People using a laptop.

Are Coding Bootcamps Worth It?

A coding bootcamp is the fast track to the tech industry. In the last ten years, coding bootcamps have popped up nationwide to fill a void in the talent sector of the tech industry.

College computer science programs can be time-consuming and not to mention pricey. Not everyone has the time or money to attend a full four-year program at an established university.

Coding bootcamps allow participants to forego that hefty price tag and enter the tech industry at an accelerated rate. Coding bootcamps are perfect for professionals who are looking to retrain a skill or switch careers, but are they for everyone?

There are many factors to consider when answering this question. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of a coding bootcamp.

People using laptop for coding.
Decode the advantages and disadvantages of a coding bootcamp.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages?

Coding bootcamps continue to grow every year, sparking the question, what draws students to these classrooms? Last year, 23,043 students enrolled in a coding bootcamp compared to the 2,178 in 2013.

Coding Bootcamp Advantages

The numbers prove that these classes aren’t going anywhere, so we’ve narrowed down the top 3 advantages and disadvantages of a coding bootcamp.

1. The most apparent advantage of a coding bootcamp is the return on investment (ROI) in terms of salary. The average tuition for a collegiate computer science program holds the price tag of around $163,140, while a coding bootcamp is somewhere along the lines of $11,874.

Moreover, the average degree holder makes $59,124 out of college while a graduate of a coding bootcamp makes around $70,698. In conjunction with, coding bootcamps are flexible with repayment, often offering deferred tuition. Bootcamps are also jumping on a new trend of corporate training.

Companies can partner with bootcamps as a corporate training partner to teach employees a unique skillset. These advantages of a coding bootcamp are apparent. But what are the other benefits?

2. Another one of the top reasons to enroll in a coding bootcamp is accessibility. Coding bootcamps don’t have many pre-requisites meaning that they are easy for anyone to join.

On top of that, they are often held virtually, making them even more accessible to most people. Besides that, they only require a limited amount of dedicated time in comparison to a college degree.

Coding bootcamps have a time commitment of around 15.1 weeks in contrast to the four years students put in at a university. That means a variety of different people can consider coding bootcamps, including those who already work a full-time job but are thinking about a career change.

3. Coding bootcamps are also attractive to prospective professionals because they teach the practical skills of coding. These bootcamps teach the accelerated version of a computer science program, and they only show the necessities to survive in a tech workplace. On the other hand, universities will teach an extensive program that includes theory.

Coding Bootcamp Disadvantages

In contrast to the above, coding bootcamps can have their disadvantages. Here is the flip side of coding bootcamps. We’ve narrowed down the top 3 problems associated with a coding bootcamp.

1. Coding bootcamps are rarely nationally or regionally accredited like universities are. Accreditation is essential when dealing with educational facilities because it allows the student to determine if the institution is meeting the proper teaching standards. The lack of certifications also makes it hard when choosing which bootcamp is best for you.

2. As stated previously, it’s hard to compare a 4-year degree with a 15-week course in terms of education. A college degree goes further into the study of computer science than a bootcamp ever could. Time and money constraints mean that participants are only getting one side of the program. Some might say, a bootcamp won’t be able to cover everything necessary to succeed in the industry truly.

3. In addition to that, coding bootcamps tend to set you up for a specific job rather than opportunities in an overall field. After all, coding bootcamps were designed to fill a particular void in the tech industry where there was lacking. A college degree would provide you with many alternative courses of action after graduation, but a coding bootcamp may send you into programming only.

How Much Will a Coding Bootcamp Cost?

Pink piggy bank
A coding bootcamp might not break the bank.

Coding bootcamps can fluctuate when it comes to the overall cost. Tuition for bootcamps can range from free to $21,000. The average bootcamp costs $13,584. It’s essential to thoroughly investigate what bootcamp is right for you and what you can afford. The good news is that there seems to be a price that everyone can afford with 44% of bootcamps in the $10,000-$14,999 range. As with any critical decision, it’s essential to set both salary and expectation goals before enrolling in a bootcamp or deciding which one is right for you.

Will a Coding Bootcamp Land You the Job?

Three women sitting at a table.
A coding bootcamp could have you sitting across from your future employer. 

The overall purpose of coding bootcamps is to fill a job void that looms in the tech industry, but does that mean immediate employment after graduation? Not necessarily, but the numbers are looking in favor of yes. According to the Course Report, 83% of graduates are employed full time within 1-6 months of graduating. Moreover, large corporations like Microsoft are finding more positions in their companies for these graduates.

They are receiving numerous resumes with coding school experiences on them. They elaborate to say that coding school is a great way to learn a new skill set and see what a career in coding could look like. Indeed agrees; reporting that 72% of employers believe that bootcamp graduates are just as prepared and likely to be high performers as candidates with computer science degrees.

It is also important to note that colleges have begun to follow suit offering coding bootcamps of their own. Some of these collegiate institutions are the University of Central Florida, the University of Washington, and the University of Minnesota.

So, Are Coding Bootcamps Worth It?

A directional sign.
You first need to decide which route to take!

So, are they worth it? That depends. It ultimately comes down to several different factors when deciding if a coding bootcamp is right for you. It’s vital to thoroughly weigh out your expectations, goals, and possible outcomes when deciding which route to go, if any.

Coding bootcamps can be a great resource, especially for those looking to expand or change careers. They can also be the perfect option for many who are limited to a specific budget or don’t have the time to dedicate to obtaining a degree.

On the other hand, coding bootcamps are often tricky and not designed for everyone. You must first decide if coding is something that you are exceptionally passionate about.

According to SF Gate, one in ten students don’t make the cut. Additionally, bootcamps do not have credentials and are not regulated like traditional universities. As a result, this creates pushback from the industry when applying for jobs.

Like not all bootcamps are created equal, neither is comparing a university to a coding bootcamp. They both serve a purpose, but those purposes are vastly different.

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