IIf you want to enter the computer technology industry, a coding bootcamp can provide a quick and efficient way to learn valuable skills that can help launch your new career.
Coding bootcamps have become a $350 million industry. Over 23,000 students graduated from coding bootcamps in 2019 alone. This article explores the benefits of coding bootcamps and discusses financial aid for coding bootcamps.
What are coding bootcamps?
Coding bootcamps are short-term, intensive programs that teach specific coding skills. These programs provide a lot of information in a short time to prepare students for their future career. Full-time and part-time coding bootcamps are available in person and online.
How much does a coding bootcamp cost?
According to a report 2019 from RTI International, the median cost of coding bootcamps ranged from $7,500 to $13,950, depending on the type and length of each program. The median costs of specific types of programs were as follows:
- Full coding bootcamps: $11,900
- Full-Time Bootcamp Programs: $13,500
- Part-Time Bootcamp Programs: $7,500
Benefits of completing a coding bootcamp
Benefits of attending a bootcamp include:
- Acquire in-depth knowledge. Coding bootcamps provide the knowledge you’ll need to start a coding career.
- Develop in-demand skills in a short time. You’ll be ready to start your coding career as soon as you complete the bootcamp, even if you don’t have any coding work experience.
- Skip the university degree. A college degree can be a big plus, but building a career in coding isn’t necessary. You will learn everything you need to know in your bootcamp without spending extra money and time to get a degree.
- Qualified for many types of jobs. People with coding skills can work in a variety of positions in computer science, computer programming, information technology, computer engineering, data science, and software engineering.
How to pay for bootcamps
The many ways to pay for a bootcamp include coding bootcamp scholarships and other types of financial aid. Read on to learn more about the payment methods that may be available to you.
Bootcamp Scholarships and Grants
Many programs offer scholarships and coding bootcamp grants. These funds mean that bootcamp scholars may be able to receive financial aid directly from their programs. When looking for coding bootcamps, check if scholarships are available before making a decision.
If you are eligible for GI Bill® benefits, you may be able to use these benefits to pay for your bootcamp. The traditional GI bill placed a 15-year cap on education benefits. The Forever GI Bill, which came into effect in 2018, is an improved version of the previous GI Bill.
The five-year VET TEC pilot program was created in 2019 by the Forever GI Bill. This program provides funds to military veterans that can cover tuition and fees, housing, books, and other supplies. VET TEC lets you use your benefits to train for technology-related careers. This training may include coding bootcamps, software training, data processing, or other information science courses.
The benefits you receive from this program depend on your length of service. If you served 90 days to six months, you should receive 50% of your benefits. If you served 36 months or more, you should receive 100% of your benefits.
For a list of approved training providers, visit US Department of Veterans Affairs website.
Personal and private loans
If you are not eligible for coding bootcamp financial aid, you may be able to pay for your coding bootcamp with a personal or private loan. If you are considering taking out a loan, be sure to thoroughly research the terms of potential lenders.
You’ll want to know their interest rates, fees, and repayment terms to make sure borrowing money is the right method for you. If you have poor credit or no credit, you may have trouble qualifying for a loan.
Some employers offer coding bootcamp scholarships. Many companies offer tuition assistance or scholarships to employees who enroll in educational programs to develop their job skills.
Your employer may require you to remain with the company for a specific period of time before you are eligible for tuition reimbursement. Make sure you know the terms before entering into this agreement with your employer. If you’re not already working in a computer technology job, check with your employer to see if you can transfer to another department after completing a bootcamp.
Deferred Tuition Programs
Some bootcamps may allow you to defer your tuition until you complete the program and find a job. At this point, you will pay your tuition fees in installments over a period of time.
The downside to this option is that you will end up paying more for your bootcamp than if you had paid for it upfront. In contrast, bootcamps that offer tuition deferral usually guarantee a job, so if you can’t find a position, you won’t pay for your bootcamp.
Revenue sharing agreements
An Income Sharing Agreement (ISA) is similar to a tuition deferment, but instead of paying your tuition in fixed installments, you pay a percentage of your income. ISA payments usually start once you start earning a minimum wage set according to your ISA.
The downside of using this payment option is that you will need to set aside a portion of your income each month until you pay your tuition, so you will have less disposable income during this time.
A Note on Federal Financial Aid
Bootcamps are not accredited programs like those offered at traditional universities, so the FAFSA does not offer financial aid for coding bootcamps. Therefore, you will not be able to use a federal student loan or a Pell grant to pay for your education.
In 2016, the US Department of Education announced an experimental pilot program called the Educational Quality Through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP) initiative. The goal of the EQUIP initiative was to pair universities with non-traditional education providers to deliver educational programs, including bootcamps. Bootcamp Scholars could then use federal financial aid to cover the costs of these programs.
This initiative has caused a division in higher education. Some have expressed concerns about the use of federal funds to pay for-profit companies. As of July 2020, the only existing partnership was between Brookhaven College in Texas and StraighterLine, an alternative education provider. EQUIP hasn’t had much success so far, but that might change in the future.
Frequently asked questions about bootcamps
Will a coding bootcamp help me get a job?
When you complete a coding bootcamp, you will be qualified for an entry-level position in your field. Bootcamps are designed to give people quick access to employment, and some even guarantee employment. As long as you’re willing to put in the work and put in the effort, your bootcamp should help you get a job.
How much should I pay for a coding bootcamp?
Expect to pay between $7,500 and $13,950 for a coding bootcamp, depending on the type of program you choose. Short bootcamps generally cost less than longer, more comprehensive ones. Before choosing a bootcamp, find out if you are eligible for scholarships or financial aid for the coding bootcamp.
Are bootcamps better than degrees?
Bootcamps aren’t better than degrees, but they do serve a different purpose. If your goal is to jump into a coding career quickly, a coding bootcamp may be your best bet. On the other hand, a degree can open more doors for you if you have the time and money to invest in a traditional degree.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.