Coding Bootcamps 101: Everything You Need to Know Before You Apply
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Coding bootcamps are accelerated technical programs that teach you the programming skills you need to achieve coding success. These fast-track programs enable the beginner to turn basic coding knowledge into in-depth digital skills that employers look for.
The length of coding bootcamps can vary per program, however, each program will help you develop valuable programming skills you need to succeed at your career.
Can’t I just learn to code on my own?
The answer is yes! Although there are developers and programmers that are self-taught, it’s a much more difficult path that takes a lot more time. And, if you’re someone with little to no background knowledge in coding, bootcamps are a quick and efficient way to help you become successful in the coding world.
Additionally, coding is difficult to learn, especially when you don’t have anyone guiding you along the way. Bootcamps offer the curriculum, support, and flexible learning style you need to succeed. If you’re unsure how to advance your coding skills, let Career Karma help. We are here to guide you no matter if you’re in the middle of applying, needing help prepping, or if you just need a mentor to answer any questions you might have while in the program.
What are the different types of coding bootcamps?
When you enroll in a coding bootcamp, you have several options to choose from based on your individual educational needs. The curriculum and the value you receive from any type of coding bootcamp are the same, the biggest difference is the schedule. While some students can invest more time in a coding program, other’s require more flexibility. Here a few of your options before you enroll in a bootcamp:
Part-time vs. Full-time
Part-time coding bootcamps – Typically lasting 34 weeks long, part-time coding bootcamps are the perfect option for students who have jobs or other responsibilities that prevent them from dedicating more time and attention to the program. Part-time students usually meet on nights and weekends as well as study concepts over a longer period of time than full-time students.
Full-time coding bootcamps – This 17-week program completely immerses you into the world of coding, leaving you with little time for other activities. If you’re a student who is passionate about coding and wants to expand your knowledge in a short period of time, full-time coding bootcamps may be the right option for you.
Online, In-Person, or Self-Paced Programs
In-person coding bootcamps – Applying for an in-person coding bootcamp means that you’ll be attending a scheduled class at a specified coding bootcamp location. In-person courses are typically more structured with an instructor available to you immediately, just in case you hit a wall. These courses a perfect for individuals who would like more guidance, structure, and focus.
Online coding bootcamps – Online coding bootcamps bring the fast-paced learning environment to your home. If you’re someone who is self-motivated, organizined, enjoys working alone, or if you simply need the flexibility to work wherever you are on your own time, online courses are a great option for you. With access not only to mentoring, but also the student community, online courses provide you with all the resources and education you need for success.
Self-Paced coding bootcamps – Self-paced programs allow you to work completely at your own pace. A curriculum is created for you and it is up to you to decide when and how you will complete the program. Self-paced classes are great for individuals who need the flexibility but are also self-starters and have a disciplined learning style.
One of the first questions that pops into almost everyone’s mind before starting a bootcamp is, “How much experience do I really need?” Continue reading below to discover exactly how much experience is required before you enroll.
Do I Need A College Degree For Coding Bootcamp?
Those entering a coding bootcamp without college degrees is becoming more and more common, and it’s easy to understand why. Non-college graduates that go through a coding bootcamp statistically earn an average of $58,000 after they graduate and during their first year working. Although that number is on the lower portion of our $70,000 average, it still represents an average approximation of a 50% increase compared to the salaries they were earning before graduating from a coding bootcamp.
On the other side of the spectrum, college graduates that go through a coding bootcamp earn an average of $75,000 in their first year. However, it’s worth factoring into that the reality that the majority of college graduates are also contending with student loans, which impacts their relative finances.
So Exactly How Much Experience Do I Need?
Many prospective students are curious how much experience you need to go through a coding bootcamp. The truth is that is really depends on the program you enter. There are coding bootcamps for all experience levels from total beginners to the more experienced. However, the level of experience you bring into the program impacts your salary expectations after you graduate.
- Complete Beginners – Those entering coding bootcamp with no experience can expect an average salary of approximately $60,000 in their first year
- Self Taught – Coming into a coding bootcamp with some self-taught knowledge can result in average salary expectations of approximately $100,000 in their first year
- Experienced Programmers – Representing the highest salary expectations, experienced programmers can earn an average of $120,000 during their first year after graduating.
Which States Pay The Best After Coding Bootcamp? And Does Gender Impact Earning Potential?
Generally, coding bootcamp graduate salary expectations are higher in New York and California. This isn’t surprising given their status as traditional tech hubs. First year average coding bootcamp graduate salary expectations in California are approximately $100,000 while they’re approximately $74,000 in New York.
While other states like Ohio or Minnesota may have lower salary expectations, the average national salary expectation still falls at about $70,698. And, when choosing a bootcamp based on salary, it is important to keep in mind the cost of living. Although California has a higher paying salary expectation, the cost of living is significantly more than places like Ohio.
When it comes to gender, statistically studies have found that first year salaries after coding bootcamps do vary between men and women. Men earned an average approximation of $73,000 while women earned $68,000.
Do Salary Expectations Vary By Coding Bootcamp?
They do! Please see the coding bootcamp salary expectations below.
- $105,000 median starting salary in the full-time program
- $88,000 median starting salary in San Francisco
- $75,000 in Los Angeles
- $90,000 in New York City
- $105,000 in San Francisco
Thinkful Online Bootcamp
- $65,000 median starting salary in the full-time program
- $60,000 median starting salary in the part-time program
- $75,997 average salary in New York City
- $75,000 median starting salary in Chicago
- $85,000 median starting salary in New York City
- $70,000 median starting salary in the full-time program
- $110,000 median starting salary in the full-time program
- $65,000 median starting salary in Los Angeles
- $70,000 median starting salary in Newport Beach
- $56,500 median starting salary in Cleveland
- $62,500 median starting salary in Columbus
The Software Guild
- $53,500 median starting salary in Akron
- $60,000 median starting salary in Minneapolis
- $52,000 median starting salary in Louisville
- $70,000 median starting salary in the back-end program
The goal is to use the above salary data to determine the strongest potential earning factors when combining your experience and the specific coding bootcamp you end up choosing. Our assessment is that even though numbers and salary expectations for those entering a coding bootcamp with professional experience is higher than those without, the highest earning potential is actually with those who go through and teach themselves some coding before entering the bootcamp program.
By teaching yourself coding your expected salary after coding bootcamp will be greater than if you have zero prior knowledge and your actual self-education expenses will be significantly lower than if you had entered the bootcamp with a college degree.
If you’re looking to improve your salary prospects after a coding bootcamp then check out these free resources on how to teach yourself coding.
Still got questions? Join Career Karma!
What are my Financial Options?
Figuring out how to pay for coding bootcamp is another challenge all on it’s own. While the cost can vary per program, the financial options are generally the same. Options include:
- Choose a program that offers deferred payment or an income sharing agreement (ISA)
- Apply for scholarships
- Get financial aid from family members
- Apply for a loan
- Speak with your employer to request sponsorship
- Crowd-fund your education
- Speak to your program to see if it is approved for the GI Bill
At Career Karma, we partner with bootcamps who make paying for your coding program easy. They offer an income sharing agreement (ISA) which means that, for qualified students, you will not be required to pay them for your education until you have found a job after you have completed your bootcamp. There is no interest built up during the time that you are enrolled in your program. So the amount you see, is the amount you’ll pay. And, if you don’t find a job as a software engineer, you don’t have to pay the school back anything.
Preparing Yourself for Day 1
Because coding bootcamps are accelerated programs to fast-track your career, it is important to know the basics of coding before day 1 of your program. Coming in with a solid foundation of basic coding will help improve your learning experience and lead you to increased opportunity for success.
In addition to knowing the basics, you also want to be familiar with your program. Take a dive into the curriculum and understand exactly what your bootcamp is about.
Follow Two Basic Rules
Making the decision to enroll in a coding bootcamp can completely change your life. And if you’re looking for a way to fast-forward your career, bootcamps may be the best option for you. Just like any educational program, you want to prepare thoroughly for your new journey to a coding career. If you follow these two basic rules below, you’ll set yourself for coding success:
Always Challenge Yourself
Remember: Input = Output
Last but not least, remember that input = output. You will only get back what you put into the program.
If you need additional advice while starting your coding journey, join Career Karma today.
How to Choose a Coding Bootcamp
Choosing a bootcamp will require much research and investigation, and finding the right coding bootcamp can be very difficult. Everyone has a different learning style and everyone has different scheduling needs. However, the more organized and thorough you are about the process, the better equipped you will be at making a good decision. If you need help discovering which coding bootcamps are right for you, sign up with Career Karma. We will guide you every step along the way.