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How to Choose a Code School Boot Camp

How to Choose a Code School Boot Camp

December 3, 2015 in College Alternatives, IT Career Program / by Ted Parker

Centriq Training has offered accelerated technology training programs (commonly called “code schools or bootcamps”) in both network administration and coding for over ten years. During that time, the three most common concerns we hear from prospective code school boot camp students are:

  • Is it a scam?
  • Can I really learn to code in 14 weeks?
  • Can I really get a job?

These are great questions and a great way to evaluate a code school or bootcamp. Here are some specific suggestions on how to get the answers.

State Approval or Certification

Coding bootcamps or code schools are generally considered “proprietary” or “private post-secondary” schools which are regulated by the state in which they are located. To protect consumers (students) these schools must be approved by that state in order operate. For example, Centriq’s bootcamp programs are approved by the Kansas Board of Regents.

While the state approval process may vary, it generally focuses on the quality of the instructor staff, curriculum, facilities, history, placement success and financial resources of the school. So the first step in determining the credibility of a bootcamp or code school is to verify that it is approved or certified to operate in the state where you will train.

Learn to Code in Weeks at the Right Code School boot camp

Can you learn to code in 10 or 12 or 14 weeks? Yes, but only if the type of instructors and classroom IT training fit your background and current technology skill level. To go from zero (no technology experience) to an entry-level coding job in a matter of weeks requires a different type of training than that required for someone with a background (or even a modest amount of experience) in coding.

Many schools utilize experienced developers’ as opposed to full-time instructors – as mentors to simply guide or offer suggestions. These schools usually expect a certain level of technology ability. (In fact, many require pre-program self-study courses to get you to that level before you start). Others ” like Centriq – retain experienced technology instructors that incorporate some form of structured training to provide basic understanding (which is essential if you have little or no coding experience) in addition to tips and mentoring. The student dropout rate is often a good indicator of whether a school is matching its students to its training method.

Coding Bootcamps and Your New Career

You read in the media about the need for coders or developers. To the media, a coder is a coder is a coder and a code school is a code school. But to an employer that”s not true. There are a myriad of programming languages and web development concepts. The real question is not whether the coding language(s) you learn are trendy today but whether they match up with job opportunities in your area.

Unfortunately, many code schools teach a certain language because the founder(s) know and are passionate about that language ” not because it is the most commonly used by employers. So always ask how and why a school chose the language and coding concepts they teach. Ask to see the research or data they have showing the number of job opportunities that require that language to start a new career in your specific job market.

Placement Services to Get You Hired

Every bootcamp promotes job placement or placement services. After all, a job or IT career is why you go to a code school or bootcamp. But placement support or placement services can mean many different things.

To clarify that support, ask for the total number of employers that have hired a school”s grads. That gives you an idea of the scope of the employer network the school touches. Ask the specifics about the school”s ongoing program to recruit new employers. Ask how the school identifies and communicates job openings to graduates. And, ask if the placement services continue to be available after you obtain your first job.

If you get good answers to the foregoing, you”ve gone a long way to confirming that you are making the right choice.