You’ve heard about tech bootcamps and you’re probably asking yourself, okay, they sound great but what can they actually accomplish?! Well, we’re here to let you in on a little secret: a lot. That’s right; bootcamps have been rapidly gaining popularity over the last few years thanks to one huge thing: bootcamps are able to teach the latest technologies and prepare candidates to enter the workforce immediately after graduation.
It might seem impossible; after all, if bootcamps are so effective, why does anyone go through the traditional methods of a university education? Or why don’t more people choose them? We’ll discuss these questions and cover any of your other doubts in this article.
Tech Bootcamps: What Even Are They?!
As we mentioned above, tech bootcamps are relatively innovative and new methods of learning that have grown in popularity over the past few years thanks to the digital boom caused in part by the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Technology is advancing so fast (we’re almost 5 years ahead of where we thought we’d be!) and as more and more companies are relying on technological solutions, not just those already in the tech world, the number of tech employees needed has skyrocketed. And that’s exactly where tech bootcamps come into play: these courses, usually taught over a few months, look at the current market needs and teach those skills to their students.
They are becoming essential, not just common, because of the speed at which tech moves. As new technologies come into play, employers can’t keep hiring new workers for the newest skill to then need new needs met within a few months as innovation strikes again. Many companies choose to put their employees through bootcamps, covering all costs so that they’re able to meet market needs. In other cases, individuals themselves decide to take a bootcamp to make a career change and dive into tech.
And why are tech bootcamps specifically such a popular choice? Let’s dive right in.
Bootcamps vs. university education
Tech is advancing fast. So fast, in fact, that most traditional learning methods, like universities, are having trouble keeping up. Let’s break it down: university curricula are usually set and defined by the department head at the beginning of the year and typically don’t allow for much wiggle room. And the classes that students take are clearly defined, meaning that opportunities to learn topics outside of their chosen course of study can be limited or even impossible; the goal of university classes is for you to graduate. On the other hand, bootcamps have one main goal: get you ready to join the workforce immediately after your graduation.
For a long time, people thought they were limited to the roles that they studied. For example, marketing students thought they were limited to just marketing roles and responsibilities; however, the intersectionality of the majority of fields has led to a change in that mindset and reskilling has become a popular choice.
Reskilling is quite simple; in fact, many companies are choosing to reskill their workers and take what they already know they’re capable of, such as teamwork and critical thinking, and teach them what they need to know to meet company demands. Tech is advancing and more and more individuals are seeing it as a viable option, no matter their background.
Tech across industries
Gone are the days of working in simply one area; as we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic, all industries are relying more and more on tech. As we touched upon above, this means that people of all backgrounds can get into tech at any moment; Ironhack alumni come from professions such as teaching, administration, marketing, hospitality, and more. In fact, we’ve seen it all on our campuses.
Bootcamps and Professional Development
In addition to preparing you for the workforce by teaching you everything you need to know to enter the market, bootcamps provide you with another incredible advantage: professional development and career support. From the day you confirm your spot in the bootcamp, you’ll be able to access some of the tech school’s resources, such as their career services, job boards, and alumni networks.
Ironhack’s Career Services
At Ironhack, we fully understand and respect the investment you’re making into your future by choosing to take one of our bootcamps and that’s why we’ve worked to perfect our Career Services, a team of tech-experienced HR professionals who work with you one on one. Here’s a breakdown of our four step process:
Preliminary discovery: let’s get to the bottom of why you’re taking the bootcamp before it even begins! During this section, you’ll focus on figuring out why you’re here, what you want to achieve, and what your goals are. Even though we’re here to help as needed, the results of both the bootcamp and your job search will ultimately depend on you and it’s essential to figure out your motivations early on.
Digital foundations: begin your journey in tech while meeting one-on-one with one of our talented Career Coaches who are here to help you succeed; they have experience in tech recruiting and will help review your CV, LinkedIn profile, pitch, and portfolio to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward for the job search. During this section, you’ll also be asked about your language and location preferences.
Preparation: dive into Career Week and learn lots in workshops, webinars, and challenges; now that you’re clear on your goals and skills, you can practice interviewing, check out the jobs that interest you, and resolve any concerns you may have.
Job hunting: finish the bootcamp strong and head right into the job hunt, taking advantage of our one-to-one sessions with our Career Coaches and using our wide network of global alumni and connections to get your first step into tech.
Common FAQs about Bootcamps
Still have some burning questions? Let’s answer them:
Will employers even consider my application if I don’t have a four-year degree?
We can’t speak for every employer out there, but we are quite familiar with the tech job market and can assure you of one thing: employers are looking for high-quality, skilled applicants that demonstrate both hard and soft skills. The vast majority of employers will look mainly at your skills and qualifications and focus on what you can actually bring to the table.
Tech is just for men. Will I be hired as a woman/minority?
Absolutely; tech still has a long way to go in terms of equality and that’s no secret. But it’s improving and more and more women are finding success in the industry. Don’t believe us? Check it out yourself:
Women in tech serve as mentors for younger girls and women just starting out
They use their unique and diverse experiences to provide an entirely new outlook: something that’s sorely needed in many industries.
Female tech employees improve both workplace culture and office safety.
Their collaboration results in products that are better designed and thought out for a wider range of people, not just men.
I’ve never worked in tech--will bootcamps really prepare me for the real world?
Yes! Bootcamps are designed to give you both the knowledge you need to get a job and the foundational knowledge needed to succeed in tech. After all, you’ll need a solid base to build off of and bootcamps provide just that.
Bootcamps are expensive for such a short class length. Are they worth it?
Well, like everything, you get out what you put in. If you’re willing to dedicate time and effort to them, they are absolutely worth it and can help you get a job in tech for much less money than a traditional four-year university degree.
And finally, the big one: Will tech bootcamps actually help me get a job?
We hope that this whole article has shown you the importance of tech bootcamps and that the industry needs bootcamp grads right now; the tech sector requires forward-thinking, diverse workers that are ready to keep learning on the go and can bring a wide range of experiences to the table.
Now that we’ve resolved all your doubts, what are you waiting for?! Ironhack’s bootcamps in web development, UX/UI design, data analytics, and cybersecurity are all carefully designed to help you launch your career in tech, providing you first with the foundational knowledge needed and then harnessing your individual skills to find the perfect place for you.
If you’re already convinced, check out our application process here and get started on your tech journey. We can’t wait to see everything you accomplish!