A Financial Analyst Tries Coding for the First Time—and Finds His Groove


Pavel Altukhov had two degrees and an impressive career as a financial analyst. His job was rewarding, but he worried that his skills weren’t marketable enough. 

Wanting to stay relevant in today’s rapidly evolving job market, Pavel decided to make a change—one that would combine his long-held interest in finance with his burgeoning curiosity about tech. He decided to learn how to code. 

Back to the classroom

While Pavel held a bachelor’s in electrical engineering and a master’s in finance, he was a total novice when it came to coding. He set out to find a boot camp that would be approachable to someone without any prior experience and that would offer him an expansive overview of the most important programming languages. He wasn’t looking for an option that would be easy—he was looking for one that would be worth it. 

With USC Viterbi Data Analytics Boot Camp Affiliated with Trilogy Education Services, that’s exactly what he found. 

From day one, the course was intensive, introducing students to new programming languages and concepts at an accelerated pace. Pavel buckled down, balancing his full-time job with all his classes, projects, and additional assignments. It was a challenge, but learning from instructors who coded professionally every day gave him confidence that he would soon be following in their footsteps. 

Pavel’s favorite part of the boot camp was just how comprehensive it really was. Since every programming language is a little different, he found he was learning new ways to be creative, efficient, and collaborative. 

“Each language is used for a unique purpose and has different capabilities and different uses,” Pavel said. “That was interesting for me to learn.” 

To make the leap from beginner to expert, Pavel realized he would need to give the program his undivided attention. So about three months before graduation, he decided to leave his job and become a full-time student, totally committing to building his coding skills. 

“It was definitely a risk,” he said. “But I’m grateful that I took it because it all paid off in the end.” 

Lessons in code and collaboration

While the boot camp taught Pavel a plethora of new technical skills, a significant aspect of the learning experience was the group projects where he could put these skills to use. Since the class was made up of students from a wide range of age groups and professional backgrounds, the projects presented an opportunity for Pavel to learn as much about collaboration as he did about code. 

Coming straight from a job where every project involved strict procedures and clearly defined roles, Pavel realized he would have to learn to be flexible. He also discovered that, whether you’re talking numbers in a boardroom or building an app in the classroom, it’s essential to communicate and set clear expectations; otherwise, the team can never function at its best. 

“The lessons I learned on these projects are lessons that I carry with me in my career today,” Pavel said. He is now more proactive about communication and his work is better for it. 

Working with other students and instructors also gave Pavel a broader perspective on code, giving him first-hand experience of working on a project team and showing him what types of traits set you up for success in the field. 

Looking to the future 

After graduating, Pavel landed a new job as a senior financial analyst at Water and Power Community Credit Union, a major bank in downtown Los Angeles. While he has maintained his career trajectory in finance, his new coding skill set has augmented his analytic prowess. What’s more, he’s no longer worried about his skills being unmarketable. 

But Pavel hasn’t yet finished learning. He intends to continue building on the skills he learned in boot camp and wants to stay adaptable. Above all, boot camp taught him that it’s possible to start from scratch and rise to the challenge. You just need to have the right support—and the right mentality.

What will you discover about yourself when you pursue your passion? Find out by exploring Trilogy-powered boot camps across North America in data analytics, coding, cybersecurity, and UX/UI.


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