Coding bootcamps are an alternative form of higher education that, in general, take significantly less time to complete than traditional university degrees. While it is true that they can shorten your path into tech careers, the average coding bootcamp duration can vary dramatically depending on the program. So the question remains: How long are coding bootcamps?
In this article, we will take a look at how long you can expect to spend in coding school if you attend a bootcamp. We will break down how long coding bootcamps take depending on the scheduling option you choose and discuss some of the benefits of part-time versus full-time programs. Let’s get started.
Average Coding Bootcamp Length
Most coding bootcamps last between 12 and 20 weeks. During this time you will master a set of technical skills in preparation for a specific tech career. However, you can also find coding bootcamps that take less than a week to complete, and even some that last over a year. This is because bootcamps offer a range of scheduling options designed to accommodate different learners.
Below, you will find a table containing ten of the most prominent bootcamps in the industry along with how long it takes to complete their main coding programs. This will give you an idea of what bootcamp length is most common in the industry before we take a more detailed deep dive later on.
|Coding Bootcamp||Full-Time Length||Part-Time Length|
|General Assembly||12 weeks||24 weeks|
|CareerFoundry||22 weeks||43 weeks|
|Flatiron School||15 weeks||40 weeks|
|Ironhack||9 weeks||24 weeks|
|BrainStation||11 weeks||36 weeks|
|Coding Dojo||16 weeks||30 weeks|
|Thinkful||22 weeks||26 weeks|
|Galvanize / Hack Reactor||19 weeks||38 weeks|
|Fullstack Academy||16 weeks||28 weeks|
How Long Are Coding Bootcamps: a Breakdown
In most cases, the deciding factor in how long it will take you to complete a coding bootcamp is which format you choose. As you might expect, full-time bootcamps are shorter because you are able to move through the course content more quickly. Nearly every major coding bootcamp offers a mix of part-time and full-time options.
Full-Time Coding Bootcamps | 3 to 5 Months
On average, full-time coding bootcamps last between three and five months. They allow you to graduate job-ready in the shortest amount of time, but they can be difficult for students who have other professional or personal commitments because they usually require students to study at least 40 hours every week.
This time commitment varies, however, as students often have to spend additional hours working on homework assignments and capstone projects. On one end of the spectrum is Coding Dojo’s full-time web development bootcamp program, which requires 70-90 hours of work each week. On the other is CareerFoundry’s full-time program, which only requires 30-40.
Part-Time Coding Bootcamps | 6 to 9 Months
Part-time coding bootcamps can require anywhere from 10 to 30 hours of work each week and generally last six to nine months. Part-time bootcamp classes often take place on weekends or during the evening to accommodate students who work full-time. Because they are often designed with flexibility in mind, part-time coding bootcamps come in a wide range of formats.
Some programs are entirely instructor-led, while others include a mix of live remote lessons and independent learning. For example, App Academy’s part-time coding bootcamp is highly structured, with daily scheduled lessons and group work, whereas part-time students at Nucamp work at their own pace during the week and come together for live workshops on weekends.
Self-Paced Coding Bootcamps | 6 to 9 Months
The third scheduling option that is commonly offered at coding bootcamps is a self-paced format. This is the most flexible option of all because, for the most part, students have the freedom to design a learning schedule however it suits them. Coding bootcamps that are known for their self-paced scheduling options include CareerFoundry, Springboard, and The Tech Academy.
Keep in mind that self-paced bootcamp students still receive support from instructors in various ways, even if they don’t participate in scheduled lessons. Students at CareerFoundry and Springboard receive regular one-on-one mentoring, and other schools commonly host live workshops or provide optional office hours to ensure learners have the opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback.
The Shortest Coding Bootcamps: One Month or Less
Coding bootcamps that take less than a month to complete are usually aimed at students who want to master a limited number of specific skills, rather than learners who are looking to prepare completely for a new career. For example, the coding bootcamps offered by Big Nerd Ranch last less than a week and take an intensive dive into one topic, like React, Golang, or Kotlin.
Many major coding bootcamps also offer short courses that can be completed in less than a month. These courses are often part-time and provide an overview of fundamental skills in a field, but it’s not unusual to see some that cover more advanced topics as well. You can find short tech courses at the following schools.
- Flatiron School. Flatiron School provides a range of free introductory courses in software engineering, data science, and cyber security that can be completed in less than a month.
- BrainStation. BrainStation’s short certificate courses are more rigorous and are intended for students interested in professional development. They take place live online and span over a dozen topics, including data analytics, social media marketing, and UI design.
- General Assembly. In addition to its full-length bootcamps, General Assembly offers 10 shorter programs for students looking to master specific skills, including Python, React, or visual design. These programs are also instructor-led and can be completed in one week if you study full-time.
- Fullstack Academy. Another bootcamp that offers free introductory courses is Fullstack Academy. You can gain basic skills in coding, product management, or cyber security in less than a week.
The Longest Coding Bootcamps: Over 10 Months
While it is unusual, some coding bootcamps do take longer than 10 months to complete, though this is often because they utilize alternative pedagogies, include a period of on-the-job training, or simply require very few hours of study every week. Here is a closer look at some of the longest coding bootcamps available.
- Launch School. Students at Launch School can take up to 16 months to complete their program because of the school’s unique mastery-based learning pedagogy. This is a slower approach to learning that requires students to fully grasp each fundamental skill and new concept before moving on to the next.
- V School. V School also employs mastery-based learning, so students regularly take longer than average to complete their programs. V School programs start with 12 weeks of coursework, after which students begin a period of experience building that continues until they reach mastery.
- CodeStack Academy. CodeStack Academy is a not-for-profit coding school with programs that last 12 to 18 months. The last two months of each bootcamp consist of an internship, where students are able to utilize their new skills as they gain real-world experience.
- The Tech Academy. Self-paced programs offered by The Tech Academy are designed to take around 1,000 hours to complete, or about 30 weeks part-time. However, students are able to purchase additional months if they find it necessary, or simply prefer studying at a slower pace.
- Founders and Coders. Founders and Coders is another school with unusually long bootcamp programs due to an additional apprenticeship experience. Students spend a portion of the program in a classroom setting and 12-15 months working alongside experts in the field.
Part-Time vs Full-Time Coding Bootcamps
If you are choosing between a part-time and a full-time coding bootcamp, there are additional factors to consider outside of the simple bootcamp length. Below, we will explore a few differences between the scheduling options and what benefits come with each one.
- Cost. On average, part-time bootcamps cost less than full-time programs. According to Career Karma’s 2023 Bootcamp Market Report, the average tuition for part-time coding bootcamps is $12,226 while tuition for full-time options is $14,237.
- In-person options. Some students prefer a learning environment where they can interact with their peers and instructors face-to-face. Part-time programs are very rarely offered in person, so if you dislike remote learning, a full-time bootcamp might be a better option.
- Time commitment. Part-time coding bootcamps students are often able to juggle their studies with full-time jobs, which can make a big difference to your finances during the course of your education.
- Format and structure. While there is no hard-and-fast rule, part-time coding bootcamps are more likely to offer students more flexibility and less structure. If you prefer a program with fewer instructor-led lectures with mandatory attendance, for example, you might find part-time bootcamps more to your liking.
Should I Choose a Coding Bootcamp?
Yes, you should choose to attend a coding bootcamp over other educational options if you are looking to gain the skills you need to get hired as quickly as possible. The average coding bootcamp length is significantly shorter than the four years it will take for you to gain a bachelor’s degree.
Coding bootcamps emphasize hands-on learning to a greater degree than most university programs. Instead of learning a wide foundation of computer science topics, you’ll master the specific skills you need for your chosen career. Whether you want an intensive program that you can finish in three months or a part-time course that fits around your busy schedule, you’ll find a coding bootcamp that fits your needs.
How Long Are Coding Bootcamps? FAQ
Yes, you can attend a coding bootcamp while working full-time. It is very common for bootcamp students to work while they study, especially if they attend a part-time or self-paced program. Coding bootcamps come in a variety of scheduling options to ensure students have access to one that fits their needs.
It can take three to six months to learn to code, depending on how many hours you spend studying every day. While you can learn the basics of programming in just a few weeks, it will take longer for you to become fully comfortable and land a high-paying tech job.
You can get a coding degree in two to four years, depending on the level of degree you are aiming for. Most computer science associate degree programs last two years, while you will need four to earn a bachelor’s degree.
Coding bootcamps require anywhere from two to ten hours of study every day, depending on your scheduling option and the length of your program. Full-time bootcamp programs are similar to a full-time job in that they tend to require 40 hours of work per week. Part-time coding bootcamps are far more flexible.
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