We’re excited to include guest posts on our blog from interesting people and companies in the industry. This post was written by Artur Meyster, CTO of Career Karma – a marketplace that matches people to coding bootcamps and other job training programs.
How to find the best coding bootcamp for you
Over the past few decades, the tech industry has grown and come to dominate the economy, driving rapid economic change. The results of new innovations are far-reaching, and the industry has changed the landscape of work and education. As a result, the traditional path of attending a four-year university is no longer the only route to a successful career in an advanced field. Due to its rapid growth, the tech industry is in dire need of skilled coders to fill positions at booming companies. Instead of relying on colleges and universities to fill the demand, they have designed a unique education program of their own: coding bootcamps.
If you’re interested in a technology or programming job, a coding bootcamp is worth considering. These short, intensive courses generally last between six and eighteen months, and students graduate with all the skills they’ll need for an entry-level tech position.
Coding bootcamps are a proven way to break into the tech industry—as a result, dozens have sprung up around the country over the last several years. But with so many options available, it can be challenging to make the right decision.
Thankfully, there are several ways to find the best coding bootcamp for you. In this article, we’ll go over a few questions you need to ask before searching and how to use that information to find the best program.
Decide why you want to go to a coding bootcamp.
This is the first and most important question to ask before applying for a coding bootcamp. What is it that you intend to do once you graduate? You may still be exploring your career options, and that’s fine—but you shouldn’t go into it without any understanding of the tech industry.
There are plenty of career options available for programmers, such as software engineering, web development, and application design. You don’t have to know precisely what you want to do after coding bootcamp, but it’s enormously helpful to have a basic idea of what field you want to work in. Do some research on job descriptions and salaries to help you decide what you want to do. Afterward, it’ll be a lot easier to find the specialized coding bootcamp program that works best for your goals.
Make sure it fits your schedule.
They don’t call these programs ‘bootcamps’ for nothing: they require an enormous amount of focus, effort, and time to complete. While bootcamps may seem intimidating, just try to keep in mind the personal and financial gain that they make possible. That will go a long way toward mitigating your initial fears.
However, you need to figure out how much you can realistically commit to before enrolling in a program. Coding bootcamps vary in length and schedule, starting with the short-term full-time programs. If you work full-time and can’t afford to quit, then it’s best to look for a part-time program instead.
Many coding bootcamps offer part-time or ‘flexible’ courses, like Trilogy bootcamps, which run during evenings between 6:30 and 9:30 over a period of six months. Also, both full and part-time online coding bootcamps are available, such as Lambda School. Once you figure out how to fit classwork into your schedule, you can pick the right coding bootcamp.
Research job placement statistics.
Once you figure out what you want to do and how much time you’re willing to commit, you’ll be able to narrow down your coding bootcamp choices and find the best option for you.
After you find a few schools of interest, it’s time to figure out how well the program’s graduates fare in the workforce. There’s no standard design or curriculum for coding bootcamps, and let’s face it: some programs are better than others.
Obviously, job placement rates are a great way to gauge the success of a program. Many coding bootcamps publish their job placement statistics, advertising a range of 70% to 90%. Numbers within this range (or higher) are impressive and usually a good sign. But remember to read the fine print to determine what the statistics actually mean. Most coding bootcamps consider a student ‘placed’ in a job when they’re hired for a position in their field within a certain amount of time. This is what you want to look for, as it’s an honest way of interpreting the success of their bootcamp.
Claims like “90% of our students are employed,” may require a little more investigation before proceeding, as such assertions can sometimes be misleading.
As a whole, coding bootcamp students fare exceptionally well in the job market, but it’s still necessary to gauge each program you consider before applying to one.
Need help choosing a coding bootcamp?
In this article, we haven’t covered everything you have to consider before coding bootcamp—just a few of the basics. Although choosing the best coding bootcamp may be daunting, there are great resources that exist to help you figure it out.
Career Karma is a free interactive platform that connects you to industry experts and fellow students, and it’ll help match you to the top coding bootcamps that fit your schedule, learning style and cost.
Their 21-Day Challenge will help you sign up for the best coding bootcamp for you, and you’ll also learn some necessary skills before starting classes. If you want to be successful in coding bootcamp, it’s imperative to build a solid foundation before you begin.
Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and young professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. With our tips and guidance, we’ve seen our fellows interview performance scores double.
If you want to work with any of our advisors 1-on-1 to get help with your software engineer interviews or with any other aspect of the job search, become a Pathrise fellow.