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Coding Bootcamps Offer an Education for the 21st Century

In a recent article for CIO, Sarah K. White (@sarahkwhite) goes in depth to answer the question, “Can coding bootcamps replace a computer science degree?” Her conclusion: bootcamps are a great way to get a leg up on the competition while job hunting, but employers still value job-seekers who have a traditional Computer Science degree; a view we don’t completely agree with.

White does have a lot of good things to say about bootcamps, noting that even though it’s not the most ideal route, bootcamps do offer a viable, and increasingly popular alternative to the traditional, four year college route. She points out a Course Report study which says that this year will have 7000 more coding school grads than 2014, with students being attracted to bootcamps’ more hands-on, more interactive lessons.

White notes that another big advantage bootcamps have over traditional CS education is the pace at which they keep up with changes in the tech industry, which is both quicker and more efficient than traditional college courses. These up-to-date skillsets are recognized and valued by employers who, according to the Course Report, offer a much higher average starting salary to bootcamp grads ($75,965) than CS grads ($64,300).

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The Hack Reactor curriculum teaches fundamentals that allow students to learn new technologies as needed.

Despite all of these advantages, White feels that employers still tend to value employees who have a 4 year degree more, making bootcamps a good but not solid replacement to college. Because of this, she believes that the ideal situation to join a bootcamp would be after getting a 4 year degree, using bootcamps to give you an edge when it comes to the job market:

“The bottom line is that coding bootcamps have come a long way in terms of legitimacy as an educational outlet. However, you probably won’t want to completely forego that computer science degree just yet. Instead, view bootcamps as a way to get a leg up in the post-college job search, get hands-on experience and more affordable way to expand your education beyond college.”

We are happy to see that more people than ever are taking advantage of all the benefits attending bootcamps brings, many of which White touched upon in her article, including a more immersive, hands-on experience and more industry-current curricula. However, when she discourages those considering passing on college to attend bootcamps, we have to disagree.

Coding bootcamps are much more than a supplement to a college education (although they absolutely could be that as well!) Here at Hack Reactor, we have seen countless success stories from our students who come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Many Hack Reactor alum do have a traditional 4-year degree, but not all of them.  The results, however, have been the same no matter what their path to Hack Reactor was. This is because we go beyond vocational skills, teaching CS fundamentals to build a solid foundation for our students, allowing them to reap many of the same benefits their university counterparts enjoy.

The result is Hack Reactor grads across the board finding professional success after graduation.  99% of our grads go on to find a job within 3 months of graduation and those jobs are rewarding, with an average starting salary of $105,000. Many of our hiring partners keep coming back, having seen the value a Hack Reactor grad brings to their respective companies.

Degree or not, Hack Reactor knows that employers value experience, know-how, and a passion for the job above all and we’re proud to offer our students exactly these things in our degree for the 21st century.

Ready to kickstart your career? Apply to our program today.

Read More:

Quora: If programs like Hack Reactor are legit, why do people bother with computer science degrees from traditional universities?

Data Talks: Programming Bootcamp or CS Degree

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