In the military, boot camp (more formally known as basic training) gives new service members the fundamental physical, mental, and emotional skills they need to perform their roles. Similarly, a tech or coding bootcamp offers critical training in data science and specific technologies in a relatively short amount of time. Tech bootcamps can help you start a lucrative tech career quickly and efficiently.
What is a Tech Bootcamp?
In a tech bootcamp, you are taught specific skills in areas including data science, UX/UI software, cybersecurity, or different coding languages like Python or PHP. Most bootcamps utilize a project-based learning framework, so you create tangible products that solve real problems rather than completing hypothetical exercises. You can later use these projects in your portfolio.
Are tech bootcamps worth it? In most cases, yes. Some people use tech bootcamps as a way to start or shift into a tech career, while others enroll to learn new skills to advance in their current careers. Tech bootcamps are typically shorter in length and less expensive than a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, though obviously you will not have the diploma to show for it afterward.
Is a Tech Bootcamp Right for You?
Tech bootcamps can be a great fit for mid- or late-career changers, who may not have the time or money to go back to school full-time for a new or first degree in the field. In addition to teaching skills, bootcamps can also provide important networking opportunities.
There are a variety of models for tech bootcamps, including:
- Full-time in person
- Full-time remote
- Self-paced online
- Part-time career-focused
Each has pros and cons and the right fit will depend on your specific situation. Some people struggle with distance learning and may find a classroom learning environment more conducive. Others may need the flexibility of a part-time program so they can continue working full-time while completing their bootcamp.
How to Make the Most of a Tech Bootcamp?
There are a variety of careers available for people with the types of skills and experience gained from tech bootcamps. Some of these tech industry jobs are relatively lucrative though demand for certain roles may be waning. For example, the 2018 median salary of computer programmers was $84,280, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But there is a 7% decline in employment projected from 2018 to 2028. On the other hand, computer and information systems managers have a higher median salary of $142,530 with a projected growth rate of 11%.
Tech bootcamps are a great way to quickly add new skills and connections to your resume, but they do not guarantee a job offer. You will get out what you put into a tech bootcamp, so make sure you are ready to commit to learning. You may also need to take additional courses to learn complementary skills and build relationships to help you find a job.
Types of Tech Bootcamps
There are a wide variety of tech bootcamps covering different topic areas and taught in different formats. Some examples include:
- Coding bootcamps
- Data Science bootcamps
- User experience (UX) / User interface (UI) design bootcamps
- Cybersecurity bootcamps
- Fintech bootcamps
- Digital Marketing bootcamps
- Data Analytics bootcamps
Explore digital hubs like TechBeacon to learn about some of well-known tech bootcamps and other continuing education resources.