Are Coding Bootcamps Worth It in 2021 An In-Depth Look

Are Coding Bootcamps Worth It in 2021? An In-Depth Look

In recent years, coding boot camps have become increasingly popular. Today, there are many boot camps in the market, each one aiming to offer the best training on a particular subject. Due to the large offer available, attending a coding boot camp is easier than ever, whether you live in a tech hub like San Francisco or in a small town with no technology industry to speak of.

There are a lot of factors to consider when selecting the best boot camp for you. This guide will cover everything you should know about coding boot camps so you can make the best education choice. 

What Is a Coding Bootcamp?

A coding boot camp is a short-term immersive program that teaches you the skills to start a career in tech. These intensive programs focus on making students job-ready as quickly as possible by teaching them the skills they need to break into tech through hands-on experience. 

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Programming bootcamps are a lot cheaper than traditional universities and computer science degrees. Unlike traditional universities, boot camp programs focus solely on what you need to thrive in the career path of your choice. They trim off lessons that won’t help you acquire skills relevant to your field.

The boot camp experience is ideal for beginners who have no experience with coding. They are also suitable for people who want to switch careers or even tech professionals that want to upskill. In most cases, boot camps offer job placement services to help students land a job after graduation.

What Can I Learn from a Coding Bootcamp?

Coding bootcamps teach different subjects, from data science and user experience (UX) design to web development and cybersecurity. You can also learn software development, full-stack development, and other digital skills.

The training usually starts from the fundamentals of the subject. Bootcamp students learn to write algorithms, design database structures for apps, and use frameworks. You will also learn different programming languages depending on the program you choose. The most common ones are JavaScript, Python, CSS, HTML, Ruby on Rails, and C++.

In most cases, boot camps employ a hands-on training method to teach their students. They build projects during the program and add them to their portfolios when it is completed. This way, graduates can showcase their skills to potential employers during the job search. Many boot camps offer programs on full-time or part-time schedules.

How Long Is a Coding Bootcamp?

The average coding boot camp lasts 16.5 weeks, but their length can vary widely. Some can be as short as one week while others can take nearly a year to complete. Some include internships that can increase the duration of the program.

Regardless, one thing is for sure: boot camps are always shorter than a traditional degree. Associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees take two to five years to complete. At a boot camp, you can improve your skills and find a career in tech in a matter of months.

How Much Do Coding Bootcamps Cost?

The average coding boot camp costs $13,584. Some boot camps are more expensive and can charge up to $20,000 for an immersive program. More affordable ones can be just a few thousand dollars, while others, like Ada Developers Academy, are free.

As you can see, coding boot camps are far cheaper than a four-year degree. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, one year at a four-year college costs an average of $28,123. This means that four years at a university results in having to pay over $100,000 for your education. This figure is from 2018-2019, so the cost of college tuition has likely increased since then. 

Another advantage coding boot camps have over traditional universities is the fact that they offer financing options to reduce the burden of tuition. Some popular ones include income share agreements, installment plans, and private loans.

An income share agreement (ISA) allows students to attend the boot camp without paying anything. When they graduate and find a job, the students give a portion of their salary to the boot camp for an agreed number of months. The fact that boot camps offer such financing plans speaks to their confidence in helping the students land high-paying jobs in the industry.

Do Coding Bootcamps Work? Job and Salary Outlook for Graduates

The best way to answer this question is to evaluate the outcome of a boot camp. What exactly did you get in return for the money you spent on tuition? Some factors to consider include the likelihood of finding a good job in the industry, income potential, and job satisfaction.

What Do Employers Think About Coding Bootcamp Graduates?

Coding bootcamps offer students the skills and knowledge they need to secure a job in tech. Hiring managers in top companies have begun to reconsider the minimum education requirements for certain positions. Some are even on the lookout for boot camp graduates to take on roles at their firms.

While many companies still favor college graduates, many others are increasingly seeing boot camp alumni’s potential. A report by Indeed revealed that four out of five US companies surveyed have hired boot camp grads. These graduates have proven their worth in startups and even large software companies. Almost all HR managers contacted for the survey said they would hire boot camp graduates again.

Coding boot camp graduates find jobs using the skills they learned, and most see a substantial salary increase. The average coding boot camp graduate earns $70,000. In addition, it is not uncommon for graduates to receive a 50-percent salary raise within two years of working.

Like Google and IBM, more and more companies are dropping degree requirements to enable them to hire talented boot camp graduates. Increasingly, companies are interested in hiring top talent regardless of whether or not they have a college degree. This has open more opportunities to coding boot camp graduates.

10 Companies that Hire Coding Bootcamp Graduates

  • Google 
  • Amazon 
  • Spotify 
  • Cisco
  • IBM
  • Scribd
  • Vimeo
  • Greenhouse
  • Synapse
  • DigiFi

What Jobs Can You Get After a Coding Bootcamp?

Coding bootcamps can open the doors to many jobs. The table below lists some of the most lucrative positions, arranged from highest to lowest-paying, together with their median salary per year. The information in the table was obtained from Payscale.

Job TitleMedian Salary
Data scientist$96,497
DevOps engineer$96,449
Software engineer$87,530
IT consultant$79,748
Full stack developer$78,967
User experience (UX) designer$76,914
Application developer$70,422
User interface (UI) designer$64,992
Web developer$60,290
Graphic designer$46,560

How Much Do Coding Bootcamp Graduates Make?

Online Bootcamp graduates make $69,079 on average per year. Bootcamps are usually proud to publish the outcomes of their graduates each year, and reporting alumni salaries adds to the legitimacy of their programs.

Flatiron School is one of the top coding boot camps offering courses on multiple tech topics. In 2020, the average starting salary for Flatiron School graduates was $74,962. Eighty-six percent of students found a job within six months of graduating.

Hack Reactor is another heavyweight of the boot camp world that publishes student outcomes. According to the school, the average starting salary for Hack Reactor graduates was $75,000.

Finally, Fullstack Academy, another prestigious coding boot camp, reports that graduates of its cybersecurity program earn a median starting salary of $72,000. For graduates of the web development boot camp, this number rises to $90,000. 

The numbers above come mostly from the boot camps themselves, although some have been audited. All in all, your salary after attending a coding boot camp will vary depending on several factors, including location, employer, industry, as well as your level of experience and skill. 

Should I Do a Coding Bootcamp: Pros and Cons 

Coding Bootcamp ProsCoding Bootcamp Cons 
Coding boot camps are more affordable than traditional universities.Unlike universities, most coding boot camps are not accredited and some employers do not hire bootcamps graduates. 
You can learn about tools, programming languages, and skills needed to land a coding job within a short time.Coding boot camps curricula focus on practical skills, normally skimming through the theory. This means you won’t develop a solid understanding of some theoretical concepts.
Most coding boot camps offer online learning options. An online coding boot camp gives the student much more flexibility.Online learning is not for everyone. Some people may struggle in an online setting.

So, Are Coding Bootcamps Worth It?

Coding boot camps are worth it if you are ready to dedicate your time and effort to learn new tech skills. Bootcamps teach you everything you need to know to thrive in technical roles, but attendance alone cannot get you a job.

Coding boot camps are also worth it for people who want to learn a new skill quickly. If you want to switch to tech, these programs may be ideal for you. For those who want to upskill in their tech jobs or learn new things as a programmer, a coding boot camp is also a great education option.

Coding Bootcamp FAQ

Will a coding boot camp get you a job?

Yes, in most cases, a coding boot camp will get you a tech job. Bootcamps generally report high job placement rates. Many have extensive career services to assist students during the job search. However, whether or not you land a job after a coding boot camp ultimately depends on how much work you put in during and after the program.

How much does a coding boot camp cost?

The average cost for an in-person coding boot camp is $13,584. Tuition for boot camp generally ranges from $10,000 to $15,000. Most online boot camps cost around $12,000. There are some cheaper boot camps from community colleges that cost as little as $3,000. Only a few boot camps offer free training for students.

Are coding boot camps good for beginners?

Many coding boot camps are for beginners. The programs often start with the basics to ensure that everyone is on equal footing. Bootcamp programs that require coding knowledge often have prep courses for students who do not have coding experience.

Is it hard to get into coding boot camp?

Entrance into some coding boot camps can be very competitive, especially those that have small class sizes or offer large scholarships. You will be accepted if you manage to impress the boot camp representative during the interview and pass the coding challenges during the application process. Bootcamps are always looking for students that will stand out.

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