As the unprecedented shift towards online learning continues to grow, more students are seeking out the combination of skills development and flexibility offered through an online boot camp education. Today it is more possible than ever to break into fields such as web development, financial technology, UX/UI, cybersecurity, and digital marketing through the help of an online boot camp. However, not all boot camps offer the same value.
With a wide range of boot camps on the market, it is important to identify the characteristics of those that provide a top quality learning experience. Asking the questions below can help you choose an online boot camp that meets both your education and career goals.
1) Will I Have Access to Real-Time Interaction?
When it comes to learning difficult subject matter, nothing beats real-time interaction. Look for online boot camps that are held in a dynamic virtual environment, giving you the ability to ask questions as they arise and work together with your peers on projects. A high-quality online boot camp should use different tools and technologies to facilitate collaborative discussion, lab work, and hands-on projects.
2) Will I Learn On a Flexible Schedule?
It is important to choose a program that is adaptable to both your individual learning style and your lifestyle. Look for a boot camp that is built with flexibility in mind, with part-time structured options to suit your unique needs and schedule. Many online boot camps offer evening and weekend options designed for people like you who are actively pursuing a career change or advancement, but who need the flexibility to work around existing life commitments.
3) Will I Learn the Latest Technologies and Frameworks?
The first step to a thriving tech career is to learn in-demand, relevant skills. When looking for an online boot camp, seek out those that teach the skills and technologies that employers are looking for. By the end of your selected program, you should be able to take the skills you’ve learned and apply them to showcase your versatility as a tech professional.
4) Will I Gain Real-World Experience and Build a Portfolio?
Today’s employers want to make sure that new hires can put their knowledge into action. That is why high-quality online boot camp curricula include hands-on projects that closely mirror the work you might do in the industry. These projects will help you build a portfolio and demonstrate to future employers that you can use the latest technologies in collaborative scenarios.
5) Will I Receive Career Planning Support?
The best boot camps will support you during and after your journey. Look for an online boot camp that invests in your job search success through interactive preparation. Having this support behind you can help foster both your technical and soft skills to ensure you stand out in the job market.
A robust professional development team can help you transfer the skills that you’re learning in the program to your resume and communicate those new skills to hiring managers and employers.
Look for online boot camps that offer services such as:
• Live Office Hours
• Portfolio Reviews
• Behavioral or Technical Interview Training
• Resume and Social Media Profile Support
• Virtual Tech Panels
• 1:1 Career Coaching
• Soft Skills Training
• Attendance and Homework Tracking
• Customizable Tools and Templates
6) Will I Benefit From Financial Support?
While boot camps are a great way to jump-start your career, they also tend to come with a financial commitment. While browsing online boot camps, make it a point to also gain a solid understanding of the financial options that are available. Look for boot camps that offer funding options such as an Interest-Free Payment Plan or Early Registration Pricing incentive.
7) Will I Be Supported Throughout My Journey?
When learning a new skill, it’s essential to have the support you need during your journey. Consistent access to a strong support network comprised of the instructional team, fellow students, and student support and career services teams will help you get the most out of your learning experience, while also adding to your professional network. Having a strong team behind you can help lead to success in the classroom and in the next steps of your career.
We know that choosing the right boot camp is not an easy decision, so we hope these questions can help you determine which one is right for you.
If you’d like to join a boot camp that answers yes to each of the above questions and is designed to help prepare you for a rewarding career, explore UC San Diego Extension Boot Camps. You can also contact our admissions team at (858) 519-8997 to learn more.