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Why Tech Bootcamps are an Accessible Way to Learn to Code

self taught
tech career
Why Tech Bootcamps are an Accessible Way to Learn to Code cover image

How many times have you heard about people who are self-taught coders who went on to have super successful careers in tech and you thought to yourself, “why can’t I do that?”

Self-learning is a great way to learn to code but it’s not for everyone.

While developing the skill to self-teach yourself the latest trends and changes in technology is an essential skill to have in this field, it can be really overwhelming to start from scratch all on your own.

In order to teach yourself how to code you’ll need to

  • Figure out which websites or resources you’re going to use
  • Plan out your learning schedule
  • Keep track of which resources to use for what
  • Keep yourself motivated and disciplined all along the way.

And that’s just for learning how to code! Then there is also learning how to make yourself a good candidate to stand out when applying for a job.

So yes, it can be done, but why add on all that extra work to something that is already challenging enough?

What about going back to school?

choose a tech career

If you decide that self-learning is too much to take on all at once, another possible route to take for getting into tech is getting a computer science degree.

Going back to university can give you structured materials, the support of learning with others, and most importantly an official degree. But there are major downsides and barriers to entry in the CS degree route. For people who can’t afford to go into debt or pay for a steep tuition, who don’t want to spend years studying, or who don’t want to deal with the tedious processes of university admissions, going back to get a degree might be too much of a hassle.

How can you combine the benefits of schedule flexibility and guided learning?

Tech bootcamps offer a fast-paced, guided, and immersive learning environment in a much more time efficient and financially accessible format. For example, all of Code Lab Academy’s bootcamps offer 3 month full-time or 6 month part-time schedules, as well as hybrid (Berlin based) or fully remote options.

Tech bootcamps are for anyone but not for everyone

If the benefits of a tech bootcamp resonate with your learning needs, keep reading! In this blog post, we’ll go more into detail about the benefits of learning how to code with a tech bootcamp, ways to pay for it, and give realistic expectations for what you can get out of doing one.

Self-learning University Degree Tech Bootcamps
Pros - Free online resources
- Learn at your own pace
- Choose what you want to learn
- Structured learning environment
- Support from other students
- Accountability - Career Services
- Combination of self-learning content and guidance from teachers
- Flexible schedules
- Support from other students
- Accountability
- Learn a lot in 3-6 months
- Career Services
Cons - Figuring out what to learn and how
- Keeping yourself disciplined and on track
- Lack of community
- Expensive tuitions
- Take years to finish
- Complicated admissions and paperwork
- Requires hard work and dedication
- Not free

What are the benefits of joining a bootcamp?

  1. Structured Learning from live teachers
  • Bootcamps give you the opportunity to learn the fundamentals while being guided through the material, receiving live support and feedback on your work, and sparking your motivation to continue learning. The content may be available through open source online resources, but the structured learning environment provides a great way to get your foot in the door and start down the road of becoming a tech professional. Doing so on your own is possible but costs you time and effort to seek information and help. If being told what to learn and when to learn it sounds helpful to you, a bootcamp might be the way to go.
  • Another major benefit to choosing the bootcamp path will be having access to mentorship from the teachers while learning complicated concepts. A friendly and live mentor who can explain something to you in a way that actually makes sense is definitely worth having.

tech career

  1. Accountability & Community
  • If you’re someone who has a tough time with self-learning, a bootcamp can offer the accountability and sense of community you need to learn more effectively and actually get through the material. When you are expected to attend a group discussion and turn in assignments, or your partners in a group project depend on you to get your part done, it’s a much better motivator than getting yourself to do it. This sort of classroom experience is also possible in the traditional university route, but will more often be composed of only young adults. If you’re looking for a wider spectrum of classmates who you’ll have more in common with, a bootcamp will be more likely to provide that than not.
  • Not only does the community of learning with other students help motivate you, but it can help build a very valuable soft skill of working in teams. Almost every job is going to want employees who know how to work well with others - that’s something you can’t get from learning online all on your own.
  • Lastly, being connected with other like-minded people makes a big difference in terms of networking. At Code Labs Academy, all our students and alumni are able to join our Student Forum on Discord or our Alumni group on Linkedin to stay connected. You never know if a fellow classmate could be your link to a job opportunity down the road!
  1. Personalized Career Guidance
  • If you sign up for a bootcamp, you’re not just signing up to improve your technical skills, in programs like Code Lab Academy’s you also receive additional career service of personalized career guidance. Getting feedback on what steps you need to take to become a more attractive candidate - and actually taking those additional steps - will be what really makes the difference.
  • Information about how to make a good resume or cover letter can be found anywhere online, but having someone personally review your documents and give specific recommendations is a whole other level of support.
  • Going beyond resume and cover letter reviews, career services can also help you figure out the professional development steps you need to take to become a better candidate for your dream job.
  • Another major benefit to career services is being connected with companies that are looking for candidates with your technical skills. This kind of exposure and connections can help you overcome the first hurdle in your career: landing your first job.
  1. Skill Certification- Getting a certification showing that you completed an intense experience like a bootcamp will be really useful when applying for jobs - that’s not something you can get when you’ve self-taught. However, it is certainly not enough on its own. Adding well-made personal projects in your portfolio is a major key for demonstrating how you put your skills in action.

How can I afford a bootcamp?

  1. Pay in Installments - A lot of bootcamps offer payment plans. At Code Labs Academy we want our education to be financially accessible, which is why we offer three different financing options.
  • GoCardlessoffers simple recurring payments in installments up to the duration of the course (3-6 months)
  • Knoma (For UK-based students) allows for payments in up to 12 monthly installments which comes out to roughly 167€ a month
  • Quotanda also allows payments in up to 36 monthly installments
  1. Education Voucher / Bildungsgutschein - For German citizens, if you’re currently unemployed or missing necessary technical skills for your current job, you may qualify to be funded by an education voucher through the Qualification Opportunities Act / das Qualifizierungs­chancengesetz. This is a great opportunity to take the plunge towards starting a new career or to update your technical skills for your current job - at no cost to you.

  2. Take advantage of discounts - Code Labs Academy offers many types of discounts you can use towards your bootcamp:

  • Upfront Payment: 5% off
  • Women in Tech: 10% off
  • Students: 25% off
  • Early Bird (2 months before classes start): 7% off
  • Super Early Bird (3 months before classes start): 14% off
  • Group (2 or more signups): 15% off
  • CLA Alumni: 30%

Will I be able to get a six-figure job after graduating?

There are lots of success stories out there, but there are tons of factors that go into tech bootcamp placement rates. Things like having relevant prior experience, your location, how well you learned the programming languages, who you know, and many other factors go into what kind of job you’ll find after.

To become a professional programmer it takes a lot of hard work during the bootcamp and after the bootcamp. If you just breeze through the bootcamp and do the minimal work to finish it, you’re not likely to go too far.

A tech bootcamp is not a means to an end but a means to a beginning.

It provides a valuable base of knowledge at an affordable and short time span, but it’s only a starting point if you’re a total beginner. After you learn the basics in a bootcamp, your practice and learning shouldn’t stop! Making your own personal projects from start to finish, doing pro-bono work, or doing freelancing work for local businesses are all ways to continue learning and practicing.

If you’re considering signing up for a bootcamp to learn web development, data science, Cyber Security, or UX/UI design Code Labs Academy offers courses that are fully remote or hybrid. We can teach you the fundamental skills to get you started and help you with the soft skills for landing a job.

The sense of accomplishment and confidence you can gain from completing such an intense learning experience might just be the boost you need to get started!

successful career in tech

If you feel ready to take on the challenge and start the life changing journey to become a tech professional - check out our course offerings through our website! We’re ready to help you start your journey.

By Bernarda DeOliveira

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