If you are wondering what coding bootcamp is, you are not alone. A coding bootcamp is a short-term, intensive training program that teaches students practical and job-ready tech skills. They are cheaper and faster than traditional education and often include career support for graduates.
If you are 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 skillset you need to succeed in tech, coding bootcamps.
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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. As such, we will examine what coding bootcamps are, how much they cost, and what subjects you will learn at a coding bootcamp, among other things.
What Is a Coding Bootcamp?
So, what is a coding bootcamp, and what is a typical bootcamp definition? Well, coding bootcamps are an innovative new form of short-term, intensive, and often immersive education designed to provide aspiring tech enthusiasts and professionals the skills they need to start careers in software engineering and other tech fields.
The length can vary per program, however, each program will help you develop valuable programming skills you need to succeed in your career. Furthermore, you may learn skills like full stack web development, digital marketing, UX/UI design, data science, and much more.
Who Offers Coding Bootcamps?
Coding bootcamps are offered by various institutions, from independent tech schools to universities that also offer traditional degrees. For example, Harvard University offers bootcamp programs through its Harvard Extension School, whereas Simplilearn is an online tech school that only offers bootcamp programs. Below are the top coding bootcamps to help you break into the tech industry:
- Flatiron School
- Le Wagon
- Kenzie Academy
- General Assembly
- Hack Reactor
What Subjects Do Coding Bootcamps Cover?
Data scientists, software engineers, and business analysts need advanced knowledge of Python. Some of the top schools that offer Python bootcamps include Simplilearn, Nucamp, and Le Wagon.
Web development bootcamps offer a wide variety of subjects, depending if the program covers front end, backend, or full stack development. Web development topics usually include design, web technologies, computer graphics, HTML, CSS, databases, architecture, and application development.
Web development bootcamps are ideal for those seeking careers as application developers, database administrators, or quality assurance engineers. The best schools for web development bootcamps are Simplilearn, Flatiron School, and Nucamp.
Networking bootcamps cover core topics like network devices, Internet connectivity, wireless networks, cables and connectors, and TCP/IP. These programs often prepare students for network certification such as the CompTIA A+.
Networking bootcamps are key for aspiring cyber security engineers, network security analysts, and network engineers. The top schools for networking bootcamps are Careerist, Clarusway, and Product Gym.
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is an emerging and growing technology. AI bootcamps cover topics such as Python libraries, data visualization, machine learning, linear algebra, data interpretation, and deep learning. Machine learning engineers, data scientists, and data analysis can all benefit from AI bootcamps. The best schools that offer AI bootcamps are Simplilearn, Prehired, and BrainStation.
What Are the Different Types of Coding Bootcamp?
When you enroll in a coding bootcamp, you have different types of coding bootcamps to choose from, based on your individual educational needs and your flexibility. The curriculum and the value you receive from these different types of bootcamp are usually the same, the biggest difference is the schedule.
While some students can invest more time in a coding program, others require more flexibility. For example, if you have a full-time job or family commitment, a part-time, self-paced program will be the best option for you. Here are a few of your options before you enroll:
Part-time vs Full-time Coding Bootcamp
No matter what your schedule is like, there is a bootcamp that can work for you. Whether you want to study full-time or part-time, you will learn what it takes to become a coding expert. Check out this information on part-time and full-time coding bootcamps, as we break down how long coding bootcamps are.
The average bootcamp duration for part-time bootcamps is 34 weeks. Part-time coding bootcamps are the perfect option for students who attend bootcamp while working. Part-time students usually meet on nights and weekends as well as study concepts over a longer period of time than full-time students.
A full-time bootcamp is typically a 17-week program that 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, a full-time program may be the right option for you. Just keep in mind that full-time programs are intensive and immersive in nature. This may result in a student suffering from coding bootcamp burnout.
In-Person, Online, or Self-Paced Bootcamps
There are three different types of coding bootcamps when it comes to format. This gives prospective students plenty of options when it comes to where and how they take the course. Here, we’ll go over these different formats.
Applying for an in-person coding bootcamp means that you’ll be attending a scheduled class at a specified bootcamp location. In-person bootcamp courses are typically more structured with an instructor available to you immediately, just in case you hit a wall.
These courses are perfect for individuals who would like more guidance, structure, and focus. Some of the better-known in-person coding bootcamps are Hack Reactor, Galvanize, and App Academy.
An online coding bootcamp brings a fast-paced learning environment to your home. If you’re self-motivated, organized, and enjoy working alone, or if you simply need the flexibility to work wherever you are on your own time, online classes are a great option for you. Bootcamp duration for these online courses is the same as in-person learning.
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 bootcamp students who need flexibility but are also self-starters and have a disciplined learning style.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
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How Much Do Coding Bootcamps Cost?
Coding bootcamps cost anywhere from $0 to $30,000. The average cost, according to our 2023 Bootcamp Market Report, is $12,953. While there are plenty of options when it comes to free coding bootcamps, the best bootcamps offer flexible payment options to help students with tuition and other costs. Now that we have established what a coding bootcamp is, let’s examine the financial options to help you pay for coding bootcamp.
What Are My Financial Options to Pay for Coding Bootcamp?
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
Pros and Cons of Coding Bootcamps
In this next section, we look at the various pros and cons of coding bootcamps to help you figure out if coding bootcamps are right for you. Coding bootcamps are short-term programs that help students become job ready in a matter of months. However, this type of learning is intensive and requires students to put an enormous amount of effort and time in.
Furthermore, while the cost and time commitment of bootcamps are less than that of traditional college, some employers still favor those with a computer programming degree over those who have completed a coding bootcamp.
Coding Bootcamp Pros
- In-demand skills. Coding bootcamps teach students in-demand skills which are essential for the tech industry. Technology is rapidly growing and changing, and learning up-to-date practices is vital to stay ahead of the curve.
- Hands-on training. Bootcamps use hands-on training and real-world projects to efficiently teach students core coding topics. This type of training will best prepare you for a successful career in the tech field and ensure you are job-ready.
- Career services. Coding bootcamps don’t just teach technical skills. They also offer extensive career services, such as professional portfolio building, career coaching, mock interviews, soft skills training, and networking. Career services teams may also organize events such as a career fair to help students network.
Coding Bootcamp Cons
- Less recognition. While companies do hire bootcamp graduates, traditional degrees still hold more weight and global recognition. A coding bootcamp program may limit your career opportunities.
- Lack of general education. Unlike four-year degrees, coding bootcamps do not offer a well-rounded general education. Bachelor’s degrees, for example, include general education and elective courses, as well as core courses.
- Lack of accreditation. Most coding bootcamps do not receive academic accreditation, whereas most traditional schools and universities are accredited. Accredited degrees will help you better achieve your career goals.
Do Coding Bootcamps Actually Work?
Yes, coding bootcamps do work. Coding bootcamps offer technical skills training and soft skills training. Bootcamps also have extensive career services to help graduates find a job. Furthermore, some of the best bootcamps offer a job guarantee or deferred payment options. Deferred payment means students pay nothing until they find work in the tech industry and earn a certain amount of money.
On paper, bootcamps may seem too good to be true. They offer short-term programs to help newcomers or professionals get their dream job in tech. It’s no wonder people ask, do coding bootcamps work? You must be willing to put the time and effort in and understand the difficulty of an intensive bootcamp program before signing up.
This is why most bootcamps offer prep courses and admissions interviews to ensure students are prepared. While traditional education is often viewed as a more recognizable and legitimate education, leading tech firms are hiring more and more bootcamp graduates.
Is Completing Coding Bootcamp Difficult?
Yes, completing coding bootcamp can be difficult. How difficult coding bootcamp is depends on your ability to learn, your commitment to the program, and your willingness to ask for help when needed.
Bootcamps are intensive programs that are challenging and require students to immerse themselves in several months of learning. You must know in advance the difficulties you’re likely to encounter so you can be better prepared to handle them.
The best way to complete coding bootcamp is to prepare as much as possible in advance, think critically about how to be more productive, and make peace with the fact that there will be things you miss and need to revisit later.
Are Online Bootcamps More Difficult?
No, online bootcamps are not more difficult than in-person bootcamps. Online coding bootcamps are offered synchronously or asynchronously. Synchronous learning means students follow the same curriculum as in-person programs and virtually attend live classes. Asynchronous learning is done via a self-paced curriculum.
While the subject matter for online bootcamps is the same as in-person programs, some students may find the format of virtual learning more difficult. An online program allows students to interact with their instructor and peers virtually, but they may have limited access to this interaction or they may have to wait some time to get an answer.
Online students must be self-motivated, and some people may find it harder to focus outside of a classroom environment. However, the flexibility of self-paced learning may suit some students better than in-person learning and some students may find online bootcamps easier than in-person bootcamps.
Required Experience to Join a Coding Bootcamp
One of the first questions that pop 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?
No, you do not need a college degree for coding bootcamp. In fact, entering a coding bootcamp without a college degree is becoming more and more common, and it’s easy to understand why.
Non-college graduates that attend 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% increased salary after coding bootcamp, 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 considering 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 programs for all experience levels from total beginners to the more experienced. However, the level of experience you bring 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 computer science degrees.
Do Coding Bootcamps Provide Career Services or Job Placement?
Yes, coding bootcamps provide career services or job placement. When it comes to coding bootcamp job placement, most programs offer robust career services and job search help. In fact, this is why the coding bootcamp employment rate is so high. Many have networks of partner companies that they work with to help each bootcamp grad land a job at a tech company. These extensive career services are often what coding bootcamps are best known for.
Today, there are more developer jobs available than ever before. As the number of developers continues to grow, so does the job market. 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.
Here is an example of some of the career services typically offered by coding bootcamps:
- Mock interviews. Mock interviews help students practice and develop their interview skills and techniques. This is a great tool to help you prep for a real job interview.
- Portfolio building. During your bootcamp program, you will develop a technical portfolio through projects and collaborations. Career services will help you hone this portfolio to best suit your strengths and the type of job you apply for.
- Networking. Bootcamps are an ideal way for students and graduates to expand their network. Some bootcamps provide job fairs and career events where you will meet like-minded people, and in some cases, apply for jobs.
- Hiring network. Top coding bootcamps will have partnerships with companies. For example, Le Wagon includes Deezer, Google, and Microsoft in their hiring network.
- Mentoring. Mentoring programs connect students with industry professionals to help them learn on the job and gain invaluable hands-on experience.
Top Bootcamp Jobs: An Overview
In this section, we examine what coding bootcamp jobs pay the most and the job outlook for these jobs. Coding bootcamps prepare students for a wide variety of tech jobs, from software engineers to developers to cyber security specialists.
|Job||Average Salary||Job Outlook|
|Quality Assurance Analysts||$110,140||13%|
Best Bootcamp Careers: A Closer Look
If you are wondering what to do after coding bootcamp then continue reading as we take a closer at some of the best bootcamp careers. As you will see, coding bootcamp graduates can apply for work across a variety of industries and careers, making it a very flexible and adaptable qualification.
Hourly wage: $63.22
Best paying states: Washington, California, Delaware, New York, New Jersey
Data scientists analyze and work with data to obtain meaningful insights. Data scientists are greatly in demand and have a high job outlook rate. A data science bootcamp will use hands-on training to ensure you know how to properly analyze and use data.
Hourly wage: $61.62
Best paying states: California, Washington, Virginia, Oregon, Nevada
Computer engineers use computer science skills to design, build, and test computer systems and hardware. Coding bootcamps will teach fundamental computer science and coding skills to help computer engineering enthusiasts become professionals and experts in their field
Quality Assurance Analysts
Hourly wage: $52.95
Best paying states: New York, California, Maryland, New Mexico, Massachusetts
Quality assurance analysts use their in-depth computer knowledge to test applications, software, and computer systems to help resolve any potential issues such as bugs. Coding bootcamps teach key coding and technical skills required to be successful in this field.
Hourly wage: $44.71
Best paying states: Washington, California, Virginia, District of Columbia, Massachusetts
Computer programmers write, edit, and test code to help computer systems and software function correctly. They work closely with software engineers and developers to turn their designs into coding language that a computer can interpret. Coding bootcamp is an ideal way for programming enthusiasts to break into the industry.
Hourly wage: $37.12
Best paying states: Virginia, Washington, Rhode Island, Maryland, District of Columbia
Web developers build and maintain websites and applications. They are also responsible for how efficient a website runs by monitoring traffic and speed. Web developers mainly use front end development, but a deep understanding of backend or full stack development will help professionals progress to upper-level development jobs.
A Typical Day in Coding Bootcamp
If you are wondering what a day in the life of a bootcamp student looks like, here is an account that you will find interesting. It is written by Trent Fowler, a data scientist and writer with an interest in machine learning and blockchain technologies who attended the Galvanize Data Science Immersive in Denver.
It’s easy to start letting cleanliness slip when you’re coding every waking moment.
The official hours of my coding bootcamp were from 9 a.m. to roughly 3 or 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Most days followed a pretty standard template: there would be a morning lecture or sometimes a visit from career services teams, then there would be a few hours worth of coding exercises.
These morning projects were usually individual assignments, though no one was penalized if they sought help from teachers or peers. Late morning the answers to the exercises would be released, and most of us would spend some time looking at them or working on something else over lunch.
In the afternoon there would be another lecture — sometimes on a related subject, sometimes on a totally new one — and then there would be a pair programming assignment. Before the day ended the solutions to these problems were released as well.
Most of my peers and I worked well beyond the normal hours. There was always code to refactor, bigger projects like capstones to think about, reviews every Monday to study for, and plenty of outside reading that needed to be done.
We also tended to work over the weekends.
How to Get Started With Your Coding Bootcamp
If you’re determined, strong-willed, and ready to change your life, Career Karma can help get you started. Most of the top coding bootcamps have a certain admissions process before you’re entered into the program. You can also reach out to a bootcamp admissions advisor with any questions or queries you may have.
Career Karma can not only match you to the best bootcamp but can also help you ace the admissions process and get accepted into your dream coding bootcamp. So, if you have been wondering how to start a bootcamp program, then look no further than Career Karma.
What Is Coding Bootcamp FAQ
No, most bootcamps are not accredited. Bootcamps are a relatively new form of education, and as such, are typically not accredited. However, there are now a handful of accredited bootcamps, including Turing School of Software and Design, NYC Data Science Academy, and Kenzie Academy.
It is not difficult to get into a coding bootcamp once you meet the basic entrance requirements. Most coding bootcamps simply require students to hold a high school diploma or equivalent and be at least 18 years of age on the first day of class. Most bootcamps don’t require students to have previous coding experience.
No, all coding bootcamps are not created equal. Each coding bootcamp has different curricula, instructors, and services. Some bootcamps have job guarantees, others allow students to attend with no upfront cost and pay off their tuition once they find employment. It is important you use bootcamp reviews and trusted sites like Career Karma to research various coding bootcamps.
You must consider several factors when you choose a coding bootcamp. These include various coding bootcamp costs, career services, curriculum, format, and school rankings. For example, if you have a full-time job, you should focus your school search on bootcamps that offer part-time programs.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.
Wow, good thing I was able to read this article. Because, I’m quite not sure if I can commit full time on bootcamp training due to other obligations. But for beginners, is it advisable to go straight full on boot camp already or might as well familiarize first the course that you want to take through research? What would you suggest?
Very wellwritten article Mr.Crabtree!
I agree with Donna Lee’s comment as well! Part of my worry is that this kind of education will become necessary in the future and it would be really rotten to be left as the last person who knows how to Code.