei Neagoie

Andrei Neagoie


August 2021 Update: To celebrate this amazing ZTM community now consisting of over 550,000 students worldwide, we decided to launch four brand new ZTM Career Paths.

Here are the 4 new paths:

  1. Online Computer Science Degree
  2. Become a Better Learner
  3. Become a DevOps Engineer
  4. 1 Year Master Everything Curriculum

We're beyond grateful for each and every one of you. If you've never heard of ZTM or just wondering what the heck I'm talking about, the original post is below.

Ok, back to your regularly scheduled programming (aka the full original post):

If you’ve been part of the ZTM community for awhile, then I have some good news and I have some bad news.

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. Today is the retirement of my famous (arguably) ZTM course roadmap 😢. Here is the final version in all its glory.

Andrei Neagoie's ZTM Course Roadmap
ZTM Course Roadmap - Version 13

Because I’m feeling a little nostalgic, here’s the very first version of my course roadmap. And proof that iteration is the key and not stressing too hard about getting things perfect the first time 😛. We’ve come a long way!

Andrei Neagoie's ZTM Course Roadmap - Very First Version
ZTM Course Roadmap - Version 1

It has served us well over the past couple of years but as you can see, things were getting a little out of hand. We needed something better.

Which leads me to the good news…

We’ve spent the last year coming up with something that will make you forget the course roadmap ever existed and something that I believe is the most important thing we’ve built in ZTM’s history.

Today, we are releasing Zero To Mastery Career Paths and our Tech Career Path Quiz.


woohoo

What the heck is a ZTM Career Path, Andrei?

Each ZTM Career Path is a step-by-step roadmap with a curated curriculum of courses, workshops, challenges, projects, posts and action items to take you from any level or background, to getting hired and advancing your career.

Career Paths are based on our Zero To Mastery instructors' personal experiences working for many years at leading tech companies as well as the feedback and learnings we’ve received from over 500,000 students that have taken a ZTM course over the past few years.

  • Everything you need in one place. Exact step-by-step guide to go from any level (even zero) to getting hired.
  • No wasted time. We’re all about efficient learning and believe the best learning comes from working on real projects (your own projects or being paid to work on projects as an employee or freelancer). So on these paths, you’ll only learn topics and skills that are actually used in the real world or ones you'll be asked about in your interviews.
  • Learn by doing. You won’t be watching endless videos. You’ll be getting your hands dirty and learn by building complex real-world projects with us, step-by-step.
  • More than just technical skills. You’ll get the career advice and tips that aren't covered in coding tutorials and courses.
  • Completely up-to-date. You will never learn an outdated topic or tool from ZTM. We spend so much time staying updated with the industry, we even write monthly newsletters summarizing the most important developments so you don’t have to. This is just one of many things we do to keep these paths (and our courses) more up-to-date than anything else you can find.
  • You won’t be alone. The ZTM community of fellow students, mentors, alumni, TAs and instructors is there for you now, and throughout your career journey.
how it started vs. how it's going

What are these rumours about some mythical Tech Career Path Quiz?!

You’re a unique wildflower. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. And because of that, your Career Path roadmap should be unique too. That’s why we’ve also created a Tech Career Quiz that you can use to get your own Career Path customized to your goals and your experience 🤯.

Blog post image
Take the ZTM Tech Career Path Quiz Here

Who are these paths meant for?

Well if you're reading this... I'm hoping you!

Ohhh, you mean who are they meant for other than you? Well, here's who we had in mind when we were building them. We built them for anyone from any background, age (is 30, 40, 50 too old to switch careers? Hell no!) or level of experience that:

  • Is frustrated with their current progress trying to break into the tech industry or take the next step in their career
  • Wants a career in tech but has no idea where to start
  • Is stuck in tutorial hell
  • Has gotten their feet wet with some beginner tutorials on freeCodeCamp, YouTube, etc. but isn’t sure what to do next
  • Wants a personalized roadmap that will help you meet your goals
  • Doesn’t want to pay $10,000+ (Bootcamp) to $100,000+ (CS Degree) to get skills that you can realistically get for free online if you really wanted to
  • Is taking a Computer Science Degree but realizing they aren’t learning tangible real-world skills
  • Is a Coding Bootcamp grad but still doesn’t feel confident or have the support they need to get hired or take their career to the next level

And for anyone who has ever asked me or our instructors questions like:

  • What course should I take? Ok, I finished that one, now what?
  • What should I do next?
  • When should I start applying for jobs?
  • How do I become a ____ (Frontend Developer, Backend Developer, Freelancer, Machine Learning Engineer, etc…)
  • What steps do I need to take to get hired without a degree?
  • What should I spend my time learning?
  • How do I go from junior to senior?
  • What do I need to do to get hired as quickly as possible?

Being a self-taught programmer myself, I know that there is an endless number of online courses, tutorials and books. Some are amazing. But a lot of them aren't... Why?

  • They're out of date (huge issue with education in tech because things change so fast)
  • They're boring and waste your time on theoretical topics vs. teaching you real-world skills to build your own projects and actually get you hired
  • They only cover beginner basics with no clear roadmap, or they only cover advanced topics that leave you feeling overwhelmed
  • They're one-player meaning you're learning alone

If you've experienced these things, you know how frustrating it is. Which is exactly why you should be using a ZTM Career Path instead.

Ok, I'll play along Andrei. Why should I use a ZTM Career Path?

Because whether you're a complete beginner or an experienced professional, figuring out the next step in your career can be overwhelming. And knowing the right steps to take and finding high quality resources can be even harder.

This is also why we didn’t just build 3-5 generic paths. You’re at a different point in your learning / career journey than someone else is.

That’s where our Career Path Quiz comes in. Within 2-3 minutes you can have your own customized Career Path that will provide you with all the skills, tools and resources to reach your goals and advance your career.

We wanted to create something that would allow anyone to get an even better experience than what you might get spending $10,000+ on any bootcamp. By taking a ZTM Career Path and by being part of the ZTM community on Discord, you will be able to beat out any Bootcamp grad!

P.S. More than 20% of ZTM students are actually Bootcamp grads and current Computer Science students. We’ll let you draw your own conclusions from that fun stat 😉

What makes ZTM Career Paths different from what other learning platforms offer?

Each and every one of our Career Paths has been hand curated by myself and each of the other instructors (depending on the path).

And what makes the ZTM Career Paths so special and different than anything else you’ll find is that we built them based on the following pillars:

  1. Each of our personal experiences from working for many years at leading tech companies (as employees, interviewers and interviewees). We only teach you up-to-date skills that companies actually look for and use in the real-world.
  2. The feedback and learnings we've received from over 500,000 students that have taken a ZTM course over the past few years.
  3. Results. Since 2018, 1,000s of graduates from ZTM courses of all ages have been hired and are advancing their careers at world-class companies like Google, Amazon, Tesla and many more. These Career Paths are meant to help you join them, faster than ever before.
  4. Personalized to you. By taking our Career Path Quiz, we are able to provide a custom Career Path that’s based on your experience, your goals, and your interests.
  5. Quality over quantity. Your time is valuable so every step in each path is there for a reason and we provide everything you need in one place.

We’re by no means the first people to create a roadmap / learning path / career path. In fact, there are quite a few out there. But when we spent the time going through them and talking to our students about their experiences with these learning paths from other platforms (and frankly our course roadmap), they’re mostly underwhelming and generic.

ZTM Career Paths - Market Research
Student interviews, market research, user testing & more

Most "learning paths" are just a list of courses to take in a certain order. Something like this:

  1. Course 1 (ex: Complete Web Developer)
  2. Course 2 (ex: Junior to Senior Developer Roadmap)
  3. Course 3 (ex: Master The Coding Interview)
  4. The end.
learning path
A typical "learning path"

I’ll admit, it’s definitely better than nothing. In fact, my now retired course roadmap followed this structure and it has been one of the most popular things I do after each course launch.

Andrei Neagoie's ZTM Course Roadmap

But as you can see, it's pretty complicated and overwhelming. It’s not personalized. It doesn’t help answer some of the most common questions we get like “when am I ready to apply for jobs?”, “what projects should I do?”, “how many coding challenges should I do?”, “what should my resume look like?” and many more just like these.

You know what does answer these questions and is a way better "learning path"? If you guessed ZTM Career Paths, then you are 100% right 😉

We knew we needed to take things a step further. And it was essential for us to ensure there is a clear end goal and outcome that a student can achieve if they complete a ZTM Career Path.

ZTM Career Paths - Learning Paths
ZTM Career Paths: How "learning paths" should be

Something else that’s important to note is that just like we do with all of our courses, we will be continually updating and evolving these Career Paths so that they are always up-to-date. There is nothing more frustrating than wasting time learning something that isn’t even used anymore or a skill that isn’t even used in the real-world.

Behind the scenes! How did we build ZTM Career Paths?

I thought it would be fun to pull back the curtains a bit and provide you with a brief behind the scenes look into how something like Career Paths came to be.

If you don’t care about how we built Career Paths and our process, just skip to the next section to see how you can explore the different paths for yourself. I’m only slightly hurt.

If you’re still with me, you’re my new best friend ♥.

A big part of the process was not only the feedback we’ve received from thousands of students over the years, but also by involving ZTM students throughout this specific design and build process to make sure we built something that would actually help them.

Here is the initial one-page summary I wrote in Notion and provided to our team almost one year ago:

ZTM Career Paths - Notion

We had a call with our full team to discuss this outline and my vision and then I handed things over to our incredible Product Designer, Laura.

From there, Laura took the reins and the process looked something like this:

  1. Discussions with everyone on our team
  2. Interviews with students
  3. Extensive market research
  4. Wireframes
  5. User testing and internal review process
  6. Full designs
  7. Build, build, build
  8. Test, test, test
  9. LIVE!!!
  10. It doesn't stop here. We'll keep iterating based on feedback. And update them whenever necessary.

Such a massive shout out to Laura and our amazing dev team of Matt, Cindy and Yihua. I know I’m biased but I’m beyond impressed and thankful for what they’ve created. It's going to be a game changer for so many people.

I'm convinced. These Career Paths sound amazing. Now what?

Step 1: Pick a standard path or let us customize one for you.

  • Option 1: Head to our Career Paths page where we list out our top Career Paths. Each of these paths assumes you have absolutely zero experience and are starting from scratch.
  • Option 2: If you want a customized version of one of our Career Paths based on your experience, your goals, and your interests, take our 2-minute Tech Career Path Quiz. We’ll send you a custom path built just for you.

Step 2: Follow the exact steps provided to completion.

Step 3: Achieve your dream goals and send us your success story!

I really hope you find these Career Paths helpful. If you do, share them with a friend. And a final thank you to every single person in the ZTM community. These wouldn't be possible without you.

<3 Andrei

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