In today’s job market Software Developers are in high-demand. With over 6,000 software developer jobs advertised in Cuyahoga County over the past 12 months, and average wages regionally at $85,000, it’s no wonder people are open to exploring a career change. The good news is that thanks to a disruptive new model in education, careers in software development no longer require a four year degree.
Anthony Hughes is the CEO of Cleveland coding bootcamp Tech Elevator. He argues anyone who is thinking about becoming a developer has more options than they think. “With the cost of the average out-of-state bachelors computer science degree being $37,000 per year, and with 4 years of opportunity cost, a lot of people are very interested in the coding bootcamp model,” Hughes says. “This new medium of education leads to unparalleled return on their tuition investments with well-compensated jobs waiting for them when they graduate.”
Computerscienceonline.org defines a coding bootcamp as a type of technical training program offering students with little-to-no coding experience an opportunity to develop professional level, job-ready skills through accelerated, intensive, and immersive training programs. Across the nation, over 70 bootcamps are up and running this very minute, which will boast over 16,000 graduates in 2015 according to Course Report. Google sees so much potential in the model that they recently partnered with a local coding bootcamp to train and hire developers at a much faster rate.
While this new model is giving increased opportunities to those who need it, it might not be for everyone. So, if you’re considering a coding bootcamp, here are five of the most important questions to ask yourself, according to Hughes.
Do I have the aptitude to be a good software developer?
Save yourself potential wasted time and money by taking a short aptitude test which will give you an early indicator if you’ve got what it takes to be a developer. Tech Elevator has a free version that takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.
What’s my learning style?
Whether it’s a new language or a new instrument, people learn in different ways. Some folks are capable of self-study, while others love the resources available on the web to learn. For some there’s just no replacement for someone to teach you in person. With a coding bootcamp, the in-person model is still king, so make sure it fits with how you want to learn.
How much time do I have to dedicate to learning right now?
Most coding bootcamps are full-time programs, which means if you have a job, you’ll need to hand in your notice before you start the program. Or in some cases, employers are willing to apply tuition reimbursement to learning that will further your skill set if you’re returning to work.
What’s my budget?
Four year degrees are expensive. Teaching yourself is less expensive by comparison. Coding bootcamps are still a financial investment for most, but likely won’t break the bank. Check out financing options for bootcamps you’re considering, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Do I have a realistic career goal in mind?
Before you start any program, make sure you determine career goals for yourself. This will ultimately help you choose the right bootcamp. At the end of any program, you want to feel confident in your path, and be excited about your future.
To check out some of the Developer and Programming jobs, as well as a variety of other opportunities, be sure to visit the JumpStart job board to find open positions at companies all across Northeast Ohio.