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How to Decide Between Coding Bootcamps in 2024

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Rithm School

May 8, 2024

decide between coding bootcamps in 2024

The beginning of your bootcamp journey can be an exciting—but scary—position to be in. There’s so much to learn, so many paths to take, and so many bootcamps to consider. 

There are hundreds of bootcamps in the world right now, and we’re all making you the same promise: Do our program, and we’ll change your life. 

But which boot camps are truly worth it, and which ones are selling you a lemon? 

To help, we’ve made a list of the information you should research for each bootcamp finalist before making your ultimate decision. 

Even better? We created a great checklist for you to use! 

[Download Your Bootcamp Comparison Sheet Here]

Here are the important factors to consider before enrolling in any coding bootcamp in 2024.

The Top Deciding Factors For Bootcamp in 2024

Cost

For obvious reasons, cost is a huge factor when deciding the best bootcamp to join. If it’s out of your budget, it simply may not be an option. You’ll also want to think about the period of time pre and post bootcamp where you won’t have income. Make sure you plan ahead to avoid added financial burden.

However, you know the saying, “you get what you pay for”? 

It’s especially true in the boot camp world. 

The good news is that some bootcamps offer a payment program, breaking up the lump sum into manageable, bitesized payments. 

Full-time or Part-time?

While we’d all love to quit our jobs, go all-in on a coding bootcamp program, and come out the other side with our dream software engineering role—it’s simply not an option for some of us. 

If you’re only able to commit to bootcamp alongside your existing full-time role, then it’s important to narrow down your search to only part-time options. 

Location

Since COVID-19, activities such as work, school, and events have largely transitioned to online platforms. So, finding a remote coding bootcamp that’s conducted 100% online shouldn’t be a problem. 

If you prefer an onsite location, your options may be more limited .

Admissions Requirements

Another important factor to consider is the requirement(s) for admissions. Some coding bootcamps are much tougher to get into than others. Here at Rithm School, we require you to complete a technical assessment, a behavioral interview, and a final technical interview.  

By setting higher admission standards, bootcamps can ensure that all cohort students are at a similar skill level.

Curriculum

Curriculum may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s equally important to consider. What languages and technologies are they teaching? Are these in line with your goals? You should be able to find a comprehensive syllabus & curriculum on every bootcamp’s website. You can find the Rithm School curriculum here.

Class Size & Student Ratio

Class size is a personal preference and can depend heavily on your learning style. It’s important to research how large your cohort will be and how many instructors will be teaching you. 

If you prefer a more hands-on learning style, with 1:1 attention, you’ll want to avoid any boot camps with a low instructor-to-student ratio and class sizes higher than 20 people. 

Instructor Backgrounds

No two bootcamps are the same, and that includes the experience of the teachers who are leading you. Trust us, we’ve worked at many of them! Bootcamps like Codesmith hire recent bootcamp grads to lead coursework, while here at Rithm School, we make a concentrated effort to hire experienced software engineers and educators. 

It may not make a difference to you, but we strongly recommend asking the question. 

Project Experience

This is an important one!

In a tough job market, like the one we’re in now, project experience is critical. Many companies want to see some kind of real-world experience, and project experience is a great way to have it. 

Make sure to ask each bootcamp what kind of projects you will leave the program with. Will you work on any real world projects that will help you stand out in the job search? 

Outcomes & Transparency

While bootcamp is a thrilling and challenging journey on its own, the end goal isn’t just to graduate. It’s to ultimately land your dream job as a software engineer. So naturally, the outcomes and job placement rates of the bootcamp you’re interested in matters. 

The problem we’ve seen across the industry is that bootcamps aren’t always transparent. In fact, some programs can be downright misleading in their claims. So, it’s important to research what their outcomes are, and how they present them. Are their standards straightforward? Do they tell you how that data is measured?

Career Support

In line with the previous point, career support during and after the bootcamp is important. What kind of career support is available? How long is it available for? How will they make sure you’re reaching your goal after you graduate? 

Some bootcamps stop their support at graduation, leaving you to fend for yourself in the competitive job market. These bootcamps are ones we would avoid. 

Alumni Reviews

Last but not least, reviews! You can learn a lot about a bootcamp from their reviews. But not just their positive ones. We strongly recommend going to a website like Course Report, and sorting by “Most Helpful”. This is where you’ll find the most authentic reviews, not just the ones written by paid instructors. 

What Is Your Next Step?

As a next step, use this spreadsheet we created to compare your final bootcamp contenders. 

You’ll get a much clearer picture of what each bootcamp offers, and which criteria matter most to you as a student. Remember: what matters most to you may not be what’s important to another student. That’s why it’s always important to do your own research. 

Then, we recommend attending as many info sessions, alumni reviews, and events as you can for each bootcamp. This will give you a better idea of who the instructors are and what you can expect in terms of culture fit and learning style. 

If you’re interested in Rithm School, you can always go ahead and apply to speak directly with the admissions team. It only takes a few minutes to apply

Happy coding and good luck!

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