There’s a lot of opportunity out there for those looking for a career
change and investing in themselves . Thousands of career office workers
across the country want to take advantage of spending less time
commuting. But unlike previous generations, the modern career switcher
isn’t eager to dive back into large amounts of debt. Rather than take
out six-figure loans in hopes that an
expensive master’s degree will pay off, more and more people are looking towards coding boot camps. The
numbers are impressive: Course Report
that coding bootcamp enrollment went up a remarkable 39% in 2020.
There’s plenty of reasons why it’s an attractive proposition. Over the
next ten years, software developer positions are projected to grow to
meet the high demand driven primarily by tech companies, legacy
corporations who fell behind in digital (or are afraid they will), and
startups who are building out the next big unicorn. Salaries reflect
that level of demand and the difficulty for HR teams to find a good
software engineer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
projects that software developers
are expected to be in demand to the tune of 22% percent while the median
salary of a software developer continues to tick up to $116,000.
You’re likely researching bootcamps because you’re looking to switch
careers by learning, practicing, and applying an evergreen skill. You’re
not alone. Though perhaps the biggest question in the first stage of a
coding bootcamp search needs answering first: “What do I need to know
about an immersive bootcamp and where do I find them?”
What to Know Before Applying to A Coding Bootcamp
It’s important to understand the risks and rewards of attending an
intensive coding school in general. Before you read through this
section, take a mental inventory of your personal goals and events
(which includes the goals of your partner and family), the value of your
money and your time, and what success looks after you become a
coding bootcamp grad.
Calculate the full investment and reward of a coding
This is worth repeating again: The cost of a coding bootcamp is more
than money. It’s time. Before enrolling, think about what you
want the next 6-12 months to look like, and some of the planning you may
want to consider:
- Strategizing and planning your career change
Determining which avenue you want to pursue (Most boot camps provide
data science, software development, cyber security, or UI/UX course
Carving out quality minutes for yourself while enrolled in a rigorous
but exciting full-time coding bootcamp
Allotting space in your schedule for homework and networking with your
- Applying for jobs once you’re a bootcamp grad
In our conversations with software engineers, web developers, and data
science professionals in the field, people underestimate the time needed
to be successful. If you’re only factoring in the cost of attending a
bootcamp without knowing the amount of hours you’re dedicating in and
out of the classroom, you aren’t close to being able to make a decision.
Structured learning environments with other students.
Holding yourself accountable is difficult for many learners in a
distracting world. Not only are you carving out your own programming
curriculum, but you also don’t have other programming students
motivating you when faced with a difficult problem set or holding you
Costs are less than a four-year degree program. Many
aspiring software engineers look at cost and testimonials (word-of-mouth
referrals from boot camp grads) as a key reason for why they’re choosing
a coding bootcamp. No surprise here. On average, a six-month coding
bootcamp can be completed eight times faster and cost far less than a
four-year computer science bachelor’s degree. However, this makes
choosing a reputable online coding bootcamp mission critical, as their
university degree counterparts are “vetted and accredited” each year.
Programming bootcamp alumni network. Alumni networks
are always great resources to tap into, but as you advance in your
career less and less people take advantage of them. We see the strengths
and weaknesses of alumni networks in coding bootcamps similar to any
other alumni network: Your individual ability to network will be key to
making it work for you. Many coding bootcamps advertise big alumni
numbers to entice applicants, but your ability to develop relationships
with other students in an online coding bootcamp is fundamental.
Flexibility of learning in a full and part-time bootcamp
Coding bootcamps offer learning flexibility for two reasons. First,
everyone learns differently. This is true regardless of whether the subject is liberal arts or
logic-driven subjects like coding, data science, or database management.
Second, your individual circumstance plays a substantial role in
deciding whether to choose a full-time coding bootcamp or keep a
full-time job while you complete a part-time coding bootcamp at a
Prerequisites for Attending a Coding Bootcamp
The most reputable coding bootcamps ensure their students can handle the
coursework before applying. But beyond the studying HTML,CSS, and
aspiring web developer.
Commitment. Coding boot camps require a level of
commitment that goes hand-in-hand with your journey into becoming a
developer. It helps to have a bootcamp that requires a prep course
that’s either self directed or a bit more structured to get the
languages like PHP. Self-directed learning can be challenging if you're
a person who works better in an environment where there's a little more
structure. This is a great first test of your commitment to yourself and
to the applications and fundamentals of coding bootcamp. Fortunately,
many coding boot camps offer free preparation modules to ensure that
their students are well equipped to handle the problems, datasets, and
coding languages that are thrown at them for the next 13 weeks.
HackReactor, for example, offers software engineering prep programs
prior to the start of the software engineering immersive that they run.
They typically offer two pathways: one that's free and self directed,
and one that's premium -- structuring you so you set aside dedicated
hours for brushing up on your coding fundamentals.. Your application to
choice where basic fundamentals are tested. If you can’t complete it
successfully, they’ll recommend you continue practicing before you
Curiosity. The most successful professionals - web
developer or otherwise - are those who demonstrate curiosity and the
ability to complete problems that are very challenging for them up
front. They have an itch to solve challenging coding problems in both
conventional and unconventional ways, and they’re not satisfied with
completing one set.
If you've already prepared and passed your preliminary HTML, CSS and
bootcamp students aren’t satisfied there. They want to learn the
fundamentals of jQuery so they can learn faster when the coursework
Being curious about coding should lead you to places on the web where
you'll be able to practice and refine your basic and advanced
fundamentals even before the boot camp starts. Subscribing to YouTube
may help answer some questions that the preparation courses for the
coding boot camps didn’t cover as strongly.
How to Find a Coding Bootcamp Near You
In most areas of the country, finding a coding bootcamp isn’t hard. As
demand for the software engineer role increases and companies place less
emphasis on recruiting students with a formal computer science
background, bootcamps are popping up in nearly every major city in the
After thoroughly researching the skill you want to develop, the
reputation of the coding school closest to your home, what type of
software developer you want to be, and what programming language will
help you get there, you may realize that your dream coding school isn’t
in your city or town.
If you think you found the perfect bootcamp in that scenario, there are
some variables to weigh before moving to a new city for an on-ground
Living and learning in a new city can be an ideal move if your coding
bootcamp isn’t within commuting distance of your home. Let's say you
wanted to study web development at Coding Dojo, but you live in New
York, Chicago, or LA. Coding Dojo has in-person campuses in Washington
state, Idaho, Chicago, and a couple of locations in California. If you
live on the coasts, it’s probably rare to pack up the moving van to head
to a place like Boise, Idaho, but attending a coding school with the
intent of boosting your long-term value is a great excuse to
(temporarily or permanently) relocate. Another great excuse? Boise Idaho
was voted the number one place to live in 2019 by city ratings’s
Livability. (Yes, Boise.)
But depending on your personality, sometimes it's hard to get up and
move to a new city without a real network beyond present and future
bootcamp graduates. Some people would feel naturally apprehensive about
uprooting themselves temporarily or permanently and relocating to an
unfamiliar place while spending most of their day studying to be a
software engineer. (Even a place as apparently amazing as Boise.) This
could be a harder sell for you and your family and that's natural. It
can be lonely without a network of friends in a place, even if you are
building relationships with your cohort of future software developers.
Staying in the same city is also an option. If you're fortunate enough
to be in or adjacent to the blue chip cities in the U.S., these larger
American cities offer a wealth of options for an in-person immersive
bootcamp. Cities like New York have at least ten programs where you can
hone your skill and develop expertise in a programming language.
Luckily, there’s also third-option that’s increasingly becoming
available from most of the programs: the fully online coding bootcamp.
If you decide that an online coding bootcamp is the best decision, we’re
seeing these programs thrive as offices, schools, and coworking spaces
remain closed. Here are some of the advantages of an online coding
The answer to in-person lockdowns was online learning.
In-person coding courses were more affected by societal disruptions than
remote learning. Minimizing exposure to the pandemic while completing,
for example, a full-stack programming curriculum was a key benefit for
those who enrolled last year. Regardless of how quickly we get back, it
brought the online bootcamp firmly into the mainstream which should
continue over the next ten years.
Flexibility. Once the world returns to a pre-pandemic
normal, our new ways of living and working won’t be going away. Online
bootcamps allow the flexibility to learn full-stack web development,
cyber security, and data science from a coffee shop. As the world
eventually opens back up, an online coding bootcamp provides students
with flexible learning options, and easy retrieval of curriculum review
and course material.
Finding a coding bootcamp near you and your family isn't hard, but
picking the right one for your future involves some research. If you're
going to invest time and money into applying to an immersive bootcamp,
spend nine hours a day learning coding language and then pick the right
network of coding bootcamp graduates, it makes sense to spend time
making the decision.
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and get matched with the coding school that's right for you.