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date icon May 12, 2024

How to choose the right part-time coding bootcamp?

CEO & Founder at CodeOp

The demand for part-time coding bootcamps is interesting, to say the least. Given how digitally accessible the curriculum is, everyone who never could learn programming full-time now has a chance.

That’s why I decided to create CodeOp: to bridge the gap between tech and women+ by bringing the curriculum right to you, my students, and readers. But that’s a story for another time.

Notably, our offerings include both AM and PM courses to accommodate every schedule—whether you’re juggling a career, family, or both (working moms!).

As someone who’s been through the ups and downs of the tech world, I understand the importance of choosing the right program to kickstart your coding career or level up your skills.

Consider the curriculum, instructors, learning resources, reviews and testimonials, cost and financial aid options, and job placement assistance. Each of these elements will help you determine the quality and suitability of a bootcamp for your learning journey.

Here are five things I would do if I were to start my coding career today:

1. Define your needs and compare different programs.

Do your homework before diving headfirst into a part-time coding bootcamp.

Start by identifying your learning objectives and goals by answering the two crucial questions:

  • Are you looking to switch careers, enhance your skills, or pursue a passion project?
  • Are you a self-directed learner, or do you do your best work when in a scheduled format?

Once you understand your goal, start exploring bootcamps offering relevant courses and curricula.

By thoroughly researching and comparing different programs, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your learning goals.

2. Consider curriculum, instructors, and learning resources.

Some bootcamps may offer introductory courses to help you prepare for the intensive training.

In addition to the curriculum, consider the hands-on learning opportunities provided by the bootcamp. Many programs like ours incorporate group work and projects into their curriculum, which can be invaluable for building your professional portfolio.

Look for bootcamps that focus on teaching practical coding skills relevant to real-world tech industry tasks.

Furthermore, choosing a bootcamp that keeps pace with the rapidly evolving tech landscape is important. While some providers may have been in the business for several years, their course content may be older than that.

The ideal bootcamp curriculum must ensure relevant and up-to-date training, giving you a competitive edge in the job market. Ultimately, the success of a coding bootcamp hinges on its ability to prepare graduates for the right roles in the tech industry.

That, in itself, requires a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes hands-on learning and practical skills development. Choosing a bootcamp with a comprehensive and industry-focused curriculum can set you up for success in your coding journey.

3. Assess Instructor and Mentor Support

One of the perks of attending a coding bootcamp is the access to experienced instructors and mentors who can provide guidance and support along the way.

Before enrolling, inquire about the level of instructor involvement in the program and the availability of mentorship opportunities.

Look for programs offering access to experienced instructors and mentors who can guide and support your learning journey.

A lower student-to-instructor ratio often indicates a better learning experience, allowing for more personalized attention and 1:1 time with instructors. Aim for a program that balances a manageable student-to-instructor ratio and ample opportunities for mentorship and support.

4. Evaluate Flexibility and Time Schedule

As a part-time student, flexibility is crucial. When considering a bootcamp, assess its schedule and delivery format to ensure it fits seamlessly into your lifestyle and commitments.

Look for programs that offer various options, such as evening classes, weekend workshops, or online modules. This flexibility allows you to balance your studies with work, family, and other responsibilities, ensuring a manageable workload.

Part-time courses should also provide flexible online learning options. While some programs are more intensive and better suited for part-time workers, others offer greater flexibility for even the busiest individuals.

Access to recorded sessions and flexible deadlines can benefit students in managing multiple commitments.

At CodeOp, we offer varied class times, including both morning and evening options, ensuring you can find a perfect fit around your daily responsibilities. This flexibility allows you to maintain a balance between your studies, work, family, and other responsibilities, ensuring a manageable workload.

5. Evaluate the program’s reputation and job placement assistance.

Consider the reputation and track record of the coding bootcamp before you enroll. Look into the program’s job placement assistance services and alumni outcomes to gauge its effectiveness in helping graduates secure rewarding positions in the tech field.

If your goal is a career shift, then it would be beneficial for you to choose programs that offer career modules, mock interview practice, personal branding, and resume guidance to help you transition into a new career in tech.

Check the timeline in which the bootcamp assesses job placement, so you can see a clearer picture to compare programs. Consider bootcamps with established relationships with employers, particularly top companies in your niche.

It could increase your chances of landing a job after graduation by connecting you with key individuals at these companies.

One way to verify the above factor is to see if the coding bootcamp uses the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting(CIRR) to verify its results.

At CodeOp, we take a different approach. We are a social venture committed to making a real impact, measuring our success through audited impact KPIs that reflect our dedication to our students’ growth and success in the tech industry.

This not only sets us apart but ensures that our goals align with the broader social advancements in tech education.

Tips for Succeeding in a Part-Time Coding Bootcamp

Navigating a part-time coding bootcamp can be challenging, but with the right strategies, you can set yourself up for success. Here are some tips to help you thrive:

  1. Prioritise your time effectively to juggle bootcamp coursework with other commitments.
  2. Stay focused on your goals and maintain a positive mindset throughout the program.
  3. Don’t hesitate to ask for help when needed. Building a strong support network can make all the difference in your success.

Why does your bootcamp choice matter so much?

You might be wondering, does it matter which coding bootcamp you choose? The answer is yes!

The right bootcamp can provide you with the skills, resources, and connections you need to succeed in the tech industry.

By carefully evaluating your options and selecting a program that matches your goals and values, you can pave the way for a fulfilling and prosperous career in coding.

When assessing bootcamps, properly consider their job placement rates. Look at how they measure job placement (some use one year after graduation instead of six months) to get a better comparison between programs.

Choosing the right coding bootcamp is a pivotal decision in your tech journey.

At CodeOp, we don’t just offer courses; we foster a community where women+ can find the support, flexibility, and resources they need to succeed. By focusing on both the educational and social impacts of our programs, we ensure that every student not only learns but also thrives.

Ps…are you guaranteed a job after coding bootcamp?

While many coding bootcamps boast high job placement rates, it’s important to remember that success ultimately depends on your dedication, skills, and networking efforts.

A coding bootcamp can provide valuable training and support; however, landing a job in the tech industry requires ongoing effort and persistence. Stay proactive in your job search and leverage the resources and connections available to you through your bootcamp.

Happy coding!

Author: Katrina Walker
CEO & Founder at CodeOp
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, I relocated to South Europe in 2016 to explore the growing tech scene from a data science perspective. After working as a data scientist in both the public...
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