2021 Coding Bootcamps Guide

With an increase in demand for coders and employees proficient in one or more programming languages, coding bootcamps are becoming increasingly popular. The demand for tech jobs is growing so quickly that the number of skilled workers available to fill them can hardly keep up. At this point in history, technology is making massive leaps forward every year. Yet, many people entering the tech workforce take four or more years to complete their higher education and become workforce-ready. Coding bootcamps help workers upskill quickly to fill the gaps and connect more people with high-demand coding skills.

 

What is a Coding Bootcamp?

A coding bootcamp is an intensive course designed for adults that teaches coding and technical skills to prepare students for a job in coding or web development. These programs usually range in duration from 10 to 36 weeks, depending on the intensity of the material, the number of hours per week, and the teaching format.

The most immersive bootcamp experiences are full-time programs, which generally meet for about 8 hours a day from morning to evening (with breaks of course!) However, most bootcamps are also offered on a part-time schedule that’s more practical for students with a full-time job or those enrolled in school. These part-time programs usually cover all of the same material as the full-time version but are either more intensive or last longer to fit everything in.

Not all coding bootcamps are the same, so you’ll want to do thorough research on different programs available to you before you pick one. Bootcamps vary in the material they cover, the locations they serve, whether they run online or not, the price of tuition (as well as the flexibility of payment), class format, and how much career support they offer. At the bottom of this page, you can review an extensive list of coding bootcamps and compare their features to find one that best fits your needs.

 

What Will You Learn at a Coding Bootcamp?

Overall, bootcamps are a great option for someone who wants to transition into a lucrative career in tech but has minimal background experience in coding. Maybe you studied something else in college and only recently discovered your love for coding? Or maybe college isn’t in the cards for you but you still want to gain highly marketable skills to begin a technical career path? Coding bootcamps teach students the skills they need for a career in tech quickly and provide hands-on projects to help ensure that students are career-ready when they complete the program. 

To ensure that their curriculums cover all of the most marketable tech skills, some programs meet with local employers to find out what skills they look for in hiring candidates and what skill gaps they see at their company.

Here are some of the top skills you can expect to learn at a coding bootcamp:

  • Web Development Fundamentals – Most programs start with the basics of creating web pages, including front-end languages like HTML/CSS and the use of libraries and frameworks such as jQuery, Bootstrap, JSON and AJAX
  • Full Stack Web Development – All the technical skills required to engineer a web application, including Javascript, querying data from SQL and other back-end technologies
  • Advanced web optimization skills – Master MongoDB, React, Java and other tools web professionals regularly use
  • Additional Programming languages – Outside the basics, many programs also provide instruction in C#, C++, Ruby, R, Python and more
  • Real-Life projects – Most bootcamps offer a project component that allows students to build their portfolio of projects and work through “real-life” coding challenges
  • Communication, Teamwork and Leadership – Don’t forget about those vital soft skills! Bootcamps also expose students to collaborative work that allows them to find their place within a team. 

Building on these skills, here are just a few examples of entry-level roles students find themselves in upon completing a coding bootcamp: 

Web developers use their coding skills to create the structure and content of websites. 

Front-end developers are a subcategory of web developers who focus on the user-facing portion of a website, rather than the underlying structures and servers.

Back-end developers are a subcategory of web developers who focus on the server-side of websites. Their focus is on elements like databases, servers, and APIs.

Software engineers use their coding skills to build software programs. Oftentimes a client or project lead will communicate the tasks that the software will need to accomplish and the software engineer uses their technical background to design and build an effective program.

Software testers use their coding skills to develop test scripts and test plans, which they implement on software as it is being developed. They’ll need to have a great eye for spotting bugs and understand what makes a great user experience.

 

Where Can You Take a Coding Bootcamp?

Bootcamps can be taken online or in person. Some online programs are 100% asynchronous, meaning students learn the material from online resources and complete projects at their own pace. Other online programs include a mix of individual learning, classroom-style virtual lectures, and group work. In-person bootcamps meet at the program’s campus or a local university. These in-person formats do sometimes include ‘homework’ that students complete outside of classroom hours. Due to the growing popularity of these types of programs, you can find in-person bootcamps across most major U.S. cities, including New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, and many more

 

What Types of Coding Bootcamps are Available?

As we mentioned above, coding bootcamps can be taken on a part-time or full-time basis, depending on your scheduling needs, and how quickly you wish to complete a program. Additionally, online-only program options exist for virtual learners.

Beyond those factors, another element to consider is the program provider. Some courses are offered through higher education institutions that provide in-person instruction on campus and may leverage professors and educational resources affiliated with the university. Other bootcamps may be offered via third-party or individualized providers, taught at their own location or online. 

Coding bootcamps generally take 10 to 36 weeks to complete and require a time commitment of about 15 to 40+ hours per week. These numbers vary depending on the program format and the intensity of the material. For example, a part-time program might require about 15 hours of work during the week spread over 8 months, while a full-time version of the same curriculum might meet all day Monday through Friday but take only 2 months to complete. 

Some bootcamps have flexible online learning options that allow students to complete the work entirely on their own schedule. That means, if you only have 3 hours to spare a week, you can still make it work! You’ll just be working through the material for a much longer time.

When comparing bootcamps, consider where you see yourself headed in your career and what you hope to achieve by completing the program. While curricula of individual programs might seem similar, each will provide a different experience. Take a moment to review our listings and browse the program’s “About Us” page to see if the particular subjects and curricula align with the skill sets you are looking to learn.

 

Requirements for Taking a Coding Bootcamp

Some coding bootcamps have an admissions process that students must complete before starting the course. However, it is rare for students to be turned away. The admissions process is mostly to ensure that students are committed to putting in the work that the bootcamp will require of them and gauge any background knowledge they already have. To do this, students may need to answer questions such as, “Do you have any background in coding?” and “Are you able to commit X hours a week to this course?” An initial questionnaire may be followed by a one-on-one phone call in which students can describe their career goals and ask their own questions about the program.

For students who aren’t yet technically prepared for an intensive coding experience, some bootcamps offer a pre-bootcamp prep program to help beginning coders get up to speed before starting the full bootcamp.

Most coding bootcamps do not require students to have completed any post-secondary education. However, many require students to be at least 18 years old and some require students to have completed high school or have a GED.

 

How Much Do Coding Bootcamps Cost?

Tuition for coding bootcamps ranges from about $500 to about $30,000. The lowest-priced bootcamps are mostly self-paced programs where students pay for access to the material and then complete coursework on their own, while the higher-priced bootcamps tend to include extra support like job placement guarantees and networking opportunities. 

Education can be one of the largest investments you’ll make, so bootcamps offer a number of ways to pay

  • Funding through personal savings (Pay out of Pocket)
  • Choosing a lending partner
  • Pursuing scholarship programs
  • Selecting an Income-share agreement and/or deferred tuition program
  • Seeing if your school qualifies for the GI Bill.

 

Are Coding Bootcamps worth it?

Coding bootcamps are a real commitment that requires time, energy, and effort. Tuition can also be expensive. Students should weigh the costs and benefits before deciding to dive into a bootcamp experience. 

 

Why Take a Coding Bootcamp?

For many, the ideal outcome of a coding bootcamp is to graduate and find a job in coding or another tech field. If this is your goal, a coding bootcamp is likely to help you reach it! Coding & tech jobs pay more than double the median annual salary in the U.S. Coding bootcamps make you eligible for these high-paying jobs and often include services to help you secure one. This is the main benefit you gain in exchange for your time, effort, and tuition payment.

It should be noted that some bootcamps soften any risk factor with a “Pay After You’re Employed” Policy that allows students to defer the cost of the bootcamp until after they see the benefit in the form of a high-paying job in a growing field.

Ultimately, determining whether a coding bootcamp is worth it is a personal decision and students should think carefully about their goals and circumstances to answer this question. However, if you want to break into the tech field and do not have experience or education in coding, coding bootcamps are an excellent path to achieving this goal.

 

Which Coding Bootcamp is Right for You?

The great thing about choosing a coding bootcamp is that there are so many flexible options. If you work a full-time job or are a student during the day, look for a bootcamp that meets on nights and weekends. If you have an unpredictable schedule due to odd working hours or family commitments, look for one that offers online, self-paced options so you can fit the work in whenever you find the time. Or, if you want to learn in person, check out our locations page to find bootcamps in your area.

If you know you’ll need a good deal of support and want robust career services, look for a bootcamp with 1:1 meetings included. On the flip side, if you’re an independent learner, some of the options with less 1:1 support are also less expensive and give you access to high-quality learning materials without extra frills.

 

Do Coding Bootcamps Offer Career Services?

While coding skills are a major career bonus on their own, many bootcamps also include career services to help match students with employers when they complete the program. These services might include networking opportunities, interview practice, resume editing, and 1:1 goal planning sessions. Bootcamps are a great way to break into the industry without past experience or prior connections. Look out for programs that match students with a career coach that they meet with regularly throughout and immediately following the program. 

 

What Types of Salary Can You Expect After Completing a Coding Bootcamp?

Completion of a Coding Bootcamp can help you find employment in a variety of careers within the development field. 

According to data collected from the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR), 79% of bootcamp grads are employed in the field within 180 days of graduation. In addition, Software Developer and Web Developer are ranked the number one and number 8 best technology jobs respectively, by USNews, great news for bootcamp participants!

Below we’ve listed out average salaries from Indeed for a number of different positions, although figures can vary widely by city and level of specialization. Demand for these roles is increasing across the board, so many roles offer additional bonus compensation or other perks.

PositionAverage U.S. Salary
Web Developer$68,516
Front-End Web Developer$103,092
Back-End Web Developer$115,792
Software Engineer$112,623
Software Tester$90,926
App Developer$81,120

 

We’ve compiled a list of top Coding bootcamps in the U.S. Browse the list below to find a bootcamp that fits your needs!