Considering a career in software engineering? It’s a field with plenty of opportunity; the experts at Revature project that employment in software development will grow by 21% between 2018 and 2028. But before you can land one of those well-paying jobs, you need the right skill set—and that often requires some formal training. The question is, should you pay for that training yourself, or look for a company that will foot the bill? Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons.
The Pros of Self-funded Training
If you’re the type of person who is self-motivated and good at teaching yourself new things, self-funding your software engineering training could be a great option. After all, there are plenty of resources available online, from articles and tutorials to full-fledged coding boot camps. And the best part is, you can learn at your own pace—no need to quit your day job or rearrange your schedule to accommodate class times. Plus, if you’re not happy with the results, you can simply walk away; you’re not out any tuition money if it doesn’t work out.
The Cons of Self-funded Training
Of course, self-funded training is not without its drawbacks. For one thing, it can be expensive—especially if you plan to attend a coding boot camp. And even though there are lots of resources available online, it can be tough to know where to start and how to put all the pieces together into a coherent whole. Finally, unless you’re very disciplined, it’s easy to get sidetracked or give up altogether when learning on your own.
The Pros of Company-Funded Training
If you opt for company-funded training, on the other hand, someone else is footing the bill—so it won’t cost you anything out of pocket. In addition, most companies that offer this type of training will also provide structure and support that can make it easier to stay on track and complete the program successfully. And because you’ll be receiving training specifically tailored to the needs of your organization, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to put your new skills to use right away—meaning you’ll see a tangible return on your company’s investment.
The Cons of Company-Funded Training
Of course, nothing in life is free—not even company-funded training. The tradeoff is that you may have to sign a contract agreeing to stay with the organization for a certain period of time after completing the program (usually 1-2 years). If you leave before that time is up, you may be required to repay some or all of the cost of your training. In addition, because company-funded programs are designed to meet specific organizational needs, they may not provide as much flexibility as self-funded options when it comes to choosing what (and how) you learn.
There’s no easy answer when it comes to deciding whether to pay for your own software engineering training or look for a company that will foot the bill. It really depends on your individual circumstances and preferences. If you’re self-motivated and disciplined enough to teach yourself, and the cost is a major consideration, then self-funding may be the way to go. On the other hand, if having someone else cover the cost isn’t an issue, and you prefer some structure and support while learning, then company-funded training may be worth considering. Whichever route you choose, just make sure you do your research beforehand so that you end up with a program that’s right for you.