Are Online Coding Boot Camps Worth It?

A natural question that comes up as students are considering coding boot camps is, “are online coding boot camps worth it?”. To put it into perspective, boot camp graduates have continued to have strong career prospects, often with competitive salaries. Additionally, according to the *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment of web developers is expected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.” Ultimately, whether or not a coding boot camp is worth the investment is up to you to decide.

Today’s online boot camps do not offer the same value across the online landscape. Here are a few advantages and things to look out for when choosing an online boot camp:

1) Mentor Interaction

Ensure that the program offers one-on-one interaction with best-in-class mentors through your educational journey. A good mentor can offer unmatched value while providing insight into what the present and future coding landscape looks like. Today, the structure of many online courses is simply a transfer of the instructional material and approach used in a face-to-face classroom. With an online coding boot camp, look for a program where you are matched with a mentor at the beginning of the program and have continued mentorship during the course. This will benefit you with constant communication to discuss questions on the program curriculum, projects, or to gain career-related insights.

Everyone learns in their own way, so it’s important that the online coding boot camp you choose is adaptable to your individual learning style. This will allow you to enjoy a more personalized learning experience. One common misconception around online learning is that you lose the interpersonal aspect between an instructor and a student. Before you make your choice, it is important to determine if the online coding boot camp has a focus on the student. This approach will ensure you benefit from direct communication with instructors or mentors, closer interaction with your peers, and a more personalized learning experience.

2) Flexibility

Can you take this program at your own pace? Online, asynchronous boot camp courses typically mean you can master the coding language at your own speed and schedule, no matter where you are. You don’t have to worry about fitting classes into your schedule at a specific time. Instead, with a self-paced program, you can continue to work or meet family obligations while you complete the program.

3) Full-Stack Curriculum

Will you benefit from a full-stack curriculum and learn marketable programming languages and technologies that employers want? These include JavaScript, JSON, Git & GitHub, Sublime Text, and many more. By the end of a boot camp, you should be able to take the skills you’ve learned and apply them to a completely different programming language to showcase your versatility as a full-stack developer, coder, and other high-growth roles.

4) A Certificate of Completion That Can Take You Places

Will you receive a Certificate of Completion backed by an established institution? While traditional online programs may sound appealing, the quality and consistency of the course content can vary. With an online coding boot camp offered by a leading institution, students can be exposed to a wide range of up-to-date material, ensuring demand for their skills after completion and making them more attractive to employers. This approach equips students with the hard and soft skills needed for a successful career.

5) Dedicated Career Services

Ensure you will be supported even after the journey to help you land a job in the tech workforce. Not all online coding boot camps help you make that transition into the workforce after completing the program. Determine if this program has the added benefit of a Career Services team that can equip and guide you as you work to find the job that is perfect for you. A Career Services team should also help you build the job-search skills you need to be competitive and stand out in the job market. This kind of career-planning assistance can make all the difference in helping you be fully prepared to meet the needs of employers and ensure you are marketable.

>> Thanks to the many advancements in technology, an online education has become more accessible than ever before, allowing people to receive the same high-quality learning experience and outcomes as traditional students. But remember, not all boot camps provide the same value across the online landscape. It is critical for potential students to fully understand the value of authenticity and learning outcomes.

We know selecting a boot camp is a big decision, so we hope these guidelines will help you determine if online coding boot camps are worth it and what factors you should consider when deciding which program is best for you.

Ready to learn coding?

Explore the SMU Coding Boot Camp designed to prepare you for a career in one of the fastest growing industries.

Get Program Info

Step 1 of 3