LinkedIn also has an apprenticeship program for people without formal technical training looking to restart their careers.
The program, called REACH, is meant to work in tandem with the internship program to bring in entry-level engineering talent.
The REACH program launched in April 2017 with the purpose of attracting top talent that may not have gone the traditional "college to engineering" job route, LinkedIn's director of engineering Shalini Agarwal told Business Insider. Many top tech companies — like Apple, Google, and Netflix — have complained of a "skills gap," where not enough college graduates are prepared for the most in-demand tech jobs.
"We believe that the mismatch between talent supply and demand for engineers can be addressed in a sustainable manner by changing the way we identify, recruit, and develop talent," Agarwal said.
Alumni of the program include a former fitness trainer, a former dietician, and a former elementary school teacher, a LinkedIn spokesperson said.
Sixty-five mid-career professionals have entered the REACH program so far, and the current class has 36 people in the program. Of all the REACH graduates, 21 are in engineering roles either at LinkedIn or competitive companies.
Traditional hiring practices don't easily allow people without technical training looking to break into the tech industry, Agarwal said. The REACH program broadens the applicant pool for more diverse candidates.
"The REACH apprenticeship program is meant to serve as an 'and' to our recruitment efforts," Agarwal said in an email. "It's a way for us to open the talent pipeline to offer opportunities to individuals from nontraditional technical backgrounds."