A growing share of people seeking training in programming-related jobs are turning to coding bootcamps to acquire the skills they need. However, as a business, you may be wondering whether coding bootcamp graduates are as qualified or ready for the job as a computer science degree graduate.
While coding bootcamps are still relatively new–they have only been around for about a decade–they have proven themselves to be effective at training technical talent in the skills they need to thrive in the modern workforce. Coding bootcamps, which typically last between three months and a year, have a focus on employment, and so their programs are designed to teach the skills students will encounter on the job.
In February 2020, Career Karma published the State of the Coding Bootcamp Market 2020 study, which analyzed data on over 115,000 coding bootcamp student and graduate profiles from LinkedIn. We found that 33,959 people attended or graduated from a coding bootcamp in 2019, which was a 4.38% increase from 2018.
If this is any indication, coding bootcamp graduates are going to take up a larger portion of the labor market in the future. So, now is the time to ask yourself: why should we be hiring coding bootcamp graduates?
Coding bootcamp graduates have growth mindsets
Attending a coding bootcamp is an immersive experience, and in order to thrive, students must adopt the right mindsets toward working and learning. Every day, bootcamp students work on mastering difficult technical concepts. Often, they must do so independently, but they should also be capable of working as part of a development team. If there’s one lesson a bootcamp student takes away from their work, it’s that working hard is crucial to success.
Hiring a bootcamp graduate allows you to bring someone aboard who has dedicated months of their life to become a coder. They have experienced difficult challenges, made mistakes, persevered through it all, and graduated bootcamp. Indeed, if you are looking for a robust developer to join your team, look no further than coding bootcamps.
Coding bootcamp graduates have a diverse range of professional experience
Coding bootcamps are positioned toward career switchers, or people looking to transition from an old career into a job in tech. As a result, a large percentage of coding bootcamp graduates have prior experience in the workforce.
While you may be looking at the resume of someone who has graduated from a bootcamp, they may also have been a teacher, lawyer, or a sales clerk in the past. No matter what their profession was, they will have professional experience to bring to the table, even if they are applying for their first job in tech.
Coding bootcamps teach practical skills
University computer science degree programs often struggle to keep up with the ever-changing tech industry. In addition, these programs often focus more on theory than practical skills, and so students graduate with a broader understanding of computers, but not a specific idea of how to leverage their skills in the workplace.
While coding bootcamp graduates may not have quite as strong theoretical foundations as a CS graduate, this is because courses are short and focus on teaching the practical skills students need. Coding bootcamps teach courses like web development, data science, and mobile development, which are all specific to particular careers. So, when a student graduates, they’ll be an expert in the practical skills they need.
In addition, students at a number of top coding bootcamps work on real-world projects during their course, which allows them to craft a portfolio of examples they can cite to showcase how they have thrived while working on professional development projects.
Coding bootcamp grads are learners
People go to coding bootcamp to learn new skills, and graduating is a strong signal that someone is committed to learning no matter what it takes. Coding bootcamp graduates usually leave bootcamp curious about new technical skills, having spent months learning about a variety of new topics. They are also used to learning a lot of skills in a short period of time, given the intensity of coding bootcamps.
So, if you hire a bootcamp graduate, you’ll be bringing someone aboard who knows the importance of learning, and who is driven by the pursuit of new knowledge. In addition, coding bootcamps equip their students with the skills they need to continue learning after graduation, and so they’ll be ready to tackle any new challenge, even if it means learning a new tech stack.
Hiring a coding bootcamp grad allows you to bring on board a team member who has a growth mindset, who has professional experience, who possesses practical skills, and who is dedicated to learning. Building out a development team is hard as a business owner, but turning to a coding bootcamp graduate can be a great way to hire someone who meets your needs.
Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who have broken into tech.