When it comes to evaluating coding schools, cost, schedule, and the programming language taught are arguably the most important factors in your decision-making process.
But you also need to consider whether the school will be a good fit for you, personally. Thus, there are other key elements to consider. Below, we look at three such elements, plus a few lesser-known considerations, to keep in mind as you evaluate your coding school options.
If you’re looking for even more information, download our free Guide to Choosing the Right Coding School eBook, available now.
Factor 1: Location
While some students choose to move to a big city to attend coding school, an increasing number of coding schools have sprung up in smaller markets. And, considering the array of legitimate online coding programs, you can learn to code almost anywhere. If you’re trying to narrow down your options, ask yourself these questions:
- Where do I see myself working after graduation? If you like where you currently live and plan to stay there, it may be best to go to school nearby and start making connections at home.
- Where will I have the greatest chance of obtaining the type of job I’m looking for? Decide whether or not your city offers a credible option that will help you achieve your goals after graduation. Consider the local tech scene, and do some research on whether developer jobs are available.
Charleston, South Carolina, has experienced a boom in technology since 2009. You’ll find many tech companies in various stages of growth thriving in Charleston, earning our city the nickname “Silicon Harbor.”
Factor 2: Job Assistance
Evaluate coding schools based on the ease with which graduating students obtain coding positions. Obtaining a job after coding school is crucial, and, while you ultimately are responsible for your own destiny, you’ll want to choose a school that has some job placement assistance.
When evaluating coding school programs, ask these questions:
- Do you hold any events or expositions to showcase graduating students? What other assistance is provided?
- How far-reaching are the coding school instructors’ connections within the community?
- What is the job placement experience with former graduates?
- Are the instructors available to assist students with decision-making about coding jobs? Are the instructors accessible to students once the class has ended?
Factor 3: Student Feedback and Reviews
After doing some initial research and narrowing down your choices, look for student reviews of the programs you’re considering. Reviews can alert you to any potential problems.
Websites where you can find coding school reviews include:
Also, read blog posts and projects completed by students, and consider reaching out to former students on a social media platform like LinkedIn.
We recommend learning more about these additional factors that may influence whether a school will enable you to achieve your personal coding goals:
- Instructors – prospective employers want to know that you can actually do the work if you’re hired, and a talented teacher can help ensure that. How accomplished are the instructors? Consider speaking with graduates.
- Building real-world web applications – Does the coding school focuses its energy on teaching students how to build and launch applications that solve real problems for real people?
- Working on group projects – Coding is a team sport. Will this program teach you the collaborative coding skills necessary to be an effective team player in any company from day one?
- Student to instructor ratio – This is an important metric that can sometimes be hard to find on a coding school website. The bigger the class size at an in-person school, the less personal attention you may receive from the instructor.
- Consistent curriculum updates – Many schools outsource curriculum development, which can result in confusing presentations that can slow the learning process. Does the school regularly update their curriculum and incorporate student feedback when they do?
For those interested in learning to code, the abundance of available coding school options and methods can make it challenging to determine which school is the right fit for you. Our Guide to Choosing the Right Coding School can help provide a more in-depth approach to making the best decision.
The Bottom Line: do your homework now to ensure you pick the school that’s right for you. If you think JRS Coding School could be that school, we can’t wait to meet you. Contact us today to request an application or learn more about our programs.