Choosing the right further education pathway for your child is one of the most difficult decisions you can face as a parent.

There are so many options available these days that it can feel impossible to understand what’s best. As a result, traditional routes such as university are often taken because it’s a method that’s tried and trusted.

Though these institutions offer a great route to a rewarding future and can be suited to some students, they’re not necessarily for everyone.

Coding schools are great options for tech-minded students who are eager to secure a long-term career with high-earning potential in an industry they’re passionate about.

But what are coding schools, how do they help your children get into a great tech career and how do they differ from the university path…

What is a coding school?

The term ‘coding school’ can sound unusual and confusing. It’s even scarier when phrased as ‘coding bootcamp,’ which you’ll also hear used.

There’s no need to be confused though. Coding schools and coding bootcamps are different words for the same thing, and they simply describe an educational path that’s focused purely around teaching computer programming and software development

The length of this path is one of the most significant differences between a coding school and a traditional university education. Uni courses typically take around three years to complete – and that’s in addition to the two years of college.

Coding schools, on the other hand, tend to last for a few months (our Master Course, for example, is 12 weeks in length) and graduates are ready for a job as a Junior Dev without the need for any further education.

This can be another concern for parents. How can a comprehensive education be taught in such a short period of time? Surely the three years of university trumps the three months of a coding school?

This isn’t necessarily true. When considering an educational path for your child, you shouldn’t just think of what’s being taught, but how it’s being taught.

Coding School Curriculum

Coding schools focus on a high-impact approach to learning. For Code Nation, this means that students learn an immersive curriculum while based in our state-of-the-art classrooms.

Students taking our Master: Coding Course hit the ground running, learning the fundamentals of coding in the first week, before moving on to understand the details of front-end and back-end development.

This is very similar to what colleges and universities teach, but coding schools are much more hands-on.

We, for example, base the latter weeks of the Master Course around a hands-on project. By doing this, we’re ensuring that students have the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned to the kind of work they’ll be doing in a real-world business environment.

Additionally, we ensure that students have 500 hours of contact time with their instructors across the three months, so they can build a rapport with them and truly get the most out of their education.

Learning built by businesses

This is our USP and the thing we’re really proud of.

We work with a group of partner businesses called Pledgers; a name given to them because they pledge to interview our students when they’re in the market for a Junior Developer. With us, each and every student gets at least one interview, and the average per student is three.

Pledgers also help to shape our curriculum so that we’re always relevant and supplying the talent that the market demands. They tell us the skills they need new Junior Developers to have and if it’s a common enough request, we look into including it in our programme.

We also teach soft skills like listening and empathy, and help students get to grips with the professional world by teaching them about common ways of working, such as the agile methodology, and key tools like Kanban boards.

This kind of education is often what’s missing from university courses, but by doing this, we’re creating more than great Junior Developers. We’re creating great employees who’ll thrive in their first coding job and go on to earn great careers.

In summary

Helping your child select the right higher education path for them is never simple. With so many options available, it’s easy to be confused and worry about making the wrong choice.

Ultimately, there’s no single right path because not everyone reacts in the same way. So when exploring your child’s next step, look around, consider all the options and find out what’ll help them get into the career they’re passionate about.

You can find out more about Code Nation and check out our classrooms in person by attending one of our open evenings.

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