First, let’s go into what a coding bootcamp actually is.
There are many programs calling themselves a coding bootcamp. They vary widely, as there is no legal definition of the term.
There are two-week, vacation-sequel boo camps in the tropics that teach you only HTML/CSS. There are year-long programs with a more 9-5 schedule.
However, most common coding bootcamp formats are intensive, immersive programs that last three or four months. Some are in person, some remote, some with part-time or flexible options.
Structure aside, all coding bootcamps are vocational programs. They teach you on-the-job skills in software engineering, usually focused on web development. While a university degree is longer and contains much more theoretical background, coding bootcamps are about teaching you the skills you need to get a job as a software developer quickly.
Overall across this industry, the facts show that in general coding boo camps are worth it—a recent Course Report survey of over 3,000 boo camp grads shows that 79% of them were already employed in a job using these new coding skills they’d learned.
Depending on the bootcamp, you might get training, mentorship, and hiring support as well.
2. How to decide are coding boo camps worth it
With so many coding boo camps out there, how do you choose? Not all boo camps are created equal.
Besides that, different coding bootcamps have varying formats, teaching styles and curriculums. To make the right decision for you, you’ll need to check in with yourself and do some research. What learning styles and formats work best for you? What kind of time and financial commitment can you make? What amount of support do you want?
Let’s dive into some factors to consider when choosing a coding bootcamp.
Learning a new set of skills is a time commitment. Before deciding if a coding bootcamp is worth it, you’ll want to consider how you’ll fit the time into your schedule.
Do you prefer to juggle learning to code while working full-time? Or do you prefer spending a shorter period of time in an intensive program dedicated 100% to coding?
Here it’s worth considering the cost benefit of a coding boo camp. What kind of developer salary will you be earning in your new field?
This is crucial in terms of your return on investment—how quickly will the boo camp pay off? With the graduates surveyed by Course Report reporting an average salary increase of 56% ($25,000), that might not be so long.
Coding bootcamps can vary in price widely based on their format and location. Are you willing to take out a loan? Are there scholarships that apply to you? Keep in mind that your salary is likely to be higher once you land a job in the field.
The big question here is in-person, remote, or even hybrid.
Most boo camps offer some free coding classes as prep. It’s worth taking these once you narrow down your selection as it will give you an idea of your boo camp’s teaching style. You’ll also need to check in with yourself about your own learning style and what works best for you.
If you’d like to get a sneak-peak at Career Foundry’s own coding short course, here’s our first video lesson: