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A need for competent programmers and computing jobs of all stripes has revealed that there is a major skill gap between careers and people to fill them. The universal desire for businesses across all industries to create solid apps and web materials has exploded in the last several years, providing ample opportunities for computer science graduates but leaving many companies understaffed.

However, a traditional computer science degree is not necessarily what is needed to secure one of these careers. Online bootcamps for coders can supplement a CS education or, in some cases, even replace it.

That’s not to say that a CS degree is useless or ineffectual; most employers are more likely to hire someone with an actual degree, perceiving these candidates are having a better depth of knowledge than those with an online certification. Still, coding bootcamps can instill students with many of the skills necessary to excel in the workplace—and many programs offer assistance in securing graduates jobs.

These bootcamps can often be more convenient for students, offering around 15-week courses that usually center around the study of a single programming language as well as the processes involved with becoming a developer. The comparison to military bootcamps is apt; training is intensive and condensed into a relatively short period of time. Though many of these programs accept online enrollment, they often have physical campuses for students to learn at. Unsurprisingly, Silicon Valley has several high-end options for aspiring coders to learn.

It is true, to an extent, that a 4-year computer science degree outclasses bootcamp training. A more comprehensive approach to programming and common processes means that graduates can often adapt to new languages with more alacrity than someone that has focused on a single language. That said, a background in a STEM field and a good program can allow a bootcamp grad to land a solid job and perform well, with some exceeding the salaries earned by CS graduates.

As such, these courses are often better suited to those that have the foundational skills necessary to learn quickly and expand the knowledge they already have. Even if they have the talent, a degree is still considered a gold standard, making it important even if it is not directly related to programming.

For bootcamp grads looking to break into the industry, passion for technology is a big part of what may get them hired. Coding projects beyond those completed in camp are sure to impress interviewers, particularly any freelance projects that a graduate may have completed. As with any other career, a portfolio of work goes a long way toward proving that a candidate has the field experience to perform a job well.

The existence of coding bootcamps has changed the dynamic of hiring programmers, with yearly graduates now almost half the number of computer science graduates. Sure, the two are not interchangeable, but when there’s such a need for new talent, does it really matter?

Regardless of training, competency and a willingness to learn are important. With a good work ethic and a strong foundation, bootcamp graduates can find employment on par with their computer science peers.