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A Coding Bootcamp vs. Self-Taught Coding Course: What’s the Difference?

Hack Reactor

A Coding Bootcamp vs. Self-Taught Coding Course: What’s the Difference?'s Image

Now that you have decided you want to pursue a coding course, it is time to decide whether a self-taught course or a coding bootcamp is the best option for you and your goals. Here are 5 key differences to consider when making this important decision.


1.     Coding bootcamps have more structure than self-taught courses

You’re learning how to code and that is no simple task. Code powers our digital world and having a cohesive coding bootcamp curriculum built by those who know what they are doing is a great way to have monitored and structured progress whether you’re onsite or remote. Not only does this teach code in a more applicable way, but also provides you with the ability to appropriately pace yourself.


2.    Coding bootcamps give students higher access to content

A lot of our students, such as Brittany Starr, have stated that a main factor in switching over to a coding bootcamp was the limited tools offered by online sites. In order to accomplish an in-depth understanding that can be applicable post-program, coding bootcamps make sure to be immersive and collaborative by putting together the tools you need in order to succeed. How do you know otherwise that you’re receiving the most up-to-date materials and that you’re covering everything you need to know?


3.    You’ll work on a team in a coding bootcamp

On the same note, learning in groups has been shown to have a variety of benefits. Students who work together have improved concentration, accountability, time management, and greater overall understanding of concepts, according to this published study. At Hack Reactor, work with a team through pair programming, and video hangouts to brainstorm together on projects and other assignments.


4.    Coding bootcamps connect students with a life-time network

Having this community comes with infinite possibilities. A coding bootcamp offers connections within the program you are currently attending, as well as connections to the alumni that came before you. At Hack Reactor we have amazing peer mentors who have been through the program before and will hold office hours or one-on-ones to help you get the most out of your coding bootcamp experience. Additionally, a program can provide career support through mentorship, review, and insider knowledge into opportunities.


5.    Coding bootcamp alumni get a leg up in the job market

One of the most common reasons for why students tend to favor a self-taught course is because it costs significantly less than a coding bootcamp. However, in addition to the other reason listed above, consider a recent job report from Glassdoor; more than a third of the highest paying jobs in the U.S. require some experience in computer programming. Think of it as entering a higher level of industry (and higher paying job) with your best foot forward.

Learning how to code gives you the freedom to build your own career and is only going to become more important in the future. Both a self-taught course and a coding bootcamp each have their advantages depending on your availability and intended level of commitment, but a bootcamp will give you that needed boost in order to help you hit the ground running. It is a lot of material and now is the time to push yourself if you want to achieve your coding goals.

No matter what stage you’re at, it is wise to weigh all of your available options. Congratulations on reaching this exciting new stage in your career and good luck!

Learn more about Hack Reactor's full-time and part-time programs. We're online in SFAustinNYC, and LA.