Photo by Lagos Techie / Unsplash

How Do Bootcamps Work?

Career Nov 1, 2021

A few months of a bootcamp and being job-ready sounds much more tempting than joining a formal university program which takes years to complete and might put you in student debt! Boot camps are taking off, more so after some prominent coding bootcamp providers claim every 8 or 9 / 10 of their students get employed within three months of graduation! According to CIRR, which gathers statistical data from various schools, on average, 79% of coding bootcamp alumni were employed in the field within six months of graduation in 2019.

What exactly is a bootcamp?

The idea comes from military bootcamps where new recruits undergo rigorous and highly demanding drilling in an unfamiliar environment with only a focus on their training. In a tech skill-building bootcamp, you get a similar fully immersive experience by dedicating your time to learning one thing only. There are other bootcamps such as fitness and meditation bootcamps where people get together to achieve a common goal. In all, you dedicate all your time to one skill surrounded by people doing the same, giving space for an intense learning environment.

Should you join a bootcamp?

For someone looking to enter the programming industry, for example, enrolling in a bootcamp is much faster and cheaper than a traditional CS degree program. But that's not the only reason why bootcamps are a path. You can be a mid-career professional looking to switch careers. Or you may just like to code but aren't sure where to start. Or you could feel bored by theoretical topics.

However, at the same time, bootcamps are not a shortcut to making your way into the industry. You may still need to put in hours of practice, attend classes, and upscale your skills. Although job placement rates are advertised as stellar, there is usually no independent audit of this data. So, make sure you have a clear idea of what you want from a bootcamp and how it can benefit you.

What bootcamp should you join?

The availability of hundreds of bootcamp programs makes you wonder what might be best for you. Look at the job duties of your future career and identify what crucial skills you require. If you can't attend long in-person classes, look at online self-paced bootcamps. Keep in mind, online bootcamps may mean limited direct support from your mentor. Before you finalize your bootcamp program, look at the school's job placement program and industry linkages. Completing a bootcamp with a good employer reputation will drastically increase your chances of securing a job.

Being a full-time college student may give you a greater opportunity to interact with people with different interests and backgrounds, and many diverse experiences over the years. Perhaps, you wouldn't want to forego that completely for bootcamps, seeing the latter as a supplementary learning tool. But in case you decide that bootcamps are the way for you (as an alternative to university), try planning out how your journey looks like.  Talk to people who've taken a similar path. Explore. And if you feel convinced that this is best for you, we're glad you found something stimulating to embark upon! :)


Mahad Imran

Freshman at NUST. Tech-savvy and Esports enthusiast. Cares deeply about social empowerment, climate change and student well-being.