How to Choose a Coding Bootcamp to Meet Your Career Goals and Aspirations

how to choose a coding bootcamp | app academy

Choosing a coding bootcamp is a big deal if your goal is to change careers to tech or you want to upskill in your current tech role.

There are a lot of coding bootcamps to choose from. It’s a crowded market, so even conducting research about the different options, payment plans, schedules, and languages taught can be overwhelming.

We’re breaking down how to choose a coding bootcamp that meets your career goals, aspirations, and lifestyle. Start by asking yourself these 6 questions:

6 questions to ask yourself to determine how to choose a coding bootcamp best suited for you

What field of tech do you want to go into?

A coding bootcamp doesn’t prime you for just any role in tech, because the job functions of those roles vary. Certain coding bootcamps or programs within those coding bootcamps are best suited for different types of roles.

There are bootcamp programs for software engineering, data analysis, web development, cybersecurity, and more. Determining what type of role you eventually want to be in is an important distinction when choosing a coding bootcamp.

With that, what coding languages do you want or need to learn to fit the field you’re interested in?

Deciding the field or role you want to be in can help inform the languages you learn within that coding bootcamp or program. But perhaps you’ve done your research and you want to learn languages like Python, HTML & CSS, or JavaScript because you know they have high earning potential or many, many usecases — at any rate, it’s important to know what languages each coding bootcamp you’re deciding between has in their curriculum. You don’t want to waste time learning languages that won’t be useful on the job when you eventually land a role.

What does your schedule look like and what are your preferences for learning style?

A huge consideration to make regarding how to choose a coding bootcamp is understanding what your schedule looks like. Ideally, you’re looking at least a year out. Once a coding bootcamp ends, you’ll need at least a few months to apply for roles and find your first job.

Different coding bootcamps offer different schedules. At App Academy, for example, we offer both full-time programs as well as part-time programs and a self-paced option, too. Some of our students are able to forgo their current jobs to dedicate to a full-time program, while others need to continue working for their livelihood while training to transition into a new tech role. Some bootcamps offer the same flexibility, but not all.

Self-paced courses are great for some and not for others. You don’t have the hands-on instruction from teachers and a cohort of other students to work alongside, but you’re also not married to a particular schedule or set of lecture times. If you have the discipline for self-paced study, it could be a better (and oftentimes, much more affordable) option.

How much are you willing or able to spend?

While coding bootcamps are more affordable than other traditional education options, they’re still an investment of time and money. A big deciding factor in the bootcamp you choose is price.

In addition to price, it’s important to know what types of financing options and payment plans are available. Do they offer scholarships? Income share agreements? You want to choose a coding bootcamp that aligns their success with yours and makes that apparent by offering an array of payment options, especially if you can’t afford to pay upfront out of pocket.

More than any other consideration, price can and should be one of your biggest factors. It’s okay if you can’t pay the full amount upfront, but you want to be cautious that the bootcamp of your choice empowers you to find a job so you can sustainably pay back your education.

How have previous student experiences been?

While every student experience is different and subjective, getting a general idea of what that student experience is like from past members of each program is a great way to understand nuances that differ bootcamp to bootcamp. For example:

  • How hands on are the instructors?
  • What types of students are typically in these courses (including age, gender, race) to determine if they’re focused on diversity efforts?
  • How much are you expected to do outside of course hours?

There are a few websites that help answer these questions or put bootcamps side by side to compare offerings. These include SwitchUp, Course Report, and Career Karma, among others.

Sites like Reddit, Quora, and Twitter also often have firsthand experiences, but it’s important to take those with a grain of salt. They’re not vetted reviews on a reliable platform, and people often take to these sites to vent about bad experiences rather than share positive ones.

What sorts of job search and placement resources do they offer?

Your end goal after attending a coding bootcamp is to find a job. If a coding bootcamp doesn’t offer job placement resources like working with a career coach or allowing you to access their network of alumni and corporate partners, they’re not worth your consideration. Because getting a job is the only thing that proves that both you and the program were successful, you should choose a bootcamp that offers these services and more.

At App Academy, our students work 1:1 with a career coach upon completing coursework all the way until they start their first job post-bootcamp. Our career coaches are just that — they coach you on your newfound career; how to interview, how to put together a portfolio and resume, how to negotiate your salary and benefits package. They’re a huge resource and a big reason why people choose our program over others.

For aspiring software engineers, App Academy is an option worth considering

If the above considerations are important factors in your decision of how to choose a coding bootcamp, App Academy hits every note. From offering a variety of schedule options and program types to helping you pay for those programs in a number of ways to offering on-the-ground job search support, we’re bar none the best choice for aspiring software engineers and web developers.

Learn more about our different program options here and find a link to apply or learn more.

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Written by Dev App Academy

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