Forest road forks into two roads providing alternative path options. Coding Bootcamp vs College

Coding Bootcamp vs College: Should I Join a Bootcamp or Get a Computer Science Degree?

In this article, we will detail the pros and cons of studying computer science at a coding bootcamp versus college. Traditionally, a four-year degree represented the only way to get into the computer science field. Nowadays, it’s possible to break into the industry with a coding bootcamp education. Read below to learn more about how coding bootcamps stack up against college programs.

What Is a Coding Bootcamp?

A coding bootcamp is an intensive educational program delivered online or at a physical location. These programs are specifically geared towards helping graduates find employment in the tech industry. 

Bootcamps offer services both for new coders and experienced professionals. Regardless of your current skill level, having a bootcamp education under your belt can help advance your tech career.

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Bootcamp students can often finish programs in a matter of weeks. The average time it takes to acquire decent coding skills is 14 weeks. In many cases, the cost of a bootcamp compared to a college education is significantly less. 

Do Employers Like Coding Bootcamps? 

Yes, most employers these days accept bootcamp graduates into their companies. Some even prefer bootcamp grads as often they bring job-ready skills to the table. As much as 72 percent of employers share the viewpoint that bootcamp grads are prepared to carry out their professional duties. 

Coding Bootcamp vs College: Top 3 Bootcamp Pros

1. Tuition Costs: The cost to attend a bootcamp is considerably less than the cost of attending college. An average full-time, full-length program costs an average of $13,500. Some programs cost under $10,000, while others are more than $20,000. Most also have flexible payment options you can use as well.

2. Focused Learning: Fast-paced, tactile learning courses are shorter, more compact, and more job-specific than college courses. Students get hands-on experience with specific technical nd practical skills needed to fulfill a specified job in the tech industry.

3. Fast-track to Graduation and Employment: Graduating from a bootcamp takes much less time than finishing a college program. Depending on the bootcamp program you select, you can graduate in as little as 14 weeks or six months. Most bootcamps offer resume-writing tips and tools to help you prepare for the interview process. 

Coding Bootcamp vs College: Top 3 Bootcamp Cons

1. Accreditation: Most bootcamps are not accredited. However, this doesn’t change the fact that bootcamps equip students with specific job-related technical skills in a short period of time. 

2. Comprehensiveness: Bootcamps specialize in offering targeted education with the goal of preparing you for the workforce. While this is ideal for acquiring specific skills, you may need to supplement this education with soft-skills training or classes that give you a more well-rounded skill set.

3. Job-Specific: Job-specific training is great to help you land a job as soon as possible, but your skills will be narrowly focused on one specific duty and you may need to take refresher courses to keep your skillset relevant.

What Is a Computer Science Degree?

A computer science degree teaches students about designing, developing, testing, and producing computers and their related subsystems. A traditional computer science degree can take four years to complete. In some cases, it is the minimum entry requirement for employment opportunities. 

Computer Science Degree vs Coding Bootcamp: Top 3 College Degree Pros

1.  Comprehensiveness: College graduates benefit from receiving a well-rounded educational experience that teaches both technical and soft skills. In general, college degrees are more respected in the workforce and they indicate that you have a useful skill set complemented with a more varied educational background. 

2. Accreditation: Most colleges are accredited in the US and graduates with degrees from accredited universities tend to earn higher salaries and avoid unemployment. Graduates with computer science degrees are still highly valued by employers, and this degree is one of the best in terms of leading to lucrative jobs opportunities.

3. Employment Opportunities: Computer science degree holders are exposed to a wide variety of job opportunities due to their wide skill set that caters to the rapidly growing tech industry. Indeed lists 324,308 jobs in the computer science field.

Computer Science Degree vs Coding Bootcamp: Top 3 College Degree Cons

1. Length of Program: Not everyone can take four years to earn a degree. Some may need to work and study simultaneously. Flexible online study schedules and payment plans become vital in this instance. 

2. Inflexible: Most colleges are highly structured and require a college student to be on campus at specific times and days. Depending on your situation, and especially if you have to work simultaneously, this may not be realistic or even possible. 

3. Tuition Cost: Tuition varies depending on which college you choose to attend and can range from $19,488 to $41,468. These numbers account for all related costs, including room and board.

5 Best Coding Bootcamps to Join in 2022

Student practicing coding and programming on a laptop with a Python book for reference. Coding Bootcamp vs College
Pursuing a computer science program for your undergraduate degree or bootcamp credential is a great way to begin your career in tech.

In general, bootcamp graduates find jobs with excellent average salaries. Coding bootcamp graduates achieve this in record time with a hands-on learning style. Below are five of the best coding bootcamp programs to help you launch your tech career.


  • Program Cost: $13,900 – $16,300  
  • Locations: Chicago, Online
  • Available formats and modalities: Full-time, part-time, and online worldwide

Specializing in web development, Actualize’s program on full stack development is excellent. You can become a software engineer and learn vital coding languages like JavaScript and Ruby on Rails. Actualize offers evening and weekend classes as well as on-campus or online learning. They also offer flexible payment options. The course is 12 weeks, and you will have to do a capstone project to complete the program.

Alchemy Code Lab 

  • Program Cost: $24,000
  • Location: Portland, Online
  • Available formats and modalities: Full-time, online program, on-campus

This software engineering bootcamp uses a project-based approach to teaching and helps you build a professional GitHub portfolio by the time you finish the 21-week course. Alchemy alumni work for Airbnb and Samsung, among other tech companies. The bootcamp’s career services are excellent, and the institution boasts a 90 percent graduate placement rate in the workforce. These professionals earn an average salary of $79,000. 

Code Fellows

  • Program Cost: $1,000 – $12,000 
  • Locations: Seattle, Online
  • Available formats and modalities: Full-time, part-time, online, self-paced

Code Fellows is a software development and cybersecurity data science bootcamp. It offers beginner and advanced courses either on-campus or online and provides flexible payment options to students. Courses range from $1,000 to $12,000. Graduates of this bootcamp find jobs after graduation at a 96 percent rate.


  • Program Cost: $6,500 – $8,900 
  • Locations: Barcelona, Berlin, London, Toronto, Online
  • Available formats and modalities: Full-time, part-time, and online (only for US-based students)

Codeworks offers courses in software engineering and web development. The bootcamp provides students with full-stack development skills to gain employment. It also offers a free JavaScript course. Payment options include upfront payments, private loans, or an income share agreement (ISA). Codeworks graduates find jobs once they finish their education at a 98 percent rate.  


  • Program Cost: $7,500 – $12,500 
  • Locations: Miami, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, Mexico City, São Paulo, Lisbon, Online
  • Available formats and modalities: Online, full-time, part-time, self-paced

Ironhack is an intensive coding bootcamp with a global footprint. It offers online and in-person classes and has three courses covering web development, data analytics, and cyber security. Courses take between nine and 24 weeks, and Ironhack offers flexible payment options. Students gain employment after graduation at an 89 percent rate.  

Can You Get a Job with Just a Coding Bootcamp?

Yes, you can launch your tech career with a bootcamp education. The number of jobs for professionals in the computer and information technology sector is expected to grow by 13 percent from 2020 to 2030. The average salary for professionals in this sector is $91,250. 

Computer science is a future-proof industry, according to US News. Coding bootcamps can provide you with the skills needed to gain employment in the industry. To ease your mind, many bootcamps also offer career services once you graduate.

Coding Bootcamp vs College FAQ

What are the top five best coding bootcamps?

Actualize, Alchemy Code Lab, Code Fellows, Codeworks, and Ironhack are among the best coding bootcamps.

How much is coding bootcamp tuition?

Bootcamps range from $99 for a single class to between $6,500 and $24,000 per course, depending on the provider you select. When compared to the average cost of an undergraduate degree program, bootcamps are typically cheaper.

Can I get a job with a coding bootcamp certificate?

Yes. Often bootcamps publish the job placement rates of their graduates. Ironhack boasts an 89 percent job placement rate, while 98 percent of Codeworks graduates find jobs after they complete their program.

Do bootcamp graduates get jobs with tech companies?

Yes. Many industry moguls such as Apple, Facebook, and Google hire bootcamp graduates.

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