A friend of mine had been in the film industry for years, but that industry had experienced an unfortunate downturn, which meant she wasn’t getting the freelance work she needed to live comfortably. She was thinking of studying something else, she explained to me over a coffee we had a few months back, possibly tour guiding. I told her what I knew about learning programming, the various job opportunities out there and what the industry entails. I had no intention of changing her mind, but I ended up doing exactly that. She texted me a week back to thank me profusely. She had finished her online bootcamp and had recently landed her third coding freelance job. She ended the text by saying, ‘It was the best decision I ever made.’ Should you consider a bootcamp if you’re unemployed or you don’t have sufficient work in your current industry? Read on to find out.
A key reason for considering a boootcamp if you’re unemployed is the salary on offer. The USA Today reports that that ‘More of the country’s highest-paying jobs are in technology, and they all require specialized training – but not necessarily an advanced degree. In return, workers can expect a salary of $100,000 or beyond.’
13 of the 25 highest-paying jobs are in tech, explains Glassdoor, a jobs and recruitment site. These include software development manager ($108,879), software engineering manager ($107,479) and Software Architect ($105,329).
Amanda Stansell, an economic research analyst at Glassdoor states: ‘For many years tech roles have dominated this list. This reinforces that employers are willing to pay top dollar for these positions.’ Stansell goes on to say: ‘You can get many of these jobs by attending a coding boot camp or by learning different coding languages.’
If you’re unemployed, either because you’re between jobs or you’re struggling to secure your first job, you ideally want to be in an industry where there is high demand for your skills. Luckily, tech job demand continues to outpace supply.
Last year, the market grew about 2%, according to an annual report released by The Computing Technology Industry Association(CompTIA), one of the IT industry’s top trade associations.That equates to about 7.3 million workers. It seems clear that the digital economy is flourishing and tech jobs are in high demand.
Remember: tech jobs are not just in tech organisations. These days all industries require a tech presence of some kind. Take retail, says Stansell, they ‘need skilled tech workers to research and analyze data to further their business practices.’
When you’re unemployed, you likely to be low on money but time should be one resource you’ll have in abundance. You can turn this to your advantage if you’re wanting to learn programming quicker than someone who is learning part-time while holding down a job. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to say how long it will take you to learn to code. It of course depends on a number of variables, such as how proficient you want to be, how many languages you want to learn and much much time you can spend each day learning.
This year’s report on coding bootcamps by Course Report does provide some guidance, however. Most full-time bootcamps are in the 12 week range, where students put in at least 40 hours per week. Online bootcamps tend to be slightly longer at an average of 15.4 weeks.
Freelance and Remote Work Opportunities
If you’re unemployed another reason to enrol on a bootcamp is that you can almost start working straight away. Many companies offer remote and freelance working opportunities. Not only can you work from anywhere – the beach, the local coffee shop, your home – but the average freelance salary is even higher than a permanent salary: According to Glassdoor, you can expect to earn an average freelancer salary of $104,463 per annum in the United States. Many remote companies offer fantastic perks and benefits.
Here are some tips to start your freelance career. Remember, you can start implement these things as soon as you enrol on a bootcamp:
- Start a blog – backlink it to more visible blogs, and try and get some links from other sites to your blog
- Set up a website and include testimonials – include fresh, original content for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and make sure you include how people can contact you. Include relevant testimonials.
- Network, both online and in-person – as far as networking goes, set up a LinkedIn account. You can also sign up for GitHub, where you can host and review code, manage projects, and build software alongside millions of other developers.
Pay for Your Bootcamp
This final point concerns a potential obstacle that you may think stands in your way if you’re keen to enrol on a bootcamp, but you’re unemployed. You may think you can’t afford it. However, there are a number of ways of financing your bootcamp, including:
- Checking out if the bootcamp offers a scholarship – remember, there is no harm in asking. The worst thing that can happen is that you’ll be met with a ‘no’.
- Crowdfunding – this can done online. Digital Trends lists some of the best crowdfunding sites online including Indiegogo and GoFundMe.
- Choose a different payment plan – many bootcamps offer options, from paying the full amount at a slightly discounted rate upfront to paying off the course over the duration of study. Make sure you speak with someone about all the options available.
In closing, we’ve listed a number of reasons you may well want to consider a bootcamp if you’re unemployed. HyperionDev offers online coding bootcamps in Full Stack Web Development, Mobile Development and Software Engineering. You’ll get your own personalised mentor to help you whenever you get stuck.