Will Coding Bootcamps Replace the Need for Higher Education?

May 20, 2016

10:01 am

With the rising costs of higher education, more and more people are seeking alternative options. In particular, the increase of popularity with coding bootcamps has led to a destigmatization of coding, as well as opened the door for individuals from all kinds of backgrounds to fill technical roles. In short, the tech community wouldn’t be how it is today without the help of programming bootcamps.

But are they good enough to replace a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree?

On the Triblebyte blog, cofounder Ammon Bartram explores this very question. In it, he writes:

“Bootcamp grads are junior programmers. They have a lot to learn, and represent an investment on the part of a company that hires them. That said, this is also true of recent college graduates. We’ve found bootcamp grads as a group to be better than college grads at web programming and writing clean, modular code, and worse at algorithms and understanding how computers work. All in all, we’ve had roughly equivalent success working with the two groups.”

When it comes to preparing would-be programmers for the technical roles they wish to fill, bootcamps offer a different level of accessibility and comfort that higher education doesn’t. In bootcamps, there’s more variety with specializations (if the individual is learning on a basic/moderate/advanced level, and if they’re a member of a marginalized group, for example) that can increase the comfort that the student has while learning.

However, participating in higher education allows for more well-rounded learning to take place. In colleges and universities, students are exposed and encouraged to explore a variety of passions that may impact how they approach coding and the tech industry. And after all, tech is created and constantly evolves because of the curiosity of its members.

Programming bootcamps are great resources for newcomers and seasoned programmers alike to brush up on their skills. However, students who are considering forgoing the value that traditional education can have may miss out on other positives that will help them become better programmers.


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Cameron is a tech and culture journalist, comic book enthusiast, and lives near New York City. A graduate of Stockton University, she's using her words to shift the world of online journalism, one byline at a time. When she's not writing, she can be found reading sci-fi novels, collecting succulents, and planning her next obnoxious hair color. Cameron is an editorial fellow at Tech.Co. Send your tips to cameron@tech.co or tweet @BlkGirlManifest.

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