Frequently Asked Questions

The Application Process

LaunchCode believes that passion, drive and aptitude are crucial to succeeding in a LaunchCode course and ultimately landing a job in technology. We seek applicants who indicate a strong desire to launch a career in technology and are committed to investing time, energy and brain-power to the coursework. We consider all parts of the application to make enrollment decisions and our team reads each essay and watches each video answer.

It’s important to note that we often receive many more applications than available seats, and applicants often apply to courses multiple times before being accepted. 

You can apply for open LaunchCode courses by visiting our course catalog

LaunchCode’s application process is designed to assess and understand the passion, drive, and aptitude of our applicants. After you create a LaunchCode account, the first phase of our application consists of demographic questions, short essay questions and a problem-solving assessment. Check out this blog post to learn more about our problem-solving assessment and how to crush it! 

A subset of the initial applicant pool will be asked to complete a second application phase and will complete a video interview and a weekly planner activity to ensure applicants can dedicate the time necessary to complete the coursework. 

After completing your application, you will hear from a member of the LaunchCode team who will inform you of your application status and any next steps. 
All of our courses teach in-demand skills and lead to great career outcomes, but they do differ in skill tracks and format. In decisions, we encourage applicants to research each track and determine which careers are most interesting to them. We offer in-person, virtual, part-time and full-time course formats. Applicants should decide which works best for their schedule and preferred learning environment!

Visit our course catalog to see which skills and course formats we’re currently offering! 
LaunchCode’s mission is to create pathways into tech careers, therefore it’s specifically designed for individuals with the passion and drive to enter the industry and start a new career. We do not admit applicants who are simply seeking professional development or want to take up coding as a hobby – we exist to launch careers and change lives! 

Our most successful LaunchCoders typically have a knack for problem solving, enjoy learning new skills and challenging themselves and are willing to work hard to change their life trajectory. Although no previous coding skills are required, we have found that those who succeed in our courses have a solid foundation in Algebra. Those who are a good fit for our programs are eager to dedicate time and energy to learning their new skillset and our part-time learners are asked to dedicate 15-20 hours a week outside of class time for homework. 

Check out this blog post to read more about our course policies and expectations.
We typically announce our courses and open applications a few months before the course starts. If you do not see a start date for your preferred course on the Course Catalog, we recommend you SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER to be alerted of open course announcements! 
Each course requires a time commitment and our part-time courses require coursework to be done outside of class. Our research shows that learners who cannot completely invest in learning new skills are less likely to graduate from our courses. If you know you’re unable to commit to study and homework time outside of class, this may not be the right time for you to begin your LaunchCode journey. 
While we train hundreds of technologists each year, we don’t always have courses open for applications. Keep checking the website and sign up for our newsletter to be alerted of open course announcements! 
We limit the number of learners with this visa status because many of our employer partners do not accept LaunchCode candidates who need a visa sponsorship. If you have a pathway to no longer need a visa sponsorship in 8-12 months, please reach out to [email protected] to discuss your options.
Whether you’re applying for a virtual or in-person course, regular attendance at class is a critical component of your success. We know unexpected circumstances may arise and ask that you proactively communicate with your program manager and instructional staff if you have an unexpected absence. Missing too many classes, having multiple unexplained absences, or consistently missing parts of class may lead to dismissal. If you know you’re unable to attend 15% or more of scheduled class days, this is not the right time to begin your LaunchCode journey.
At this time, we are only enrolling learners from St. Louis, Kansas City and Philadelphia into our core programs, including our virtual courses. This is because we aim to place graduates into jobs following the course and most of our company partners are located in the regions we work in and seek local talent. 

Depending on demand from our company partners, there are times we offer training programs or opportunities for applicants from other regions. Check our course catalog or sign-up for our newsletter to be alerted of these opportunities. 

Sometimes we cannot accept qualified applicants to the course they applied to due to space constraints, and in this case, we do offer deferred enrollment into a future course. If you qualify for course deferment, you will receive an email from our Recruitment Team on next steps and options for future enrollment. You will have a limited time to claim your deferral so act quickly!

Reach out to us at [email protected] and we are happy to discuss the option of deferral into a future course. This option is not guaranteed, but our team will work with you to find a future LaunchCode course that works with your schedule. If no deferral option is available, you are encouraged to reapply in the future.  
LaunchCode Women+ courses are classrooms specifically designed for women and people of marginalized genders. LaunchCode works to foster and create more diversity within the field of technology and we offer some classes specifically targeted toward groups of individuals who are underrepresented in the field of technology in order to help achieve this vision.
We encourage you to apply again! Unfortunately, many qualified applicants do not earn a place in a LaunchCode course due to space constraints.  LaunchCode receives between 10 and 100 applications for each seat in a class, so we unfortunately don’t have the capacity to provide individual feedback to each applicant who didn’t earn a seat in a class. 
Each open course in our course catalog lists a “hear back by” date, however it’s possible that our team will inform you of an enrollment decision before the listed date. If the “hear back by” date has passed and you have not received an email, please check-in at [email protected]

LaunchCode Courses

LaunchCode currently offers courses in both virtual and in-person formats! We know that each LaunchCoder learns differently, so we offer both formats in order to accommodate preferences or accessibility needs. 
Unfortunately, LaunchCode does not have the resources to offer on-site childcare at this time. 
The class is pass / fail without a letter grade. The class is broken up into units, and students must complete all of the required assignments from the current unit in order to continue to the next. Those deadlines will be made clear at the beginning of the class.
We offer some accessibility resources, like utilizing captions in virtual classes, dimming classroom lights to help with overstimulation, screen reader friendly textbooks and helping identify neurodivergence learning support. Our team works hard to ensure that our classrooms are accessible and try our best to accommodate learners from all backgrounds and of all abilities. Please reach out to your Program Manager, Instructional Staff or email us at [email protected] if you have an accommodation request. 
It’s free! No really – LaunchCode never charges our learners a dime, even after they land a job. LaunchCode is a nonprofit with a unique funding model that allows us to offer our courses and job placement services for free. Learn more here!
For our part-time courses, learners are expected to dedicate anywhere from 10-20 hours per week to course work in addition to class time, depending on the skills being taught. This commitment involves a variety of tasks, including completing the previous class's activity, engaging with assigned prep work for the next class, practicing new skills, and ensuring the completion of any outstanding assignments.
Our part-time courses meet once or twice a week, with the expectation that the learner dedicates time for homework outside of the classroom. Our full-time courses typically meet Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm. 
If you are in good standing and drop your LaunchCode course due to unexpected life circumstances, we invite you to re-apply in the future. It’s important to note that because we often have more applicants than available seats, we do prioritize first-time learners before enrolling learners who dropped a previous course. 
To graduate, learners must complete all graded assignments with a pass score, attend classes regularly, complete a resume and ace the individual mock interview and project review with a passing grade. This comprehensive evaluation ensures that graduates are well-equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary for success in the tech industry.
For part time classes, LaunchCode uses a “flipped classroom” model and emphasizes pre-learning over traditional lectures. Students spend 10-20 hours outside of class on prep work, while in-class time focuses on application and higher order thinking activities and we expect learners to participate in discussion and problem-solving during class. In full time classes, students complete all course activities in the classroom in an immersive learning environment. 

Each course is managed by a LaunchCode Program Manager, who is the primary point of contact for course specific or LaunchCode questions. Our courses are taught by an Instructional Lead, who leads lectures, and Instructional Assistants who each lead a smaller group of learners during their breakout classroom time. Each Instructional Assistant also hosts “office hours” each week to assist learners outside of the designated class time. 

Students will need access to a laptop to participate in the course. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide students with laptops at this time. Chromebooks and tablets will not be sufficient for use in this course. If you own a PC, you must have Windows 10 OS or more recent. If you own a Mac, the most recent Mac OS is strongly preferred. If you are applying for the Web Development - C# course, you must have a PC. Please apply all system upgrades before coming to class! 
We aim to place graduates into jobs following the course and most of our company partners are located in the regions we work in and seek local talent. While we do sometimes place LaunchCoders into remote roles, most of the roles we fill still require the candidate to be local. 
There are two main pathways into the tech industry after completing your LaunchCode course – through LaunchCode’s placement process or through a self-led job search. About 75% of LaunchCode graduates find job placement, either through LaunchCode or through their own search.

LaunchCode does offer free placement services and works with hundreds of companies of all sizes to help them connect with entry-level talent coming out of our courses. While we offer apprenticeships and direct hires, most of LaunchCode’s hiring partners choose the apprenticeship model (you can learn more about that here!). 

Many LaunchCode graduates conduct their own job search and find an opportunity with a company outside of LaunchCode’s network on their own. In this case, LaunchCode’s team is happy to support candidates with interview help, salary negotiation or any other support to help land the job. 

We never promise job placement upon graduation, but we do promise our team is invested in your learning and career journey and want to see you land your first tech job!

Job Placement Process

Yes, all LaunchCode apprenticeships are paid opportunities and include healthcare benefits for apprentices and their dependents. 

LaunchCode does not impose a length requirement for companies taking on an apprentice – it’s up to the company to choose how long the apprenticeship lasts. Some last three months and some last over a year. Depending on the length, LaunchCoders may receive raises during their apprenticeship, as well. LaunchCode’s primary goal is for apprentices to convert to permanent hires following the apprenticeship and this happens more than 75% of the time! 

At this time, we are not accepting job-seekers directly into our programs if they already have the skills needed to land a job. We are currently only placing graduates of LaunchCode programs into entry-level apprenticeships and jobs. 
We never promise job placement upon graduation, but we do promise our team is invested in your learning and career journey and want to see you land your first tech job! About 75% of LaunchCode graduates find job placement, either through LaunchCode or through their own search.

The time between graduation and job placement is different for everyone. A recent survey of alumni found that of those who were placed into jobs by LaunchCode, 66% were placed in the first six months following graduation. Most are placed within a year of graduation, but for some, it may take longer. The biggest factor that determines time to placement is the volume of job roles LaunchCode receives from our company partners, which is constantly fluctuating. We are always sourcing new job roles and forming new relationships with employers, however, sometimes market conditions can be unpredictable and out of our control. 
LaunchCode has a large network of company partners in our hometown of St. Louis and a growing number of partners in our other markets and across the country. Companies of all sizes and across industries hire LaunchCoders. Most of our direct placements are with Fortune 500 companies like Mastercard, Boeing, Cetene, Comcast and Edward Jones. We also work with mid-size companies, startups, nonprofits and government agencies. Since our inception, over 450 companies have hired a LaunchCoder and that number grows each year! 
LaunchCode’s primary goal is for apprentices to convert to permanent hires following the apprenticeship and this happens more than 75% of the time! We love to see our LaunchCoders continue to excel in their careers and keep in touch with us throughout their journey. 

Sometimes a company chooses not to convert an apprentice for a variety of reasons and in this case, if you are in good standing, it’s possible LaunchCode could connect you with another opportunity. 
In most cases, LaunchCode will arrange for more than one candidate to interview for a job role, so it’s possible you may not land a role on your first interview. If the role is not a good fit for you, our team will continue to work to find another opportunity that’s a better match. There is no limit to how many interviews we connect you with, as long as you’re keeping up with your skills and professional development.
We place candidates in many different tech jobs, not only programming. Here is a list of positions we place LaunchCoders in most often:

  • Software Developer
  • Front-End Developer
  • Back-End Developer
  • Mobile Developer
  • Data Scientist
  • Business Intelligence Developer
  • IT Project Manager
  • Quality Assurance Analyst
  • ….and more! 
LaunchCode has found tremendous success utilizing an apprenticeship model and our company partners love this model as a flexible way to bring on fresh, entry-level talent! 

Apprenticeship is really a win-win for both the company and the apprentice. For the company, it’s a flexible way to ensure the apprentice is a good fit before bringing them on as a permanent team member. LaunchCode apprentices are new to the industry, so this model allows them to learn on the job while getting paid as they adjust to their new career. 

Yes, LaunchCode’s Career Outcomes team ensures that candidates are prepared and ready to crush any job interview we set up for them! 

Hiring a LaunchCoder

LaunchCode is a uniquely-funded nonprofit aiming to expand the talent pool and create new candidates, rather than a recruiter looking to move existing talent into different roles. Because we provide free, accessible and industry-focused training programs, we’re able to carefully assess and produce talent with the exact skill sets companies are in need of. Once our learners graduate, we have a proven assessment process to ensure companies are only interviewing candidates who are a good fit and are invested in learning on-the-job and succeeding in their new role. Plus, since we’re always graduating courses, we always have talent available! 

LaunchCode offers two ways to bring a LaunchCoder onto your team: an apprenticeship or a direct hire. Most of our company partners prefer utilizing the apprenticeship model because of the flexibility and no requirement to convert. Hiring directly has a one-time fee, which varies based on several factors. Our apprenticeship model is a “contract-to-hire” model, during which, the company will pay an hourly rate to LaunchCode and the apprentice works on LaunchCode’s books until a conversion decision is made. During the apprenticeship, the apprentice also has access to full LaunchCode benefits, creating a seamless onboarding for the host company. There is no length requirement for the apprenticeship period and companies can choose to convert the apprentice at any time! 
Let’s talk! LaunchCode has worked with many companies like Mastercard, Microsoft, Comcast and more to help solve niche entry-level talent gaps and challenges. We have custom training and talent assessment services and can easily build a curriculum tailored to the needs of your company. We also work with companies on upskilling solutions, creating easily-integrated training pathways to skill existing employers into higher-tech roles. We love talking to companies about niche skill needs and have the flexibility and creativity to solve many different challenges! 
Since we always have talent readily available to be connected to a role, just reach out and we can start the process! 
Absolutely! Most of the company partners we work with do not have an existing apprenticeship program or structure and still find it extremely easy to integrate LaunchCoders into their entry-level talent strategy. Because apprenticeship is at the core of what we do, LaunchCode’s team are experts in working with companies to onboard an apprentice.
While most LaunchCoders have degrees in non-tech areas of study, some LaunchCoders have no formal college degree but still make amazing programmers. LaunchCode has been able to change the thinking and policies of companies who previously required college degrees and we’re happy to help lead the change at your company, as well! Studies show more and more companies are no longer requiring credentials like 4-year degrees and instead prioritize skill, passion and drive in their applicants. 
We place candidates in many different tech jobs with a variety of different titles. Here is a list of positions we place LaunchCoders in most often:

  • Software Developer
  • Front-End Developer
  • Back-End Developer
  • Mobile Developer
  • Data Scientist
  • Business Intelligence Developer
  • IT Project Manager
  • Quality Assurance Analyst
  • ….and more! 

Do you have a hard-to-fill role that requires a specific skill set? LaunchCode can help with that as well! Reach out to learn more about our customized training and staffing options. 
Companies of all sizes and across industries hire LaunchCoders. Most of our direct placements are with Fortune 500 companies like Mastercard, Boeing, Cetene, Comcast and Edward Jones. We also work with mid-size companies, startups, nonprofits and government agencies. Since our inception, over 450 companies have hired a LaunchCoder and that number grows each year! 
Companies of all sizes and across industries come to LaunchCode to fill their entry-level talent gaps and fuel their workforce with local, diverse talent! The talent from LaunchCode is different from talent coming from traditional pathways like colleges and universities. Most LaunchCoders are “career-changers” and bring years of life experience and transferable skills to their new role. Because we assess applicants for passion, drive and aptitude instead of credentials, our company partners report that LaunchCoders have grit and a hunger for learning on the job that benefits the entire team. Companies also work with LaunchCode to help them build more diverse tech teams since our model breaks down barriers that often shut out diverse talent. 

Plus, companies love our flexible, cost-efficient apprenticeship model and leverage it to assess and evaluate new talent before making a permanent hiring decision. 

To hear more about why companies love LaunchCoders, visit this page

Giving Back

Visit this page to become a one-time or monthly donor! Your support enables us to provide education and job placement services at no cost to students and candidates.
Visit this page to fill out our volunteer form! We are always seeking volunteers to help with events, mock interviews and other opportunities throughout the year. 

LaunchCode is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a unique, sustainable funding model. Our funding comes from three sources: earned revenue from companies who hire LaunchCoders, public and private grants, and donations. If you believe in our mission and would like to invest in the future of LaunchCode, please visit this page
We’d love to have you as a monthly donor or a volunteer! LaunchCode also has an Alumni Committee that formed in 2024 and is always seeking new members. Reach out to [email protected] for more information and to get involved. 

General Questions

LaunchCode is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a unique, sustainable funding model. Our funding comes from three sources: donations, public and private grants, and earned revenue from companies for apprenticeship and direct hire placements. We are committed to maintaining this model and never charging our learners and job-seekers a dime, truly breaking down barriers to high-wage, upwardly-mobile tech careers. 
The best way to reach our team is via email at [email protected]. More information on getting in touch with LaunchCode can be found on this page
LaunchCode’s headquarters is located at 4811 Delmar Blvd.,St. Louis, MO. We also have hub locations in Kansas City and Philadelphia and have a “pop-up” model with the ability to teach courses or work with companies wherever they are located. We’ve taught courses and launched careers in more than 20 locations across the country! 
Back in 2013, Square’s Jim McKelvey founded LaunchCode to to help people with nontraditional backgrounds find fulfilling, upwardly-mobile careers, and to help companies find skilled, new tech talent from all backgrounds and walks of life. Jim had experienced the lack of talent firsthand while trying to build a development shop for his new company Square in his hometown of St. Louis. Eventually Jim moved Square to California for access to skilled workers, but knew there must be some way to connect the city’s rising unemployment with its shortage of tech talent. And so, LaunchCode was born.