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As Head Of Admissions for Lighthouse Labs, I'm usually the first point of contact for those who are considering taking our bootcamps. I answer a bevy of different questions on a daily basis, but there's one that pops up the most:

"Which Lighthouse Labs bootcamp is best for me?"

This is a very nuanced topic, and our teachers and I are happy to walk individual students through their decision. However, there are certain decision factors that apply to everyone and are crucial in making your choice. I've gone through them here so students can have a better understanding:

Job Market

There is no doubt that both job markets are growing rapidly, but which one is more appealing? In short, that depends what you're looking for. Overall, there are more jobs available for web developers than there are for iOS developers. The need for quality web developers is simply showing no signs of drying up, and since it's a more established market there are more experienced mentors to nurture junior talent. These jobs also tend to exist in any vertical. If there's a field you're interested in, there's probably web development jobs available for it.

However, there is also much greater competition for these jobs. Web developers can be Comp Sci grads, self-taught, bootcamp grads, online learners, and more. iOS, on the other hand, has a much smaller funnel of developers entering the job market. iOS developers are unique flowers, and the good ones are desperately sought after. There are also more freelance opportunities with iOS, as many companies and entrepreneurs are more likely to outsource their work for a mobile app then for their standalone website.

Salary Range

I should open by stating the obvious, which is that one's salary will always be tied first and foremost to their overall qualification. But at present, iOS developers in Vancouver are paid more on average than their web counterparts. This again goes back to the fact that there are just fewer of them in the market. It can be said that for a really talented developer, it is easier to gain a higher salary faster with iOS than with web.

Which Is Better For Beginners?

Either way, a coding bootcamp is never easy. But we tend to recommend students that are more green to coding take the web bootcamp. This is because frameworks behind iOS can be notoriously difficult to navigate, especially for first-time learners. Innovations in iOS development like Parse and Swift have made this process much easier in recent years, but overall web development is still the preferred starting point for most. HTML, CSS, and later Ruby & Javascript, tend to be easier to grasp for the uninitiated, and give a more natural knowledge base to build upon.

Technologies

I often hear the concern, "is iOS development too specific?" While it's true that mobile developers tend to stay mobile developers (although switching from iOS to Android can be quite smooth), there are benefits to the singular nature of iOS development. The web development world is peppered with a variety of competing technologies: Ember, Node, Angular, Rails, and more are all vying for developer adoption. This is exciting, but it can also prove fractious when companies start taking sides. iOS, on the other hand, is much more consistent - iOS development will always be iOS development. Even the seemingly tectonic shift from Objective-C to Swift is really just the latter building on the principles from the former.

Do What You Want To Do

Are you stoked on swiping? Or do visions of web pages dance in your head? How do you use technology? What do you dream of building? At the end of the day, to make it through the long, hard, grinds of debugging, a true developer needs to have passion. So when it comes time to decide, in the immortal words of Steve Jobs, "Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Can I take both?

Yes! I'd recommend students wanting to take both take the web bootcamp first, get a few months of job experience under your belt, then come back for the iOS development to expand your skillset.

Ready to make your choice? Apply now!

Have more questions? Reach out to us now!