If you’re considering breaking into the tech workforce, you have to have the right kind of training and certification. While college tuition keeps rising, there’s a new type of education to develop the skill set you need to succeed in tech: coding bootcamp.
In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about these accelerated programming courses and how to go from code newbie to skilled coder.
What is a Coding Bootcamp?
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Coding bootcamp is an innovative new form of short-term, intensive, and often immersive education designed to provide aspiring tech professionals the technical skills they need to start careers in software engineering and other tech fields.
The length of bootcamps can vary per program, however, each program will help you develop valuable programming skills you need to succeed in your career.
What Are the Different Types of Coding Bootcamp?
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 bootcamp are the same, the biggest difference is the schedule.
While some students can invest more time in a coding program, others require more flexibility. Here a few of your options before you enroll in a bootcamp:
Part-time vs Full-time Coding Bootcamp
No matter what your schedule is like, there is a bootcamp that can work for you. Check out this information on part-time and full-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.
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 programming and wants to expand your knowledge in a short period of time, full-time bootcamps may be the right option for you.
In-Person, Online, or Self-Paced Bootcamps
You also have options when it comes to where and how you take the course. Here, we’ll go over these different coding bootcamp formats.
Applying for an in-person coding bootcamp means that you’ll be attending a scheduled class at a specified 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 perfect for individuals who would like more guidance, structure, and focus.
Some of the better known in-person coding boot camps are Hack Reactor, Galvanize, and App Academy.
An online coding bootcamp brings the fast-paced learning environment to your home. If you’re someone who is self-motivated, organized, enjoy 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 to the student community, online coding courses provide you with all the resources and education you need for success.
Bootcamps like Thinkful, Coding Dojo, Lambda School, and many others offer fully online bootcamp options.
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 when preparing for a coding 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?
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 bootcamp.
On the other side of the spectrum, college graduates that go through a 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.
Exactly How Much Experience Do I Need?
Many prospective students are curious how much experience you need to go prepare for a coding bootcamp. The truth is that it 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. These programmers usually have advanced degrees in computer science.
What are my Financial Options?
Figuring out how to pay for coding bootcamp is another challenge when preparing for your break into tech. 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 share agreement (ISA)
- Apply for coding bootcamp scholarships, many of which are available for underrepresented groups in the tech industry
- Get financial help from family members
- Apply for a coding bootcamp loan
- Request an employer sponsorship
- Crowd-fund your education
- Speak to your program to see if it is approved for the GI Bill
And if you find that you truly can’t afford coding bootcamp, there are many free coding bootcamps available, as well.
Do Coding Bootcamps Provide Career Services or Job Placement?
When it comes to coding bootcamp job placement, most programs offer robust career services. Many bootcamps have networks of partner companies that they work with to help each bootcamp grad land a job.
Luckily, there are more developer jobs available than ever before. With the help of your school–and Career Karma!–you are very likely to find yourself working in a new software development job soon after your bootcamp.