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In the last decade, coding bootcamps have emerged to fill the tech talent gap. The tech industry was rapidly growing and had more jobs than qualified applicants. The pioneers of bootcamps designed the program to equip students with the necessary skills within a few months instead of years.
This combination of accessibility and speed continues to attract more students competing for high-paying tech jobs. Although the industry derailed a bit in 2017, it has grown ten times since, with over two hundred bootcamps in the US alone.
The Reasons for the Growth of Coding Bootcamps
So what is driving the growth of enrollment in coding bootcamps? It is good to mention that enrollment into coding bootcamps has largely seen adults who picked a degree that never delivered good careers. The realization that they can switch careers by obtaining new skills in a matter of months has motivated millions of people to join. Secondly, for most people, the issue of pursuing a major comes down to cost.
The cost of a four-year college major can sometimes be obscenely expensive. The cost of college affects not only low-income households but the majority of students. The past three decades have seen the cost of enrolling in public universities increasing to more than triple. At the same time, the middle-class wages have stagnated, pushing student loan debt to $1.6 trillion. Given these current economic realities, students opt for other alternatives that won’t leave them with serious debt.
Traditionally, students pursuing a college degree can have an advantage over Bootcamp students because of federal financial aid. Coding bootcamps do not qualify for federal financial aid. However, military veterans can pursue higher education in the tech industry through their GI Bill benefits. The program aims at attracting former service members into these high-demand tech jobs.
While coding bootcamps lack financial aid, they have developed income-sharing agreements (ISAs) models. Instead of paying tuition upfront, students make payment an agreed-upon percentage of their income upon employment. Christensen Institute reported that the number of code schools using this model is increasing. The model minimizes risk for both the code school and the students and guarantees job placement.
Nonprofit workforce development programs are another reason for the increased growth. For instance, the San Diego workforce partnership has in recent times launched a front-end development program. The initiative has received support from Google and other donors and aims at attracting financially strapped students into the tech industry.
Coding Bootcamps Offers Relevant Skills
As more people continue debating on the value of high education, coding bootcamps have continued to gain traction as a viable alternative. The vocational bootcamps equip students with comprehensive education within a short time. Although the courses are uncredited and have less prestige than college degrees, they can change the higher education system.
As technology continues to disrupt the workspace, coding bootcamps will play a major role in preparing the next generation of workers. There are few ways these schools can disrupt higher education. First, these instructions are more focused on skill development and preparing students for real-world challenges. That means that they are training students with the right skills that apply in the real world. For example, Eleven Fifty Academy offers short-term education programs in areas such as:
- Web Development
- Cyber Security
- Software Development
All these skills are in high demand and have a shortage of professionals. In contrast, the conventional college teaches these skills according to the syllabus, which may not reflect the specific skills the industry needs. Generally, coding bootcamps maintain a strong focus on relevant skills. On the other hand, traditional higher education teaches skills that may not apply in the modern workspace. Coding bootcamps have to offer only up-to-date skills to compete with conventional college programs.
Coding Bootcamps Comprise of Small and Efficient Faculty
Bootcamps programs offer an example of how any school faculty should be structured. In traditional higher education, the problem mainly lies with administrative bloat. These problems have escalated with subsidized faculty by the federal government. Administrators in colleges serve many functions, including aiding course development sourcing materials for professors, among others. However, universities and colleges comprise more administrators with fewer faculty members.
For example, the University of California has had about two thousand administrative employees, none of whom train. Although the university is among the largest colleges in the USA, such an administration is unnecessary. In contrast, coding bootcamps have gained a reputation for keeping their operations streamlined and lean. Most bootcamps are only interested in skill development and preparation for jobs.
They have no reason to acquire hundreds of administrative talent. Their only focus lies in providing high-quality education services. Additionally, by keeping operations lean, the cost of tuition reduces. Reduced tuition fees mean affordability to a majority of students.
Lifelong Learning Opportunities
While coding bootcamps have a long way to go, their future is promising. Apart from being affordable, they are in a great position to offer lifelong learning for students. As digitization takes shape, more people will likely get replaced by automation. Artificial Intelligence and other technologies are the future for businesses. With this in mind, it’s more important to offer lifelong learning opportunities to students to enable them to keep up with market needs.
In the future, a college degree may not be enough to stay competitive in the job market. Students will need to go back to class to acquire new skills. This gap gives coding bootcamps an incentive to increase their profits by introducing lifelong learning opportunities. That’s because bootcamps do not suffer from constraints associated with traditional higher education institutions.
Bootcamps Focus on Employment
Coding schools maintain focus on helping their students get jobs as soon as they graduate. Some coding bootcamps employ career coaches to prepare students for the labor market. Students get trained on how to become and remain competitive job seekers. This career support helps students learn about the relevance of their skills and how to apply them in the workplace. In comparison, traditional universities focus more on teaching than hiring career support.
Potential Problems for Coding Bootcamps
Coding bootcamps are likely to face several problems. The first problem may emanate from a change in macroeconomic conditions. Although they have seen success in training students so far, they may face challenges if market conditions become restrictive and employers start demanding talents with degrees.
Another possible problem is that schools may not be able to expand beyond programming. So many have attained success in helping students get the skills needed to thrive in tech-related careers. However, the prerequisites for succeeding in the tech field are often outright. The clarity enables bootcamps to tailor their curriculum to fit industrial demands. Other career fields like medicine have not so well-defined prerequisites making it hard for bootcamps to use their disruptive model.
Coding bootcamps are increasingly becoming a popular way for students to get skills needed in this modern world. The recent increase of scandals in academe and hike of tuition fee have made students look for alternative options. Coding Bootcamps have created an exemplary model in which students and hiring are at the core of the education process.
Also, the model allows code schools to operate in a lighter mode with very little bureaucracy, enabling them to adapt to changing demands. This aspect gives them an edge in developing the skills for the future.