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Coding Boot-camps vs College vs Self Taught

Ankur Tyagi
Software Engineer • Mentor • Author ▫ Writing at http://TheAnkurTyagi.com ▫ Talk to me 1-1 👉 hiretheauthor.com/theankurtyagi ▫ I love to help people grow and share what I learned.
Originally published at theankurtyagi.com Updated on ・3 min read

Coding Bootcamps vs College vs Self Taught

There are many possible paths to a career in software development.

However, the choice will impact the amount of time you spend studying and the cost of your education.

It is worth spending some time deciding which one is right for you.

These days, you can define three different primary paths from a starting point to a career in development.

They are:

  • Coding Bootcamps.
  • Self-Taught.
  • College.

With these three paths open to you, you’re left with a decision:

Which one should you pursue?

Coding bootcamps offer a range of courses where students can learn the skills they need through a comprehensive curriculum in a shortened period of time.

Coding boot camps usually run for several weeks, although there are boot camps that can run for a year.

There is one advantage that boot camps offer that universities are still working towards catching up.

Pretty much every single popular coding boot camp currently active has a major focus on the current trending technologies,

Such as React, Vue, MongoDB, Express, and the like.

And some boot camp offers 1 on 1 mentorship from real programmers that work in the field.

And so students get real-time feedback on relevant topics that are happening.

And that is one great benefit that universities can not offer.

College is, well, college.

You can earn a degree based on a selected major and complete its requirements.

I personally attended college and went through a 4-year plan in order to get my degree in Computer Science.

The College curriculum has changed very little during the past decade.

I know because I talk to many programmers all the time, and the ones that are recent graduates are still debating whether C++ or Java is the king of code.

Ask yourself the following questions, if you are thinking of attending a university program:

  • What field am I looking to get into after?
  • Do I plan to continue with higher education.
  • Do I want to teach at some point?
  • Do companies that I want to work for require a degree?

The programming language you decide on plays a huge role in your future prospects and your ability to progress both beyond your education and in the job market.

For example, JavaScript gives you a good opening into both the front-end and back-end development.

Self-Taught developers can learn any language that interests them.

Bootcamp developers are slightly more restricted.

College developers get the most structured and detailed education in their languages.

The rising costs of education are on every student’s mind these days

Self-Taught students tend to spend the least amount of money on their educations.

Bootcamp students generally pay a small fee to purchase courses or enrollment.

Colleges are usually the most expensive option.

Self-Taught developers don’t necessarily have a duration to their programs, because their programs last as long as they’re interested in learning

And, to some extent, we’re all self-taught.

Pick the right languages & study in the right way, you can be job-ready in under a year.

Bootcamps tend to last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

Some boot camps are longer and more structured.

College programs range from two-year degrees to four-year degrees and more.

What's right for you?

That's the most important question you can ask.

Because there is no "wrong" answer technically.

Just like there is no wrong answer between learning to ride a skateboard or a bicycle.

It depends.

While in the past companies required degrees from 4-year universities (minimum), there are many more companies these days that have gotten rid of such requirements.

I have seen plenty of boot camp graduates receive offer letters from startups to the biggest tech companies.

If you do the work and you bring the skills, there is no reason why the answer would be otherwise.

Whichever route you choose, you really just have to go all in and embrace whatever it demands of you.

The answer to this question remains a personal choice.

Thanks for reading.

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Discussion (2)

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sumax_me profile image
SumanthLazarus

Tasty read and to the point!

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tyaga001 profile image
Ankur Tyagi Author

Thank you