Is Pathrise the best way to land a job in tech? We did the research so you don't have to.
There’s a lot people don’t tell you about landing your first full-time job in the tech industry. Most colleges don’t teach you about networking, negotiating salaries, or even getting through a job interview. Getting that first job offer, especially in the world we live in now, can seem incredibly daunting for college students.
That’s where Pathrise steps in. Founded in 2018, co-founders Kevin Wu and Derrick Mar set out to create a “career accelerator” program that could assist young people in landing these highly sought-after jobs in the tech industry. Though the two co-founders were only in their early twenties at the time, they boasted impressive experience through internships at companies like Facebook, Salesforce, and Google. Since the company’s founding, Pathrise has helped over 500 professionals get jobs at tech companies including Google, Facebook, Amazon, and LinkedIn. Impressive results, but is Pathrise the right fit for you? We did the research to help you decide for yourself.
Pathrise is an online career accelerator program that provides one-on-one mentorship, career advice, and training to help aspiring tech professionals land their dream jobs. Participants in the program, known as “pathrise fellows,” are paired with experts at top tech companies who act as their mentors. Fellows in the program are given unlimited one-on-one time with their mentors and generally meet with them once per week. Additionally, fellows attend workshops and are taught various skills to aid them in the job search. According to Pathrise, many of the strategies they teach are proprietary and developed based on their internal data.
The program itself has eight weeks of structured, virtual training. The workshop session topics include:
In addition to career strategy sessions, fellows also attend career-specific workshops based on their “tracks.” Pathrise currently offers five different “tracks” that participants can choose from:
For example, if you are on the Marketing track, you might attend industry-related workshops about email marketing and marketing analytics. If you want to be a software engineer, you might have sessions to prepare for technical interviews and review programming topics.
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In order to qualify for Pathrise, you must be 18 or older and be authorized to work in the U.S. or Canada. There is no experience prerequisite, as Pathrise caters to new graduates, young professionals, and seasoned tech professionals looking to make their next move.
If you decide to apply to the Pathrise program, you’ll have to fill out a short online application. In the app, you’ll detail information like your education level, work authorization status, biggest challenges in the job search, and tracks you’re interested in. You’ll also list any relevant experiences, projects, certifications, or skills you offer for your chosen track.
After you submit your application, you can expect to hear back in one to two weeks. Pathrise accepts fellows on a rolling basis throughout each year, with a new batch of fellows starting every two weeks (If you visit Pathrise’s website, there’s a header at the top that tells you when the next deadline to register is).
Pathrise follows a unique payment model. If you choose to enroll in the service, you won’t be required to pay an upfront cost. The program uses something called an income share agreement (ISA), where participants only pay Pathrise if and when they are hired.
Pathwise offers a “12-month guarantee” where if you aren’t hired within 12 months, you can waive the income share and pay nothing. However, if you do sign onto a job within the 12 months, you will be required to pay Pathwise nine percent of your first year’s salary. So, if you land a $100,000 starting salary, you’ll ultimately be handing over $9,000 of that amount to Pathrise.
Pathrise boasts a score of 4.6/5 on Trustpilot, with many reviewers praising its data-driven and personally tailored approach. Pathrise’s website itself offers several testimonials, with one participant claiming that the service “went above and beyond in helping me every step of the way.”
Another reviewer says that Pathrise is great for those willing to commit to their job search. If you put in the time and effort, it's a fantastic service with the potential for a huge pay out.
"For me, it was definitely worth it. I attended pretty much every single event Pathrise offered for 5 months while continuously studying algorithms/data structures full time. My interview skills skyrocketed as a result of this. But I also have friend who did not find much success with this program. If you are the type of person to utilize office hours in school, you will probably find Pathrise extremely useful. However, if you do not put in the time and effort into improving your skills, chances are Pathrise will not be worth your time."
However, Pathrise reviews aren't all positive. Many people on Reddit and Quora cautioned readers about the service. One Reddit user said they went through Pathrise’s virtual programming and wouldn't recommend it to anyone. They acknowledged some new grads may feel pressured to sign up for Pathrise out of desperation to get a job, but told them to stay clear of the service.
“The reason why Pathrise is so appealing is because they understand the problem new grads face. They understand that many of them have been looking for months without good results. They understand that most college grads have not been taught basic career advancing skills. They understand that you do not want to do this alone and that you want peers to go through this struggle with together. But just because they are able to empathize with and understand your problems does not mean that they have the means to help you,” they said.
Several other people said Pathrise’s 9% cut was way too much for what it offers. One Reddit user said fellows of the program will likely end up paying much more than they expect.
“I strongly recommend not to join Pathrise. They want only one thing: your money. They take advantage of the fact that students dont have to pay a single penny at the start but you will easily end up paying $10k towards the end,” they said.
While Pathrise does seem to offer helpful resources and experts who may be able to assist in your career goals, it comes at a price. If you’ve been struggling to find a tech job for a while now and believe you could thrive with the right mentorship, Pathrise might be a worthwhile investment. Some may find it especially helpful during coronavirus, when the job market is tough to crack. However, it may be worth going through the job hunt alone if the cost seems too steep.
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