Bootcamps and apprenticeship programmes for skills development 


Bootcamps and apprenticeship programmes can provide a fast, flexible and inclusive path to high-demand careers. Paula Fryer explores their impact on career growth and industry innovation 

Bootcamps and apprenticeship programmes have risen in popularity as effective pathways for people seeking to gain specialised skills. In the United States, the number of apprentices has increased by 64% from 2012 to 2021, according to the US Department of Labor.  

Bootcamps can quickly adapt their curriculum to match evolving industry needs, particularly in sectors like software development  

Both bootcamps and modern apprenticeship programmes are intensive, short-term training programmes designed to equip participants with skills and knowledge relevant to specific professions.  

Flexible alternative  

While traditional educational routes can struggle to keep up with changing industries, bootcamps offer a new solution to professional development. Both traditional internships and apprenticeship programmes serve as alternatives to education paths, but their structure and focus are different.  

Bootcamps and apprenticeship programmes are shorter than four-year degrees, less expensive, and usually have a part-time structure which can be beneficial for people looking to retrain or get back to work.  

In contrast, internships are more extended, typically involving hands-on work experience within a company or organisation, often serving as part of a formal education programme. 

More than just the traditional trades 

People often associate apprenticeships with trades like construction, carpentry or plumbing. However, modern apprenticeships have evolved to encompass a diverse range of industries. Luxury goods multinational LVMH (owner of brands including Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Moët & Chandon, Tiffany & Co, and Benefit Cosmetics) is on board. And financial services, hospitality, healthcare, telecommunications, information technology, transportation, and energy have successfully integrated apprenticeships into their workforce development strategies, according to US government information. 

Advantages over other educational paths 

These programmes offer several advantages over traditional educational paths. Bootcamps, for instance, can quickly adapt their curriculum to match evolving industry needs, particularly in sectors like software development. Graduates from these programmes often possess a more up-to-date and relevant skillset, making them highly sought-after by employers.  

In addition, individuals who have participated in bootcamps or apprenticeships tend to have a broader skillset, including valuable ‘soft skills’ gained from prior work experiences. This diverse background makes them attractive candidates for roles requiring a mix of technical expertise and interpersonal abilities. 

Enhancing workplace diversity 

Bootcamps can also produce a more diverse pool of candidates for recruiters. And these training programmes are more accessible as they have less stringent entry criteria, and can often be part-time.  

Real-world success stories 

Amy Pruett, Chief of Operations at SoCreate (, commented on the bootcamp programme she worked with: “The graduates always have such diverse backgrounds. They could have been massage therapists or mechanics and don’t realise how valuable their skills are.”  

Chris Smallwood, Vice-President of Cloud Operations and IT at DELMIAworks also appreciated how diverse the classes were. “There were a considerable number of women in the programme that I didn’t expect to see. The high-tech industry is about 90 to 95% men, and it can be difficult to address that when the candidates you’re looking to hire are also mostly men. I wanted the best person for the job, but it was also important to further our goals of gender diversification.” 

SLO Partners is based in California and offers bootcamps that specialise in training for the dental sector 

Paula Fryer

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