Teaching coding languages and skills is a critical need in today’s technology-infused society, but we’re falling behind in the talent wars.

Even though programming jobs are some of the best paying in the world, the gap of qualified developers and programmers is only projected to increase in the next several years. In fact, it’s estimated that there will be 1 million jobs left vacant by 2020 because of this alarming lack of qualified developers.

The lack of qualified talent in the computer science field has created fertile ground for the growing number of coding boot camps popping up across the nation. In fact, a recent study found that this year, the number of boot camp graduates is expected to triple from last year’s numbers, yielding nearly 6,000 graduates.

These intensive, multi-week full-time courses claim that they provide students with the necessary skills they need to join the world of developers.

While boot camps can assist with providing new skillsets and helping fill the talent gap, they are still somewhat limited in what they can offer. Here are a few reasons why e-learning is a better alternative:

  • Location. While most boot camp courses are located only in major cities like San Francisco, Boston, and New York City, e-learning allows students to take these courses anywhere, without incurring the additional cost of relocating to attend these boot camp courses. E-learning removes these barriers to entry and provides a similar experience from the comfort of one’s personal computer or mobile device.
  • Cost. E-learning provides an excellent education that is a mere fraction of the cost of a traditional boot camp, which cost an average of $9,900. This opens up a path to becoming a developer to a much broader population, something that is desperately needed right now.Although the cost of education has slowed down, it is still on the rise indefinitely. Embracing e-learning gives students an affordable way to receive a top-notch education.
  • Scope. In today’s market, developers need to know various languages to meet the needs of the ever-changing tech landscape. Boot camps usually only teach one language when most developers need to have command of various languages and tools (not to mention non-development skills like DevOps and creative).E-learning courses provide students with myriad languages and approaches to solving the complex problems they will be faced with in the field. These courses also give students access to hundreds of instructors, providing access to different perspectives and experiences and allowing for a richer learning experience. Boot camps may limit students in their learning by only providing a few teachers at most.
  • Flexibility. Many students enrolled in boot camp courses are taking them with the intent of changing careers. However, not all those who want to make a career change can start a full-time training course, as an average course lasts 10 weeks.Online learning allows for a more flexible schedule, so students can complete their training on their own schedule, whether in a few days, weeks or months. Studies have shown that when students can control the pace of their learning, they perform 60 percent better and have a much higher retention rate compared with instructor-led learning.
  • Marketability. Many boot camps don’t set up students for ongoing learning after they graduate from the program. This is a missed opportunity, as new developers cannot show off their fresh, newly learned skills to potential employers.Independent study online can help with career placement and allow developers to find their dream job through resources like interview preparation and resume building.

The glamor of trekking to the big city and immersing oneself in code for several weeks is an appealing prospect for thousands of people. But a wider swath of the population is finding that e-learning provides a much richer and more in-depth opportunity, helping to fill this dearth in developers.

Aaron Skonnard is CEO of Pluralsight, a hardcore training ground for coders and creatives.

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.