Get Started With Web Development: Self-Taught vs. Bootcamps vs. Getting a CS Degree . A look at the different paths to learning web development
The comparison between the different ways of getting into tech is one of the most discussed topics of all time. Some are for the idea that one specific option is best compared to the others. 2020 has given us a fair share of setbacks, inclusive of the pandemic, which is why I thought it was better to go back to this topic and look further into it. After reading this, you’ll have a different opinion about this topic because we’ll have looked at the dimensions in which it’s usually discussed from other perspectives.
It doesn’t require much to start your development career. For a self-taught route, the only things you need are a computer, your time, and an internet connection.
Getting into a Bootcamp requires you to pass an assessment test for your skills in programming. Some will even send you what you need to know before going forward with your application.
The most inaccessible route is getting a CS degree because you need to have some qualifications from your high school or other institution to apply.
As a self-taught developer, I’d say the self-taught route is the cheapest. There are a plethora of free websites, courses, and books on the internet to get your feet wet with any technology out there. If that’s not enough and you need specific direction or structure, there are a lot of paid courses where instructors take you on a journey from beginner to whatever stage you want to be. The highest you might end up paying maybe a couple of hundred dollars for the paid, guided courses.
The Bootcamp route is not as cheap because you will have that instructor-student physical relationship. It is less expensive than going for the CS degree. The best part about paying for a Bootcamp is that they have different payment options. You can pay nothing upfront if you go with the deferred tuition modal or income-shared agreement model. You can also pay for everything upfront, which might cost something like $15k-$20k.
If you look at the CS degree route, you’ll end up paying more than $40k a year even with government support and all.
Starting with the self-taught route, you’ll notice that you’ll only have to learn the most useful targeted material to get you ready for the market. The only issue is that most beginners never know where to begin, which is why they end up confused when it comes to deciding what to do. If I were to prepare a course outline for my younger self with all the information I currently possess, I’d go with the most targeted approach. I’d be clinical about what to learn amidst the chaos.
Bootcamps are best when it comes to this attribute because they are a controlled environment. Yes, they may teach you a little bit of what you will not use, but they will ensure structure. In a Bootcamp, you get to dive in and get your hands dirty with modern technology and proper direction in case you ever get lost in the noise.
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