But they also represent a sizeable investment of time, energy, and money. Given this fact, and the fact that bootcamps tend to lie between the extremes of learning entirely on your own or spending four years in a college, many people wonder about the tradeoffs of attending a bootcamp.
Here we’re going to discuss the pros of attending a bootcamp, the cons of attending a bootcamp, and whether or not it’s all worth it in the end.
The Pros of Attending Coding Bootcamp
Bootcamps have become so spectacularly popular for good reason: they’re an effective way of mastering the rudiments of a new field in a compressed time frame. Given how quickly the career landscape is changing, this will be more and more important in the future.
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I tend to think of bootcamps as blending self-directed learning with a traditional classroom. Because most bootcamps are project-based you often have quite a lot of control over what you’re actually going to be learning, which is great.
Being part of a bootcamp cohort can be really inspiring. As opposed to simply learning on your own, you’re surrounded by people of varying abilities all pushing in the same direction. Not only can you get help when you need it, but you can give help when others need it. Both are great ways of accelerating your learning.
The Cons of Attending Coding Bootcamp
The biggest advantage of coding bootcamp, its fast-paced learning schedule, is probably also its biggest drawback.
Learning new skills quickly is obviously very important, but giving one or two days to a complicated algorithm like linear regression can leave you feeling vaguely uneasy. It’s hard not to wonder whether you really understand what you’re doing.
In my view this is one of the only advantages colleges have over bootcamps; with a typical undergraduate program lasting multiple years you can devote a lot of time to mastering the material.
Bootcamps are also fairly expensive. The Galvanize Immersive was $15,000 for three months, and required getting a student loan. Though technical jobs do tend to pay well, assuming a bunch of debt right before rolling the dice on a new career can be daunting.
Is Coding Bootcamp Worth It?
Knowing whether a bootcamp is the right step for you depends on a lot of personal factors.
If you like self-directed learning but also want the benefits of a classroom, bootcamps are a great way to go. If you’re good at managing your time and delivering on projects, you’ll probably be able to keep up with the workload.
If you want the best possible mastery of the subject and don’t mind the time investment, a traditional degree might be a better way to go.
I can say that my own bootcamp experience was definitely worth it. I learned a tremendous amount, met some amazing people, and pivoted my life into a whole new trajectory.
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