Coding bootcamps are worth it as they provide a fast track to great tech jobs through their practical learning curriculums that instill learners with technical skills that employers are hunting for in the job market.
- Coding bootcamp grads earn at least 51% more wages than in previous roles.
- The average bootcamp alums earn an annual wage of $80,943 on their second job after completing bootcamp.
- Coding bootcamps cost around $12,000 compared to $60,000 in traditional college degrees while still instilling technical knowledge and practical skills.
Coding bootcamps exist to fill the gap in the labor market, whereby college grads often lack the technical skills that tech jobs require in an ever-evolving environment. While boot camps are not nationally accredited, which raises concerns in terms of accountability, they are certainly regarded positively by employers.
Coding bootcamp programs allow learning specific coding skills quickly without incurring huge costs. However, this is a matter of trade-offs as these programs cannot replicate the scope and depth of a college degree in computer science.
Let’s take a detailed look into what coding bootcamps are, coding bootcamps worth, the pros and cons of coding bootcamps;
What are coding bootcamps?
Coding bootcamps are accelerated technical programs that teach students digital technical skills in the specific field they are pursuing. Often a bootcamp will offer programs aligned explicitly to a tech role, such as full stack web development, user experience (UX), and user interface (UI) design for cybersecurity, among others.
Bootcamps are intensive, often running for a couple of weeks with the choice of whether to pursue the program full-time or part-time. This flexibility makes coding bootcamps worth it and highly recommended for employees looking to upskill while retaining their full-time jobs.
While undergoing a coding bootcamp program, you will also develop an online presence which comes in handy in networking with other bootcamp graduates. These programs also cover interview skills, and they may even he;p you secure an internship program or match you with an employer network.
How do coding bootcamps work?
Coding bootcamps fulfill the role of tertiary learning institutions by equipping learners with the most relevant skills they require to start a tech career. Upon applying for a coding bootcamp program, they will review your application. If it meets the bootcamp’s requirements, The bootcamp will contact you to schedule the learning process, which is often in-class, online, or a combination of both.
By equipping students with technical programming skills and allowing them to work on actual coding projects, bootcamps instill relevant tech skills. Bootcamps graduates often earn higher wages and are more likely to secure jobs in-field compared to college graduates.
How much do coding bootcamps cost?
Coding bootcamps are relatively cheap compared to traditional college degrees, and the average tuition fee for a coding bootcamp program is $12,000. The cost is bound to vary between bootcamps and the programs depending on the content covered within the curriculum. While most learners opt for self-funded bootcamps, there’s a notable increase in the number of bootcamps offering income share agreements. These allow you to complete the bootcamp program before paying the full tuition and instead have your employer reimburse a pre-agreed percentage to pay off your tuition debt.
Related: How much do coding bootcamps cost?
Do coding bootcamp alumni think it’s worth it?
Most bootcamp alumni consider these programs to be worth it as they offer bang for your buck while also helping you find a job in the tech field. The program instills valuable skills in demand in the sector, with the added versatility of comprehensive coding skills.
What are the requirements for joining a coding bootcamp?
Typically coding bootcamps don’t require a degree to enroll candidates, but a high school diploma is required. You should also have good writing and speaking skis in the primary language, although some do make exceptions for international students. The bootcamp may also need you to have a payment arrangement or a clear path for financial assistance if you are eligible.
What to consider when enrolling for a coding bootcamp
Before applying for a coding bootcamp program, you need to consider a few factors that might impact your eligibility for the program and your job prospects after graduating.
Determine the rate of return on investment (ROI)
When looking for a coding bootcamp, it’s essential to think of it as a strategic investment in your future earnings. The first step is determining how much you are willing to invest, which is often guided by how much you can afford to pay for a coding bootcamp program. Remember, you may have to incur additional costs if you have to travel or buy additional computer equipment for the program.
The second step of determining your ROI involves coming up with a starting salary goal which should be guided by how much other bootcamp graduates are earning after completing the specific program you want to enroll in. In the end, you have to recoup your investment, and it’s preferable if you can achieve this within the first year of employment upon graduating from the coding bootcamp. The potential salary growth from your new position after completing the coding bootcamp must outweigh the initial investment cost. Otherwise, you risk running into financial loss even with the new skills.
The choice of which bootcamp to enroll in should also consider your time commitment and how quickly you want to complete the program. Most bootcamps offer either part-time or full-time classes, which determines how long it takes to complete the program.
Preferred learning format
Most coding bootcamps offer either on-site lectures, online classes, or a combination of both. Depending on your availability and convenience, you may want to opt for either asynchronous or synchronous learning models.
Synchronous learning requires you to attend classes simultaneously with other learners in the cohort. This model is mainly used for online coding bootcamps courses that require students to experience lectures at the same time and engage with the lecturer and each other. Synchronous learning models also need students to sit for tests at the same time, and you may even be assigned team projects.
Asynchronous learning models give you the freedom to tune into the lectures at your own pace. You can set your own schedule and access learning materials at your convenience. You also get to complete assignments at your own pace within a given timeline, of course. Asynchronous learning models are great for learners with busy schedules.
When choosing a coding bootcamp, you should consider your career goals and what trajectory you want to take, which is often influenced by the skills you gain. Generally, you should go for a coding bootcamp program that aligns with your long-term career goals.
Why coding bootcamps are worth it
They are less expensive compared to traditional college degrees
Coding bootcamps cost, on average, $12,000, which is significantly cheaper than a traditional college degree in computer science which will set you back at least $60,000 every year. Oftentimes a college degree will also require you to travel out of state incurring additional expenses in terms of accommodation.
Coding bootcamp programs take less time to complete
Coding bootcamps often take a few months and, at most, one year to complete depending on the complexity of the specific program. This is far shorter compared to the four years it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree from a college.
Coding bootcamps instill in-demand skills.
Unlike college tech degrees which focus on fundamentals and principles of computer science, coding bootcamps focus on instilling the most in-demand technical skills. It’s often the case that the lecturers at bootcamps are industry professionals working in the tech field and teaching what they work with on a daily basis.
Coding bootcamps focus on specific programs.
Coding bootcamps allow you to specialize in a specific skill, whether it’s learning a particular programming language or specific coding tools. This deep level of specialization will enable you to focus only on the necessary skills for your career success.
The requirements to join a coding bootcamp are lenient
When applying for a coding bootcamp, you only require a GED or high school certificate. While degree holders are also welcome to enroll in bootcamps, it’s not a requirement, and even learners without any prior experience in technology can register for the programs.
Coding bootcamp programs include extra aid
Besides earning the technical knowledge required for the specific coding bootcamp program, you can also expect to be taught additional skills that will come in handy after completing the program. Most bootcamps mentor their grads on how to apply for jobs and pass the interviews. They also offer academic help and career coaching.
Coding bootcamp programs offer learning flexibility
Unlike college degrees which often require full-time learning, bootcamps offer the flexibility of taking part-time classes. The online coding bootcamp classes, which are often optional, provide learners with the learning materials and resources they require to progress at their own convenience without having to stick to a set daily schedule.
Jobs obtained after completing coding bootcamps often pay more
Coding bootcamp graduates go on to secure their first job within the first 180 days and often earn more compared to colleagues who did not enroll in such programs. The average salary among coding bootcamp grads is $69,000.
Coding bootcamp graduates often get hired by tech companies
Major tech companies prefer coding bootcamp students as opposed to just having a traditional college degree. These companies are most interested in the technical skills you can use to solve current problems they might be facing, which is much preferable to being overly opinionated without technical expertise.
Coding bootcamps offer more ways to finance the course
Besides self-sponsored learning, coding bootcamps also support scholarships, income share agreements, and deferred tuition. Bootcamps students can also procure private loans to clear their fees and refinance them once they secure a job after completing the coding bootcamp program.
The downsides of coding bootcamps
Lack of accreditation
Bootcamps are not accredited, which raises questions on whether the curriculum offered is standardized across various institutions. This may make some employers prefer traditional education routes such as a college degree, which can challenge your career path as a coding bootcamp graduate.
Coding bootcamps are not eligible for federal financial aid
Coding bootcamps learners cannot access most of the federal educational aid often accorded to other college students. Besides the GI Bill, you may have trouble securing any other form of federal financing to settle your coding bootcamp fees.
Coding bootcamps are intensive.
Coding bootcamps are fast-paced and intensive, so you have to be prepared to absorb a lot of information within a short period. If you have problems studying in such fast-paced environments, you will find it challenging to keep up with the bootcamp curriculum.
Coding bootcamps vs. college degree programs, which is the best?
Coding bootcamps and college degree grads can work in similar positions in the tech industry; however, their roles might differ depending on their qualifications. The most significant difference between these two is that college degrees are designed to introduce students to all concepts within a specific field through a comprehensive curriculum. Coding bootcamps are designed to upskill learners in particular techniques most in demand in the job market.
While determining if coding bootcamps are worth it, you have to remember that these programs are designed to help you make career changes. As a result, the skills you learn will be the most relevant for your specific tech careers, such as web development coding bootcamp worth your money or software development bootcamps. As a result, coding bootcamps are the best option if you are looking for a career change or to up-skill and get a job in the tech industry. If you are looking for the college experience and access to a wide range of career options, then you should consider pursuing a college degree.
Related: Coding bootcamps vs. college degree programs
Coding bootcamp programs are worth it as they instill technical skills within a short period, and coding bootcamp cost far less than college degrees. As a bootcamp graduate, you can expect a better paying job in-field with greater roles and employee benefits. The tech industry is constantly evolving; the only way to keep up is by acquiring in-demand skills to stay competitive, with coding bootcamps offering the best opportunity to upskill.