Are Coding Bootcamps Worth It?
If you want a faster, more affordable way than a college degree to start a career in technology, then yes, coding bootcamps are absolutely worth it.
Coding bootcamps are gaining popularity as more and more people want to get into web development and other tech careers without pursuing expensive and long-term computer science degrees. While there is no shortage of software developer jobs, do coding bootcamps really help graduates land these positions?
There isn’t an easy answer to this question, as not every job candidate is the same, not every bootcamp is the same, and getting any job requires a certain amount of perseverance and dedication. You will need soft skills just as much as you are going to need programming skills and tech talent.
Coding bootcamps might get you an interview, but it is up to you to get hired. So, are coding bootcamps worth it? We’ll help you decide for yourself below.
What Would Make Coding Bootcamps Worth It?
The best way to determine if coding bootcamps are worth it is to evaluate the return on investment that you can expect from completing a bootcamp. Can you expect to get more out of the experience than you put in?
It’s true that coding bootcamps can be expensive, so you have to factor that in. You’ll also be investing a lot of time and energy into the program for some time.
With those factors in mind, how can we evaluate the likely return on investment from a coding bootcamp?
There are three things that will help you determine whether coding bootcamps are worth it:
- Ability to Secure a Job in Desired Field
- Increased Income
- Job Satisfaction
Job Placement for Coding Bootcamp Grads
Coding bootcamps are a rewarding way to learn new skills.
Yes, the questions still remain: “How much does a bootcamp really help,” “How long will it take?”
We can say this for sure: you’ll leave with the skills the industry is seeking, proficient technical knowledge, and an impressive portfolio.
The best bootcamps make sure students are equipped with the knowledge they need in the job search. More hiring managers are taking bootcamp graduates seriously. Even companies like Google, Amazon, and Spotify are looking to bootcamps for good candidates.
From small startups to huge companies, the value of bootcamp alums has been proven. According to Indeed, 4 out of 5 US companies have hired a bootcamp graduate—and nearly HR managers would do it again. Are coding bootcamps worth it? Employers certainly seem to think so.
A survey by Course Report found that 80% of coding bootcamp graduates surveyed were employed in jobs using skills they learned in bootcamps. Of those surveyed, there was an average salary lift of 51%.
Graduates found a salary increase with each new job as their experience improved.
What Do Tech Companies Think of Coding Bootcamp Grads?
Many businesses rely on code. A software engineer could work at a hospital, at Apple, or an automotive factory–they’re needed in every industry. In 2015, seven million jobs opened that required coding skills, and programming jobs overall are growing 12% faster than the market average.
And you don’t have to worry about restricting your work to one industry. Half of all programming openings are in industries outside of technology. Those areas include finance, manufacturing, health care, fashion, and more.
So coding is becoming a more valuable skill. The thing companies understand about coders is that they are so diverse. You can tailor your skillset to the industry you want to break into.
So, in terms of job potential and career flexibility, are coding bootcamps worth it? The answer is a resounding yes!
Earning Potential for Coding Bootcamp Grads
Coding bootcamp graduates report an average income of over $70,000. The average graduate sees their salary increase by over 50% within two years. Additionally, most grads find a job within 120 days.
Coding bootcamp graduates’ salaries continue to rise after they graduate. On average, they see their salary go up by $10,000 with every new job! As they get more experience, they become more valuable to their companies–and that means a higher income.
However, it differs from person to person, and factors like what their background is and what their education is do affect income potential. Programming is a field that values ability over degrees, though, so, while the lack of a college degree can be slightly limiting, it’s also a great option if you don’t want to go to a traditional college or university.
Coding bootcamp graduates without a bachelor’s degree see an average salary of $58,877, but the bootcamp is valuable either way; students who do have a BA see an average 58% salary increase compared with their pre-bootcamp jobs. The difference in post-bootcamp salaries also depends on previous experience: if you have worked in the field before, you could see your income reach $100,000.
So, from a potential earnings perspective, are coding bootcamps worth it? Survey says….yes!
Job and Career Satisfaction for Bootcamp Grads
Now, this one’s a bit trickier–after all, everyone’s different and has varying goals and values. However, if you are tired of your old job and have a passion for technology, odds are you’re going to be much more satisfied in a tech career than otherwise.
Indeed, if you’ve read this far, you probably already know that you have an interest in tech. If that’s what’s driving you, then working in a tech job and making a career out of it is bound to be fulfilling.
Now, can a coding bootcamp guarantee job satisfaction? Certainly not. But, if you love this kind of work, a coding bootcamp is the fastest and most effective way for you to get started.
Choosing a Program: Not All Bootcamps Are the Same
With the rise in popularity of bootcamps, there are a number of bootcamps to choose from. The truth is that not all coding bootcamps are worth it. Picking the right one can mean the difference between finding a job quickly and struggling to get a company to hire you.
The key is finding a bootcamp that has a proven track record. You want to read coding bootcamp reviews and talk to other graduates to learn what their experience was like. Did they learn what they needed to know in order to get a good job? Did their bootcamp have a career services department to help them get a job?
At the end of the day, you want a coding bootcamp that will guide you to creating a strong portfolio. Does the bootcamp have a lot of hands-on challenges? Do they require you to complete a portfolio in order to graduate the program?
Your potential employers are going to want to see what you are able to do and, if you already have a strong portfolio coming out of your bootcamp, it can save you a lot of time. If you want to find out more about the coding bootcamp experience and what to expect, you can hear from a coding bootcamp graduate here.
Paying for Your Bootcamp
The average cost of a coding bootcamp is $12,000, and that can seem pretty steep, especially if you are making less than $50,000 a year. However, as we’ve seen, coding bootcamps are worth the investment. But that doesn’t make it any easier to pay for it. The great thing is that there are options available because coding bootcamps are aware of how valuable their program is to their students.
A popular option when considering how to pay for coding bootcamp is an income share agreement (ISA). An income share agreement means that you pay nothing upfront for the bootcamp. You will actually pay nothing for the bootcamp until you land a new job.
Once you have a job, you will pay a certain percentage of your salary back to the bootcamp. This percentage can range from 8% to 25% until the cost of the tuition is paid for. This may seem like a large percentage of your salary, but it is still less than the increase in salary you can expect after your bootcamp.
Whether or not coding bootcamps are worth it really depends on the person. Are you going to work hard throughout the camp and learn as much as you can to develop a strong portfolio? Are you going to be motivated enough to fight for a good full-time job once you graduate?
Many coding bootcamp graduates attributed their job success to their soft skills just as much as their coding skills. If you are willing to work hard, constantly learn, and stay on top of the latest trends and techniques, a coding bootcamp will definitely be worth your time and investment.
How to Ensure Your Coding Bootcamp Experience is Worth It
Undoubtedly, bootcamps are hard.
It’s hard work but that’s how you learn so much. During the bootcamp, you can expect to feel lost, frustrated, stressed, or overwhelmed. You might feel like you’re not learning fast enough or like other people are learning faster than you. You might even question if you made the right decision.
You’ll make your bootcamp experience easier if you prepare a bit before. It’s not required, but it’ll make your time there much more valuable. If you know more when you arrive, you’ll be better able to build on your knowledge. So look for some intro to coding resources, like Codecademy, before you walk into your first day.
Do your homework. It sounds silly, but you’d be surprised how many people do nothing in the course they’ve paid for. You signed up and paid tuition to work hard; doing all the work you’re assigned will help you learn much faster. Coding bootcamps teaching through active learning: you’ll learn better by doing rather than by listening.
And last but not least, don’t compare yourself to others. You may be discouraged, but remember: the point of the bootcamp is to leave with more opportunities than you arrived with. As long as you keep that mindset, you’ll be able to kickstart your career with a bootcamp. Ultimately, if you’re wondering whether coding bootcamps worth it, just remember that whatever you put into them, you’ll receive tenfold.
If you want to learn more about changing your life with a coding bootcamp, visit Career Karma