How To Choose the Best Coding Bootcamp For Parents

January 19, 2021
mom talking to her child

For parents, pursuing a new career path while juggling home responsibilities comes with many challenges. Children turn our worlds upside down, shift our priorities, and use every ounce of energy we have left at the end of the day. Still, their hugs and smiles are worth it and motivate us to be better. 

With opportunities in the tech field on the rise in both data science and software engineering, parents are entering coding bootcamp programs in growing numbers. Online programs with flexible options have made learning to code easier and more accessible than ever before.

Whether you are exploring offerings perfect for busy dads, looking at online classes for stay-at home moms, or simply want a coding program you can do after work, there are pathways to make coding bootcamps work for you.

Choosing a Flexible Coding Bootcamp

As a busy parent, it will be important to find a coding bootcamp program that allows for some amount of home-life balance. However, with so many options to choose from, it can be challenging to know where to begin. Here are our top three suggestions to get you started:

1. Narrow your sights on a flexible program. Tech is a good career for moms and dads alike and having flexible program options can be one way for busy parents to incorporate learning new tech skills while juggling other work and home responsibilities. It can be daunting to know how to choose the best part time coding bootcamp for you, but choosing a flexible coding bootcamp can be as simple as a process of elimination if you are clear on what you are looking for.

First, consider your availability and the time commitment you are able to make to a program. Online programs like Bloom Institute of Technology (formerly known as Lambda School) offer flexible options in both Data Science and Full Stack Web geared toward mastery and employment. BloomTech’s schedule is a great example of a structured, comprehensive program allowing flexibility for busy parents. This can be particularly helpful for parents who may work other jobs or dads and moms who code but stay home with kids during the day.

Second, weigh your own strengths and weaknesses against the strengths and weaknesses of the programs you are considering. Flexible coding programs offer a wide array of options, including pre-recorded lectures, live lectures, mentorship, career placement, peer-to-peer online support networks, and real-world projects as part of teams. Consider the way you learn best and what will be most beneficial for your portfolio and for your needs on-the-job.

Finally, consider the value you will receive for the time you put into your specific program. While some coding bootcamps will charge large up-front tuition costs, other programs like BloomTech have adopted an Income Share Agreement (ISA). When you pay for your BloomTech education with an ISA, you’ll start by paying for a fraction of your tuition up front. Once you graduate, we’ll help you land a well-paying job—and then you’ll pay for the rest of your tuition with a percentage of your income for a limited time. 

In other words, an ISA funds your tuition so you can pay back BloomTech later.

Here are some of the basics about ISAs at BloomTech.

  1. Know what you owe. Unlike with a typical loan, the maximum amount you owe will never increase with an ISA. Your total payment amount is capped at $40,000*, and you may end up paying less.

  1. It scales with you. Your goal is to get a great job; that’s our goal for you, too. Once you start earning at least an annualized $50,000** a year, you’ll pay us back with a percentage of your income each month. If your earned income falls below the minimum total amount, your payments will be deferred until your income reaches the minimum again.

  1. No lingering obligations. Your contract is finished once you complete the ISA payment schedule or reach the payment cap, whichever comes first. And if you aren’t making the minimum average monthly income, and have had deferred payments for a total of 48 months, then your ISA expires and you don’t owe anything else—even if you’ve paid nothing up to that point.

At BloomTech, we are committed to providing more people with a direct and lower-risk path to a rewarding tech job. That’s why we offer flexible options to pay your tuition—and launch your new career.

As you decide where to put your dollar, consider if your bootcamp is investing as much in you as you are in them.

2. Ask the right questions. As you continue your search, get specific about the supports you need to set yourself up for success within a coding bootcamp program. Not only will you need support at home as a parent starting a new and exciting career path, but you will need structure and support in place within your chosen program in order to keep you motivated and on task. Find out from the program you are interested in what they expect of you and what you expect of them. If your expectations align, you will be more likely to be successful in the program. For instance, BloomTech offers personal mentorship, a supportive online peer-to-peer community, and opportunities to work as a part of teams in lab projects. These personal connections can make all the difference for busy parents as a way to stay connected, ask questions, get help, and network with other professionals. 

3. Learn how other parents made it work within your program. Search your program’s website for alumni testimonials from other parents, and dive deeper into social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook for candid parent testimonials. You may learn valuable coding bootcamp tips for parents from those who have come before you, and as a bonus, may even gain future mentorship opportunities by reaching out to alumni. As an example, BloomTech’s website features many BloomTech alumni testimonials that showcase how moms can code. Web developer and BloomTech alumni Sara Fritz started BloomTech when her son was in kindergarten, which she said was perfect timing so she could complete BloomTech while her kids were in school. BloomTech alumni and QA Lead Jackee Rohrich wanted to graduate from BloomTech to show her two children, who are both on the autism spectrum, that there are no limitations even if you have a disability. 

Mobile developer Robin Warden, a 47-year-old single mother, wore many professional hats prior to choosing BloomTech’s Full Stack Web Development Program.

“I have to thank BloomTech for believing in me and being so supportive not just in what they taught me, but how they encouraged and pushed me. It changed my whole life,” she said. “My son is 12 now and I can't tell you how good it feels that I can finally take care of both of us.”

For front end engineer Amber Sorensen, a 29-year-old single mother of three kids, choosing BloomTech was the best way to give her family financial security in a future career with flexibility.

“When I started BloomTech my kids were seven, four, and one. The stability, the flexibility that you need when you have kids, it was kind of a dream scenario,” she said. “There were a lot of nights I would have my baby in my lap during lecture or I would sit and code projects along with my kids. If you want it bad enough, you just make it work."

As you begin your journey, remember to select a program that will best take care of you so that you can best take care of your family. After all, kids grow up fast and choosing a program that will leave you stretched, stressed, on your own, and ultimately without the job skills you need will not be an efficient use of your precious time away from your family. Instead, find a place you feel at home – a place where you can thrive, learn, and make the most of your time. Find a new you that will make your family proud.

You can do this, and BloomTech is here to help throughout your journey to make a career change. If you’re ready to get started, apply now.