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6 Reasons to Learn to Code from an Online School vs. Self-Teaching

Scott Ashcroft, MBA
January 12, 2022
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The Internet sure does make it easy to learn a lot yourself these days. Maybe you fixed your leaky toilet from a YouTube tutorial or followed a recipe to make a perfectly baked cake. Now that you’re interested in learning to code, should you teach yourself or attend an online university?

It’s better to learn to code from an online school for the following reasons:

  • Looks better on your resume
  • Learn & earn: you earn college credits and degrees for your learning
  • Prevents education and skills gaps
  • Teaches you coding languages employers care about
  • Grants access to personalized help and career services

Ahead, we’ll talk about why learning to code from an online school can be far more advantageous. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll know what the next steps are for your future web development career.

The Benefits of Learning to Code from an Online Accredited School

Where better to learn to code from than the very place where you’ll apply your coding knowledge? That’s right, the Internet.

An online accredited college education promotes a variety of benefits that can kickstart your career in web development. Let's take a closer look.

  1. Looks Great on Your Resume

    A richly detailed resume is always appealing to hiring managers. Even if your professional experience is rather sparse, by enrolling in a coding program through an online school, you’ll have plenty of content to add to your CV. First, you can include your accredited higher education credential in your resume as well as any internships or jobs that resulted from your coding education. Second, as you develop coding and web development skills, you can also include the specific coding languages you’ve learned on your resume.

    Finally, as you go through college, you can reference your coding portfolio you build using tools such as GitHub, Portfolium, and the websites you publish.

  2. Allows You to Double up on Education

    You’re contemplating how to learn web coding so you can soon begin a rewarding career in web development, right? Some online colleges such as Bryan University offer dual enrollment opportunities that can fast-track you towards entering the working world. While working your way towards a Certificate in Full Stack Web Development, you can simultaneously pursue your Associate Degree in Advanced Full Stack Web Development. This means you earn two accredited credentials rather than just one!

    The certificate program provides fundamental skills in web development, core languages such as JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, as well as an advanced education in MERN* Full Stack Web Development. Continuing on while your road to an associate degree provides you with deeper knowledge of coding algorithms, data structures, and specific coding languages and frameworks such as NGINX, Django, and Python.

    You can choose to search for a web development job once you earn your certificate, while you continue to work your way towards an associate degree or even a bachelor’s degree.

    This unique opportunity is not something you’d be able to pursue if you learn coding on your own. It’d likely take you longer to complete both, which would only delay your entry into full-time work.

  3. Ensures You Know Everything Needed to Make a Career Out of Coding

    Certainly, entire guides have been published on how to learn code online. You might follow these guides, or perhaps some well-respected websites, but are you sure you’re learning everything you need to know to become a successful professional web developer? Without a dedicated curriculum that is reviewed and continuously updated by industry experts, it’s hard to be confident that there aren’t gaps in your coding education. You might not even realize these gaps are apparent until you’re interviewing for coding jobs and asked about a topic that you only grazed over. These educational gaps might make it more difficult to find a job as a web developer. If you do get hired, you could struggle on the job because your self-taught education was patchworked.

    An online accredited university follows a dedicated curriculum to expand your coding knowledge in all areas. This curriculum gets reviewed periodically, including feedback from employers and industry experts to ensure you’re getting a complete skill set that makes you job-ready.

    You’ll also develop better problem-solving and critical-thinking skills in coding, understand the value of teamwork, and strengthen abilities in web development quality assurance and testing.

    When you finish your web development program, whether you have a certificate or an associate degree, you’ll feel confident that there exist no gaps in your coding knowledge.

    You’ll be ready to impress hiring managers on job interviews and quickly showcase the breadth of your skills once you’re hired for a coding job!

  4. Teaches You the Coding Languages and Frameworks That Employers Care About

    With 700 coding languages and counting, it’s nearly impossible to learn them all in a lifetime. To improve your chances of successfully entering the field of web development, you need to narrow your scope and stick to the most in demand skills employers are looking for today. While no one has a crystal ball to say for sure what the future holds, an online university has a better finger on the pulse on what employers want in a web developer, particularly since they are connected to employers in the field. The school then bases its curriculum around the coding languages and frameworks that are the most in-demand.

    Those will include the fundamentals of web development, as well as specific languages, frameworks, and programs such as SQL, Linux, Node.js, MongoDB, and React.js that will provide you with a specialized and comprehensive web development education.

    If you choose to learn to code via self-teaching, then you’ll have to try and predict which coding languages and frameworks employers will care most about.

    This could cause you to focus on coding frameworks and techniques that aren’t as in-demand, or may not be as valuable to certain employers.

  5. Provides You with Personalized Help

    Even if you’re a natural at computers, you will likely eventually find yourself struggling with a coding concept or even several. Some coding languages and frameworks can be extraordinarily complex, and even the basic ones will have more advanced concepts that aren’t always immediately clear. When self-teaching coding, you can’t exactly reach out for help when you’re stumped. Sure, you could attempt to contact the YouTube video creator or the writer of an article on coding that you read, but you may not get a response.

    At online schools such as Bryan University, personalized help is always available to the student body.

    You can schedule a session with a tutor in real-time or book a meeting with your instructor to go over a particularly difficult coding concept.

    You can even join study groups to work with others learning coding at the same level. Together, you might be able to crack a tough problem.

    Since your education is all online, you can pursue this additional help at your leisure and from the comfort of your home.

  6. Grants You Access to Career Services and Coaching

    It’s a question that many college-aged students ask once they’ve mastered their coding skills: “Now what?” The jump from learning coding to working as a web developer can be tough for some. You might not know which job boards to use, which employers are hiring, or what kind of jobs you should be applying to at your experience level. When you teach yourself coding, the onus falls on you to seek these answers yourself. This can be an isolating experience, as you’re not sure who to network with or what to put on your resume, especially if this is your first time looking for full-time work.

    In an online university setting, you always have career services advisors to rely on.

    Not only can you use career services to track down job opportunities and introduce you to employers hiring in your area, but you can also improve your resume, prepare for interviews, and learn how to network effectively with industry professionals.

    These career services will make you an altogether better job seeker so you may find employment faster!

How to Learn Web Coding

If you’re interested in learning to code through an online school, Bryan University’s Full Stack Web Development Undergraduate Certificate or Full Stack Web Development Associate Degree could be right for you.

You’ll work in Scrimba, GitHub, Visual Studio Code, and other such industry-relevant tools to learn coding languages and frameworks.

With personalized support available when you need it and career services ready to propel your post-grad life, you’ll have all the tools you need to become a successful web developer.

*MERN Full Stack Web Development comprises: MongoDB, ExpressJS, ReactJS, and NodeJS

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