Python Bootcamp: 6 Top Reasons Why You Won’t Regret It
Python is one of the most intuitive and versatile languages used in the programming and data science sectors. It features a straightforward, learnable syntax and maintains a vast library of pre-built packages that support every conceivable coding endeavor, from game design to machine learning. Its utility cannot be understated for anyone who wants to make it in the tech world.
But, like its scaly namesake, Python can be a little intimidating to grapple with at first. Thankfully, you don’t need to do so alone. If you attend a Python programming bootcamp, you’ll have a chance to grasp the language’s fundamentals in a supportive, project-driven learning environment.
Need more convincing? We’ve got you covered — in this article, we’ll give you six surefire reasons for why you should enroll in a Python bootcamp.
What Makes Learning Python at a Bootcamp Great
Let’s start by answering the most basic question — namely, what is a Python programming bootcamp?
Coding or data analytics bootcamps are intensive academic programs that impart core programming languages and skills to learners within just three to six months. Bootcamps offer supportive, instructor-driven lessons that are delivered either virtually or in-person in a collaborative classroom setting. These courses are specifically designed for professionals who want to upskill or pivot careers quickly and as such, they offer a degree of flexibility and speed that learners will be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
If you want to learn Python quickly and thoroughly enough to justify job placement, your best bet will be to attend one of these intensive programs. Let’s pick apart the reasons why!
1. You’ll Learn Quickly
Preparing for a new career usually takes a while. A typical computer science degree requires four years of full-time academic commitment. An exceptionally motivated student might be able to shorten their timeline by a few months if they take summer classes and extra credits.
However, even these achievers will need to set aside several years for instruction.
Python programming bootcamps are another story; these programs are designed to prepare aspiring coders to enter the workforce as quickly as possible. A coding newcomer could enroll in a bootcamp and become skilled enough to land a professional coding job within just three to six months. As you might expect, this turnaround drastically cuts down on the amount of time learners need to be out of work.
Moreover, because Python bootcamp courses are designed with working professionals in mind, learners may not even need to give up their full-time employment. Bootcamps’ part-time schedules and virtual offerings allow learners to schedule their education around any professional or personal obligations they might have. Plus, virtual formats empower learners to access Python bootcamps even if they do not live physically close to the college or institution that facilitates their program.
2. Your Education Will Be Affordable
Python programmers have excellent salary growth potential. However, needing to pay off accumulated student debt can put a damper on any professional coder’s budget.
But bootcamps are known for their affordability. According to Career Karma’s 2020 State of the Coding Bootcamp Market report, over 70 percent of bootcamps charge less than $20,000 in tuition; one in four charges less than $10,000.
These prices are more economical when you compare them to the costs involved in obtaining a four-year degree. According to data gathered by US News, the average tuition and fees required for a single year of college range from $9,876 for public, in-state institutions to $35,087 for private universities. All told, an aspiring coder could pay as much as $140,348 in tuition alone. This calculation doesn’t even take into account additional typical university expenses such as room, board and books.
Of course, for some, the additional cost might be worth it; some learners might want the comprehensive education and experience a four-year degree provides. But for those who simply want to upskill in a structured learning environment and start working quickly, there are few routes more affordable than a bootcamp.
3. You’ll Learn From Experienced Instructors
Learning a programming language from scratch, by yourself, is possible — but it isn’t easy. When you run into a confusing concept, you have to puzzle out the answers on your own. The process can be time-consuming, challenging and above all else, frustrating.
Luckily, this isn’t a struggle bootcamp students need to worry about facing. Like college courses, bootcamps are designed and taught by industry professionals who know their material inside and out.
A Python bootcamp teacher won’t just lecture their students about Python syntax; they’ll also show them how the language can be applied in a workplace setting. When a learner comes across a particularly tricky concept or problem, they have the option of contacting their instructor for one-on-one coaching and guidance.
4. You Won’t Just Learn Python
If you enroll in a bootcamp, Python won’t be the only invaluable skill you pick up. Coding and data analytics bootcamps are designed to equip students with all of the fundamental languages and tools they’ll need to land an entry-level job in the professional sector.
Given that Python bootcamps are often based around data analytics, any bootcamp that addresses Python will also likely cover the following topics in its curriculum.
- Excel features (pivot tables, VBA scripting, etc.)
- Fundamental statistics
- Big data analytics
- Machine learning
Sure, you might not need these additional skills if you’re a coding hobbyist or already a professional coder — but if you’re an aspiring professional who wants to build a career in the industry, you’ll need the know-how a bootcamp provides.
5. You’ll Develop Portfolio Projects
Every aspiring coder needs a robust portfolio. After all, while it’s all well and good for your resume to say you have command of in-demand languages, being able to prove it in a quality project portfolio is far more compelling.
For those learning Python through independent study, putting together portfolio projects can be challenging and time-consuming, especially since self-study books and courses don’t usually come with project-based assignments. However, bootcamp learners don’t have to go to the trouble of conceptualizing portfolio projects on their own.
Bootcamps are designed according to the philosophy that the best way to learn is by doing. While students need to attend lectures and study from textbooks, most assignments are project-based. In other words, learners need to put programming theory into practice by creating their own code. Once polished to perfection, any of those projects can live in a portfolio and demonstrate the learner’s capabilities to employers.
- Grow Your Python Portfolio With 13 Intermediate Project Ideas — Real Python
- How to Build an Awesome Data Science Portfolio — freeCodeCamp
- An Honest Guide to Building a Powerful Developer Portfolio — Better Programming
6. You’ll Get a Boost During the Job Search
Finding a full-time gig is difficult, no matter which industry you choose. That said, attending a Python coding bootcamp could give a leg up during the application process.
After all, employers tend to like bootcamp-trained candidates. Recent research from HackerRank (PDF, 2.8 MB) indicates that nearly one in three surveyed hiring managers have hired bootcamp grads. Of those, 39.2 percent said that bootcamp learners were as well-equipped to handle the job as applicants with four-year degrees — and 33 percent said they were even more prepared.
The same study also found that a substantial portion of hiring managers felt bootcamp graduates could learn new technologies and languages quickly (71 percent), had strong practical experience (61 percent) and were eager to take on new responsibilities (52 percent).
But prestige isn’t the only career support bootcamp learning can provide. Students in these programs also have the opportunity to network with their professor and classmates. They can also contact their college’s career office to see if the school has any pre-established relationships with tech companies or other organizations that might be in the market for an entry-level coding professional.
A Python Bootcamp Is Designed for Beginners
When it comes to topics relating to data analytics tools (of which Python is one) finding a beginner-level course can be hard. Many assume that learners have more background context or knowledge than they do — which can leave an analytics newcomer hopelessly lost and frustrated by the end of their first lesson.
But Python bootcamps are designed for learners of all levels. These bootcamps are equally suited to recent high school graduates who want to upskill and launch their professional lives as they are to mid-career workers who want to pivot into data analytics from a non-technical field.
You can become a Python coder or data analyst without prior knowledge — all you need to do is start learning.
What Kind of Jobs Can You Pursue if You Learn Python at a Bootcamp?
In short? Many.
Python is an incredibly flexible language with near-infinite applications. As one reporter for The Economist once noted, “[Python’s] versatility means that the Central Intelligence Agency has used it for hacking, Google for crawling webpages, Pixar for producing movies and Spotify for recommending songs.”
The language also supports an expansive library of pre-built packages that can help programmers accomplish just about any programmatic goal they set. As such, Python can be gainfully applied in nearly any industry you can think of that requires data science or coding professionals.
All this said, it can be helpful to have a job title in mind. Below, we’ve highlighted five occupations that require Python expertise.
As their job title suggests, Python developers work primarily — if not exclusively — in Python. Their main responsibilities include building responsive web applications according to client specifications, debugging programs, implementing security measures, improving existing software and writing effective and scalable code.
Software developers are coding professionals tasked with researching, designing, building and otherwise maintaining software programs. They regularly test applications, develop quality assurance protocols and identify opportunities for improvement. These workers may also be tasked with training users and collaborating with other tech professionals (i.e., UX designers, business analysts, systems analysts).
Entry-Level Data Scientist
While most data scientists know how to code, they primarily use Python for data science. Their daily responsibilities include (but are not limited to) conducting data collection and cleaning, building algorithms and models that address business questions or problems and distilling data trends into actionable business insights.
Full Stack Developer
As their title suggests, full stack developers know how to use the “full stack” of web development technologies. They are equally confident in coding server-side logic and database structures as they are coding client-side features and web pages — and, as such, can transition smoothly between the two. Because Python is a language used for back end coding and data science, full stack developers typically only use it when working on server-side tasks or database management.
Quality Assurance Engineer
Quality assurance (QA) engineers are coding professionals who develop and conduct tests to ensure that all of an organization’s software products adhere to standard quality metrics. They note any coding defects, potential bugs, system flaws or other problems that could derail the customer experience or present vulnerabilities. Given that their role centers on reviewing code, QA engineers need to understand the language used to develop a given product. In many cases, these products may be written partially or entirely in Python.
Sure, you can learn Python from a book or self-directed online course — but if you want to learn it well enough to justify a professional job placement, you should consider enrolling in a Python programming bootcamp. With a bootcamp, you’ll have the opportunity to learn job-ready skills from experienced instructors quickly and affordably, without needing to sacrifice multiple years to full-time study.
Not sure where to get started? Check out Berkeley Data Analytics Boot Camp! This intensive program will teach you everything you need to know about using Python 3 and its associated frameworks (e.g., NumPy, Pandas, Matplotlib) in data science and engineering.