Are programming bootcamps worth it?

The bootcamp industry is exploding in popularity. According to Course Report findings, nearly 23,000 people graduated from programming bootcamps in 2017. This is a 10x rise since the first bootcamps launched in 2012. They offer you the core skills you need to be successful in the programming industry, and are beginning to give universities and traditional four-year computer science degrees a run for their money.

But are programming bootcamps really worth it? Can they produce value for you and help you achieve your career goals? And can they do this despite only costing an average of $11,400, and lasting only an average of 11.4 weeks? The answer, of course, depends on your personal drive, goals, and career aspirations.

What are employers looking for?

To determine whether programming bootcamps are worth it you need to look at the industry as a whole. What are employers looking for, and what do they need? Indeed.com reports that the key problem for companies in the tech industry is finding good talent. According to their findings, 86% of employer respondents reported that it is challenging to find and hire people for technical roles. Another 36% of employer respondents said it is “very challenging”.

This challenge in finding sufficient numbers of talented candidates to fill a variety of their roles spells big problems for tech companies. One of these problems is that companies must work existing employees much harder, leading to employee burnout, and decreased innovation. When your team and resources are all spent maintaining and developing your existing products, there is little time to think creatively about the future.

The other large problem is that companies must settle for candidates who are not quite as qualified. This also leads to a decrease in innovation, profits, and existing employee satisfaction. Tech companies, large and small, are frantically trying to find a solution to this shortage before it starts to threaten the vitality of the industry as a whole.

One place they are looking to solve their talent deficit woes is programming bootcamps. In fact, the inability of universities to keep pace in producing well-qualified STEM graduates is one of the primary reasons for the rapid rise of the programming bootcamp industry.

Employers want candidates who they can feel confident will produce value on day one. They need as little overhead cost as possible when it comes to on the job training. This is exactly what programming bootcamps provide. Their graduates come to their jobs with solid knowledge of programming languages, highly developed practical on-the-job skills, and the soft skills fostered by the highly collaborative, intense learning environment of code schools.

Can programming bootcamps pick up the slack?

So are programming bootcamps worth it? Employers answer with a resounding “yes”. 72% of employer respondents on Indeed.com stated that bootcamp grads are just as prepared to be high performers as degree holders, with 12% stating that such graduates are more prepared. And of the 80% of respondents who went on to hire programming bootcamp grads, 99.8% said they would do so again.

The shortage of candidates and the massive amount of competition for talent in the tech industry have created a perfect storm. These two factors have collided to produce a highly valuable route to become a highly qualified employee at a tech company. Are programming bootcamps worth it? The final answer is up to you.

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