Apr 20 , 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Boot Camp

Today boot camps have become so ubiquitous that you are either a boot camp graduate or know someone who has enrolled in one.  

This is not surprising as boot camps are emerging as an effective means to bridge the gap between university education and employers’ job expectations. Compared to a three- or four-year college course, boot camps are shorter intensive courses lasting from a couple of weeks to a few months.   

According to a recent study, boot camp graduates see an average salary increase of 56%, with 66% of people finding jobs within ninety days of passing out.  

However, a note of caution – not all boot camps are created equal. So, it’s a good idea to do your research and find one that fits you.    

To help get started, we have curated an exhaustive list of factors you must check when you go boot camp shopping. 

The three core areas  

Broadly there are three areas to evaluate when choosing a boot camp. They are:  

  1. Your professional and personal goals – Being clear about your final aims helps you focus on boot camps that align with your goals. It also empowers decisive action and prevents you from straying off your chosen path.  
  2. Learning style – Everyone learns differently, so it’s crucial to pick a learning setup that fits you. Spend time figuring out which format best suits you, an online, in-person, or hybrid structure.   
  3. Boot camp features – Currently, a variety of boot camps are available in the market. But finding one that matches you perfectly can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. So, when considering a boot camp’s features, ensure they align with your larger goals and learning style.  
The six boot camp features to examine 

There are six main features to keep in mind when selecting a boot camp. They are: 

  • Duration – On an average, boot camps last for a few weeks. However, this can vary depending on what options you choose. For instance, a full-time course is usually shorter than a part-time one but is more intensive. It’s best to pick the one you can fully commit to and finish. 
  • Curriculum – The focus of the course should sync with the areas you are interested in. Additionally, make sure the boot camp teaches the fundamentals well, as it is easier to build upon a solid foundation. 
  • Cost and financing options – Though considerably cheaper than university, quality boot camps can still cost a pretty penny. If you require monetary support, browse through the financing options offered by a boot camp. Many provide scholarships, loans, or ISA (income-shared agreements). ISAs may be a good option as instead of paying tuition upfront, you pay after graduating and earning a specific salary. Another tip is to factor in hidden expenses like travel costs or textbooks when creating a boot camp budget. 
  • Career services and other services – Bootcamps can differ in their support, with some offering minimal assistance and others extra options like post-placement support. Some essential services to look for in a boot camp are job placement, setting up internships, career development workshops, resume-writing advice, and more. 
  • Quality of faculty – No matter how good the syllabus and services are, if the quality of instructors is not at par, it impacts the quality of education. So, researching the faculty of a boot camp – their educational qualifications, whether they have worked in the industry, and their teaching experience – is a must. An excellent place to start is the LinkedIn profiles of faculty members. Also, consider the trainer-trainee ratio, which can make the difference between getting quality time with instructors or getting lost in the crowd.  
  • Soft skills – Besides knowledge and technical capability, soft skills are vital for succeeding in today’s uber-competitive workplace. To grasp the importance of building attributes like problem-solving, communication, and passion for learning, check out our earlier blog. Furthermore, acquiring such skills will help you develop a growth mindset and quickly walk the path to success. So, look for boot camps that aren’t just information-centric but expand your mind and horizons. 

We are almost at the end of our list. To wrap up your research on boot camps, check out these additional elements.  

Word of mouth   

Student reviews are the best and most authentic source of information on boot camps. These provide a clearer picture of a boot camp, especially its culture. After all, a boot camp can look good on paper, but the reality may differ. Tapping into students’ experiences can help you gain a more realistic understanding of what to expect. Remember to read reviews uploaded on a boot camp’s website and scan reviews from third-party websites.  

Student outcomes are another element to note. Some important areas to look into are what percentage of graduates from a boot camp land a job, how long after graduation they get a job, and the salary offered. 

Some final considerations – the cherry on top  

Some may wonder if it’s necessary to delve this deep when researching boot camps. There is no hard and fast rule; ultimately, the choice is yours. However, unlike colleges and universities, boot camps are not accredited. So, no third party verifies a boot camp’s quality and legitimacy.  

Besides, even if you choose the perfect boot camp for yourself to make the most out of it, you need one more thing—the right attitude. This means committing time and effort to get the best out of your boot camp experience.   

Picking the right boot camp and cultivating the right mindset has helped many successfully upgrade their careers or transition to other jobs. For them, boot camps were the best path forward. So finally, remember, no matter your goal, learning style, or topic of interest, there is a boot camp out there for you. 

Connect with us to find a boot camp that’s the perfect fit for you.