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Why Invest in a Tech Bootcamp When You Can Learn For Free?

You might wonder why you should pay for a technical bootcamp when there are so many resources available, often for free. These resources can be helpful in some ways, but self-learning isn’t for everyone. That’s where bootcamps come in, helping you learn new skills quickly.

Of course, you should do your own research before selecting a bootcamp to enroll in. Not all programs are created equal, and it’s important to fully understand what a particular bootcamp can do for you and your career. It goes beyond the course materials.

Different Types of Learning for Different Needs and Goals

There are lots of reasons to learn new things, and nearly as many ways to learn them. It’s important to choose the path that fits your goals best.

When you’ve got a routine task or project, it’s easy to pull out your phone for some quick learning. YouTube alone has over 200,000 videos on how to fix a flat bicycle tire, not to mention other articles and tutorials that are available elsewhere!

The same is true for car repairs, irrigation system design, cooking and, yes, learning to code and design.

The trick is knowing what you need, finding what you need, and approaching it in a way that gets you to your goal. Do any of these “on demand” resources prepare you for a career in any of these areas? Probably not. That’s really not the idea.

There is a difference between learning a broad subject at a professional level— one that supports your work and career—and just picking up the tips needed to get small things accomplished today.

A good tech bootcamp offers the structure you need to learn a lot of new skills in a short timeframe. Curriculum is created with employer needs in mind, and support is provided so that you’re ready for the job search after graduation.

The Curriculum Difference

The structure and support you’ll find in a bootcamp curriculum is essential when you’re tackling a new field of study.

It’s one thing to know programming in one language and to then learn another. Self training resources might be enough to make that jump. But if you’re brand new to a subject area, the design of curriculum (what needs to be known), availability of instructors and assistants, and the support of your fellow students who are going through the same experience provide great advantages.

Bootcamps, such as those offered by DigitalCrafts, are built with sequences of topics, exercises, projects, and assessments that are based on research with employers and technical experts. Their curriculum is based on achieving results in the job search and employment to follow.

Make an honest assessment of your own abilities and experience before deciding to enroll in a bootcamp or whether to go it alone. The newer you are to a subject, the more sense a proven curriculum and more rigorous approach will make.

A Community of Learners

No matter what the topic, it’s always a great help to have others to consult with, to ask questions of, and to get support from. Bootcamps excel in this area, and graduates almost always mention it as one of the keys to their success in the program and in the job market beyond.

In a bootcamp, you won’t go it alone.

In our classes, for example, you’ll learn from an instructor with years of real-world experience. 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.

Bootcamps provide meaningful accountability and motivation for participants. Being part of a community of students is a great built-in support system. It can keep you going when the work is tough, and help smooth your path if you’re having trouble with an assignment.

Regardless of how you assess your own ability to stay motivated and to work through problems, there’s no doubt that a community of other students, professional staff, and other resources can be a great help as you work towards program completion and the job search that follows.

Whether it’s support for learning while learning, or support for the next steps in your career, this may well be the most important difference between well-regarded bootcamp programs and self taught paths.

Value of Time

There is also the consideration of how long it will take to get proficient in your chosen craft. Finding, mixing, and matching free resources for self-taught skills takes a lot of time in itself, and there’s no guarantee you’ll reach your goal. That is, learning exactly what you need for a job in your chosen field.

Plus, the self-taught approach carries a very high dependency on your motivation to progress, and your available time to do so.

All this can stretch things out and limit your earnings in the meantime.

Bootcamp programs have set time limits and durations for everything you’ll learn from a carefully constructed curriculum. They can be very intense as a result, but the payoff is learning more of exactly the right stuff in a fairly short period of time.

You need to consider whether compressing your total time commitment from months or years to weeks is worth the up-front investment in a bootcamp. The time savings can easily cover the cost of the program, if your goal is professional employment upon completion.

Support for Your Job Search

A vetted and well-reviewed bootcamp will include job search, networking, and other benefits during and after the program wraps up. This saves you even more time and makes you more effective getting a job that matches your career plans.

DigitalCrafts provides exposure to our ever-growing network of employers, resume reviews and mock interviews. The dedicated Student Success Team is in place to help you throughout class and into the job search.

Whichever path you choose, we wish you a successful experience on your tech career journey!

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This post was written by contributor Marc Tramonte.

Marc Tramonte Marc Tramonte Contributing Author