Bored with your cushy job in corporate America? You’re not alone. Over the past eight years more and more people are growing tired of their jobs working at large corporations, Wall Street banks, and consulting firms and are moving into more creative and technical careers. These careers like graphic design, content creation, web development and software development have become some of the most popular post 2008 recession careers in New York. Economists have attributed New York’s impressive rebound, 14% increase in wage growth, after the 2008 financial collapse to the job growth in these more diverse technical and creative careers. Those same economists feel that New York has a stronger economy because of the diversity of its occupations.
While the United States has recovered from the 2008 financial crisis, the tech industry has been building a job machine that many believe can help solve the high unemployment issue facing the youth of today. This job machine is called the coding boot camp industry and the emergence of the coding boot camp has resulted in 1000’s of ex-accountants, bankers, architects, doctors, and even students fresh out of school, becoming qualified, and highly desired, developers.
(Via Course Report)
According to a 2016 study by CourseReport, almost 18,000 students will graduate from coding boot camps in 2016; that’s up from just over 10,000 in 2015. What’s more impressive than how many students these boot camps graduate is what these students have done post graduation. Success is not guaranteed from just attending a camp. However, top schools like Flatiron, Bloc.io, and Dev Bootcamp boast a nearly perfect placement rate after just 120 days. Nationally, reputable schools place 89% of their graduates within 120 days of graduation.
We should note that these graduates don’t come out of boot camp in the poor house. Graduates increase their salary by an average of 40% post camp. Not too bad for a 12-week course.
Why Coding School?
So why on earth have coding boot camps become so popular you ask? It’s simple supply and demand. Corporations and startups alike find themselves searching for more and more web development talent as their operations continue to shift into the digital landscape. Demand for web developers across the United States will grow by an average of 27% by 2024.
Along with the high demand for talent comes some of the most attractive compensation packages available for entry level positions today. Six figure salaries, the ability to work from home or work completely remote, and accelerated career paths are just some of the perks that companies are offering graduates to entice them to bring their talents to their businesses.
On the supply side, Coding schools have become increasingly popular with aspiring developers because of the inexpensive total cost of attendance, quality of teachings, fast pace, and the vast network these schools provide for graduates.
Unlike self-study, coding boot camps give students a support system, structured environment, and a network to lean on when they are searching for their dream jobs.
Along with these positives comes a few negatives. If you have your heart set on becoming a developer, these courses can be a great investment, but also a costly one. Most boot camps require a full-time commitment. That means no more day job while you pay off the tuition of as much as $25,000 to attend camp.
So… Where do I apply?
If you hope to continue working (or having a life in general) while you learn development, coding boot camp might not be the perfect option. However, if you are bold enough to take the plunge, you’ll have some homework to do to ensure you’re attending the right boot camp for you. To start your search, begin by asking these questions:
- Which Language Do I Want to Learn?
There are different coding schools for various types of development. Want to learn iOS? Check out Turntotech. More interested in Ruby? App Academy is probably going to be a better choice for you. Be sure to think thoroughly through your goals and what type of developer you’d like to be before deciding on a school.
- What are My Professional Goals?
Students join coding boot camps for a variety of reasons. Some are looking for jobs in development while others are hoping to launch their own startups. Schools like Starter School tend to be more for the perspective founder, while schools like Dev Bootcamp, are more intended for those looking to grab a job post graduation. Your career objectives should also be a consideration when deciding what coding boot camp to attend.
- How much can I afford to spend on tuition
This one is a biggie because many of these boot camps are far from cheap. Bootcamps can range from $0 (with stipulations) to more than $25,000. Be mindful of your price range and ensure you choose the best school within your price range.
- Where Should I Attend a Coding Boot Camp?
There are tons of great camps right here in New York! However, there are more and more camps popping up across the United States.
- What is My Own Coding Background?
To gain admission to many top schools, you must prove that you have some degree of a coding background. It’s becoming increasingly important, to be honest with yourself, and admissions, about your coding experience.
If you don’t have experience with development at all, you can quickly gain a baseline understanding of HTML, CSS, Ruby, and other programming languages with online platforms like Tree Leaf.
**Now where’s my 6-figure job?**
So you’ve attended boot camp, and now you’re a rockstar developer. So what’s next?
The job hunt begins before you graduate as schools prep you for interviews, and many have career fairs for every cohort. The boot camps will set you up well for interviews and will get you in front of companies, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have to put in some hustle.
According to Jake Hadden, co-founder of Digital Crafts, students should:
“Perfect your GitHub Profile – Revisit all your repos to ensure you’ve implemented best practices in your code. Commenting, indenting, and including a Readme File are three easy ways to set yourself apart (refer to Shawn’s post from HR on more specifics regarding your GitHub activity). In my opinion, GitHub is most helpful in helping a student secure an interview. That said, make sure you can walk an employer through each repo/project just in case!
Build your Portfolio (as early as possible!) – Students should challenge themselves to build a portfolio showcasing their skills, personalities, and writing ability as soon as they can while in class. Don’t wait until the last week of class or after graduation to build your portfolio! Take advantage of the network you have in class as well as your teacher to perfect your portfolio. Your portfolio should include at least 3 to 5 projects you’ve contributed to as well as 1 to 2 projects you’ve built on your own as your final project in school or as a freelance project you’ve been hired to complete.
Master the Interview – At DigitalCrafts, we include a few activities within our curriculum to help our students prepare for the interview process, and I would encourage any student to include these items in their preparation process.
Deciding to go to coding boot camp isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. It’s a huge commitment of both your finances and your time, so be sure to consider all options carefully. If you do choose to join a camp, check out the list of NY-based camps below.