A randomized controlled trial will be used to isolate the effects of the Pursuit Fellowship on fellows’ career paths, earnings, and other life outcomes. The Pursuit Fellowship is currently oversubscribed and Pursuit does not have the capacity to accept all qualified candidates. Applicants who make it through Pursuit’s application process will be randomly allocated into a treatment group, which will be offered the Fellowship, and a control group, which will not be offered the Fellowship. We will compare outcomes for individuals who were offered the Pursuit Fellowship to those who were similarly qualified but not offered the program.
This two-part, four-year program includes one year of traditionally in-person training to equip fellows with the technical and professional skills needed to enter the tech industry and become software developers, followed by three years of career advancement support. Eligibility is restricted to adults in the New York metropolitan area who demonstrate economic need (i.e., having an annual salary of <$45,000 per year). The program has no upfront costs, but participants who make above a certain earnings threshold after graduation are responsible for paying back a percentage of their salaries for a capped number of years.
To measure the effects of the program, we will collect administrative data on employment and earnings from all study participants each year for at least eight years after the time of fellowship application. We will begin to evaluate outcomes in year two of the study, the first year after treatment participants have completed the training.