Are Bootcamps A Viable Alternative To College Degrees?

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Getting certification for a job in tech can vary in costs, timeframes, and overall results. In recent times, traditional college degrees have become less popular in the tech world. You can still get a computer science degree if it interests you, but the emergence of coding boot camps serves as a compelling alternative to obtain all the skills and training you need to get a job in tech.

However, choosing whether to go to a coding boot camp or college can be a bit confusing for someone new to the tech space. On that note, if you’re debating whether boot camps are a viable alternative to college degrees, here are five factors to consider.

bootcamps white keyboard

Salary potentials

Bootcamp graduates find it easier to land well-paying tech jobs because they are provided with a large set of career search services and skills training. 

A survey taken by “Indeed” in 2017 stated that employers don’t seem any less willing to hire boot camp graduates than college graduates. And also, 89% of employers surveyed thought that the coding boot camp graduates were just as qualified or more prepared for jobs than computer science degree holders.

While boot camp graduates may be the first to get into the job’s door, traditional college degree holders seem to matter more when it comes to going higher on the corporate ladder. 

Some specialized technical disciplines require that their senior-level and management positions are held by college degree holders. This makes it difficult for boot camp graduates without proper degrees and certifications.

Cost

College tuition is rising rapidly, and it shows no sign of slowing down. An average high school graduate will go to college and spend years paying back their student loans. 

Bootcamps also require tuition, however, the best coding boot camp online can cost thousands of dollars less than traditional college tuition. 

According to data collected by BestColleges in 2020, The average boot camp tends to cost about $13500. While the National Center For Education Statistics says tuition for a computer science degree in traditional colleges often costs around $65000 and above. 

Bootcamps are a great option for people who want an education with lower tuition and still have the opportunity to land high-paying jobs. 

Also, if you’re already into tech and just want to further your skills, boot camps are still a cheaper and more suitable option. 

Curriculum 

Going to college is never a bad idea, a lot of jobs in the tech field require at least a bachelor’s degree, especially the more technical occupation.  Entering the workforce with a degree makes you a viable candidate for junior-level and entry-level positions with the chance of going higher.

However, colleges have some drawbacks that have helped lead to the creation of boot camps. The tuition is not the only huge drawback, they have also failed to keep up with the ever-changing trends in tech. Some colleges with great computer science programs, like Stanford or MIT, have added new courses or entire tracks to catch up with these new fields of tech. 

Bootcamps have been able to fill that gap and have bridged the gap between traditional education and the demand from tech industries. 

Bootcamps react to the tech changes and provide skills for its fast-moving world. Experienced professionals may not be able to return to college to learn the technological advancements, but boot camps have proved to be a flexible but rigorous alternative.

Career opportunities

When comparing boot camps and colleges, they both can lead to adequate career opportunities for graduates. They both equip their students with enough marketable skills with career preparation services.

Nevertheless, bootcamps tend to include career coaching, mock interviews, resume help, and portfolio reviews. They create networking opportunities with alumni, employers, and industry professionals. 

Although at most colleges, their career centers offer similar services, they are not as focused as boot camps in providing specialized career support for tech disciplines.

As a coding boot camp graduate, you will have a higher chance of getting a job within months of your graduation. You commonly find jobs as junior developers, software developers, or web developers. 

Bootcamp graduates find it difficult to obtain higher-level jobs because they sometimes require college degrees or a master’s degree.

Time frame

No matter the course you offer, college programs always range from 3-4 years. While boot camps on the other hand run for 3-6 months. 

In your 3-4 years of college education, you will have taken a generalized course of study in tech that not only centers around your program but also gives you a sampling of harder skills, programs, and courses. 

Bootcamps on the other hand are specialized, you are intensely trained on the hard and soft skills needed in a short amount of time. 

The programs offer very hands-on training in real-world problem-solving, workplace communication skills, and practical coding. Due to their short time frame, they are willing to adapt more and match the needs of the job market. 

Colleges have a strict time curriculum that is always followed. You can’t just apply and resume anytime you want. You have to follow the college’s schedule on how things are done.

Moreover, unlike the computer science degree offered in traditional colleges, boot camps don’t have the luxury of time to explore a wide curriculum. They offer only a limited scope compared to what you might learn in college. 

Bootcamps can’t go deep into foundational computer science concepts and advanced computing topics like degree programs can. They then focus more on only the skills needed for a particular program.

End note

Coding boot camps are a perfect way to continue your education and enhance your career. A good boot camp will do more than educate you, it will also support you, you’d have a close family supported by teachers, classmates, and career services to ensure your success. But note that it isn’t a shortcut.

Traditional education still gives you a lot of advantages that will always remain beneficial to getting a job. You do not necessarily have to choose between a coding boot camp and a college degree. You can have the best of both worlds.

Many degree holders go to coding boot camps to perfect their skills or learn a new specialty. Coding boot camps complement college education with their ability to quickly alter their curricula to better match the industry standards and changes in tech. Sometimes, employers could pay for skilled employees to attend a boot camp if it benefits the company.

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