Through our long-term intensive program, we train adults with the most economic need and potential to get their first tech jobs, advance in their careers, and become the next generation of leaders in tech. Our graduates are hired by leading companies like Uber, Pinterest, Kickstarter, LinkedIn, BlackRock, and JPMorgan Chase, and increase their average annual salaries from $18,000 to over $90,000.
Pursuit was originally founded as a community-building and advocacy organization in 2011. When we launched the Pursuit Fellowship back in 2013, we recognized the immense impact that technology was going to have on our society. We also recognized the immense opportunity gap that existed. The tech industry has created more wealth, more companies, and more jobs than ever before. At the same time, we saw that these opportunities weren’t reaching everyone—further deepening income inequality and increasing the economic divide. And so we set out to create economic opportunity. We’ve helped transform the lives of hundreds of Fellows, their families, and their communities.
Our Fellows are representative of the community we want to build. Fellows are, on average, in their early 30s, and ages range from 19 to 64. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to achieve their dreams regardless of gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, or geography. We aim for these cohort demographics:
- 100% from low-income backgrounds
- 50% women, trans, or non-binary
- 70% Black or Latine
- 40% immigrants
- 55% do not have a bachelor’s degree
- 50% receive public assistance
Pursuit HQ is located at 47-10 Austell Place, 2nd Floor, Long Island City, NY, 11101. The closest trains are the 7 train to Hunters Point Avenue or the G train to 21st Street - Van Alst Station.
In the Fall of 2023, we will be moving to a brand new building at 1 Court Sq. in Long Island City.
Pursuit provides you with industry-standard laptops, a monitor, and a display adapter to keep. They are provided free of charge and are not loaners. For the application process, however, applicants will need a computer and a reliable internet connection. If this might pose an issue for you, you can come to our headquarters to start and complete your application. Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Pursuit Fellowship is a 4-year program, which is broken down into two separate parts, Pursuit Core and Pursuit Commit.
The Pursuit Core is your ~15-20 months of training, with the goal of this training being to get you ready for your first job as a software engineer. This time is followed by Pursuit Commit, which is a ~30 months career development program that is designed to ensure you thrive in your new career.
One of the major benefits of the tech industry is that you do not need certifications to get hired. Instead of working towards getting a certificate, you’ll be working towards getting a job. The goal of the Pursuit Fellowship is to help you gain a job and build your career. That’s why the Pursuit Fellowship is skills-based and project-focused. By the time you’re ready to start applying to jobs, you’ll have a personal website and a project portfolio that highlight your technical skills.
Classes will vary by cohort but range from 30–40 Fellows. We aim to create a thriving classroom culture and learning environment, with support from coaches, volunteers, and mentors.
Our mission at Pursuit is to create economic transformation. We do that by helping you launch a new career in technology. The Fellowship is designed as a four-year journey, with the first year focusing on getting the skills to land your first tech job (Pursuit Core) and the next three helping you build a career (Pursuit Advance).
The curriculum for the Pursuit Fellowship consists of three Pursuit Threads: Technical Mastery, Industry Readiness, and Leadership & Personal Development. You’ll develop yourself technically, professionally, and personally by learning:
- how to build websites
- how to navigate the job search
- leadership styles and how to work with others
- broader industry insight (e.g. emerging technology, industry trends)
- basic professional skills (e.g. communication, making a pitch, project management, and teamwork)
- developer team practices (e.g. documentation, debugging, unit testing) The curriculum is regularly updated to ensure that it is up-to-date and aligned with industry needs. Our comprehensive approach prepares Fellows for a variety of jobs in the tech industry. If you have additional questions, consider reaching out to email@example.com.
Pursuit currently offers a full-stack web development curriculum which includes but is not limited to:
- HTML and CSS
All classes are conducted in English. A working grasp of professional English is required to be accepted in the program and will be assessed during the admissions process.
Our classroom environment operates in a way that is inclusive of people with a variety of learning styles. It doesn’t matter if you’re outgoing or quiet, what matters is that you’re an active participant in your own learning and you Own Your Pursuit. This means having a willingness to research your own questions and proactively asking for help.
We won’t score you on how talkative you are, but we find that thriving in the classroom means going above and beyond to take one’s learning into their own hands. Regardless of your learning style, all Fellows will be expected to gain presentation skills, practice talking about their projects, and learn how to interview for both technical and non-technical interviews. These are critical components of the curriculum. For example, one requirement for the final project is to present your team project to an external panel of judges.
Yes, instructors will have weekly office hours on a limited basis. There will also be instructional assistants (IAs) who will have their own office hours as a resource to Fellows as well. Because the program is designed to help Fellows learn how to learn and Owning Their Pursuit, we also encourage self- and group-focused learning. The Fellowship also has a volunteer network that helps provide additional learning support. Fellows are encouraged to develop relationships with peers who can support their learning as well and take advantage of class notes and recordings, assignments, group work, and class time to resolve questions.
The in-class schedule is provided at the start of the application and is also in the agreement Fellows sign.
In addition to ~25hrs of class time, all Fellows are expected to commit 20 additional hours of self-study outside of the classroom. The full commitment is closer to 45+ hours to take into account homework, review, self-study, and external networking.
Scheduled instruction runs from 10am to 6pm with a one-hour lunch break. Each day starts and ends with the full class. Throughout the day, you may have solo work, team work, and breakouts depending on the content for the day.
Our Nights and Weekends program can be a viable option for our Fellows who also work full-time hours during weekdays. While many Fellows have been successful in working full-time and learning as part of the Nights and Weekends program, keep in mind that the Fellowship is its own full-time commitment. Please take into careful consideration your schedule and other professional and personal demands. We expect the same level of rigor and commitment regardless of the Daytime or Nights and Weekends schedules.
Classes are taught by live instructors in a fully remote, virtual-first setting. During the program, you can expect to attend some milestones and community events in-person at our office, in accordance with local and state health regulations.
Yes! Pursuit HQ is located in Long Island City, Queens. Fellows can also reserve time in the Pursuit HQ in Long Island City should they need a separate workspace, wifi, a central place for study groups, etc.
The Pursuit Fellowship is a full-time commitment and we expect Fellows to attend 100% of classes. Our attendance policy allows Fellows to miss no more than 4 classes per module.
Up until right before signing the agreement, i.e., two weeks before class starts.
We do not recommend doing this because each class quickly forms its own community, and the instructor will be working closely with you and following your schedule. If you have a life-altering event, reach out to us—we will work with you.
We request that visitors to HQ provide proof of vaccination to circulate within the space unmasked. Individuals who are not vaccinated must wear a mask and socially distance. As an additional safety protocol, we have upgraded our HVAC with an ionization system which will help neutralize airborne contaminants. We have also installed 10 commercial-grade HEPA air purifiers throughout the space, including one oversize hospital-grade machine that services our common area.
There is no upfront cost for our program, no loans, and no debt, and you pay nothing until you secure a well-paid job making a salary of $50k/year or more.
If you do not get a job, you do not pay. Once you secure a job making $50k/year or more, you’ll pay the progressive rate corresponding to your salary to Pursuit for 48 monthly payments (4 years). If you lose your job or, for whatever reason, your salary dips below $50k/year, your payments pause until you either resume making $50k or more, or 8 years have passed since your class start date—after which Pursuit Bond expires. Click here for our progressive rates.
There are no upfront costs to the Pursuit Fellowship. You pay nothing into the Pursuit Bond until you get a job making $50k/year or more. We call that the Pursuit Bond Agreement.
No, you should not sign another income share agreement after Pursuit. Your Pursuit Bond agreement with Pursuit includes this provision to ensure you do not stack payment commitments and never have unreasonably high payments. Furthermore, our goal is to help you get a high-paying job and we will continue working with you.
Your payments are due the first day of each month following a month in which you earn compensation above the threshold of $50k annualized.
Because your Pursuit Bond payments are calculated depending on your annual salary, your monthly contribution will vary on how much you make. To estimate your monthly payments, see our payment illustration here.
If you lose your job or if your salary falls below the income threshold, your payments will pause. If you experience further additional financial hardship, please get in touch with our team. We have Economic Hardship policies in place to support you and can work with you directly.
Yes, the $50,000 salary threshold is applicable for any job regardless of industry or type of company. All industries are now powered by technology, and it is difficult to draw the line as to what a tech job is or what a tech company is.
All jobs are applicable for this, whether it’s full-time, part-time, or an internship or apprenticeship. In fact, some internships in the tech industry are well-paid, nearing almost six figures. The average incoming salary of Fellows across all of our cohorts has been around $18,000 so being able to secure a job at $50k or more we believe is demonstrative of skills obtained from the program.
The Pursuit Bond will apply regardless of what industry you’re working in, as long as you are in a well-paying job. We also train you in areas other than software engineering, i.e. resume prep and networking, and you will take these skills into all areas of your life afterward. This also helps to ensure that we can help support current and future Fellows.
As part of your Pursuit Bond agreement, you will be required to share information about your job. You’ll provide information when you get a job or if your job changes, as well as on a quarterly and annual basis during your covered period.
Our Pursuit Bond team can provide you with that specific information.
The repayment amount is a percentage of your gross income, i.e. before taxes.
We provide all admitted Fellows with a sample contract to review and understand in advance of acceptance. Please reach out to the Admissions Team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have specific questions.
Yes! Sign up for an info session to learn more about the program, Pursuit Bond, and how it all works. And email email@example.com for any questions you may have about Pursuit Bond, how it works, and why we use it.
Our graduates are hired by leading companies like Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Peloton, at an average starting salary of $85,000. We work directly with companies to create exclusive job opportunities, through an on-the-job career program called Pursuit Commit, for every Fellow who successfully works through the Pursuit Core program and gets job ready.
To be eligible to attend the Pursuit Fellowship, you currently have to be a resident of the NY Metro Area (Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey) After the program, however, Fellows secure jobs all over the US and in Canada.
Pursuit’s model is not just to provide you the training, confidence, and network, but Pursuit also provides you a job opportunity if you persist through Core and become job-ready. Tied to this job opportunity, we provide on-the-job career support to ensure you’re successful on the job.
You’ll still need to apply, interview, and complete the hiring process with a Pursuit partner company, but you will be interviewing for a job that is held exclusively for a Pursuit Fellow like you, and when you join that job, you will get tailored support from your company and Pursuit to ensure that if you put the work in, you will successfully advance in your career there.
Pursuit is committed to supporting every Fellow for as long as it takes for an individual to get a job. We create exclusive job opportunities for our Fellows with tech companies, line up mock interviews with engineers from big tech like Twitter, and we have dedicated career resources to help you build job readiness tools like your resume. Our Employment team will be there to work with you after you complete the Core program as you work to land that job. The overall hiring rate varies by cohort but is approximately 80%.
First, the instructional team evaluates Fellow technical and professional skills with the employer's needs and requirements. Next, we take into account Fellows' interests and experience. We will confirm your interest before introducing you to a partner company to interview for a Pursuit Commit role.
We strongly recommend it, but will work with you to understand why you may think it's not a good fit. Your first job is meant to give you the experience, insight, and network to track you onto the path of where you want to go in the future, and may not, on the onset, be the perfect job.
Over 120 Fellows have secured jobs since February 2020. We've had Fellows secure jobs both independently and through Pursuit partnerships. There have been more remote opportunities but depending on the employer, they may also be operating on a hybrid model.
Yes, we have a number of companies who recruit specifically from Pursuit.
Our Fellowship offers only one curriculum, but we encourage Fellows to incorporate their own interests and career ambitions in their projects and classwork, etc.
No, the majority of Fellows have never coded before joining the program.
There is no academic or education requirement to be eligible for the Pursuit Fellowship. In fact, half of our Fellows do not have bachelor's degrees.
To apply for the Pursuit Fellowship, applicants must complete:
- An application with your background information
- A resume that describes your academic and professional background.
- An assessment covering topics in 9th-grade math, logic, reading comprehension, and computer literacy For complete eligibility requirements and learn more about the application, please check the admissions page here.
Yes, the NY Metro Area includes the states of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Fellows need to attend in-person class 2 times a week and they will be asked to attend HQ for Launch Week, as well as other key milestone events throughout the year. Fellows are expected to cover transportation costs to/from HQ for these events.
Unfortunately, our program is only open to people who reside in the NY Metro Area (Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) at the current time. If you are looking for similar programs in your area, we encourage you to include terms like "income share agreement" and "software engineering fellowship" in your searches.
Yes, applicants have to be eligible to work in the US.
As long as you meet our eligibility requirements, including eligibility to work in the US, you can become a Fellow. Because the program is full-time and very intensive, please carefully consider your schedule and demands before committing to the program.
Yes. When starting your application, put the income you are expecting to make this year.
Our eligibility requirement only takes into consideration your personal income. However, our program is designed to serve those with high economic needs who wouldn’t otherwise have access to training programs like the Pursuit Fellowship or have faced systemic barriers to entering the industry. If you are able to financially access a similar type of program, please carefully consider your circumstances before applying.
Unemployment benefits and other forms of government assistance do not count towards your reported income in our application.
The salary maximum is a hard cut-off. We designed the Fellowship and the Pursuit Bond with the goal of helping Fellows be better off financially after the program and getting a high-paying job. Our maximum salary requirement is tied to the Pursuit Bond payments. Our mission is to create opportunity for low-income individuals. If you make above the $45k salary limit, please carefully consider whether this program is right for you or if another training program may be a better fit.
After submitting your application and assessment, you should hear back within a 4–6 week period. After this window, if you still have not heard back, reach out to the Admissions team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes! We encourage applicants who do not get into the Fellowship to apply again. Being a repeat applicant will not affect your chances of becoming a Fellow.
We are unable to reuse application data from previous cycles. You will have to submit another application.
The assessment allows us to learn more about our applicants and their needs, skills, and strengths. The Pursuit Fellowship curriculum is comprehensive and includes Technical Training, Industry Readiness, and Leadership & Personal Development. To ensure that accepted candidates are ready to start the program, the assessment measures foundational skills across 9th grade math, logic, reading comprehension, and computer literacy. An applicant’s assessment test scores are considered in relation to other factors like economic need and passion for the technology field.
After finishing your assessment, you should hear back within a few weeks. Check your email inbox for any next steps. Our best advice is to promptly respond to any emails that arrive.
You can reach out to the Admissions Team with questions at email@example.com. While our Admissions Team does not have the capacity to meet individually with applicants, we regularly host drop-in application help sessions if you need help with a specific part of your application. Check out the schedule and RSVP at this link.
Give yourself a pep talk before the interview. Come prepared to walk through your take-home challenge. Answer questions fully and thoughtfully. We know the process can be intimidating, so we’ve prepared a resource in order to help you prepare for the interview. Read our blog post on this topic here.
Pursuit Bond is a funding model that brings our Fellows, Pursuit, and social impact investors together to create transformation for low-income, high-need communities. With Pursuit Bond, we are able to secure funding from social impact investors to create high-quality programs and deliver them to many more people than would be possible with grants and donations alone.
To learn more, check out our article "How Pursuit Bond Works." We secure funding from social impact investors who cover the upfront cost of your training. Unlike investors in for-profit companies, social impact investors want to create positive change for you, not just profits for themselves. Unlike funding models used by for-profit coding schools, we designed Pursuit Bond to ensure that you will be financially better off after you come into our program than you did before you came in.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how it works:
- We secure financing from our social impact investors to cover the upfront costs of your training.
- We help you learn to code, hone your professional skills, and get a high-paying job.
- We offer career-building services to help you keep your job and find your next great opportunity.
- You contribute a percentage of your earnings to Pursuit. For as long as you don’t have a job, you pay nothing. If you stop working for any reason, your payments pause.
- We pay back our social impact investors for the funding they gave to cover the upfront costs of your training.
- Repeat the virtuous cycle!
When we first started Pursuit, we were funded exclusively by grants and donations. However, we realized that if we wanted to create high-quality programs and deliver those programs to many more people, we needed a larger and more sustainable source of financing. The problem: there aren’t enough grants and donations for adult workforce training like ours to achieve these goals. So, we expanded our financial model to include social impact investors who can provide large amounts of funding while supporting our work and mission. Grants and donations still play a critical role in our operations. But social impact investments are necessary to create high-quality programs and meet the vast need for high-paying jobs.
Impact investors are investors who commit capital to companies and organizations with the goal of creating positive social change. Our social impact investors are part of our One Big Team, and they share our mission of creating transformation for low-income, high-need audiences.
When you get a high-paying job, you pay a percentage of your gross earnings for a set amount of time. For as long as you don’t have a high-paying job, or if at any point your salary falls below a certain level, you pay nothing. If you stop working for any reason, your payments pause.
Pursuit Bond is a central part of our work as it enables us to provide high-quality programs and meet the vast need for high-paying jobs. Additionally, we use Pursuit Bond because it makes us accountable for your success. If you don’t get a high-paying job, then you can’t pay for your training and career-building services. And if you don’t pay, then we can’t repay or secure more funding from our investors. In other words: we’re only successful if you’re successful. So, we give it our all to help you get your first job and build your career.
With a loan, you bear all the financial risk because you have to pay back regardless of whether or not you get a high-paying job (for example, you still have to pay your college loans even if your degree doesn’t help you get employed). With Pursuit Bond, you only pay if you get a high-paying job. What’s more, loans come with interest. So, even if you lost your job and you were unable to pay back your loan, interest on that loan would continue to accrue. With our Bond, if you lose your job, your payments pause and no interest accrues. Simply put: you only pay for your training and career coaching if you’re successful. If you aren't successful, it’s our responsibility—not yours—to make sure our investors get their money back. Taking on the financial risk demonstrates our belief in you and drives us to help you build a successful career. If you’re not successful, then we’re not successful.
Pursuit is a mission-driven nonprofit organization, and we designed Pursuit Bond to maximize impact for low-income, high-need audiences. We do this by working with impact investors who want to create positive change for you, not just profits for themselves. This means that we can design Pursuit Bond to ensure that you are financially better off after you come to Pursuit than you were before you came in. Furthermore, whereas most for-profit programs use an outside party to process their ISA payments, we do this ourselves. This allows us to better respond to your needs (for example, during this time of Covid-19, we were able to offer our Fellows emergency cash assistance and cover a month of their Bond payments).
Because your payment goes to paying for “services” as defined by the Internal Revenue Service, i.e. your training and career coaching, they are not tax-deductible. This is a common practice among nonprofits, which accept charitable contributions and provide fees for services (for example, hospitals and universities provide healthcare and education, respectively, in exchange for a fee).
Yes, Pursuit is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit and yes, non-profits can have investors as an alternative source of non-grant funding to support the work. Pursuit has impact investors, who are committed to our mission and provide us with a sustainable source of funding so that we can help more individuals. To learn more about impact investing, please check out this ‘Short Guide to Impact Investing’ from the Case Foundation.