Many aspiring developers ask this question when considering a short coding course. A degree program takes 3-4 years to complete with long semesters. You can also expect tons of assignments for each course every week.
Is it worth the hustle? Can you trade all that time and effort for a shorter course? Such questions arise when you already know the career path you want to take.
For example, some people develop interest in web design in high school. The temptation is to go straight to a coding school in Kenya, take a 3-4 months course and get going.
Is this a wise decision? A university or college program does more than cover the course material or curriculum. Look at the benefits of enrolling in such a program before you make a move.
Top benefits of a degree program
1. Personal development
Your growth and development as a professional is equally important as the certificate you get at the end of a course. When you grow, you can make better decisions in your career path. You must be intentional to grow.
Have you not come across skilled people that cannot keep a job or business? It takes more than skills to build a successful career. You need additional skills in communication, organisation, and relationships.
Four or three years in school with young adults will refine these skills. You have opportunities to do group assignments, which prepare you for the real workplace. Teamwork is part of the game in software development.
2. Theory and basics
Few schools that offer short coding courses offer introductory lessons. The assumption is that you know the basics of the major programming languages. Universities and colleges take time with the basics of each language and software development.
Here is the thing about the “101” classes. If you miss the definitions and basic building blocks, it becomes difficult to understand the same languages at later stages.
We understand that people enrol for such courses under different circumstances. However, whether you can afford a degree program or not, you still have to learn the basics. In some cases, you may have to take personal lessons before joining a coding school.
3. Better career options
When you first join the university, you think you know all the career options to explore. However, as you take the lessons and interact with other students, you develop new interests. You discover new career paths that you did not think about before enrolling.
In addition, the curricula for degree programs are broad. You are not limited to one career path, especially in technology. You have enough time to pick the right path for you.
University programs come with a requirement of internship, which prepare you for the real workplace. Internship programs are a chance to taste a career path in the real world. Such opportunities are unavailable or limited with short coding courses.
4. Higher salaries and benefits
Some employers acknowledge and pay for the skills that developers have gained over time. In fact, some of the well-paid developers took a short coding course and hit the job market. However, the majority of employers still value a university certificate.
You are likely to be shortlisted for an interview just because you have a degree certificate. Now, with the excellent skills you gain from coding boot camp or school, the salary negotiations become easy.
Graduates generally earn better than other employees do in terms of salaries and benefits. That is a proven fact around the world. This does not mean that non-graduates do not deliver at work. It is just a standard of distinguishing employees.
5. Networking opportunities
Networks make a huge difference in the job market, whether you choose employment or entrepreneurship. The connections you get while attending normal lectures will proof significant in the future.
Fellow students can help you to identify new job opportunities fast after your graduation. They have the same interests and exploring the same field as you. In addition, should you choose entrepreneurship, you have quick access to the right employees.
You just never know whom you will need in the future. We have not even considered the connections you make with tutors and students taking courses in other fields. When you take a short coding course, you have just a few months to make such connections.
6. Access to job opportunities
A degree certificate is often the ticket you need for an entry-job in any field. Some of the best employers prefer to work with graduates. The certificate you get from a coding school gives you an added advantage.
In other words, you do not stop at attaining a degree certificate. Improve your skills further, especially in the field that you choose to specialize in for better opportunities. Some of the jobs you get with a degree certificate have nothing to do with your coding or programming skills.
If you qualify for a degree program, enrol and start learning the basics of the field of interest. Do not worry about the outdated curricula or programming languages. The time you spend learning will be worth it in the long-term.
Engage your tutors and students ahead of you when making career decisions. Build a strong network with fellow students across all fields and keep their contacts. You will need them.
Take advantage of any internship opportunities you get during your studies. Be open to change because you might develop other interests in the program. In addition, it is never too late to find the right career path.
Finally, do not settle for a degree program. Thousands of other graduates have the same training and certificates. Take extra lessons to build your profile. Coding schools will help you perfect what you learnt in the university or college.
You do not need wait until you graduate to enrol for a short coding course. Use your free time to study further. By the time you graduate, you will have mastered the development skills you need to succeed in the real workplace.