How To Pick An Online Bootcamp: 6 Factors You Should Consider

Picking an online bootcamp is hard. Here are six key factors you should consider when making your decision.

Online bootcamps are not cut-and-dry experiences. Each bootcamp provider tries to stand out from the competition with something unique, whether it’s curriculum subject matter, teaching style, or available resources. And, with the multitude of online bootcamps available, it’s hard to know where to start.

When picking an online bootcamp program, you should consider a variety of factors that weigh against your current situation, present understanding of subject matter, and personal financial considerations.

To help kickstart the process, we’ve identified six key things you should keep in mind.

Read on to learn more.

6 Factors to Consider When Picking An Online Bootcamp

We’ve identified six key things to keep in mind when choosing an online bootcamp:

  1. Cost
  2. Curriculum topics and projects
  3. Learning format
  4. Human support
  5. Prerequisites
  6. Career services and job guarantee

Cost

Online bootcamps may be more financially accessible than master’s degrees—but that doesn’t mean they come cheap.

The average online bootcamp costs an average of around $12,000 for a full course. However, many programs usually offer financing options such as deferred tuition and pay-as-you-go options. Some even waive the tuition costs if you’re unable to secure a job offer upon graduation.

springboard cost

Curriculum topics and projects

Curriculum strength in online bootcamps is never a given. It’s your responsibility as the student to validate that the presented curriculum of any online bootcamp is one that will develop your skills to an employer’s—and personal—expectations.

As tools and industry skill requirements evolve, curriculums need to as well to reflect any changes, new developments, or new tools that impact the relevant industry.

  • To validate a program curriculum, be sure to browse the course reviews for graduate retrospectives as well as compare the curriculum against competitor bootcamp offerings.
  • If you have friends or network contacts that work professionally in the space you’re looking to grow in, don’t hesitate to reach out and get their opinion on the curriculum you’re interested in.

Similar to course work, projects are as integral to a successful bootcamp program as attendance. Unlike projects you might remember during your high school or university years, bootcamp projects not only reinforce your new skillset but also serve as your first professional portfolio pieces. Projects are invaluable to getting hired post-graduation of your bootcamp and without them, finding a job becomes much more difficult.

  • When picking a program, make sure the curriculum is up-to-date and adequately reflects the industry you want to go into; for example, a UX/UI bootcamp that includes a capstone/real-world project that demonstrates your skills to potential employers
  • Projects are usually completed outside of class—though there are plenty of bootcamps that carve out time during class for you to work on your projects.
  • Speak with a course representative before picking a bootcamp to get a good understanding of the class course/project balance so that you can plan your time accordingly.

Learning format

Everyone has their preferred learning environment. Take a moment to consider and strategize around your personal learning habits when considering the right online bootcamp.

  • For example, how much access will you actually have to a mentor or instructor?
  • How many students are you enrolled with?
  • Is the course structure synchronous (students learning together simultaneously) or asynchronous (students learning independently on their own time)?

Take time to make sure that your course provider is providing the infrastructure to match your preferred learning style.

springboard learning format

Human support

Your tuition money goes further than just a platform or classroom. It is vital that any online bootcamp program you pick provides you with human support and mentorship to guide you through the learning experience.

  • Regardless of your proficiency as a self-learner, many bootcamps advertise access to either the course leader or a mentor, who is most likely a highly-qualified professional themselves.
  • Some bootcamps offer weekly access to an industry expert mentor who is readily available to assist with assignment help, clear up confusion around the course material, and help refine project work.
  • Before selecting a bootcamp, try and establish that your desired program is going to provide you the surplus of attention and mentorship required for you to succeed without issues.

Springboard mentorship

Prerequisites

Most bootcamps require some prior knowledge. Some will explicitly outline what specialized experience is required before you apply. In the event that this is unclear, track down bootcamp graduates or speak with a program representative who can provide some clarity.

Before applying to any online bootcamp, make sure your current skillset prepares you adequately for that particular program.

springboard prerequisites

Career services and job guarantee

Ideally, the online bootcamp you end up choosing will align well with a high-paying and intellectually stimulating career opportunity. While preferable, this isn’t always the result. Some programs offer certifications, while others offer job guarantees to establish their authenticity. What ultimately matters is how well they can equip you with the skills you need to clear the job interview process for your next role.

What makes your overall outcome successful is not only your curriculum comprehension but your portfolio, which will serve as a testament to your abilities. A wholesome online bootcamp experience provides a balanced result of skill acquisition, portfolio examples, and potentially a certification.

Take a moment to define your post-bootcamp goals and connect with graduates or program reps to make sure the program can help you hit those goals effectively.

Ready to learn more?

Now that you have everything you need to pick an online bootcamp, head over to our bootcamp comparison guide to compare top-rated online bootcamps.

You’ll find comparisons between:

Springboard vs. Thinkful
Springboard vs. Fullstack Academy
Springboard vs. Flatiron School
Springboard vs. Lambda School

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