2023 is a great year to break into tech! One of the proven ways to do that is to attend the right coding bootcamp. With this guide into what bootcamps are, their pros and cons, as well as costs of the program, you will find everything you need for your decision to attend a bootcamp. We will also review the best coding bootcamps by type and mode of teaching. Enjoy the read!
What is a coding bootcamp?
A coding bootcamp is an intensive education program for individuals who would like to learn programming at the industry level. Bootcamps are offered as courses designed by private companies and as non-degree programs at traditional universities. They are typically short in duration, ranging from 3 to 6 months, and thorough in their teaching of in-demand programming skills required to get a job in tech.
Why should I attend a coding bootcamp?
If you are interested in learning programming while bypassing lengthy college education, a coding bootcamp may be a perfect option for you.
Coding bootcamp vs computer science degree
If you are struggling to decide whether to attend a bootcamp or get a computer science degree, you may want to consider several factors.
Duration – a college degree takes 2-4 years to complete, depending on whether you choose to attend an Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, or a Master’s degree for career changers. A coding bootcamp, on the other hand, can be completed in 3-6 months, thus giving you a streamlined access to your new career in tech.
Cost – coding bootcamps are pricey, but not as pricey as college degrees. Cost of a coding bootcamp averages around $13,500 for the duration of the whole program, while college education costs $10,000-40,000 per year.
Depth of education – while coding bootcamps do a pretty good job at teaching students how to build most typical coding projects from scratch, they lack depth in theoretical and advanced concepts. Topics such as computer systems, blockchain, and machine learning are best learned in traditional degree programs.
We recommend reading through our Coding Bootcamp or Computer Science degree? article if you are having a tough time deciding between the two options. In order to view other methods of getting CS education, like a Post-Bacc program, Second Bachelor’s degree, Bridge program, or Master’s for non-CS majors, you may want to check out our article on the 5 Ways to Switch Careers to Computer Science.
Why are coding bootcamps so expensive?
Considering the short duration of the program, coding bootcamps charge a considerable amount for their education. Be as it is, bootcamps offer a chance to tap into the tech world with one-tenth of the time it requires to complete a college degree. Many popular bootcamps claim to have an approximately 90% success rate in employment shortly after graduation. If these numbers are correct, a coding bootcamp might offer you a fast-track path to a higher salary and comfortable work-life balance, thus justifying the costly investment. Besides, many financial aid options exist for coding bootcamp students!
Attending a coding bootcamp online vs in person
There are a few things to consider when deciding whether to attend a coding bootcamp online vs in-person.
Structure – in-person programs tend to be more structured and guided; you attend classes at a defined time and location, and have a specific schedule to follow. However, if you prefer more flexibility or need to combine your studies with a daily job, you may find online programs more convenient.
Accountability – when attending a program daily in person, you get a sense of accountability and are motivated to continue showing up and working on your new skills on a daily basis. It is more difficult to experience this as an online student, which means you have to make sure you are self-motivated if you choose to study remotely.
Supervision – instructors are always available on-demand when you attend a coding bootcamp in person, which is often not a luxury that you can experience as an online student. Although it is easier to receive guidance when you encounter a road block with an on-site program, online programs often design support systems for their students as well.
Getting a job after a coding bootcamp
Getting a job after a coding bootcamp is very possible, albeit not easy. In order to successfully find employment in the current industry market, you have to openly showcase your abilities as a job-ready programmer. Several ways to do that include:
Personal projects – you want to exhibit your skills in the technologies you claim to be competent in on your resume. Uploading your personal projects on GitHub or a website portfolio and describing them in your “experience “Projects” section is a perfect way to demonstrate your expertise.
Acing technical interviews – as great as it could be for employers to simply hire you based on your resume and a quick chat, the reality is that you need to pass a certain number of tests for your hiring manager to believe you are as knowledgeable as you say you are. Preparing for live coding assignments and learning to talk through your solutions is an excellent way to prove that you are a good hire to your interviewer.
Getting hands-on experience – while you may be in a hurry to get a real job as soon as you finish your bootcamp journey, you may want to consider gaining actual work experience by doing an internship. Although some companies require applicants to be enrolled in university programs to qualify for an internship, some are fine with candidates who are not attending college.
Are coding bootcamps worth it?
Attending a bootcamp is a personal choice that comes with consideration of advantages and disadvantages of this route. There are many things that a coding bootcamp can offer you, ultimately including a career in tech; however, there are also some challenges involving coding bootcamps that you may need to consider while making your choice.
- Short timeline – as we have mentioned before, short length of the program is the biggest strength of coding bootcamps; you are able to make a transition to your new career in less than 6 months.
- Reduced cost – attending a bootcamp is cheaper than going to college; enjoy learning to code while knowing your price is fixed and mild compared to university education.
- In-demand skills – coding bootcamps teach you all you need to know to ace a technical interview and start your first job in tech; you won’t feel lost in the wide world of programming upon graduating from the program.
- Lack of accreditation – unlike universities, coding bootcamps are not regulated by the government. It is thus difficult to properly assess the validity and quality of any individual bootcamp. There are, however, quite a few programs that have been tried, tested, and reviewed by the public.
- Comprehensiveness – coding bootcamps promise you a quick immersive dive into the world of programming; however, by doing so, they sacrifice the depth and comprehensiveness of education they offer, thus teaching less than a traditional university degree.
- Competition – while you are considered a trained engineer once you complete a bootcamp, it is often difficult to compete with others who have a university degree on their resume. You are thus in a direct competition with college graduates and often need to assert your competence through personal projects and outstanding interview performance.
Best coding bootcamps of 2023
Best in-person bootcamps
- App Academy – New York City, San Francisco
- Coding Dojo – Bellevue, Boise, Chicago, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley
- Flatiron School – Austin, Chicago, Denver, Houston, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C.
- Galvanize – Austin, Boulder, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle
- General Assembly – Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Others
- Hack Reactor – Austin, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle
- Nucamp – Baltimore, Charleston, Dallas, Detroit, Knoxville, Minneapolis, Nashville, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Others
- Tech Elevator – Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
Best online bootcamps
- Byte Academy
- Coding Dojo
- Fullstack Academy
Besides these, make sure to check out our list of the best part-time coding bootcamps conducted online.
Best free coding bootcamps
- Ada Developers Academy
- Careers in Code
- Code Tenderloin
- Founders & Coders
Best web development bootcamps
Check out our list of backend developer bootcamps as well.
Best software engineering bootcamps
Best mobile app development bootcamps
Best data science bootcamps
Best UX design bootcamps
Best cybersecurity bootcamps
Best product design bootcamps
Elmar Mammadov is a software developer, tech startup founder, and computer science career specialist. He is the founder of CS Careerline and a true career changer who has previously pursued careers in medicine and neuroscience.
Due to his interest in programming and years of past personal experience in coding, he decided to break into the tech industry by attending a Master’s in Computer Science for career changers at University of Pennsylvania. Elmar passionately writes and coaches about breaking into the tech industry and computer science in general.