The tech industry is ripe with talented professionals who innovate and push us further into the digital age. It’s no wonder you want to join the tech world and pave your own path in the field! But wait, what’s the best way to gain the technical and soft skills needed to break into tech? 

For many years, pursuing a degree in computer science (CS) or a related degree was the primary way students received training for tech careers. These days, however, an alternative training program is helping students land well-paying jobs in the tech industry: coding bootcamps. Today, you’ll find plenty of developers and engineers without university degrees and many with backgrounds unrelated to tech entirely. 

If you’re wrestling over whether a coding bootcamp or college degree is right for you, we’re here to help! This guide will break down the pros and cons of both coding bootcamps and computer science degrees.

Coding Bootcamps 

Cost: The average cost of a coding bootcamp is $13,584

Time Commitment: Bootcamps can vary in length but typically range from 6 to 28 weeks 

Curriculum: Coding bootcamps curriculum typically teach proficiency in the coding language most relevant to your career path. These languages may include JavaScript, Python, Ruby, NET/C#, Java, or PHP stacks. Career coaching and preparation are also integrated into their curriculum. 

Job Outcomes: According to Course Report, a majority (79%) of coding bootcamp graduates find full-time employment in jobs requiring the technical skills they learned in bootcamp. The average salary of a bootcamp graduate is $69,079. 

Pros of Coding Bootcamp

  • Shorter time commitment
  • Less expensive than even the lowest in-state, public university tuition 
  • Adaptable and rigorous curriculum focused on the most relevant technical skills needed to excel in your job.

Cons of Coding Bootcamp 

  • Programs are not accredited. Unlike universities, there is no third-party accrediting entity for bootcamps.
  • Bootcamp degrees are still not universally accepted, and some companies still require a four-year degree.
  • They offer limited financial aid options compared to universities 

Computer Science Degrees 

Cost: The average cost of a CS degree varies depending on the university. Generally, you can expect to pay at least $35,000 for a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

Time Commitment: A bachelor’s degree in computer science typically takes 2-4 years 

Curriculum: CS programs train students in computer programming, database management, operating system design, algorithms, advanced mathematics, computer science theory, and software development.

Job Outcomes: Computer science graduates earned an average salary of $50,000—$106,000

Pros of Computer Science Degree

  • Computer Science degrees are well respected because accredited programs award them 
  • You will experience the traditional college experience, which will include a more well-rounded experience.
  • Universities offer more financial aid options that can assist you in bringing down the total cost of attendance. 

Cons of Computer Science Degree

  • A CS degree is more expensive than a coding bootcamp
  • CS degrees require longer time commitments 
  • Computer Science curriculums are slower to adapt to changing technologies, putting students at a disadvantage in the workforce.

Do Employers Prefer CS Degrees or Coding Bootcamps? 

According to Indeed, over 72% of employers think bootcamp and CS degree graduates are equally prepared to perform highly in their roles. This is a crucial attitude shift as more employers see the value in the technical skills taught by coding bootcamps. For example, Google, Apple, and IBM have expanded their talent options and no longer require applicants to have a four-year degree. 

Other Options

These days, you don’t necessarily have to choose between a degree and coding bootcamp. Plenty of universities partner with and host coding bootcamps, which will give you access to the benefit of both options. Additionally, you have the opportunity to pursue both! If you’re not ready to commit to a 4-year degree, you can enroll in a coding bootcamp first and seek a CS degree later. 

So, which is a better option for me? 

Ultimately, this decision depends on you! Several factors, such as time, budget, preferred learning style, and career goals, can impact your decision. Explore all your options and choose the career path(s) that work best for you. 

Are you interested in finding the coding bootcamp that’s right for you? Check out Noble Desktop’s coding bootcamps. You can take in-person classes at Noble’s location in NYC or attend a live online coding bootcamp from anywhere in the world. You can also find other coding bootcamps in your area using Noble Desktop’s Classes Near Me tool.