Coding Bootcamps: The Basics
In the past few years, coding bootcamps have been on the rise, attracting students of all ages. The rapidly train workers in the computer code has become more essential, according to the experts. Bootcamps provide an option for people who want to become part of the growing technological field but are not willing or able to invest in a college degree.
By attending coding bootcamp, students hope to not only receive an intensive and thorough education in coding, they also intend to step straight from the school room into a well-paying job. If you’re interested in programming and think coding boot camp might be for you, here are a few of the basics to get you going.
Coding bootcamps totally immerse their students in the art, craft and science of coding.
People trained in coding and programming have the potential to make six-figure salaries in software development. Bootcamps train students in these skills in a short amount of time. The number of students expected to graduate bootcamps is projected to double in 2015 to about 16,000, up from 6,700 in 2014. Bootcamps are:
- Intensive – Schooling occurs over several weeks versus the years it takes to complete a college degree.
- Demanding – They usually require 40 hour commitments and several more to complete projects.
- Immersive – Bootcamps combine theory with practice.
- Expensive – Attending these courses can be expensive, and federal and state funding possibilities are still catching up. The average cost is about $11,000 with an average length of about 10.8 weeks.
- Stressful – Because programs are short and demanding, the environment can be stressful. Not everyone may be able to handle it.
- Variable in quality – The different groups that provide coding bootcamps vary in quality. With little oversight, it is important for consumers to do their research.
Some bootcamps also guarantee employment upon graduation, something that very little traditional colleges can do!
How to Pick the Right Bootcamp
When it comes down to finding the right bootcamp to attend, it is very important that you look at all the different options. As you would with any other type of continuing education, vet each one of them carefully before making your decision. It is important to look at:
- Success rate: How many students have graduated from their course compared to how many have found employment in their field?
- What is the curriculum? What script do they stress?
- What technical skills do they teach?
- What non-technical skills will you learn?
- What are the actual facilities like?
- What is the typical schedule you will have to follow?
- What type of culture does the bootcamp have?
- How much will it cost?
- Are there payment plans available? Some program providers offer deferred payment plans.
- What do you come away with? You will not receive a diploma, but will you have projects and other items to show off on your resume?
To help you narrow your search, read the reviews of programs available online. You should also get in touch with the bootcamp program’s alumni. They may help clarify different aspects of their education experience.
Paying for Coding Bootcamp
The most straight forward way to raise the money for bootcamp is to get a loan. Talk to the admission officers at the bootcamps you are thinking of attending, as they usually have a lender or two they work with. Recently Affirm, a lending startup, announced it would be partnering with bootcamps to offer loans to students.
Other lenders, such as Climb, are more traditional loan operators. It assists with student loans for coding bootcamps but charges interest during the time attended at school, albeit at a reduced rate.
In addition to straight or industry-based loans, there are other ways to raise funds to attend coding schools. Some are more out of the box than others are: Among them are:
- Find a program that allows you to defer payment. Some coding bootcamps actually do not charge anything upfront. They postpone payment until you have completed the course and have found employment, but some require that you pay a percentage of your first year’s earnings.
- Crowdsourcing your tuition is a popular way of raising the money you need to go to school.
- It is possible to get a scholarships are possible through some companies or organizations. Check with various coding bootcamps and their supporters to determine what they are, who they are for and whether you are eligible.
There are several things to consider when thinking about attending a coding bootcamp — whether the program is right for your career goals, if you can handle such a short, intensive program and if you are able to pay for it.