In 2014 there were almost six thousand students attending coding school programs. Just one year later, there were over sixteen thousand. Why the major jump in enrollment? Students and potential students began seeing the benefits of an immersive, hands-on learning experience. But, coding school still has it’s challenges. Students shouldn’t expect a walk-in the park or days where they just take notes all day. In fact, students should expect intense weeks filled with work that often spills over into their evenings and weekends.
So, should you attend a coding school? Not everyone will answer that question with a yes. But, if you’re thinking about or interested in exploring your options, we encourage you to review these pros and cons of attending a coding school:
Pros of Attending a Coding School
While coding bootcamps have started popping up all over the country, many would-be-coders are still asking the question, “is it the right fit for me?” Here are some of the most important pros of enrolling in a coding school:
One the biggest reasons so many people apply and enroll in coding school, or at least contemplate attending one, is the cost effectiveness of the programs. The cost of attending a coding school is a fraction of the price of a four-year higher education institute. Because of this lower cost, students graduate with far less student debt and are able to get out of that debt much quicker.
Another, often cited, reason for attending a coding school is the immersive experience most coding programs offer. While college courses are text-based and rely on lectures, coding classes are usually done in a “code-in-the-now” style. For example, at Eleven Fifty, students can expect to start coding on day one.
Industry Inspired Curriculum
Reputable universities and colleges might update their curriculum every two years, but other institutions only update curriculum between two and eleven years. At a coding school, however, you can expect to have industry inspired curriculum. Because these courses rely on ever-evolving technologies, the curriculum they offer also has to constantly evolve. At Eleven Fifty, we actually work with an Employer Advisory Board to craft our curriculum to the growing market demands.
Quicker Path to Career
A four-year degree takes just that: four years. A coding program at a bootcamp, because they focus on removing the “fluff” of education, takes a fraction of the time to complete. In fact, according to a 2015 Course Report study, the average coding bootcamp lasts about 11 weeks. This time is often intense, but you leave the program with the skills and knowledge of an entry-level coder.
Every learning experience is unique and offers its own challenges. Just like colleges and universities are all different, no two coding schools will offer the same experiences. Having said that, here are a few of the common challenges the schools face:
While coding schools are growing in popularity, some employers are still working to understand the hiring process of coding school graduates. Many graduates, when leaving the coding school, will face job applications requiring a four-year degree. The great news for these graduates is that coding schools are working to build employer networks willing to work with the school to define their employee needs and hire from the coding bootcamp.
Extracurriculars and Electives
If you’re looking to join an Ultimate Frisbee team or take a course on French Cinematography, then a coding school probably isn’t the best place for you. When it comes to all of the “extras,” coding schools simply don’t offer them. They are focused on getting you the information you need to become a coder. That’s why they are more cost effective and don’t take as long to complete. However, if you’re looking for the social aspect of school, then you’ll be happy to know that most coding bootcamps require you to work in teams. You’ll also have opportunities to connect with outside groups that meet up to talk about programming languages, best practices, and new technologies.
Burnout from Education Speed
The duration of a coding bootcamp is designed to be quick, so you can launch, start, or enhance your career. Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to keep up with the pace. Before you enroll, make sure you have some of the characteristics of a coder. You’ll need to have grit, if you’re going to push past the speed, keep up, and develop the skills needed to be a coder.
If you’re thinking about your future and coding schools are an option you’re considering, then Eleven Fifty would love to talk with you. By meeting with our Admissions team, you’ll get an in-depth perspective of what life as a coding student is really like. We’ll walk you through the curriculum, explain the application process, and even tell you how we help our graduates once their course is over.
Are you ready to learning more? Contact our admissions team!