These days it seems like you can do anything online, right? From online shopping to doctors appointments, we can take workout classes from our homes and have our groceries delivered to our door. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, another online option quickly became quite crucial: online learning. Imagine being able to attend university or, better yet, take a quick online course from your sofa or bed?
While online courses did exist before the pandemic, they weren’t a widely accepted option and lots of people doubted their effectiveness. After all, how can you guarantee that online courses provide the same education as in-person classes? Or replace the human interaction of working with classmates?
The world was forced to quickly come to terms with online learning in March of 2020 and since then, we’ve been able to revolutionize remote learning, making taking online courses accessible for even more people. Today, you can take courses in practically anything–the sky (or the cloud?!) is your limit. Remote courses also boast the following benefits:
Increased flexibility: are you interested in learning a new skill but can’t afford to give up your current job? Or have other duties, such as caring for an elderly family member or children? What about if you’re only free at night? Remote courses make learning more accessible, thanks to their flexibility. If you choose to take an asynchronous course (read about that below!), you’ll have even more flexibility.
Reduced overall costs: the cost of attending a bootcamp online might be just slightly cheaper than an in-person option, or maybe the same price, but you’ll save valuable time and money from not having to commute. And if you are choosing to take the course remotely because of other commitments, such as childcare or work responsibilities, you may save money there as well by not having to give those up.
Expanded options: maybe your dream course isn’t available anywhere near you, meaning you’re unable to take it. Online courses open up your options, permitting you to take courses from anywhere in the world (keeping time zones and language in mind, of course!). And if your chosen bootcamp is nearby but has a schedule that doesn’t match your availability, you can make it work remotely.
Accelerated preparation for the real world: lots of today’s jobs are either hybrid or entirely remote: do you have what it takes to be totally autonomous and work well from your home? By taking an online course, you can prepare yourself for working remotely, ensuring you’re prepared to enter the remote workforce.
Enhanced accessibility: people can be deterred from taking in-person courses for a variety of reasons: social anxiety, learning disabilities, physical limitations, and much more. Remote courses make these bootcamps accessible for everyone.
Improved access: did you space out during a class and need to revisit a lecture? Or are you looking to look at the assignment you submitted last week? Because online courses use tools to conduct the class online, you have all materials and lectures in one place.
Now that you know why remote bootcamps are gaining traction across the world, let’s define them a bit more. Online bootcamps come in two forms:
Synchronous: synchronous bootcamps, or live bootcamps, are conducted as if you were in the classroom, with a firm schedule and requirements to be online at certain times. For those who can’t attend an in-person bootcamp but still desire structure, this is the best choice. Keep in mind, however, that online bootcamps are offered all around the world and find one within (or close to) your own time zone.
Asynchronous: for those looking for even more flexibility, asynchronous bootcamps don’t require you to be online at specific times, allowing you to watch recorded lectures and classes on your own time. While this makes the bootcamp more accessible for those with tough or inconsistent schedules, it demands a certain type of accountability and motivation to ensure you get the work completed on your own.
One of the most popular online courses is coding, due to the high demand for tech professionals in practically every market. With a clear understanding of why online bootcamps are a great option, let’s head into remote coding bootcamps.
Learning to Code Online
Coding bootcamps offer students the chance to learn the basics of web development in just a few weeks from the comfort of their own home. And as coding skills become widely demanded across a wide range of industries, not just tech, there’s never been a better way to invest in your future. Learning to code can:
Increase your future job opportunities: as we mentioned above, coding is needed in so many industries and the number of available positions is only expected to increase. No matter what your preferred industry is, you’ll be able to find a sector that fits with your skills and your passions.
Increase your earning potential: you’ve heard that tech jobs pay well and there’s a reason for that: they do. Salaries for tech professionals soar above those of non-tech roles; tech roles usually have room for growth as well, meaning you can increase your earnings in the future as well.
Offer flexibility: lots of tech jobs are remote and taking on a coding job can mean you’re able to make your own hours or simply work from the comfort of your own home. This can benefit your overall well-being, but also save you commuting time or allow you to spend more time with your loved ones. But coding’s flexibility isn’t limited to just your schedule; it also allows for career movement, permitting you to move from sector to sector or even try new programming languages or skills.
Improve your critical thinking skills: learning to code isn’t just choosing a programming language and setting up a website’s design. It consists of lots of little problems that each require a different solution and thought process. Learning how to handle these kinds of problems will help you in all areas of your life, not just coding.
Spark your creativity: tech is advancing rapidly and you won’t just learn to code once! Because there’s always a new tool or update to review, you’ll be constantly challenged throughout your career. And in your free time, you’ll be able to explore new things, keeping your creative juices flowing.
Is learning to code online actually worth it?
We get it–it can be hard to understand how learning online can be the same as learning in a classroom. But thanks to recent advances in technology, learning online is incredibly similar to traditional classroom instruction; you can still interact with classmates, chat with them, and even do a virtual happy hour after class.
Just like with anything, you have to determine if online learning is right for you. There’s no instructor in front of you, telling you exactly what you need to do and making sure you stay focused. And tasks must be completed on your own, demanding a certain sense of independence and time management.
Here’s the key: as long as you’re confident in your ability to take the course seriously and complete your assignments, online coding courses are a fantastic option. But how do you actually go about it? Luckily for you, there are a few different ways.
How to learn to code online
Now that you’ve decided to make that jump into learning to code online, it’s time to decide exactly how you want to do it. Let’s break down a few of the options:
You can learn practically anything on YouTube and coding is no exception. Depending on your previous knowledge of coding, this can be a great place to start, especially for more visual learners. Lots of online content creators have uploaded videos that cover the basics of coding or tackle more specific problems that you may face; a simple Google search can lead you to where you need to be.
Web developers make up a large community online where they go to trade ideas, troubleshoot, and learn from each other. This is an option for more experienced coders who are either looking for very specific assistance or want to get some new ideas for a problem they’re facing. From GitHub to Reddit, almost every web developer uses online communities or chatrooms in their work.
If you already have a background in tech or web development, or maybe even coding, and are just looking to hone one particular skill or take on a new programming language, short, topic-specific courses are a fantastic option for you. Some are free and some require payment; review exactly what these courses offer and see if they fit into your goals.
We’ve arrived at our preferred method for learning to code online: bootcamps. The aforementioned ways to learn online are certainly great options, but not as thorough or helpful as a full bootcamp. Bootcamps are intensive and relatively short (think a few weeks or months) courses that focus on one topic in particular, providing you with personalized and detailed instruction. Well-designed bootcamps usually offer additional services, such as career or financing assistance.
Learning to Code Online with Ironhack
At Ironhack, we recognize the importance of flexibility when it comes to bootcamp learning and that’s exactly why we offer remote (and in-person!) options for our web development, UX/UI design, data analytics, and cybersecurity courses, in addition to:
Full and part-time options to ensure that you can either maintain your current responsibilities/job or dedicate your full attention to the bootcamp.
Career Services that last beyond your time at Ironhack; we help you polish your interview skills during your bootcamp, but also continue our support throughout your first year as an alum.
Financing options to make our bootcamps accessible to all; check out our income share agreements or payment plans.
Sounds good, right?! We’re fully committed to ensuring our remote students receive a high-quality education and graduate ready to enter the job market. If you’re ready to become a coding expert and land your dream job in tech, Ironhack is the right place to start. We can’t wait to see you in our (online!) classrooms!