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As you prepare for a career in technology, try comparing bootcamps and degrees to determine your best option. While both program types can lead to exciting computer science careers, some learners might benefit from one format more than the other.

Prerequisites vary between degrees and bootcamps. For learners seeking a more streamlined route toward a new career, a bootcamp may offer the best pathway. They typically call for fewer prerequisites, such as experience with coding languages and minimum standardized test scores, than degrees.

In this guide, explore some of the reasons to choose a bootcamp as you begin your new career.

Who Typically Chooses a Bootcamp?

Anyone interested in a tech career may consider coding bootcamps to be an ideal option. However, these programs might suit some people better than others.

For instance, an individual seeking a career switch might find that a bootcamp offers a straightforward transition into the tech industry. Likewise, professionals looking to expand their skill sets might choose bootcamps to level up their coding knowledge.

Coding bootcamps could also meet the needs of independent thinkers and students who prefer out-of-the-box educational experiences rather than conventional classroom learning. The practical instruction and career-focused curricula of coding bootcamps can provide an optimal learning environment for these students.

Why Are Coding Bootcamps Worth It?

Coding bootcamps provide excellent career and skill development opportunities, flexibility, and return on investment (ROI).

Another attractive quality of bootcamps is their affordability. Many bootcamps feature multiple payment options, including deferred tuition or installment plans, to help make education more accessible.

Bootcamps also require less of a time commitment than traditional degree pathways. Parents, current professionals, and other learners who want an accelerated route to coding skill development might prefer bootcamps over degrees. Explore other reasons coding bootcamps are worth it below.

Earn Great ROI

Compared to traditional degree programs, bootcamps offer low-cost tuition. A 2017 RTI Press report lists the median cost of an entire full-time bootcamp as $13,500. Comparatively, the National Center for Education Statistics reports that the average cost for a four-year degree in 2020-2021, including board and other fees, was $29,033.

Enrollees can also pay for coding bootcamps in various ways. For example, some programs feature installment loans, deferred tuition, or tuition guarantees to help students cover bootcamp costs.

Thanks to their affordability, coding bootcamps can deliver excellent ROI. According to Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR) research, coding bootcamp graduates average a median salary of $67,270 with their first job after graduation.

Flexibility to Learn On Your Own Time

Some coding bootcamps feature flexible learning options. Various schedules and delivery formats allow each learner to choose a program that aligns with their needs.

For example, some programs feature in-person classes while providing hybrid or online learning environments. In addition, asynchronous classes let online students balance their studies without meeting online at specific times.

Students can also decide between self-paced, part-time, or full-time programs. Self-paced and part-time bootcamps offer some flexibility around personal and work schedules. In contrast, learners might choose full-time programs to finish their bootcamps in the shortest time.

Focus On a Specific Skill

Coding schools design their bootcamps to help students develop targeted skills for the tech industry's most in-demand jobs. Enrollees should expect to follow an intense curriculum of practical learning experiences with specific programming languages and skills, such as:

  • SQL
  • Python
  • Ruby on Rails
  • JavaScript
  • Java
  • HTML/CSS
  • Data science
  • Full-stack development
  • Data analytics
  • UX design

This focus differs from traditional degrees, which offer a more comprehensive education in computer science. Learners with fixed career goals might find the intentional approach of a bootcamp more appealing as they prepare to pursue specific tech careers.

Get Help Landing a Job

When deciding if a coding bootcamp is worth it, consider each program's available career resources.

Bootcamps prioritize preparing students for future careers. This preparation serves students while also helping bootcamps promote themselves. Therefore, bootcamps typically provide career assistance through networking events, mentorships, and career preparation.

According to CIRR, an average of 72.56% of bootcamp graduates find a computer science job within 180 days of graduating. Learners searching for direct pathways to pursuing tech careers may find that bootcamps meet their needs.

What's Next?

Coding bootcamps and computer science degrees offer different benefits to learners. A bootcamp could be right for you if you feel ready to pursue employment within the next few months. It might also provide a more affordable solution to students with strict budgets.

However, a degree might be the best option if your ideal job requires candidates with degrees from accredited institutions. Additionally, degrees can open the door to more diverse job opportunities.

Consider exploring the following resources for additional information as you decide whether to choose a bootcamp or degree.

Common Questions About Why You Should Choose a Bootcamp


How much should I know before a coding bootcamp?

Although some coding bootcamps do not require prior coding experience, familiarity with coding can be beneficial. These intensive programs can move fast, so enrollees with foundational knowledge may have an advantage.

Are bootcamps for beginners?

Most coding bootcamps provide fair opportunities for learners of all levels to excel. However, some learners may need to complete prerequisite courses before the bootcamp to ensure that their skills meet minimum requirements.

What is the point of a coding bootcamp?

A coding bootcamp readies future tech professionals to pursue entry-level roles in the tech industry. These programs build in-demand skills that graduates can apply to their jobs. In addition, the career services included in many bootcamps can further assist enrollees in preparing to launch new careers.

Is a bootcamp better than a degree?

A bootcamp offers a quick and direct path to a rewarding career in the tech industry. However, some employers require each candidate to hold a degree or certification. Learn the typical requirements for your ideal job to decide, "Is a bootcamp worth it?"


Featured Image: Sam Edwards / OJO Images / Getty Images

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