Wednesday, Apr 05 2017

Boot Camps or Certifications: Which is Best for Your Career?

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Boot Camps


IT professionals are often faced with a choice when it comes to skills development and training, and they come in the forms of boot camps and certifications. Both options can provide benefits when it comes to advancing your career, but each will do so in different ways. And, since both paths require significant investments, you want to make sure you choose the best course of action for your career.


To help you weigh which choice is best, here is what you need to know about how boot camps and certifications fit into your career goals.

New Career or Career Development

One of the biggest determining factors is whether you are looking to start a new career or develop your current one. Often, boot camps are ideal for those looking to change their field or IT specialty, as they provide a strong foundation and key job skills in a relatively short amount of time. Additionally, they offer significant hands-on experience that lets you put your new knowledge into action quickly.


Certifications often support a field in which you are already working. It confirms you possess a specific skill set instead of focusing on the development of new ones. While a person can learn a new skill to achieve a certification, most certifications are focused on testing what you know and not necessarily teaching you something new. You can take courses designed to end in a certification, but a class is not necessarily a prerequisite for becoming certified.

Creation or Support

Many boot camps focus on the skills needed to create something new. They provide information regarding the use of relevant tools and how they are used to build and develop solutions within the target system. Additionally, the skills are often transferable into a variety of environments, making them highly transferable between related specialties. In many cases, boot camps are available for skills like software development and programming, where the creation of something new is part of the core duties associated with working in those positions.


In comparison, certifications are often related to specific computing environments. Further, they are often more concerned with supporting what is already in place instead of developing new solutions. These apply most to systems like networking, security, and cloud support. The focus is often on preexisting infrastructure and systems, with emphasis on keeping these operational with skills like troubleshooting, maintenance, and prevention.


Typically, a boot camp is a significant commitment that requires your full attention for weeks. Many people would find it challenging, if not impossible, to attend a reputable boot camp while maintaining a full-time position. In contrast, certifications can be obtained while also maintaining traditional employment. While studying is recommended, and classes may be offered, you may be able to complete the work on your own time.


Ultimately, choosing which option is right for you is highly dependent on your personal career goals. Continuing education often plays a significant role in any technology field as new developments reach the mainstream on a regular basis. So, even if you choose one of the training opportunities today, it doesn’t mean the other won’t be right for you tomorrow.


If you are interested in exploring new positions to help you progress along your career path, The Armada Group has the industry expertise needed to help you explore your options. Contact us to see what new opportunities are available in your target field, and what it takes to land the job today.