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Bootcamps or Courses?

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There are numerous online learning opportunities. More resources, the higher the confusion about the choice of learning model. Is it an online course or a bootcamp? This article will discuss the features of bootcamps and courses and what differentiates one from the other.

Bootcamps are a fast-paced way to learn about a technological specialization. Their aim is to develop specific skill-sets in a short duration. A focused agenda and total immersion based on practice are the keys. With a few exceptions, bootcamps concentrate on digital skills in high demand in the job market. Those related to programming are the most popular and widely taught. Bootcamps are intense training sessions and provide a hands-on, collaborative learning environment. 

Bootcamps, as opposed to online courses, are focused more on building and sharpening skills and creating a career-ready workforce. The bootcamp can impart more technical knowledge in a few months than months of self-study. But that doesn’t mean online courses don’t have their merits. Let us see what does online courses and bootcamps offer:

Online courses typically include:

  • Web-based educational programs 
  • Focus on fundamentals of the specialized program
  • Self-paced or follow a set schedule with virtual meeting times
  • Video instruction, written instruction, and coding exercises (example – coding course)

Bootcamps typically include:

  • Student and instructor-engaged learning environment, full-fledged mentorship and curriculum 
  • Focus on a specific technical skillset, such as web development, software engineering, cybersecurity, data science, UX/UI software or various coding languages such as Python or PHP.
  • Various learning formats, including online, in-person, part-time, full-time, and self-paced options
  • Instruction in various programming languages and project-based learning, portfolio development, and interview preparation

Whether you’re just starting in the field or a seasoned professional looking to brush up on your skills, it’s critical to find a course that’s right for you. Start by doing your research and considering your needs.

Here are some things to consider before deciding on a Bootcamp or Course:

Is the curriculum material updated regularly?

First and foremost, the course material or bootcamp modules need to be thoroughly analysed for their relevance when enrolling in the course. Are the advancements of the platform/software/tools being taught in the course updated regularly on the course provider’s learning management system? For example, if you are looking for a web design and development course, then the course lessons need to be in sync with which platforms and software or design tools are being used in the industry. The material provided should not be obsolete at that time. As a learner, it is your responsibility to check this before registering for the bootcamp or course.

Who are the course creators? 

One needs to know who is the course designer or creator. The instructor or a team who has put together the course are experts in the field. If so, what areas of expertise do they have? Which modules are going to be covered by them? How can you benefit from their experience? Go through the ‘About.. course instructor/faculty’ section and have your questions answered before you take admission to the course or a bootcamp.

What is the structure of the bootcamp or coursework?

This is another important question one should ponder upon while deciding on a course or bootcamp. Is the course comprehensive enough to sharpen your skills? Spend time going through the structure and modules of the course thoroughly. That will give you a fair idea of the learning objectives and how coursework is organised to achieve them.

Is the schedule convenient for you?

It would help if you considered the timings of bootcamp or courses. If you can devote the required time and the schedule is convenient for you. If you are a student, you need to manage your college schedule and assignment project work, if any internships you have undertaken. Similarly, working professionals need to juggle between their work life and add-on courses to enhance their skillset. Before you enrol, make sure you can keep up with the schedule of bootcamp or course.

What do Reviews highlight?

Reviews give you insights into the course quality in terms of instructions, coursework modules, lesson scripts, visuals, assignments and project work. Learners suggest their view if they would recommend the course or bootcamp. Reviews also describe how that course was helpful and which aspect they found most useful. Such feedback in review and ratings always helps fellow learners to decide whether to enrol or not.

How much investment is required?

While deciding between course and bootcamp, compare the fee structures and then you can make a choice. Some online courses also offer financial aid provisions while registering for their course. The investment made shall need to be weighed for the value-add learning material and gained skills.

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