Guide to Coding Bootcamp Programs

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Many students interested in coding jobs turn to coding bootcamps as an alternative to degree programs. Online coding bootcamps span 12-36 weeks, depending on the program. Each bootcamp focuses on a specific type of computer coding, such as Java, Python, or Net. Unlike college degrees, bootcamps do not require students to complete prerequisite courses, general core courses, or other non-coding courses.

Over the past decade, coding bootcamps have gained popularity. According to Course Report, 23,043 students enrolled in coding bootcamps in 2019, compared to just 2,178 in 2013. Course Report also reports that coding bootcamps last longer than coding courses and cost less than a college education.

Coding bootcamps teach employable skills that lead to in-demand jobs, such as software developer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 21% job growth rate for software developers from 2018-2028.

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What Is a Coding Bootcamp?

Students usually complete coding bootcamps through for-profit companies. Many coding bootcamps take place entirely online. The flexibility of coding bootcamps allows students to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations.

Each coding bootcamp focuses on its own subject, but they all teach some type of computing language. According to Course Report, Full-Stack Javascript represents the most popular coding bootcamp subject, followed by Net, Java, Ruby on Rails, Python, and PHP. Programs may offer part-time or full-time and self-paced or accelerated formats. They may also use pre-recorded lectures or live lectures. Some programs also emphasize group work.

The time it takes to complete a coding bootcamp varies by company, enrollment status, and program format. According to Course Report, the average in-person coding bootcamp lasts 15.1 weeks, while online bootcamps last 24.3 weeks, on average. Graduates of coding bootcamps qualify for various computer science positions.

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How Much Do Coding Bootcamps Cost?

According to Course Report, the average online coding bootcamp costs $12,898, compared to $13,584 for on-site bootcamps. In addition to base program costs, students must purchase required materials for coding bootcamps, such as software. All online coding bootcamps require students to use powerful computers to access online courses and run software, so students might also need to spend money on a new computer.

Some programs suggest that applicants complete introductory coding lessons through low-cost online courses before attending bootcamp. Students without prior experience may take longer to complete their bootcamps, often resulting in higher costs overall. However, bootcamps, universities, and employers may offer scholarships and grants for coding bootcamp students.

Some coding bootcamps also extend income share agreements to new students. These agreements let students learn tuition-free, though graduates must pay a percentage of their income over a set period of time after securing high-paying jobs. This method only works if graduates find high-paying positions after bootcamp.

How Does a Coding Bootcamp Help with Jobs?

Coding bootcamps offer knowledge and skills that lead to high-paying computer science positions. According to Course Report, bootcamp graduates in 2019 earned an average starting salary of $67,000. Salaries continue to increase over time. Graduates on their third job after bootcamp earned an average salary of $90,000.

In addition to obtaining high-paying jobs, coding bootcamp graduates succeed in finding jobs shortly after completing the program. Course Report indicates that 82% of coding bootcamp graduates find full-time positions after graduating.

These statistics represent everyone who enrolls in a coding bootcamp, though specific outcomes vary by student and program. Common careers for coding bootcamp graduates include software developer, web developer, and information security analyst. According to the BLS, software developers earn a median wage of $105,590, web developers earn a median wage of $69,430, and information security analysts earn a median wage of $98,350. The BLS projects growth rates of 13-32% for these positions between 2018-2028.


When researching potential coding bootcamps, prospective learners should consider factors such as cost and career outcomes. We cover several important factors for prospective coding bootcamp students below.

  • Is a coding bootcamp worth it?

    Technology is a fast-growing field that consistently requires skilled coders, analysts, and programmers. Coding bootcamps teach in-demand skills, and some companies may sponsor employees to enroll in programs. Some coding bootcamps require applicants to possess basic coding skills, while others accept students without any coding experience.

    Regardless of their experience prior to entering the program, graduates of coding bootcamps can compete for lucrative, in-demand careers, making these programs a worthwhile investment.

  • How much does a coding bootcamp cost?

    Tuition rates vary by program. Coding bootcamps that routinely graduate successful coders might cost more than new, unproven programs. Tuition also varies depending on upfront payment. For example, Springboard charges $8,500 in tuition to students who pay in full upon enrollment and $12,100 for students who defer tuition payments until securing employment.

    A third option lets students enroll in a month-to-month payment plan. This plan allows students to pay $1,150 upon enrollment, plus an additional $1,150 each month. The total cost of this payment plan varies, though Springboard notes that the highest potential tuition cost is $10,350.

    Lastly, students can finance their education through loans. Springboard, for example, partners with financial institutions to offer loans directly to students. Springboard students can pay $500 upon enrollment, plus $61-$121 while taking courses. After graduating, they pay $346-$380 per month over the next 33 months. The cost of this option totals $11,941-$13,604, only slightly more than the reported average cost of $12,898 for online coding bootcamps.

    These tuition scenarios do not account for associated costs. Along with purchasing learning materials, learners must often work while taking courses. Springboard’s nine-month program follows a part-time format, but some programs require full-time study. Students who cannot continue working while completing their bootcamp must factor in expenses, such as housing and food costs, when considering the overall cost of the program.

  • Will a coding bootcamp get you a job?

    Over 23,000 students graduated from coding bootcamps in 2019. These bootcamps teach marketable skills, including niche computer languages, that employers desire. Many students secure positions before or shortly after graduating.

    According to Course Report, 83% of coding bootcamp graduates find full-time positions within six months of completing a program. However, prospective students should note that no program guarantees employment for graduates.

  • Is a coding bootcamp hard?

    Difficulty level varies by subject matter and program. The most well-respected coding bootcamps are typically the most difficult. Students must work hard to pass these programs, but they often see better career outcomes as a result.

    Coding bootcamps are intensive programs, teaching lots of information in relatively short periods of time, which can prove challenging for many students. Students with some prior coding experience typically find it easier to complete bootcamps than learners without prior experience. Subject matter also impacts difficulty as some programming languages require more effort than others. For example, learning Java Full-Stack is more difficult for many students than learning HTML.

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