Short and sweet is how soldiers prepare for the bittersweet arena of warfare. For instance, after around ten weeks of basic training, most United States Army recruits are ready to face battle. The training faced by many of these soldiers is what is informally known as a boot camp.
Since 2010, innovative educators, in their quest to arm students for the competitive job market arena, have also adapted the term “bootcamp.”
But what are bootcamps? How are these different from other educational models?
What are Bootcamps?
According to professional education journal Training Industry, bootcamps “are learning programs...where content is bundled into short, intensive, and rigorous curriculums.”
Short and intensive best sum up what bootcamps are all about (both in the military and educational setting).
On average, 14 weeks is all it takes for bootcamps to impart knowledge and skills to learners. In contrast, an associate degree in college takes 2 years while a traditional degree takes around 4 years. A master’s degree, on the other hand, takes from 1 to 2 years or more, depending on student availability.
Aside from the short duration, bootcamps provide real-time training (whether live or online) from experts. Given that many bootcamps are for digital skills like programming, the presence of a teacher or guide in real time is especially important. Advanced computer skills are generally hard to learn through video recordings and text files, which are the usual features of the highly popular massive open online courses (MOOCs). There is also evidence that only very few learners who sign up for MOOCs end up finishing the said online learning programs.
But is there more to bootcamps than just the time and live teaching advantage?
Bootcamps: Advantages and DisadvantagesDo you want to shift from a non-tech career to the fascinating world of technology? Are you interested in beefing up your arsenal of tech skills?
If you said yes to any of the said questions, then it is best to compare the advantages and disadvantages of attending bootcamps to ensure that you make the right career decision.
Advantage 1: Bootcamps Keep You Relevant in the Workplace
One of the main advantages of bootcamps is that it is a great way to either upskill or reskill to keep yourself relevant in the world of work, regardless of your professional or academic background.
According to a paper published by the University of Pennsylvania, around 72% of employers thought that bootcamp graduates are just as prepared as those who finished a four-year college degree.
If you think that this research figure is only applicable in the United States, you may read on to find out how this statistics is applicable even in the Philippines.
We now live in a world where the world has become virtually flat due to freelancing and Internet technology. In fact, a 2018 Manila Standard article mentions that America is the second-largest employer in a famous freelancing platform where around a million Filipinos find work. This means that through freelancing, a Filipino (or any national) who successfully completes a bootcamp has a good chance of getting hired by an American company who does not prefer college graduates over bootcamp alumni.
It is also notable that a 2020 study by Philippine government research agency PIDS mentions that software development/technology are among the most pandemic-resilient jobs. This means that, since a great number of bootcamps focus on imparting tech skills relatively quickly, an average bootcamp graduate has a good chance of getting hired and maintaining his or her employment whether the world suffers from a pandemic or not.
The desirability of bootcamp graduates with many employers, along with the job-market reliability of the tech sector, makes bootcamp learning a good track for those either seeking to upgrade their digital skills or those who want to shift careers.
Advantage 2: Bootcamps are Relatively Cheaper
The typical coding bootcamps in the Philippines have a tuition fee of around PHP 80,000 - PHP 100,000 (as compared to Eskwelabs’ tuition of PHP 28,000 for our Data Analytics Bootcamp, and PHP 60,000 for our Data Science Fellowship). In a related article, the Philippine Daily Inquirer indicates that one year in a Philippine college costs around PHP 150,000. Multiply this by four years and it is clear that bootcamps are less expensive than traditional tertiary studies.
Therefore, if you are currently working and want that promotion or want to explore an entirely different career in technology, bootcamps are among the most cost-effective avenues through which you can reach your dream destination of career growth.
Advantage 3: Bootcamps Provide a Community
Unlike many online courses, which feature impersonal and solitary learning through recorded videos and text files, bootcamps in general have the vibrant element of a learning community. Michael Girdley, CEO of a highly-rated coding bootcamp, states in a Wired magazine article that the classroom-like structure of bootcamps (for example, having an established schedule) ensures that learners succeed and finish their course. He adds that in an average online course setting, students tend to lose focus because of the lack of rhythm, which can only be found in a real-time learning community.
The community element of a bootcamp is especially beneficial to people who are transitioning to a tech career from a non-tech background. Since professionals like these are still adjusting to the language and ways of working in the technology sector, they require answers for complex questions that can’t be addressed by recorded multimedia content or PDFs. As Girdley also states in the same Wired article, “[software] developers grow when they’re under the tutelage of more senior people.”
Advantage 4: Bootcamps Enhance Hireability Through Quick Adjustments to Job Market Demands
Edtech solutions reviewer Course Report states that since bootcamps are relatively short learning tracks, they can quickly adapt their curriculum based on employer needs and job market trends. In other words, since bootcamps graduate each cohort or batch relatively sooner than traditional educational models, they can change their courses of study more frequently in accordance with what tech skills businesses currently need.
Aside from all these, both Columbia University and freelancing platform FlexJobs agree that bootcamps in general teach learners tech skills that they can immediately bring to the workplace. Columbia emphasizes in its blog that “bootcamps narrow their focus to essentials such as important [programming] languages and frameworks, key web technologies, and databases.”
The same university blog adds that aside from possessing competencies that employers want and need, bootcamp graduates are also taught how to improve their hireability through career training. Among the many skills imparted in this type of training include interview skills, resume writing best practices, and networking sessions.
Employer networks and an industry-focused curriculum make bootcamps the ideal choice for many career shifters or even those who have tech skills but want to level up in their jobs. These two bootcamp-specific features increase the probability that a career shifter or an ambitious professional will rise up the ranks or at least have a rewarding job.
Eskwelabs has a growing network of 120+ employers who we work with to help our graduates find job placements. Head to the “Bootcamps, Eskwelabs Style,” section to learn more about these unique features that our bootcamp students enjoy.
Though bootcamps have a lot of positive characteristics, they also have a flipside. Along with the advantages of bootcamps, we will also discuss the less desirable aspects of some bootcamps to help you make informed decisions regarding your career growth.
Disadvantage 1: Bootcamps Are Intense
The intensity of bootcamps comes mainly from its short-term nature. The fact that it only takes a few weeks to finish a bootcamp means a learner has to absorb all the possible content of the learning program to prepare himself or herself for the demands of the tech-driven workplace. In fact, according to information technology news provider ZDNet, full-time coding bootcamps can be extremely tiring.
That is why it’s important to select bootcamps that provide both competent and compassionate education. After all, though bootcamps can be demanding, learner fatigue is lessened especially when there is comprehensive support for students. We at Eskwelabs provide that kind of support through our mentors, which you will read about in the succeeding paragraphs.
Disadvantage 2: Entering Bootcamps Unprepared Can Make One’s Learning Experience “Raw”
Though bootcamps in general give the impression that they can turn any beginner into a tech expert, that is not always the case. According to Career Karma, one of the ways that attending a bootcamp can be a disadvantage is if you enter bootcamp unprepared (for example, you have no knowledge of any programming language, even a basic one like HTML). This is especially true if a bootcamp either does not have a well-designed curriculum or has courses that have not been structured in consultation with industry experts. Entering a bootcamp with “zero knowledge” can also be a disadvantage, especially if the bootcamp you select has no preparatory courses to help you learn basic tech skills (such as Python programming skills, which Eskwelabs’ Aral-Aral prep course teaches to aspiring data scientists who have little or no background in information technology).
So if you’re seeking to transition to a tech career or want that promotion in your high-tech company, you have to be careful in selecting a bootcamp that will actually prepare you for the challenges of the modern workplace by providing you solid foundations in tech competencies.
Bootcamps, Eskwelabs Style
What do you see when you order your favorite food through your smartphone app? Chances are, you see pictures, videos, and numbers, right?
But for high profile companies and businesses, every app login, order or purchase is a data point. In our modern age of interconnected devices and artificial intelligence, a data point has become as valuable as gold itself. After all, data can be used by companies to analyze sales figures, know what products or services are not sold quickly, and align organizational strategy accordingly for better profitability and efficiency.
Given that data is now dominating the world of business and work, one of the best career decisions you can make is to upgrade your skills for the fields of data science and data analytics. After all, America-based Forbes magazine and Filipino-owned periodical BusinessWorld both indicate that data science and data analytics will remain relevant despite the onslaught of unemployment in the wake of COVID-19.
If you’re willing, we’d like to help you secure a pandemic-resilient job by discussing what we offer in our two data bootcamps.
Our 12-week Data Science Fellowship and 8-week Data Analytics Bootcamp both feature mentors aside from instructors. The mentors, who have extensive industry experience, closely guide our learners as they create data projects to solve business and societal problems. If you take the chance to participate in our project-based and industry-relevant data education, your competitiveness in the job market will be ensured for years to come.
And you don’t even have to be an expert in technology to start your upskilling journey with us!
We have special pre-bootcamp events that can help you ease your way into the world of technology, particularly in the fascinating world of digital data. Or if you are a seasoned techie, our learning tracks can help you upgrade what stock tech skills you have and make them relevant for a data-driven world.
If you’re worried about the financial constraints that are inherent in many data education programs, then worry no more! Our financing partners Bukas and InvestEd are working with us to ensure that your tuition payments are made more manageable and easier on the budget.
Did we mention that our bootcamps are fully online?
That’s right. To accommodate busy professionals and protect as many people from the pandemic as possible, we have leveraged Internet and videoconferencing technology to conduct real-time classes and group-based project sprints in cyberspace. After all, the best way to learn about the cutting-edge field of data is through using cutting-edge communications technology.
And if you’re worried whether or not you will get a job after graduating from our bootcamps, we have good news for you!
If you graduate from any of our two data bootcamps, you will become eligible for our Job Interview Guarantee and Job Guarantee. The Job Interview Guarantee entitles our learners to have their resume included in our Resume Book, the single resume compilation that we send to over 120 company partners. Among the tech giants in our network include AboitizPower, DITO Telecommunications, IBM, Lazada, Samsung Philippines, and many others.
On the other hand, the Job Guarantee feature of our bootcamps ensures that our graduates get job search support from us for up to 6 months following graduation.
You may click the relevant links in the Recommended Reading section at the bottom of this blog post for more information about our two job-focused features.
March Towards Career Development with Us!An army boot camp prepares soldiers for missions that ultimately lead to peace and security. We at Eskwelabs have bootcamps that offer a different kind of peace and security. In a world where job security is threatened due to a data talent gap, we seek to arm as many people as possible with the necessary data skills to prepare them for the future of work.
After all, a world where people don’t feel insecure about their jobs is a peaceful world. We hope that you will march with us as we promote the common good through an inclusive and accessible data education.
- Decided on launching your career in the future of work (where the future is data!)? Click “Apply Now” in either of the following links to enroll and get started in your journey: