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date icon July 17, 2023
Time icon 7 MIN READ

Coding Course vs Coding Bootcamp: Which is Better?

CEO & Founder at CodeOp

If you’re interested in learning to code, you may be wondering whether to enrol in a coding course or a coding bootcamp. Both options offer benefits and drawbacks, depending on your goals, learning style, and budget. This guide will help you compare the two options and make an informed decision.

coding course

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Understanding the Differences Between Coding Courses and Coding Bootcamps
Choosing between a Coding Course and a Coding Bootcamp
Time Commitment and Learning Pace
Curriculum and Course Content
Instructor Support and Mentorship
Cost and Return on Investment
FAQs

Understanding the Differences Between Coding Courses and Coding Bootcamps

When it comes to learning to code, there are a few different paths you can take. Two popular options are coding courses and coding bootcamps. While both are designed to teach you how to code and can help you gain valuable, practical skills, there are some key differences to consider.

Coding courses are typically self-paced; you can complete these online or in-person. They offer you a structured curriculum and may cover a wide range of programming languages and concepts. These courses are typically geared towards beginners who have little to no experience with coding. They are designed to teach you the fundamentals of coding and build up your skills from scratch.

Coding bootcamps on the other hand, are intensive, immersive programs that are designed to teach you coding skills quickly. Bootcamps may focus on a specific programming language or technology and often include hands-on projects and mentorship. Bootcamps are aimed at helping complete beginners or those with some basic skills to quickly gain the knowledge and expertise needed to land a job in the tech industry. Most bootcamps are full-time, requiring on average seven hours per day, five days a week. But some tech schools, like us, also have part time bootcamps that cater for students who are interested in learning coding but have other commitments. The majority of Bootcamps are mainly in person, but there are an increasing number of virtual bootcamps popping up.

Choosing between a virtual bootcamp and an in-person bootcamp depends on various factors and individual preferences.

Reasons why you might consider a virtual bootcamp:

1. Flexibility: There is greater flexibility in terms of scheduling. You can participate in the program from anywhere with an internet connection, allowing you to learn from the comfort of your own home or any location that suits you. This flexibility can be beneficial if you have other commitments.

2. Accessibility: It eliminates geographical barriers. You can access programs offered by top bootcamp providers or instructors from around the world, regardless of your location. This opens up opportunities to learn from experts and join programs that may not be available locally.

3. Cost-effectiveness: They have lower costs compared to in-person bootcamps. Since there is no need for physical facilities, the overhead expenses are reduced, which can result in more affordable tuition fees. Additionally, you can save on commuting or accommodation expenses that may be incurred with in-person bootcamps.

4. Diverse Learning Environment: They attract a diverse pool of participants from different backgrounds and locations. This diversity can enrich the learning experience by fostering collaboration and providing opportunities for you to connect with individuals from various industries and perspectives.

5. Remote Learning Skills: Participating in a virtual bootcamp develops essential skills for remote work and distributed teams, which are increasingly prevalent in the tech industry. By learning remotely, you become familiar with online collaboration tools, effective communication techniques, and self-motivation, which are valuable skills in today’s digital workplace.

Reasons why you might consider an in-person bootcamp:

coding bootcamp
1. Face-to-Face Interaction: In-person bootcamps provide direct interaction with instructors and peers, allowing for real-time discussions, immediate feedback, and networking opportunities. This can enhance the learning experience, especially for those who prefer in-person engagement.

2. Dedicated Learning Environment: Attending an in-person bootcamp can create a focused learning environment where you are physically separated from distractions, enabling you to fully immerse yourself in the learning process.

3. Hands-On Support: In-person bootcamps often offer hands-on support, including access to physical resources, labs, and mentorship from instructors. This can be particularly beneficial for beginners who may require additional guidance or assistance.

4. Team Projects and Collaboration: In-person bootcamps facilitate face-to-face teamwork and collaboration, which can be advantageous for certain types of projects or learning experiences that benefit from immediate feedback and physical presence.

Ultimately, the choice between virtual and in-person bootcamps depends on your personal preferences, learning style, and circumstances. Consider your specific needs, the level of interaction you desire, and your ability to adapt to remote learning environments when making your decision.

Choosing between a Coding Course and a Coding Bootcamp

Now, let’s examine coding courses and coding bootcamps in more detail, to help you determine what would be a good fit for you! While both options can be valuable, once again it ultimately depends on your learning style and goals.

While both coding courses and coding bootcamps require discipline and commitment, coding bootcamps are known for their intense curriculum. In just a few months, students are expected to complete thousands of hours of study. This means that if you enrol in a coding bootcamp you must be serious about your studies and be fully committed to learning to code. Both options can lead to certifications that demonstrate your proficiency in coding, but the approach and time commitment may differ.

While bootcamps can be more expensive, with an average cost much higher than that of a certification exam at the end of a coding course, coding courses can be a more affordable option. Additionally, there are many free resources available online that can help you learn to code without a significant financial investment, making it easier to launch your career in the tech industry.

Time Commitment and Learning Pace

One of the biggest differences between coding courses and coding bootcamps is the time commitment and learning pace. Coding courses are often self-paced, allowing you to learn at your own speed and fit your studies around other commitments. This can be a great option if you have a busy schedule or prefer to learn at a slower pace.

Coding courses are a popular choice for those who want to learn to code but have limited time to commit to their studies. These courses are often self-paced, allowing you to learn at your own speed and fit your studies around other commitments. This can be a great option if you have a busy schedule or prefer to learn at a slower pace. You can take as much time as you need to complete the course and master the material.

Coding bootcamps, on the other hand, are typically full-time and require a significant time commitment. They are designed to teach you coding skills quickly, so you can start your career as soon as possible. If you have the time and dedication to commit to a bootcamp, it can be a great way to jumpstart your coding career.

Curriculum and Course Content

Another important factor to consider when choosing between a coding course and a coding bootcamp is the curriculum and course content. Coding courses often focus on specific programming languages or technologies, while coding bootcamps provide a more comprehensive education in multiple areas of coding. Bootcamps may also offer more hands-on experience with real-world projects and collaboration with other students. It’s important to research the curriculum and course content of each option to ensure it aligns with your goals and interests.

Coding bootcamps typically offer a more structured approach to learning, with a set curriculum and specific learning objectives. These courses may focus on a particular programming language or technology, such as Python or web development. They may also offer a more self-paced learning experience, allowing students to work through the material at their own speed.

Instructor Support and Mentorship

One other key factor to consider when deciding between a coding course and a coding bootcamp is the level of instructor support and mentorship provided. Coding courses may offer limited instructor support, with most learning done independently through online modules or pre-recorded videos. In a coding course, you may have access to a forum or chat room where you can ask questions and receive help from other students or teaching assistants. However, the level of support may not be as personalised as what you would receive in a coding bootcamp.

In contrast, coding bootcamps often provide more personalised support through one-on-one mentorship, group projects, and live coding sessions with instructors. If you thrive with more hands-on guidance and support, a coding bootcamp may be the better option for you. Bootcamps typically have a team of experienced instructors who are available to answer questions, provide feedback on your code, and offer guidance throughout the program. Additionally, many bootcamps offer career services and job placement assistance, which can be invaluable for those looking to break into the tech industry. Ultimately, the level of instructor support and mentorship you need will once again depend on your learning style and goals.

Cost and Return on Investment

Another important factor to consider when choosing between a coding course and a coding bootcamp is the cost and potential return on investment. Coding courses are often more affordable, have a lower price point and can be completed at your own pace, but may not provide the same level of hands-on experience and job placement assistance as coding bootcamps. On the other hand, coding bootcamps can be more expensive but may offer a higher potential return on investment through job placement assistance and a more immersive learning experience.

A number of bootcamps offer flexible and affordable payments as well as scholarships to minimise the financial barriers. For example, at CodeOp we’ve partnered with Lesbians Who Tech to provide up to 50% discount available to ten students. The coding bootcamp also offers up to 5 partial scholarships per course, worth up to €1000 for remote courses and up to €3900 for in person courses that are assessed on a rolling basis. These scholarships are offered to those who are:

– Currently unemployed
– Currently underemployed
– Single parent
– Providing financial support or care to a family member

It’s important to weigh the cost and potential benefits before making a decision.

Conclusion

When choosing between a coding course and a coding bootcamp, it’s essential to consider your learning style, goals, time commitment, and budget. Coding courses are well-suited for beginners who want a structured approach, flexibility, and a comprehensive curriculum to build a solid coding foundation. They are a good choice if you want to learn at your own pace and explore various programming languages and concepts.

On the other hand, coding bootcamps are designed for individuals who are looking for an intensive, immersive experience to quickly gain specific skills and enter the job market. Bootcamps provide a focused curriculum, hands-on projects, mentorship, and potential networking opportunities, making them a suitable option if you have a specific career goal in mind or want to specialise in a particular area.

While coding courses are generally more affordable and offer flexibility in terms of schedule and payment options, coding bootcamps often have a higher upfront cost. However, bootcamps may provide a higher potential return on investment (ROI) due to their career-focused approach and job placement support.

learning to code

FAQs

Should I learn coding before bootcamp?

It depends on your current level of coding knowledge and experience. If you are a complete beginner, it may be beneficial to take a coding course before attending a bootcamp. However, if you already have some coding knowledge and want to dive deeper and gain practical experience, a bootcamp may be the better option. It ultimately comes down to your personal goals and learning style.

Is it worth doing a coding bootcamp?

It depends on your goals and learning style. Coding bootcamps are intensive programs that can provide a fast track to a career in tech, but they can also be expensive and require a significant time commitment. Coding courses, on the other hand, offer more flexibility and can be completed at your own pace, but may not provide the same level of hands-on experience and networking opportunities. Ultimately, it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons and decide which option is best for you.

Is coding bootcamp for beginners?

Coding bootcamps are designed for beginners who want to quickly gain the skills needed to start a career in coding. They are intensive programs that typically last between 12 and 24 weeks and focus on hands-on, project-based learning. Coding courses, on the other hand, are more flexible and can be taken at your own pace. They are better suited for those who want to learn coding as a hobby or to supplement their existing skills.

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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