You probably know someone who’s completed a tech bootcamp–after all, they’re becoming increasingly common ways to kickstart a career in tech. And even if you don’t, keep your eyes peeled: you’ll probably meet someone soon. The whole idea of a bootcamp probably triggers lots of questions: is it actually possible to learn everything you need to know in a matter of months? Do employers actually hire bootcamp grads?
To help clear up some of these doubts and hopefully bring you closer to the wonderful world of bootcamps, we’ve written this article: a clear break-down of the entire bootcamp experience from start to finish.
Before we get right into the good stuff, however, let’s review what bootcamps are and why they’re becoming such a popular choice for those looking for ways to get into tech.
What are Bootcamps?
Bootcamps are short-term, intensive courses that take place over a few months and focus on one topic in particular with a clear goal: preparing its students to be job-ready immediately after graduation. During bootcamps, you’ll find that you dive right into the nitty gritty and get lots of hands-on experience so that you’re able to build an attractive portfolio and resume to present to future employers.
Why are bootcamps so popular?
As the world becomes increasingly more digital and technologically advanced, more and more companies are moving toward tech solutions that incorporate the latest trends in tech. But the number of job vacancies far exceeds the number of qualified applicants, meaning there’s a need for more skilled tech professionals. It’s important to note, however, that the tech field was largely non-diverse for a long time and had strict standards that made it nearly impossible for people to join.
Luckily for you, bootcamps have become a completely acceptable way to get your tech education and an increasingly high number of tech professionals come from bootcamps; they’re flexible and accessible, opening the doors to tech to so many more groups of people. Bootcamps, speaking generally, are:
Flexible: traditional courses are usually strict in the number of hours spent in class or require in-person presence. As bootcamps are designed specifically for those making a career change or looking to get into tech as soon as possible, they are available either full or part time, in addition to remotely or in-person.
Affordable: gone are the days of needing to donate a kidney to afford an education; in addition to simply being cheaper and more affordable than other courses, many bootcamps offer financing options to help you get into tech.
Specialized: there’s no longer any need to take boring and ultimately useless filler courses that universities frequently require; bootcamp syllabi are expertly designed to teach students exactly what they need to know efficiently and without spending time on unnecessary information.
Now that you know why bootcamps are all the rage, let’s cover the entire bootcamp experience from day one to graduation.
The Tech Bootcamp Experience Explained
We know we said we’d start at day one, but we’re going to begin a bit before that: the pre-work.
The bootcamp experience: prework
At Ironhack, we’re fully committed to preparing you to enter the tech workforce, ready to handle any challenge thrown your way. And because we want to maximize the time spent in classrooms to get to the good stuff, we provide prework to be completed before the bootcamp even starts so that you’re able to learn the important theoretical and foundational knowledge required for success in your chosen field.
Our pre-work gives you the chance to get your feet wet on the topic before the course begins, helping you get a nice introduction to the subject on your own time. It also helps all students enter the bootcamp on the same page; everyone has the same foundational knowledge and we’re ready to dive right in.
The bootcamp experience: classes
Once your prework is completed and you’re in your classes, you’ll find that you’re surrounded by an incredible group of Ironhackers who are focused on getting their start in tech. During your classes, you can expect to find:
A skilled instructor: all of our instructors are experts in their field who are skilled at imparting knowledge to students; they’ve worked with our educational team to create a syllabus that reflects gaps in the job market so you’re best prepared for job opportunities after graduation.
Helpful teaching assistants: we know our students have lots of questions and we pride ourselves on offering, in addition to our incredible instructors, teaching assistants (who are typically Ironhack graduates themselves!) that are there to troubleshoot with you and answer any questions you may have as you advance through the course.
Lots of time to practice: the beauty of bootcamps is the amount of time you have to put what you’ve learned into practice; you’ll have lots of assignments and projects to complete throughout your course that won’t just teach you valuable content, but also leave you with physical proof of what you’ve just learned.
The bootcamp experience: career support
We know your love of tech isn’t the only thing that brought you into our classroom; you know the value of tech bootcamps and entering the tech industry is your goal. That’s why you’ll find that the tech bootcamp experience isn’t limited to just the classroom; our Career Services is specifically designed to work with you throughout the bootcamp (and after!) to prepare your CV, spruce up your portfolio, help you network, and practice your interviewing skills.
The bootcamp experience: projects
Learning a lot during your bootcamp is a given, but how can you guarantee what you’ve learned will translate to your resume and job application? This is where your projects and classwork come into play: at Ironhack, our curriculum is designed with the job search in mind, helping you create presentable deliverables that you can then add to your portfolio and resume.
Hiring managers are looking for applicants with proof of what they know and these kinds of projects are a great way to show what you’ve learned. In addition, these projects are usually the result of teamwork and are a great way to create bonds and network with your fellow classmates.
The bootcamp experience: graduation
As graduation approaches, you’ll probably be eager to finish your bootcamp and start your new tech job. But before you get there, a crucial part of graduating is completing and presenting your final project, which will prove to be an incredible asset to your future job applications.
You’ll start the project in the middle of the bootcamp and you can expect to spend lots of time working on it with your teammates; during the last week, the entire class will present their projects and a winner will be selected.
Even if you aren’t selected as the winner, this final project can prove to be instrumental in enhancing your portfolio and overall candidacy as you start to face the job hunting process.
The bootcamp experience: post-graduation
We know we said we’d tell you about the bootcamp experience from day one to graduation, but just as our prework begins before the course does and as soon as you enroll, your bootcamp experience doesn’t end after graduation:
For up to a year post-graduation, you’ll have access to our career services, which serves to help you land your first job in tech and navigate the interview process.
The connections you make in your course with both fellow classmates and instructors will last as long as you nurture them; many of our alum have found lifelong friendships in our bootcamps and keep in touch with instructors and classmates for possible future opportunities.
You’ll have access to your course materials after graduation, allowing you to refer back to them for a little refresher whenever you need.
We hope this guide has proven itself helpful; we completely understand the idea of tech bootcamps is relatively new and can be a bit confusing, especially at first. At Ironhack, we’ve carefully created our bootcamp offerings across the world in four areas: web development, UX/UI design, data analytics, and cybersecurity; we offer full and part time options, in addition to in-person or remote, so that you’re able to pick the option that works best for you.
The tech bootcamp experience can seem mysterious and overwhelming at first and we want to help you understand each and every second so that you’re able to properly prepare beforehand and manage the workload once you’re in the nitty gritty. And, of course, we’re committed to finding our graduates jobs soon after graduation and pride ourselves on our career services offerings.
If you still have some doubts or are ready to say yes to your tech future, get in touch with one of our admissions advisors today and let your dreams of a tech-filled future become a reality. We can’t wait to see you in class!