So, you want to do a coding bootcamp, but you’re unsure of the career opportunities post-graduation. Here is your ultimate guide to where a coding bootcamp can take you, how a coding bootcamp works, hot tips from GA’s coding bootcamp graduates, and much more.
What is a Coding Bootcamp?
A coding bootcamp can also be described as a concentrated course that teaches the essential skills and real-world coding acumen in a short-term intensive and often immersive education program.
The history of the coding bootcamp began in 2011 when a forward-thinking tech company offered a five-month free developer training with a job guarantee for those who finished the program. Eleven years later, the popularity of coding bootcamps has exploded as the demand for employment of software developers and engineers is projected to rise by 22% between 2020 and 2030.
Worldwide, tech companies are struggling to find talented software engineers. Thus the coding bootcamp has become a global phenomenon that enables people to kick-start their software engineering career without a four-year university degree. Globally, you can easily find and enroll in online coding courses, schools, tech education programs, classes, and coding diplomas.
How Does a Coding Bootcamp Work?
The majority of coding bootcamps tend to be composed of a 12-week hands-on learning program designed to help you advance from a coding newbie to a skilled coder. Coding bootcamps are designed to fit around your busy lifestyle, hence you will find that the majority of coding courses offer part-time and full-time options for students.
Once you enroll in a coding bootcamp, you will have the chance to network and collaborate with your fellow aspiring coders and all of your instructors. Coding bootcamps are designed to not only help you learn essential technical skills but also help you build out an impressive rèsume portfolio and connect you with a-list hiring companies.
How to Choose the Right Bootcamp for You
Once you have decided to avoid those painful university loans and a four-year-long commitment, it’s time to choose the right bootcamp for you, and yes, there are a lot of choices! Here are three tips to help you find the right coding bootcamp:
Question #1: Does the program feature quality instructors?
Tip number one and probably one of the most essential tips on this list — the instructors. When choosing a coding bootcamp, it’s crucial to consider the instructor’s background and their knowledge and experience in the industry.
You want to ensure that you will be learning from some of the best and brightest. LinkedIn is a great tool to view someone’s experience, education, and references from people they have worked with and taught before. Instructors will real-life experience can help you gain the right skills you need to succeed in the modern day workplace.
Question #2: Are there mentorship opportunities?
Secondly, you need to determine if the bootcamp you are considering offers access to live instructors and not pre-recorded sessions. This is particularly important as you want to ensure you have access to a group of people who can mentor you as you continue through the course. Mentorship opportunities are considered one of the most important benefits of a coding bootcamp. When we asked Kait Mikitin, GA Alumni, now a Software Engineer at Flex, she said:
“What drew me to General Assembly was how the program’s structure worked, which was that I was going to have access to live instructors while I was there. It allowed me to work with a cohort of people I could rely on and ask questions to bolster me through the harder parts of the program”.
Question #3: Are communication skills nurtured?
Often people sign-up for a coding bootcamp but don’t realize that communication skills are just as sought after by employers as your technical skills. Thus, communication skills must be practiced and nurtured throughout your bootcamp syllabus.
“Communication skills are a little bit underrated in this industry. Being able to communicate with folks is more important than people make it seem when you’re creating software, but all of it is actually extremely collaborative, and so you want to be able to communicate well with others”, explains Kait.
Top 4 Careers to Pursue After a Coding Bootcamp
Coding bootcamps are truly immersive experiences, teaching you many skills that you can later take away and apply to various careers. Let’s look at a comprehensive list of job types you can commence after completing your coding bootcamp.
- WEB DEVELOPER
- What does the job entail: Web developers use computer programming to create and maintain websites. One of your daily tasks as a web developer involves testing new applications and components of websites, writing code, and closely working with your client and team to understand the project’s scope.
- Future career path: There are three main types of web developers: front-end developer (builds the part of the website that a user can see and interact with), back-end developer (works on part of the website that operates behind the scenes), and full-stack developer (works on both the front-end and back-end of the website).
- Average salaries:
- USA: Ranges from $41,000 to $92,000 per year.
- UK: Ranges from £18,000 to £41,000 per year.
- Canada: Ranges from C$40,000 to C$77,000 per year.
- Singapore: Ranges from SG$30,000 to SG$73,000 per year.
- Australia: Ranges from AUS$49,000 to AUS$90,000 per year.
- SOFTWARE ENGINEER
- What does the job entail: Software engineers lead software application creation, often from start to finish. As a software engineer, one of your daily tasks involves designing and maintaining software systems, evaluating and testing new software programs, optimizing software, and writing and testing code.
- Future career path: As a software engineer, you can transition to a software application developer role. Compared to engineers, software application developers focus more on testing and troubleshooting software to meet the needs of their users.
- Hard and soft skills required: Python, Java, Ruby C, Communication, Critical Thinking, Project Management.
- Average salaries:
- USA: Ranges from $64,000 to $139,000 per year.
- UK: Ranges from £26,000 to £67,000 per year.
- Canada: Ranges from C$57,000 to C$111,000 per year.
- Singapore: Ranges from SG$6,000 to SG$74,000 per year.
- Australia: Ranges from AUS$30,000 to AUS$104,000 per year.
- COMPUTER PROGRAMMER
- What does the job entail: Similar to web developers and software engineers, computer programmers create new software, websites, and applications. However, a daily task for a computer software also includes writing code, testing code for errors, and spending time updating and enhancing already developed programs.
- Future career path: Computer programming is an entry-level coding job. Graduates often start their careers by doing many computer programmer tasks and then specialize in roles like a web developer and software engineer.
- Hard and soft skills required: Python, Java, C, C++, C#.
- Average salaries:
- USA: Ranges from $26,000 to $110,000 per year.
- UK: Ranges from £51,000 to £59,000 per year.
- Canada: Ranges from C$40,000 to C$88,000 per year.
- Singapore: Ranges from SG$6,000 to SG$74,000 per year.
- Australia: Ranges from AUS$50,000 to AUS$118,000 per year.
- COMPUTER SYSTEMS ENGINEER
- What does the job entail: Computer system engineers work closely with software developers and other engineers to manage, update, and improve business computer systems. Daily, computer system engineers use their coding skills to provide technical support for maintaining the company’s computer systems and take part in system development.
- Future career path: Computer systems engineers can transition to computer system analysts and vice versa. Computer systems analysts also examine a company’s IT systems and ensure they run smoothly.
- Hard and soft skills required: Java, C, C++, Communication, Project Management.
- Average salaries:
- USA: Ranges from $60,000 to $132,000 per year.
- UK: Ranges from £33,000 to £67,000 per year.
- Canada: Ranges from C$49,000 to C$102,000 per year.
- Singapore: Ranges from SG$68,000 to SG$74,000 per year.
- Australia: Ranges from AUS$55,000 to AUS$112,000 per year.
Job Hung Success Tips After Coding Bootcamp Graduation
So you’ve graduated, but what’s next? Here are the top four hot tips for your job hunt success.
Tip #1: Build a strong portfolio.
Building a strong portfolio is not only about presenting your work samples, but also about building your “personal brand”, according to GA Alumni, Kait Mikitin, now a Software Engineer at Flex. Your portfolio is a personal extension of your rèsume and should reflect your skills, personality, and your abilities as a developer.
The key objective of your portfolio is to help you stand out among the crowd of applicants, ie. catch the attention of your future employer. Your portfolio should include things like:
- About me section.
- Featured projects, preferably from real-world data samples, and something that clearly shows how you overcame the challenge, and how you applied your critical thinking skills.
- Collaboration efforts with other developers.
- Contact information.
Tip #2: Engage in your community.
Graduating from a software engineering immersive is a considerable achievement, and it takes hard work to get there, but you don’t have to do it alone. Engaging in your community is a critical first step toward your job hunt success.
According to Anne Richardson, GA Alumni, now a Senior Software Engineer at CoverMyMeds, engagement with your community is paramount. “It’s essential because people will be able to help you, but you will also be able to help others. Especially when you’re starting, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed because you have a lot to learn”.
Tip #3: Interview preparation is critical.
Lastly, you want to make sure you choose a bootcamp that offers numerous resources such as networking, rèsume/interview preparation, and portfolio preparation to give you a booster advantage when you start applying for your first jobs.
At our software engineering immersive, we take career preparation seriously and understand how critical it is for our instructors to connect our students with our premier hiring partners like Google, Samsung, and Twitter.
“I ended up at General Assembly because they had a dedicated career counselor. The counselor was great about training us every week on preparing our rèsumes and how to start searching for jobs early. Our instructor also had industry connections that helped us when entering the job market”, said Sarah Goldgar, GA Alumni, now a Senior Software Engineer at Disney.
Tip #4: Be a lifelong learner.
When speaking with GA Alumni, Kait Mikitin, now a Software Engineer at Flex, said, “never stop learning, if you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room. You need to stay curious and interested and always think of yourself as a student and never as the master”.
In an industry that’s constantly evolving, staying hungry for knowledge is one of the keys to success and career longevity. For example, a technical skill that is always in demand for any career type is coding in Python. “Python allows you a lot of versatility with the future role you can hold. For example, it is heavily used by many data scientists and data analysts who are doing more data-heavy work”, adds Kait.
Take the Next Step Today
Our Software Engineering Immersive is designed with you in mind. This full-time coding bootcamp features expert instruction, one-on-one career coaching, and connections to top employers to get you hired.
Want to discover more? Request the syllabus to learn:
- Who teaches GA Software Engineering Immersive courses?
- What’s it like inside the virtual classroom?
- How does GA help you find your first software engineering role after graduation?