How Do I Know If Tech Bootcamp Is Right For Me?
In most cases, the career of your dreams doesn’t just fall into your lap. Finding a career you love involves a process of self-discovery, skill building, and networking.
Maybe you’ve spent a few years working and can’t figure out how exactly you ended up where you are. Surely that degree you worked so hard for wasn’t supposed to take you to this point. You’ve come to the realization that it’s time to take control of your career, but you’re not sure how to get from point A to B.
A tech bootcamp like Startup Institute could be the answer, but it’s not a silver bullet. In fact, there is no silver bullet. Your success depends on a number of factors, and for some people, a tech training program is one way to get you there.
So how do you know if a program like Startup Institute is right for you? Here are six signs that a tech bootcamp can help you find a career you love.
1. You have a positive outlook.
Have you ever attended a fitness bootcamp? If you want a low stakes way of finding out what a tech bootcamp feels like, try it out. It will challenge you; it will feel uncomfortable; it will push you outside of your comfort zone (ever heard of the 60 second pitch?). If you can maintain a positive outlook and thrive in the face of challenge, an intensive program like Startup Institute might be for you. “Students will be drinking from a fire hose which can be overwhelming at times. They need to stay positive and trust in the process,” says Associate Director of Admissions at Startup Institute Brad Darby.
You have to go into Startup Institute ready and willing to give 100% effort, and certain that you’re going to come out ahead. A “can’t do” attitude will only drag you down and make the process harder.
2. You lack the right set of skills to land the job you want.
After going through a pile of job descriptions you’ve realized you’re just not qualified. It’s a turning point that many people face at some point in their career. Let’s face it, you can only learn so much in a short period of time, and any bootcamp that promises to wave a magic wand and make you a tech guru after 8 weeks isn’t being completely honest. However, a bootcamp is designed to jumpstart your career by giving you the basic tools and vocabulary for learning the technical and soft skills that you need to thrive.
"I came to Startup Institute with a background in marketing but felt like my skills were lagging in relevance - like I was behind the times," Alumna Kim Wieczner reflects on her experience as a digital marketing student. "SI helped me turn what I considered softer skills into harder actionable skills by providing me the tools and language to describe what I wanted to do and allowing me to execute on finding the right job.”
3. You need hands-on experience.
One of my favorite parts of Startup Institute was the partner project. Students work with their cohort members on a cross functional team to solve a real challenge for a startup company. If you take the project seriously, as most students do, you walk away with something tangible that you can add to your resume or portfolio as well as discuss during job interviews. This is especially useful for career changers or those who have practically no experience in the field they’re trying to break into.
4. You’re a self-starting, get-shit-done kind of person.
Bootcamps don’t do the work for you, but they do give you the tools and resources that you need to thrive in a competitive job market. If you enjoy taking initiative and forging your own path, you’re on the right track by pursuing a training program. If you require a lot of hand holding, a bootcamp probably isn’t the best environment for you.
5. You realize the value of a network.
When I applied to the digital marketing program, I underestimated the power of networking, but I soon learned how critical it is – not only to find a job, but to discover what kinds of jobs were right for me. The sooner you can accept the value of your network, the closer you are to trusting in the Startup Institute process and finding your new career.
6. You’re committed to making a change.
Attending any sort of training program is a risk. If you choose to attend the full-time program, you will have no income for 8 weeks and while job success rates upon completion are high, there’s no guarantee when it’s over. If you’re committed to making a positive change in your life, you will see past this risk. If, on the other hand, changing careers is something that you’re just dreaming about, spend a little more time on the job and figure out if you’re truly committed to investing in change.
Be realistic about what you want to get out of tech bootcamp, and see if your goals are aligned with the program of choice.