To Bootcamp, or Not to Bootcamp – That is the Question.

In my first post, 5 Things You Should Know About Me, I mentioned that I was in the process of changing careers. I also mentioned that my path to discovering a different career was something that I wanted to share with y’all! So, let’s get started!

When I went off to college, I had my mind dead set on one career path. I knew what I wanted to be for the rest of my life. Now, let’s all laugh at that statement because let’s be real, no 18 year old knows EXACTLY what they want to do for the rest of their life. I sure believed I did at the time, but now I look back at that state of mind and laugh. Young and naive are the words I’d choose to use. I don’t know who in their right mind thought an 18 year old kid going off to school and away from home for the first time could make such a huge decision that would impact the rest of their life, but we won’t get into that right now.

Anyways, after four years of undergraduate work and one year of graduate work, I had three things in my possession: 2 bachelor degrees and 1 masters degree. All of them, now useless to me. Two of these degrees, as well as two and a half years of my professional work experience, are within a healthcare field. Now for reasons that aren’t a necessity to explain, I have decided to start all over!

html_css.jpgAt the end of November, after a lot of time, research, and soul-searching, I decided what I wanted to dive head first into: front-end web development. I began to find free online tutorials for HTML and CSS, and I went through a few of these within a month’s time.

After realizing that I really do love what I’m learning and am incredibly excited to continue to learn more, I started to dive deeper into what being a front-end web developer would mean for me. What came of this? I learned that this is a profession that I am never going to know everything. This is a profession that will require me to be a “forever student/learner,” something that my dad has continued to say I will always be. And most importantly, I get to embrace my perfectionist personality characteristics and apply them to something. Needless to say, I am very excited for this journey of learning everything I need, to become a front-end web developer.

Now, here comes the difficult part! I can’t decide if I want to pay a decent amount of money to enroll into a web development bootcamp. On the one hand, there are plenty of free resources out there to help me learn what I need to on my own. Meanwhile, on the other hand, that means that I have to learn it on my own, which means taking longer with a lot more frustration.

In my mind, there are numerous pros to entering a bootcamp, such as: building a portfolio, completing projects (practice), teacher and/or mentor help, classmates and group discussions, career placement/help, as well as structured learning! The only con that I see: paying a lot of money. You must be thinking, “well you have to spend money to make money,” and let me tell you, you wouldn’t be wrong. My only fear is paying all this money to then possibly come out at the end with not enough to get a job.

The more research I do on it though, looking at reviews of many different bootcamps, it does appear that people leave these and get entry-level positions. So, is it worth it? I think so. Will I do it? That is still yet decided. Don’t worry though, you’ll find out soon enough what I decide!

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