When you’ve invested time and money into your current career, the cost of learning a new skill and making a career change can feel overwhelming and expensive. But that doesn’t need to stop you from pursuing your dream of launching your tech career. As finance author Sam Beckbessinger says, “All of us are prone to the sunk cost fallacy: we worry that if we change things, we’re wasting all the time/effort/money we spent building our first career. We make better choices when we ignore that and make a decision for your future based on the facts now.”

If you want to learn to code to switch careers, it can be tricky to figure out how long it will take and how much it will cost to learn those new skills. And frankly, it depends on your unique schedule and financial situation. But we’re here to help you! At CodeSpace, we offer a Software Development program that can be done full-time or part-time, depending on how much time you can commit, and we offer different payment options to suit your financial needs. Let’s dive into it. 

Is studying part-time or full-time better for my career switch?

Every career changer has different goals, responsibilities, time constraints, etc., that they need to consider before choosing a learning path. If you’re someone who is in between jobs with loads of time on your hands, jumping into a full-time coding course may be the right choice. However, if you want to continue working your 9-to-5 while learning to code, then part-time studies may be a better option for you. Not sure which one is the best for you? Let’s take a look at the benefits of each.

The benefits of a part-time coding course

  • Your study timetable is more flexible, meaning you can learn after hours and on weekends. 
  • You can learn from anywhere. Think on the couch with a glass of wine or at your desk after clocking off from your day job. 
  • You have a more manageable workload because the course is spread out over an extended period. 
  • Your monthly study fees will be lower because the course takes place over more months (12 months instead of 6). 

The benefits of a full-time coding course

  • You’ll accelerate your learning and begin your new career sooner because the full-time course takes 6 months instead of 12.
  • You’ll have full-focus days without the distractions of a job or other responsibilities.
  • You’ll be able to immerse yourself in the course content and gain a deep understanding of the complex concepts.
  • You can supplement your online learning with campus access so you can spend more time around people pursuing the same goals as you are. 

How to finance a career switch

Now that you know if part-time or full-time works better for you, let’s look at the different ways you can finance your coding education and launch your career as a developer. 

Set aside savings and pay upfront

If you’ve decided that studying programming full-time is your best option to make a career change, you’ll need to set aside some savings before you quit your day job. But how much should you save before taking the leap? Financial experts suggest saving enough to cover your expenses for 6 months without a job. However, practically speaking, if you plan on studying our 6-month full-time Software Development course, we suggest you save enough money to cover your course fees and living expenses for a year. But why a year’s worth of savings for a 6-month course? You have to factor in the time it will take to find the right job once you’ve completed your training. So, it is best to be prepared with a buffer to cover your living expenses while job hunting. 

What’s cool about studying through CodeSpace is that once you’ve graduated, we add you to our employment network made up of South Africa’s top tech companies and let you know about exciting job opportunities whenever our partners list a new opening. 

A massive benefit to setting aside savings before you start studying is that you can pay for your studies upfront. At CodeSpace, you get R3000 off your fees when you pay for the course upfront. 

Pay monthly and learn while you work

You don’t have to quit your 9-to-5 to learn to code and change your career. You can study Software Development part-time through CodeSpace while working your day job and pay a manageable monthly fee using a debit order. 

We know that working a full-time job while studying can be stressful. But we’ve created a part-time Software Development course you can do after hours. You’ll only need to commit to one interactive, instructor-led evening class per week. You can plan your weekly projects, study groups, and coaching sessions around your busy schedule. 

Studying part-time gives you the freedom to learn a new skill while maintaining the financial security of your full-time job. Once you’ve spent a year learning to code, you can start applying for tech roles and have the luxury of leaving your current job only once you’ve landed your dream job in your new field.

Ask for an education stipend from your current employer

If you love the company you work for but feel like you’ve stagnated, learning a new skill like coding is a strategic way to earn a promotion or land a new role at your current company. Ask your HR department if they offer an employee skills development or education stipend to cover the cost of learning to code. 

Once you’ve established whether your company offers these sorts of stipends, you’ll probably need to explain why you deserve it. Share the benefits that your new skill will add to the company and your team. For example, learning to code could mean your team no longer needs to hire an expensive contractor, lowering turnaround times on big projects, making your team more efficient, and saving the company money. 

Apply for a study loan to ease the financial burden

To help ease the financial burden of learning a new skill, you can apply for a loan to fund your studies. There are two options when it comes to study loans. 

Firstly, you can apply for a traditional loan directly through your bank. Once you register for your CodeSpace course, we will send you a registration letter, which you can use when applying at your bank.

The second option is called an aggregated study loan. You can apply for this loan to cover your course fees and study-related expenses like a laptop and even your accommodation. Here’s how this sort of loan works: Our financing partner, Student Hero, makes collective applications to banks, which lowers the requirements to receive a loan. All you need to apply is a small but steady income and a South African bank account. Your repayments can be as little as R800 per month. 

Once you’ve applied for both options you can choose the best offer for your personal needs.

Start your career switch with CodeSpace

Feeling a little clearer about the path you need to take to launch your career in tech? Take the next step and sign up for our Software Development course. You’ll receive hands-on support from our code coaches while you work through our curated curriculum that teaches you industry-relevant skills. And, when you graduate, you’ll be equipped with a portfolio of real-world coding projects that you can use to land your first job as a developer. What are you waiting for?