Finding the job that will put you on a career ladder is tough. While I never struggled to find high-paying side hustles during my university years, finding my first corporate job took months of networking, online job boards, and despairing that I would be stuck working night shift at a warehouse forever.
Despite following the advice of all well-meaning career books (and having my résumé reviewed by the career counseling center), I was floundering. However, once I had my feet firmly on the career ladder, I’ve found new opportunities abound.
Simply put, the first job is the toughest job to find. But, according to Pathrise, a career advisory service for students and recent graduates, finding that job shouldn’t be lonely or overly complicated. That’s why the company created a “career accelerator” program that helps people define and refine career goals and take steps toward finding their first job.
The service promises to be amazing, and it’s free until you find a job. But after you land that job, you have to pay a hefty price. Will it be worthwhile? This article explains what Pathrise does, how much you’ll expect to pay, and our final take on whether or not it may make sense for you.
- Career coaching and accelerator service
- Pay 5% to 9% of your salary after you get a job
- Can help give you an edge in a competitive job marketplace
Career Mentoring, Advice, and Training
Cost After Hire
5% to 9% of Salary
Max Payment Plan
14-Day Free Trial
What Is Pathrise?
Pathrise is a career advisory service. It connects recent grads or existing employees with career advisors who will help job-hunters land that all-important first job.
But the service isn’t just about finding a first job, it’s about finding the right first job. Pathrise focuses heavily on tech professionals get hired at top companies. The mentors that are part of its network hail from some of the best names in the industry such as Google and Facebook.
The program covers things like creating and building your online presence, building out your network (especially to include hiring managers and employees at high-growth companies), interview prep, building out a portfolio of existing projects, and salary negotiation.
Reading books and taking courses are some of the least expensive ways to gain knowledge and develop career plans. However, courses cannot provide one-on-one attention, and that’s what Pathrise promises. Managing one’s own emotions and expectations is a huge issue for job seekers, and I think that Pathrise could really help with those issues in a way that books and courses cannot.
Pathrise claims to have exclusive interview questions and notes for 60 different companies, a custom framework for how to approach and model behavioral interviews, and information about the rubrics of technical interviewing at larger companies.
How Much Does Pathrise Cost?
Pathrise doesn’t make any promises about when you’ll land a job. But it promises that you won’t pay until you start working. It offers a 14-day completely free trial. You won't have to pay after that either but you will have to sign an income-share agreement (ISA).
Once you start working, you’ll pay 5% to 9% of your salary to Pathrise for up to 24 months. Assuming you land a job for $100,000 (a reasonable starting salary for those in the tech world), the cost of the program would be $208.33 to $375 per month over months. And if you land a $60,000 job as a designer, your monthly cost for a 24-month term would be $125 to $225.
Essentially, the higher your starting salary, the more you’ll pay for the program. But if you aren't hired within 12 months, your ISA can be waived and you won't have to pay anything.
How Do I Contact Pathrise?
Once you've started the Pathrise program, you'll have access to the contact information of your mentor who you can reach out to at any time. However, Pathrise doesn't publish a phone number for non-members.
Thankfully, you can take advantage of the 14-day free trial period to test out the platform with no commitment. But if you have any questions that you'd like to have answered before you apply for the program, you can email the Pathrise team at firstname.lastname@example.org. They're also active on Facebook and Twitter.
Past fellows seem to be pleased with the value they've received from Pathrise. The company currently has a 4.7/5 rating on Trustpilot out of 151 reviews.
Is It Worth It?
Given the price tag, it’s clear that Pathrise is a luxury coaching service. It says that it's helped over 1,000 people (both new graduates and experienced professionals) get jobs with an average junior base salary of $90,795 and an average senior base salary of $152,432. It also says that fellows in its programs typically see a 2-4x increase in response rates, 1.5-3x increase in interview scores, and a 10-20% increase on top of their negotiated offers.
With those types of ROI results, I’m not opposed to recommending Pathrise to some people. However, paying for this level of coaching should be part of a plan and not taken lightly. Before signing up with Pathrise, consider reading and taking action from today’s best career and job-hunting books:
- What Color Is Your Parachute? 2018: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard Bolles
- The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do by Jeff Goins
- Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
If you follow the advice in those books (especially related to networking and creating value before you’re hired), you’re likely to land a great job in short order. However, if you feel that these books fall short and you are in need of more personalized support, consider Pathrise.
Pathrise's coaching services won't be for everyone. Their program is specific to those seeking jobs in software engineering, product design, product management, marketing, sales, and data science related fields for now. However, if you're looking for unlimited personalized support from experienced industry professionals or the most up-to-date insider information about the recruiting process, then Pathrise could be worth considering.
Here are a few of the most common questions people ask about Pathrise:
Who owns Pathrise?
Pathrise was co-founded by Kevin Wu and Derrick Mar who still lead the company as CEO and CTO.
Is Pathrise a coding bootcamp?
No, while Pathrise helps tech professionals land high-paying jobs, it can't help them acquire the skills they'll need to qualify for those positions.
Can Pathrise help me land an internship?
Internship seekers can join Pathrise for an up-front free but it's ISA payment model is only offered to those who are searching for jobs.
Is Pathrise legit?
Yes, since its launched in 2017, Pathrise has already helped over 1,000 fellows find jobs with an average salary negotiation increase of 10% to 20%.
~10 hours per week until hired
ISA can be waived and you pay nothing if you aren't hired within 12 months
Average Time To Hiring
Average Pay Lift
10% to 20%
Customer Service Email
Social Media Profiles
14-day free trial
Pricing and Fees
Pathrise provides 1-on-1 career mentorship and training from some of the top performers at tech companies in exchange for receiving a portion of your income after you’ve been hired.
- 1-on-1 job hire training
- No upfront cost
- Strong track record of results
- Pay nothing if you aren’t hired within 12 months
- Hired fellows pay 5% to 9% of their salary for up to 24 months after they’re hired
- Limited number of industry tracks
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.