Technology has opened us to unlimited possibilities with constant expansion in our society. This has given those searching for a new career the perfect reason to consider IT. After all, consider the projected growth. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for software developers “is projected to grow 24 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.”
Taking the traditional 4-year degree approach to entering into the field of software development isn’t an option for everyone. Some are already fully employed with children, looking to ramp up their careers while continuing to earn a paycheck. Others may be exiting military service, trying to get a foothold on a civilian career. Some others might simply not want the financial burden and time commitment required to earn a traditional degree, looking instead for a more condensed and focused educational experience.
Technical training bootcamps were designed to meet these needs. They provide rigorous, condensed training in specific marketable skills over the course of several months. Graduates leave the program fully prepared and qualified to perform valuable job functions, and are able to immediately seek gainful employment.
Bootcamp options are plentiful, and choosing the right bootcamp is just as important as choosing the right university. The following five points will help guide you through what to consider when choosing a bootcamp to get the next start you need for your IT career.
- Does the bootcamp you’re considering have local relationships?
Technical training bootcamps were not all created equal. As many people began to find themselves in need of the career benefits such training can provide, bootcamps began popping up all over. With such high demand, venture capitalists eventually entered into the market with business models more focused on turning profits than igniting careers.
Be sure to look for a bootcamp with an established history of working within the community and building longstanding relationships with local employers.
- Is the bootcamp a good fit for your interests?
This question is important to ask yourself before taking steps toward entering a technical career. Are you passionate about software development, and do you love to learn? Some people enter the field simply because they’ve heard of the ample salaries associated with programmer jobs. While this is true, it takes true passion for the work to be able to succeed.
Try out some online courses to ensure they are fun for you before you take the leap. They say if you enjoy your career, you never have to work a day in your life- so let that be true for you, too!
- Don’t just look into one bootcamp before making a decision.
Most people visit more than one college before deciding on where to receive their higher education. It’s important to treat selecting a bootcamp for your IT career the same way.
Speak to managers and programmers at the types of businesses where you’d like to work, and ask them about the technical training and bootcamps they use to upskill their existing talent or find new employees. Also, speak to bootcamp students about their experiences.
Consider a bootcamp that offers Open Houses or “Demo Days” to get an idea of what the program will truly be like before committing. Ask to meet the instructors to make sure they seem credible. If possible, sit in on a class to familiarize yourself with the learning environment. Schedule a free consultation before committing to receive more information and be sure the bootcamp you choose is the right fit.
- What other professional or soft skills does the bootcamp teach you?
Besides teaching the knowledge and skills to perform the job, a good bootcamp will also help you land that job. Choose a bootcamp that includes training in interview skills and whiteboarding exercises to demonstrate problem solving abilities. Additionally, picking a well-established bootcamp means you will have access to its network of potential employers that can help connect you to any job openings that pop up.
By paying ample attention to these 4 considerations, you can select the bootcamp that will fit your needs and help get you on your way to your new career.