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IT boot camp

Information Technology boot camps, or IT boot camps, have taken off in popularity in recent years as a way for employees to advance their careers and prospective employees to earn new jobs by gaining key programming skills in a short but often very intensive timeframe.

While IT boot camps didn’t exist prior to 2012, today there are over 100 IT coding boot camp companies and schools to choose from. A few of the best known and most reputable IT boot camps include App Academy, Hack Reactor, Hackbright Academy, General Assembly, Coding House, Dev Bootcamp, and Bloc.

These technology coding bootcamps offer instruction on a wide array of computer programing languages, philosophies, and skillsets, including HTML, JavaScript, Python, PHP, Ruby on Rails, and more.

IT boot camps span an average of 12 weeks but can vary from 6 to 28 weeks or more in length, depending on the subject matter and the school or company providing the IT coding boot camp instruction. Most IT boot camps provide intensive, accelerated learning curriculums with hands-on projects where students develop their own software programs, web apps, and other digital tools.

IT Boot Camps Come in All Shapes and Sizes

When it comes to selecting an IT boot camp, options abound, with full-time, part-time, and online coding boot camps all available to select from, as well as locations across the country. Additionally, you’ll find IT boot camps run by independent organizations, by reputable colleges and universities, and also a hybrid of the two where an independent IT boot camp company partners with a reputable school for collaborating on boot camp offerings.

Full-time IT boot camps are often extremely intensive and require up to 80 hours per week of work over a two- to seven-month period of time. As a result of the time demand, this often means the student needs to take time off from their full-time position if they have one.

These full-time IT boot camps can also be quite expensive, although some companies will pay a portion or all of the expense of the coding boot camp for an employee if it’s an extremely valuable skill that the company lacks.

For those with less time or money to commit to a full-time boot camp, part-time IT boot camps or online bootcamps are often a more attractive option. Part-time IT boot camps typically require a commitment of 20 hours or so a week, which can be spent on location or online depending on the boot camp.

These part-time and online IT boot camps also tend to be more affordable than their full-time boot camp counterparts, making them an ideal option for those needing additional flexibility or a more economical boot camp option.

Are IT Boot Camps Accredited?

Most IT boot camps are not accredited in the same way colleges and universities are, and they are not able to grant degrees to students who successfully complete the boot camp. Many of the larger, more recognizable IT boot camps do however work with state agencies to become accredited as an IT boot camp.

And colleges and universities that offer their own IT boot camps or partner with IT boot camp companies are able to rely on their reputation and accreditation to provide boot camps that are frequently held in high regard by employers.

Some of the best-known schools providing reputable IT boot camps today include Northeastern University (Level), the Coding Bootcamp at UT Austin, Georgia Tech Coding Bootcamp, the Coding Bootcamp at UNC Chapel Hill, Northwestern Coding Bootcamp, University of Minnesota, Seattle University Coding Bootcamp, DeVry Bootcamp, California Coding Bootcamps (at UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego), and Rutgers Coding Bootcamp.

Alternatives to / Preparation for IT Boot Camps

IT boot camps often require a serious commitment in terms of both time and money, and are not for everyone as a result. For those just getting started with coding, a free online course often makes more sense and can be an economical alternative to an IT boot camp or a great way to get hands-on knowledge of coding without a significant investment.

Free online coding courses from Codeacademy, Code School, Coursera, and the online Computer Science and Programming courses through Harvard (edX) and MIT (OpenCourseware) are great places to start if you’re just getting started with coding or are considering an IT boot camp in the future.

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