Are Tech Bootcamps Worth it?

Coding bootcamps have enjoyed a surge in popularity over recent years, as jobs requiring applicants with coding ability have increased. Even humanities graduates are learning to code these days, in the hope that it improves their employability. But as has happened in many tech industries, the current trend is for employers to look beyond basic coding ability and seek more advanced skills. That means bootcamps and coding schools are having to shift the curriculum around, and become more attuned to what employers want.

It's not just the demand for different coding abilities that is changing. IT skills across the board are continuously evolving, and it's a wise employer who makes sure employees stay up with the times in all technical skills. Bootcamps are one of the best ways to do that. Bootcamps are available for data science, cloud computing, various certifications, cybersecurity, and more. So how do bootcamps differ from other kinds of training?

What Are IT Bootcamps?

As the name implies, bootcamps are short and intense. You get a lot of training packed into a short time period. The expectation is that those who enroll are in a hurry, and need to get the information fast and intensively. While enrollees may already be employed and seeking new certifications, they might also be beginners in the field who are seeking new skills to enhance their employability.

IT bootcamps come in all sizes and shapes. The average is 12 weeks, but they can be as short as six weeks, and as long as 28 weeks, depending on the subject matter. It's generally customary for the student to take time off from a regular job to concentrate on the bootcamp.

Most bootcamps follow an accelerated learning model, and offer hands-on projects so that students can develop software programs, digital tools, and web apps on their own.

Bootcamps may be full time or part time; IT bootcamps are available from independent organizations, colleges and universities, vocational schools, and partnerships where an independent IT bootcamp company teams with an established school for collaboration on bootcamp courses. Online bootcamps are also available.

Extreme Bootcamps

We've all heard the adjective "extreme" applied to a bootcamp; it's usually referring to a fitness bootcamp.

When applied to the IT field, an extreme bootcamp seeks to achieve similarly outstanding results by offering intense "workouts" in whatever field the student is pursuing, be it coding, security, or cloud computing.

Some employers face the reality of limited budget and time to develop employee skills in IT. With that in mind, the manager may find in a bootcamp the kind of proven training that produces consistent results. Some of the features of an extreme IT bootcamp that might signal a high success rate are these:

  • Offers mobile labs (on-site training, if needed)
  • Consistent training
  • Accountability tracking
  • Experienced and certified instructors
  • Authorized materials from vendors
  • Structures that support business or command (Department of Defense) requirements
  • Provision for retaking the course at no extra charge

Other features you might look for are these:

  • Practice exams
  • Labs that provide applied knowledge skills
  • Test-taking techniques and tips
  • Coaching support
  • On-site certification testing

Is an Extreme Bootcamp Worthwhile?

Getting a degree in an IT field can be costly, depending on the school. Sometimes, IT workers realize it's better to go for certifications, or if they want to improve skills quickly in the shortest amount of time, enroll in a bootcamp.

The same logic applies if you're weighing underwriting the cost of training employees in vocational or college programs vs. enrolling them in a bootcamp. Do a little cost analysis, and you may find that even sponsoring a whole team of students in a boot camp could be the best option. Minimal work time will be lost, and your employees will come back with new skills that can boost your business in many ways.

Let's face it: while technological innovation is impacting business and industry more every day, the demand for employees with tech skills is going unmet. Universities aren't producing enough STEM graduates. And IT bootcamps are seen as a new means of satisfying the shortage of tech workers.

Research conducted by the job site Indeed reveals that 72 percent of employers surveyed believe IT bootcamp grads are as well prepared as degree holders. This same survey also showed that 80 percent of respondents have hired a coding bootcamp grad for their company; the majority assert they would do so again.

Could your team and your business benefit from an extreme IT bootcamp? Give Infotec a call today and see how we can help improve your employees' skills.

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