Jen, 26, went straight from school to a job. “My family just didn’t have the money to pay for my tertiary education,” she explains. “And I had a friend who told me about this vacancy in the company she was at. I ended up working for a mobile phone company at their help desk. I picked up a fair amount of tech along the way, but the job had a ceiling both with respect to advancement and salary. Because I was in no position to give up my job – I needed the salary – I decided to study part-time and online, which is why I signed up for a coding bootcamp. It was the best decision I ever made and I’m now involved with coding for a small software company – it’s so stimulating and the salary is much better!” But what is a coding bootcamp? We’ll explain the types of coding bootcamps, as well as their benefits and limitations.
Coding bootcamps have seen a huge uptick in numbers. According to Course Report’s 2018 coding survey, there will be a 20% growth in students to an estimated 20,316 graduates in 2018 (up from 16,687 in 2017) in the US. 1,846 of these students graduated from online coding bootcamps – that’s a 173% growth rate in the number of students attending online coding bootcamps between 2017 and 2018. If you’re thinking about changing careers and enrolling on a coding bootcamp, should you sign up for an online or face-to-face course?
Coding bootcamps: online vs. in person
One of the biggest benefits of online learning relates to flexibility (in-person coding bootcamps tend to be full-time). You get to fit in your bootcamp work around your other obligations. This means that you can carry on working and earning money while studying. You can schedule your studying and calls with your personal mentor for evenings or weekends. In addition, your risk is much lower and once you’ve gained the skills, you can start applying for other jobs while still being employed.
Particularly for non-traditional students, flexibility in an online bootcamp holds a major appeal. According to a report from the American Council on Education, which was quoted in Ed Tech magazine, non-traditional students tend to be older than 25, working full-time and, financially independent, with some of them likely to be parents. In essence, they are early- to mid-career adults seeking career growth or change – and they are the ones who value flexibility the most.
What can I expect from my online coding bootcamp?
Jen explained that the workload on her online coding bootcamp was pretty intense. “I found myself working about 20 hours per week,” she explains. “I did most of it on the weekend, because I preferred to give myself a good long stretch of working time.” Jen’s experience was not unusual. Most online coding bootcamps require 5-30 hours per week.
Tip: Download some apps to ensure greater productivity during your “learning times”. Be Focused, for example, makes you get more done by breaking up projects into tasks and then scheduling breaks, so you’re forced to work for a certain number of minutes before checking your phone. It utilises what’s known as the Pomodoro Technique, which is a time management method, to break work into 25 minute intervals with short breaks between.
The online coding experience mirrors the in-class experience. It’s frequently structured closely around a set curriculum with mentor-guided learning. “Almost 90% of all developers say they have taught themselves a new language, framework or tool outside of their formal education,” states 2018’s Stack Overflow Developer Report. However, this option better suits those who have prior coding experience, because you’ll need to set up your own curriculum without the assistance of a mentor. Also, think about whether you’ve stayed motivated in the past when you’ve given yourself a project or self-study experience. If you’re going the self-study route, you might want to augment it with a MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses). However, know that these courses tend to have less than a 15% completion rate.
Regarding duration, coding bootcamps range from 4 to 104 weeks with an average of 14,3 weeks, according to Course Report. Most courses are in the 12 week range. Online bootcamps tend to be longer at an average of 15.4 weeks and cheaper, with an average cost of $11,100, though prices vary widely.
In conclusion, we’ve covered what is a coding bootcamp, including in-person and online options. The bottom line is that if you’re keen to upskill or change career, a coding bootcamp is good way to achieve this. At HyperionDev you can enrol on the following online coding bootcamps: Full Stack Web Development, Data Science or Software Engineering. You can also trial one of these courses for free.