Myths You’re Telling Yourself About Tech Bootcamps—& What You Should Do Instead

There are good reasons to select a bootcamp program as the best way to learn a new technical craft. In our bootcamps, you’ll learn new skills in weeks, not years, with a curriculum that is frequently updated to reflect the ever-changing needs of tech employers.

And yet, after years of highly-rated bootcamps and successfully employed graduates, it’s clear that some people (maybe even you!) still hold onto myths about tech bootcamps.

In this post, we’ll go over the most common myths we encounter from prospective students, and we hope to help you determine whether a tech bootcamp is right for you. 

Myth #1: I Don’t Have the Time

Bootcamps are a significant time investment. There’s simply no denying that fact. You’re investing months of time in class, plus additional time outside of class to study, work on labs and create projects along the way.

But at the end of those months, you’ll graduate with the skills you need to get a job in your new field.

You could instead choose to learn on your own, assembling tutorials, videos and books, and learning new skills in bits and pieces. The biggest problem with that approach is that “you don’t know what you don’t know” as someone new to a topic, and trying to figure that out can take a lot of time in itself. It’s hard to Google a solution to a problem when you don’t even know the terminology!

In contrast, bootcamps take place on a known timeline with clear outcomes. There are projects to complete and assessments along the way, so you track towards your goals on a tight schedule.

In self-taught mode, you might find yourself wasting time on topics that don’t map to employer needs, and how long it will take is completely unknown. A year, two years, more? Bootcamps provide a new education in weeks, and the structure provides motivation and boosts progress.

Plus, you don’t have to enroll in a full-time class. You can opt for a part-time program—whatever works for you. Other bootcamps even offer self-paced programs if you truly are unable to commit to our live classes.

Myth #2: I Don’t Have the Money

In a technical bootcamp program, if you put in the work, you’ll see a return on your investment. And that investment should be calculated against the much longer time required for self-taught or university degrees. Why? Because your time is worth money. 

There is a measurable advantage to gaining employment soon after graduating a bootcamp, versus idle or lower-paying time spent searching after choosing a different path. And there is an obvious cost advantage versus degree programs, both in up-front financial investment and in terms of the time it takes to get to the first day on the job.

In its survey of bootcamp grads, Course Report offered a huge takeaway: bootcamps grads are seeing an average salary increase of 56%. Clearly, getting to that high-paying job sooner makes bootcamps a smart investment. 

If you decide to go with DigitalCrafts, we offer financing options and a number of scholarships and discounts to help make our training more financially accessible. 

Myth #3: I Don’t Have the Experience

Of course you don’t have the experience! That’s what you’re hoping to gain in a bootcamp—in fact, most of our students are beginners. 

When you enroll in one of our programs, we’ll send you pre-work to complete before class starts. Completing these exercises will help you hit the ground running on the first day of class, and doing so will really build your confidence.

If you want even more prep material, we have some suggestions for you:

For Web Development, we like Codecademy and freeCodeCamp, with Learn JS and MDN Web Docs as solid supplementary resources.

For UX Design, we suggest checking out training from Figma, Future Learn or Invision’s Principles of UX Design training.

For Cybersecurity, head to Cybrary, Hack The Box Academy and TryHackMe.

Myth #4: Bootcamps Are Too Hard 

It’s no question that bootcamps are tough—it’s right there in the name. But that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to keep up.

We’ll say it again: You’ll need to do the pre-work mentioned above. It really will help you get ready for class. You will also need to get some rest, focus and study during your class.

The good news is, you won’t go it alone. In our classes, you’ll learn from an instructor with years of real-world experience, and you’ll be supported by a teaching assistant who has graduated from our program (so they’ll know what you’re going through). We also offer office hours where you can get additional help if you need it.

One of our instructors has published a blog post on surviving a bootcamp, and it’s packed full of suggestions for overcoming the stumbling blocks you’ll encounter in your bootcamp. His top tips? Ask for help if you’re truly stuck, and “Google it”!

Myth #5: I’m Too Old

We often hear from prospective students who worry that they’re too old to learn to code, or that it’s too late for them to switch careers. Digital Crafts has proven again and again that it’s never too late to do what you’re passionate about. Students of all ages graduate from bootcamps and succeed in the tech industry, whether they were 18 or well into their 60s.

Age can even provide advantages. Especially if you’re a career changer, there are benefits to having years of work experience. In addition to the confidence and poise that often come with time, you'll bring an array of skills and talents to the table—ones that a more junior candidate may not have. One of our instructors made a quick video to help put this myth to rest.

Ask yourself these questions and then use the answers to help decide if your age is an advantage in your next job search, or whether you believe the “too old” myth.

  • How does your past experience help a company and team product embrace diversity, become more successful or increase profits?

  • How might the network you’ve built over time be helpful in your new role?

  • What people management experience would you bring to the team?

  • What other skills do you have? Don’t forget about skills related to strategy, leadership, communication and conflict resolution, or the ability to prioritize tasks.

Myth #6: Companies Won’t Hire Bootcamp Grads

You might be concerned that the tech market is oversaturated, or that you won’t be able to get a job after you graduate from your bootcamp. It’s true that some geographical areas have higher demand than others, but as a bootcamp grad, you will have proven that you learn quickly and will have a demonstrable skill set. We’ll even help you build a polished portfolio and get ready for your interviews after graduation.

We offer only programs for in-demand skills. A quick search reveals that there are 464,000 cybersecurity job openings today, and it’s estimated that employment in the security industry will grow 18% by 2024. The web development field is projected to grow 8% by 2029, and UX is one of the top five most in-demand skills, according to LinkedIn. 

We’re more than happy to share info about the companies that hire our graduates, and if that’s not enough, in that article we link to AngelList’s article on 40+ companies that hire bootcamp grads. 

Finally, if you’re worried about not having a tech degree, it’s important to note that even tech powerhouses like Apple, IBM and Google have done away with their undergrad degree requirements. In fact, Apple's CEO Tim Cook has said there is a mismatch between what's taught in colleges and the skills employers need, adding that as much as half of Apple's team does not have an undergrad degree. 

Myth #7: Bootcamps Aren’t Legit

Not all bootcamps are created equal, it’s true. Our programs are among the best-ranked in the country, earning top spots from industry leaders each year.

Hundreds of students have graduated from our program and gone on to tech jobs at companies large and small. Read what they have to say about their experiences: Course Report, SwitchUp, Career Karma.

You can also check out our outcomes report, or watch these alumni interviews.

Take Steps to Move Your Career Forward

No one should make important career decisions based on myths. Instead, we’d like to encourage you to explore a bootcamp program deeply, considering alternatives, and to make a well-thought-out decision based on the facts.

Ready to take the next step and launch your career in tech? Download our course catalog for more information about our programs.

Download Our Course Catalog

This post was written by contributor Marc Tramonte.

 

Author
Guest Blogger

Guest Bloggers for DigitalCrafts