Coding Bootcamps in Kenya versus College Degrees: Making the Right Decision

Do coding bootcamps in Kenya deliver their promise? Can you really become a world-class developer after graduating from a coding bootcamp? Well, we cannot ignore such questions that linger in the minds of many aspiring developers.

If you dream of becoming a top software engineer in Kenya, you must have considered enrolling for a computer science degree. The traditional notion that you need a college degree to succeed in any career path is still so strong in the country.

Every guide you read on how to become a software engineer will mention a degree program. Where do coding bootcamps fit? Can you gain the skills you need in 4-6 months and beat another developer who takes 4 years in college?

We are in a generation that enjoys fast speed in everything. We are constantly looking for the fastest way to learn and start earning from our new skills. Are we missing something? Let us take the discussion further.

Coding bootcamps vs degree programs

As we discuss coding bootcamps in Kenya, realize that not all fit into the same category. Some promise skills that students never get while others go all out to shape developers. Our discussion is limited to coding camps that cover all major lessons in programming extensively.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing between bootcamps and colleges:

1. Curriculum

The most important consideration when choosing any school should the curriculum content. After all, you are after specific skills and not just passing time in class. A computer science degree covers all major programming components.

You have enough time in college to learn algorithms, languages such as Java, C++, system design, and advanced mathematics. Some booting camps will touch on these courses. However, most camps are more focused on the job market than papers.

The additional lessons you are likely to find in boot camps include Github, Python, Ruby, Javascript, and APIs among others. It is important to state here that the curriculum varies from one camp to another. Some will offer more lessons if you engage for a longer period while others have a fixed curriculum.

2. Time

It takes any time from a few weeks to six months to graduate from a coding bootcamp. A college degree will take 3-4 years depending on the institution. Some private institutions offer a crash program to enable students to complete a program within a short period.

How much time are you willing to commit to learning how to code? Do you want to learn part-time as you work or full-time? The decision will always vary from one individual to another. High school graduates may have more time to study than working professionals.

3. Cost

Beyond the time commitment, you must consider the cost of education. You may be willing to spend several years in school. Can you afford it? Let us real about the situation in Kenya and many parts of Africa. Many parents cannot afford to take their bright kids through college programs.

Coding bootcamps in Kenya are cheaper than both public and private universities. Any aspiring software engineer should not settle for another career because of the lack of fees. You can start from a coding bootcamp based on your budget and build a thriving career.

4. Personal career goals

Students are rarely taught about setting and pursuing career goals. Such lessons only come as an additional program in college by third parties. You have the power to make such a decision while still in high school. If unsure, ask a professional developer for advice.

Before thinking about a college or boot camp, think about what you want to do. The field of software engineering is wide. The reality is that most of the courses you learn do not apply to all fields.

Let us say you are enthusiastic about mobile apps and have no interest in websites. Learning both increases your chances of getting new jobs. However, specializing in one area makes you an expert in it. Clients always prefer to work with experts.

In such a situation, enrolling in a mobile apps coding camp will work for you. The tutors choose specific skills and lessons that apply to mobile app development. However, if you intend to pursue a tutoring career in software engineering, enrolling in a degree program is not optional

5. Practical skills

Some of the areas where colleges beat coding bootcamps in Kenya are algorithms, data structures, and advanced mathematics. Bootcamps, on the other hand, offer practical skills. In most cases, the organizations that run bootcamps are in the software engineering fields.

The tutors recruited in bootcamps know the type of skills that developers need to succeed in the market. Have you heard of the skills gap in software engineering in Kenya? Many university graduates have good grades but lack the practical skills that employers require.

You may think that four years is enough time to gain practical skills. However, the experience is different in every college. Some colleges offer opportunities for students to apply the acquired skills. Most institutions focus on completing the components of the curriculum.

Must you choose?

Do you have to choose between programming bootcamps and college programs? Our advice, you can the best of both programs. Completing a university degree does not mean that you should rule out boot camps.

You need practical lessons to apply your skills and acquire new skills that college does not cover. For instance, college tutors have limited time and resources to give personalized career advice. Bootcamps often have fewer students in session. You can access help from tutors and make personal career choices.

College programs offer the basic components of all aspects of programming. Hence, you easily change your career path in the future.  You can start with a college degree and then join a bootcamp. Alternatively, you can join a boot camp if you have less time and resources to enrol in college.

The right choice and path here depend on an individual’s goal. What do you want to become? Do you have basic training in coding and looking for opportunities to grow? Are you a fast learner who can acquire basic skills within weeks and make a career out of it? Evaluate your goals and available resources to make the decision. Kwetu Hub offers a balance of a rich curriculum for each track and practical programming skills.

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