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Tuition fees in the United States are on the rise, making traditional degrees less accessible to many students. For those pursuing a career in technology, coding bootcamps offer an effective and affordable option. Still, coding bootcamps are intensive programs that require a significant commitment of time, money, and energy.
Is a coding bootcamp worth it?
While a coding bootcamp isn’t a substitute for a college degree, it can get you into the tech field quickly, start making money, and start building a fulfilling career. So, are coding bootcamps worth it?
If you want to launch a new tech career, a coding bootcamp may be your best option. Benefits of taking a coding bootcamp include:
- Get moving for your money. A coding bootcamp costs a lot less than a typical college degree.
- Help to find a job. Most coding bootcamps offer job search assistance, so you won’t be completely alone in your search.
- No degree required. You don’t need to have a college degree in most cases, although a degree in a related discipline can help you gain a broader understanding of your field.
- Valuable skills. You’ll learn in-demand skills in no time, so you’ll be ready to find relevant employment quickly.
- Versatility. Coding bootcamps are usually full, so you’ll learn a variety of skills to make you a marketable candidate.
Reasons why a coding bootcamp might not be the best choice for you
- You are unsure of the type of career you want to have.
- You don’t have the bandwidth to complete a full, intensive and demanding program.
- You are interested in a career in management or another career path that may require a traditional university degree.
How much does a coding bootcamp cost?
Coding bootcamp costs vary depending on the length of the program, the material covered, and whether you are studying full-time or part-time. A 2019 report from RTI International found that the cost of coding bootcamps ranged from $7,500 to $13,950. The median cost for full-time coding bootcamps was $13,500.
In comparison, tuition and fees for a traditional undergraduate degree cost an average of $9,349 per year for in-state schools and $27,023 per year for out-of-state schools, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. If it takes you four years to complete an undergraduate program, it could cost a total of $37,396 or $108,092, respectively. Private schools are often even more expensive.
What are the requirements for a Coding Bootcamp?
Coding bootcamps typically require the following from their students:
- You must have a high school diploma or a GED diploma.
- You must have excellent oral and written skills in English or the language commonly used where you live and work.
- You must be ready to complete all your missions.
- You must have a payment arrangement in place. Some bootcamps offer scholarships, deferred tuition, or revenue-sharing agreements. You may also qualify for financial assistance, especially if you are a veteran.
What to Consider When Enrolling in an Online Coding Bootcamp
When choosing from online coding bootcamps, you want to make sure you’re making the best decision for your career and financial future. Let’s look at some factors to consider before enrolling in a program.
Think in terms of return on investment
If you’re trying to decide if enrolling in a coding bootcamp is worth it, consider your potential return on investment. These two steps can help you determine the ROI of a coding bootcamp:
- Determine your total investment. This includes your tuition, housing, living expenses, and computer equipment costs for the duration of your participation in the program, which can range from a few weeks to several months, depending on the bootcamp you choose.
- Consider your starting salary goal. The average starting salary for students completing a coding bootcamp is $69,000 per year. This equates to a median salary increase of 56%, or $25,000. This means that most bootcamp graduates should recoup their initial investment within their first year of employment after completing a coding bootcamp.
Also consider more than financial return on investment. Salary is important, but so are factors such as flexible hours, benefits, and opportunities for career advancement. Think about your quality of life and your long-term plans when deciding to enroll in a bootcamp.
Whether you want to finish your coding bootcamp quickly or spend more time learning all you can about coding, there are full-time and part-time bootcamp options for you. Some short bootcamps only last one to eight weeks. More immersive programs can last anywhere from nine to 16 weeks. A full bootcamp can take 17 weeks or more.
Students may prefer online coding bootcamps over onsite ones for a variety of reasons, including convenience and availability. Online bootcamps are generally available in synchronous and asynchronous models.
Synchronous learning involves taking courses online at the same time as other students in your cohort. This online learning model allows you and other students to experience lectures together and engage with each other in class discussions.
Asynchronous learning involves listening to lessons and completing assignments at your own pace and on your own schedule. You can access videos and other materials at your convenience. This model allows students with outside obligations to work coursework and program requirements around their busy schedules.
When researching your coding bootcamp options, consider how completing a bootcamp will affect your career plans. What are your goals for your career and how can a coding bootcamp help you achieve those goals? What types of bootcamps would be most relevant to your long-term career plans?
If possible, contact your employer
If you plan to continue working for your employer after completing your coding internship, it’s important to discuss your expectations with your employer ahead of time. Ask about opportunities for advancement, including a possible pay raise to reward you for your new skills.
Some employers also reimburse tuition for job-related courses, which may include coding bootcamps. It’s essential to keep lines of communication open when making career plans.
How to Include a Coding Bootcamp on Your Resume
When you start looking for a job, it’s important to set yourself apart from the competition. It is essential to include bootcamp coding experience on your resume.
Be sure to highlight the specific skills you learned during your bootcamp and relate them to the required skills noted in the job listing. Your most relevant skills should be at the top of your list. Tell the hiring manager why they should consider you over someone else. Focus on how your hiring would benefit the potential employer.
You should also adapt your CV to each application. For example, if you’re applying for a web developer position, emphasize one of your skills that qualifies you for that particular position.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Coding Bootcamps
Are coding bootcamps good for beginners?
Coding bootcamps exist for students of all levels, including beginners. Most bootcamps require at least a high school diploma or GED certificate. The majority of bootcamps do not require a college degree or previous work experience in a technology field.
Will a coding bootcamp get you a job?
Some coding bootcamps offer job guarantees, but most don’t. Even so, according to a recent report79% of coding bootcamp graduates surveyed in 2021 said they were employed in programming jobs.
Can you fail a coding bootcamp?
Yes, if you don’t do the required work or effort to complete your coding bootcamp. Success is possible, but like anything worthwhile, you have to be willing to work for it.