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Thinking of an Online Coding Program? How to Find and Compare Different Online Bootcamps

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Opting for a coding boot camp instead of a degree is a great idea. Not only do you save time and money, but you’ll also receive an updated coding education well before most traditional schools do. However, that doesn’t make it any easier to narrow down your coding program options.

5 Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Coding Bootcamp

When comparing an online coding program, like Altcademy, with another, you need to weigh certain factors before coming to a conclusion. Here are 5 things you’ll need to consider. 

1. Transparency About Stats and Outcomes

No coding bootcamp can promise you a job, but the same can be said about a college degree. According to the recent stats, about 46% of college grads surveyed worked in their field of study, 29% reported working in a different field, and 16% stated they were currently unemployed.

If a coding bootcamp achieves a number higher than 50%, then they’re already performing better than most colleges. However, you also need to confirm that multiple third parties can vouch for the legitimacy of their numbers, or an 85%+ placement rate won’t mean anything.

2. Access to Legitimate Student Reviews

Any website can fluff the numbers to “prove” that their products or services are worth your while, so don’t start there. Instead, search for Google reviews and speak to people who previously took the course. Great coding bootcamps will feature past student testimonials on their site. For example, you can check the General Assembly reviews and decide if a learning path works for you.

If you think these reviews may be suspicious, try finding past students on LinkedIn. A few negative reviews shouldn’t ring any alarm bells, but too many may indicate there’s a problem. You can also check out Bootcamp Finder and Course Report for in-depth bootcamp reviews.

3. The Right In-Demand Stack for Your Region

The type of stack you’ll want to learn will depend on your region, career choice, and whatever is in demand. For example, a financial professional should learn SQL, MATLAB, and Ruby, but a new front-end developer or website designer will always need HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

On the other hand, you could take a full-stack course, so you open yourself up to more jobs. A good number of employers will want someone competent in front and back-end development. Plus, software developers or full-stack developers can make a 6-figure wage at the entry level.

4. Teaching Style and Instructor Personalities

A coding bootcamp lasts 6 months to a year on average, but you’ll spend a lot of time talking to your instructors. Not only that, but these programs tend to be heavy on content. If you’re not comfortable asking for extra help, you may fall behind, which could cause you to drop out.

Before spending money on your course, ask if you can speak to your instructors. Ask them about their teaching style and whether they enjoy working in the program. You can keep the conversation casual if you want to understand their personality and the school’s culture.

5. Financial Risks and Job Placement Strategy

A coding bootcamp that has a high placement percentage should have a job placement strategy in place. For example, they may offer career coaching, interview practice, resume reviews, or how to search for a job in your field. If they have all four, they’re likely invested in your future.

It’s also great if the bootcamp tries to limit your financial risks. That doesn’t mean that the course will be inexpensive, but it could mean that they’ll provide loans, pay installments, or scholarships. It also helps if the bootcamp has the right amount of incentive to get you hired.