If you are trying to launch a career in computer programming, you probably have seen advertisements for coding bootcamps, though you might not be sure exactly what they are or how they work. These advertisements promise you that you can get a job in your field along with valuable training, but is the cost of the tuition they charge worth it?
If you have taken any college programming classes, you know that there is often a heavy emphasis on lecture with not nearly enough lab time. Well, a coding bootcamp is the answer to that problem. Most programs last 8 to 12 weeks, and are designed to offer the intensive training you need to get right to work. Coding bootcamps are far less expensive than traditional four year university programs, and are sometimes even free.
Coding bootcamps are quite popular; there are more than 90 of them in the US and Canada alone. These programs help out both employers and job candidate; candidates save money on their education (it is pretty tough to afford a university degree nowadays), and employers get access to a larger candidate pool to fill the employment gap in the tech field.
If you have been looking at coding bootcamp ads, you probably have seen some pretty startling claims. Some bootcamps may even “guarantee” you an income, making you wonder if you can immediately graduate right into working for a top-notch tech company like AgileLab.
Well, the answer is “maybe, maybe not.” Coding bootcamps can help you score a job (while saving money on your education), but nobody can guarantee you placement. One online platform called SwitchUp was established in 2014 to provide some transparency by shedding some light on the effectiveness of various bootcamps around the world. Here are some of the company’s survey findings:
So coding bootcamps definitely can make a difference. If you have limited time and money for your education and you just want to get to work, a coding bootcamp may be more sensible than a four year degree. Still, groups like the National Consumers League urge caution. Basically, if a coding bootcamp says that they have a 90% (or higher) placement rate, they probably are making a false claim.
Is a coding bootcamp the way to go? It all depends on your situation, needs and goals. If you want a comprehensive broad view of the coding world with plenty of context, a four year degree may suit you best. But if you want to dive into coding and possibly land a job within a few months, coding bootcamp may be just what you are looking for.