The Pros & Cons of Online Versus Offline Coding Bootcamps

The Pros & Cons of Online Versus Offline Coding Bootcamps

If you’ve been considering registering for a coding bootcamp, you’re not alone. For the past decade, the number of coding bootcamps, and bootcamps graduates, has been growing. For good reason. Once just open to graduates of four-year computer science college programs, web development is now a possibility after just six months of a coding bootcamp. 

With their hyper-intensive formats that include training on in-demand skills, coding bootcamps are quickly becoming stepping stones to entering a career in tech and quickly earning a better-paying job. As the popularity of bootcamps has grown, so have the different types of coding bootcamp formats. Understanding their pros and cons, and understanding how they fit into your particular needs, will help determine which one is best for you.

Traditional Classroom Or Offline Coding Bootcamps

The very first type of coding bootcamp to develop, the purely offline model, was based on the traditional classroom style of learning. Under this approach, students are expected to attend class in-person five days a week, generally for full day sessions. They have dedicated instructors to take them through each lesson and support them throughout the bootcamp.

Out of the gate, this seems like a great model. They are immersive experiences that absolutely offer students the skills they need for a job as a web developer. They also enable students to work with peers and develop a new professional network. However, this is the most inflexible coding bootcamp format out there. Individuals with full time jobs, families or other commitments often can’t drop everything to attend class full time. Further, with locations mainly in major cities, offline bootcamps are generally inaccessible to students in rural and suburban areas, and even smaller cities and towns. Additionally, costing nearly $10,000, this model is extremely expensive.

Purely Online Coding Bootcamps

For a completely different option, there are purely online coding bootcamps. This model takes place completely online. Students are expected to follow training modules and assignments via structured, digital courses. For individuals who need a hyper-flexible solution to work around busy schedules, this is a great option. Additionally, the online format accommodates students no matter where they reside. Also, with fairly low price tags, online coding bootcamps are generally the most affordable option out there.

However, the biggest downside of this model is its lack of accountability. Online bootcamps often don’t have fixed deadlines, and rarely come with dedicated instructors. As a result, there’s little to help keep students motivated to complete their lessons and build up their skills. For this reason, no matter how good this model may look, the fact remains very few students actually finish the program.

Flipped Classroom Or Hybrid Coding Bootcamps

With these two models drawing in students, a new type of coding bootcamp model emerged to address their fundamental weaknesses. Often called the flipped classroom or hybrid coding bootcamp, this model combines the upsides of both online and offline bootcamps while doing away with their classic downsides. Under this approach, students take structured lessons online during the week so that they can fit their training around their schedule. However, they meet offline on weekends for structured workshop sessions with peers and a dedicated instructor. Students are pushed to get their work done, and are given a built-in network and deadline sto keep them motivated. Notably, this type of bootcamp is available in large cities as well as smaller cities and towns, helping them reach students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend a coding bootcamp. Perhaps most remarkable is that these bootcamps are frequently offered for $1,700 or less. This makes this flexible and accessible model actually affordable too.