What is a Tech Bootcamp?We know why you choose an Ironhack bootcamp: to make a career change and land a job in the wonderful world of tech. But a lot happens between the moment you choose to dive into tech and your first day at your new role. How do you know which bootcamp is right for you? How do the bootcamps actually set you up for success? How do you go about landing a job and acing interviews?
We’ll cover these burning questions and more in this article. Happy reading!
What is a Tech Bootcamp?
Tech bootcamps are intensive, short-term courses that focus on teaching you exactly what you need to know to land a job in your chosen field. When you hear others talking about bootcamps, you usually think of just learning to code in two months, but the reality is tech bootcamps have expanded to include far more options than just coding; you can become a cyber expert, learn to make data-driven decisions, or how to design the perfect user interface.
No matter what topic you choose, you can expect the majority of bootcamps to boast the following:
Skilled instructors: your bootcamp instructor doesn’t just have to be an expert in the field; they also need to be an experienced instructor with practice teaching large amounts of content in a short period of time, patient, and good at explaining tough subjects to students.
Career preparation: you chose to take the bootcamp for one reason: landing a job in tech. High-quality bootcamps include career preparation, such as interview practice, portfolio assistance, and CV/resume review.
An updated curriculum: one of the biggest advantages of bootcamps is the ability to learn what’s currently trending and needed in the job market, instead of drawing it out over four years. Before signing up for a course, make sure you check out the syllabus and guarantee it will teach you what’s currently in-demand in the market.
The chance to practice what you’re learning: having a strong foundational and theoretical knowledge of your field is important, but having the chance to put what you’re learning into practice through real-world examples is even more crucial.
What sets tech bootcamps apart from other ways of learning?
You might be wondering exactly what makes bootcamps a more valuable option than learning on your own or getting another university degree. To put it simply, with bootcamps you get the best parts of each choice without the frustrating drawbacks. What do we mean? Well, learning on your own sounds like a great option, right? It’s affordable, you can do it on your own time, and you can pick and choose exactly what you want to study.
While all these are true, self-learning poses quite the challenge when it comes to overcoming roadblocks or putting what you’ve learned into practice. Without an instructor or classmates to help you when you’re struggling and a specific curriculum designed to teach you what you need to know to land a job in tech, your learning will reach a standstill pretty quickly.
We have university degrees on the other end of the spectrum. These long and detailed courses will teach you both the necessary foundational knowledge and guide you each step of the way. However, they’re typically incredibly expensive and long-term, meaning you’ll need to dedicate years and significant financial resources to graduating. And possibly most importantly, your curriculum will follow the latest trends of when you start the course, not end it; your skills will be well-developed and thorough, but not what hiring managers are looking for at that point in time.
Why are tech bootcamps valuable?
With a clear understanding of what bootcamps are, let’s explore why they’re so valuable and have gained such traction in recent years. After all, they’re popping up all over the place and there must be a reason, right? Absolutely:
Bootcamps boast flexibility
The four-year, in-person requirements of university degrees pose quite the challenge to lots of potential students who might have other responsibilities or are simply unable to dedicate all their time to studying. Bootcamps, however, are specifically designed for career-changers and therefore help you learn marketable skills in the shortest amount of time possible, offering part-time and full-time options so that you’re able to maintain other responsibilities while you learn.
Bootcamps are more affordable than traditional options
One of the most significant deterrents of university courses is the price tag; especially if you already have a degree or an established career, it can be hard to justify paying so much for another one. Bootcamps are typically much more affordable and even offer financing options to help you pay for your bootcamp, such as scholarships, payment plans, or income share agreements. And if you’re unable to quit your current role to focus solely on your bootcamp, part-time courses are a great way to make the best of both worlds–keep your current job and get ready for a career change in the shortest possible amount of time.
Bootcamps prioritize diversity and inclusion efforts
For a long time, tech was one of the least inclusive sectors, thanks in part to the barriers to entry that existed. For example, strict requirements about educational background, experience, and even location prevented lots of people, especially women and minorities, from taking the necessary steps to join the field. Bootcamps, on the other hand, are incredibly flexible, ensuring that those without the means to pay for an expensive university degree or attend in-person classes because of familial responsibilities are still able to gain the tech knowledge they need to land a job in the field.
Bootcamps break down geographical limitations
Gone are the days of being limited by what’s close to you and dreading those long commutes. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been introduced to the wonders of both remote work and remote learning, doing what’s necessary to bring educational opportunities to everyone, regardless of where they are. The vast majority of bootcamps offer online courses for this exact reason: not everyone can either commute daily to class or simply live in a location that doesn’t offer the course they want to take.
Making the Most of your Bootcamp Experience
Even if you choose the world’s best bootcamp (hey, that’s us!), the ultimate outcome depends entirely on you, the effort you put in, and what you want to achieve. That said, we can give you some tips and tricks to ensuring all your goals are met post-graduation:
Prioritize pre-work: we get it–no one wants to have work even before your course begins! But because bootcamps are so short and intensive, pre-work is provided to ensure you have the foundational knowledge necessary to succeed in the course. Make sure you take your time and complete all tasks assigned, asking questions if you have any; this will help you enter the bootcamp on the same page as other students and let you dive right into real-world practice.
Give your bootcamp the time it requires: as we’ve mentioned a few times, bootcamps are intensive and will occupy most of your time, even when you’re not in the classroom. Because they move so fast and seek to get your hands dirty as soon as possible, time management and planning will become your best friend. Remember that during the few months that your bootcamp lasts, it should be your priority. Try to leave extra responsibilities for before or after and make sure you give yourself ample time outside of class to review topics and complete assignments.
Be ready for a challenge: you’re about to embark on an incredible challenge: undergoing a career change in just a few months. It’s definitely possible, but there will be days when you are stuck or feel like you’re falling behind. Do your best to stay positive and remember that everyone feels this way at one moment or another; rely on your instructor and fellow classmates during these moments.
Network, network, and network!: all your classmates are about to enter the tech field right alongside you and will become the next generation of tech experts. Take advantage of this and create bonds with your classmates (and instructor!) so that you can seek out new opportunities in the future. And it’s never too soon to start networking; lots of bootcamps offer networking events and job fairs. Head to one, get your name out there, and work on creating genuine connections with companies that interest you.
As you can see, bootcamps set the stage for an incredible career in tech, letting you transform both your career in life in just a matter of months. Leave your reservations at the door and take a look at our bootcamps in web development, UX/UI design, data analytics, and cybersecurity; find the one that interests you the most and take those first steps towards your tech career.
With the most recent and important skills taught to you in just a matter of months, in addition to the ability to choose the format that fits your situation the best, we’ve worked to break down all possible barriers to tech, making a bootcamp a suitable and reasonable option for all. Ready to get started? We can’t wait to see you in class.