Decided to learn new tech skills but aren’t sure whether a coding bootcamp or tech certification is best for you? Read on for a breakdown of the pros and cons of attending a coding bootcamp or pursuing a tech certification. 

Coding Bootcamps 

What is a Coding Bootcamp? 

Coding bootcamps are short, immersive programs that teach the technical skills required to land software engineering and developer jobs. These immersive, accelerated programs can help develop skills in web and app development, data science, UX/UI design, cybersecurity, and digital marketing. 

One of the most significant benefits of a coding bootcamp is its ability to stay on top of major trends in tech, including industry-standard programming languages and frameworks. Coding bootcamps curriculum will teach you to be proficient in the coding language most relevant to your career path. Bootcamps provide learners with a strong foundation in programming languages that make it easier to learn additional languages down the road. 

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 aim to help you achieve proficiency in the coding language most relevant to your career path. 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.
  • Limited financial aid options compared to universities 

Tech Certification 

What is a Tech Certification Program? 

Certification programs are non-degree programs that allow you to achieve mastery in specific technical skills. They are typically issued after completing specialized coursework, having a certain amount of years of field experience, and passing a rigorous exam or review board. Certificates are often offered through accredited universities or well-respected companies.

Cost: It depends. Certification exams can range from $100 to $11,000+. Entry-level certifications are typically less expensive than expert-level certifications. In addition, to the exam fee, you also consider the cost of classes, training books, and other material or fees you may need to prepare for the exam. 

Time Commitment: Bootcamps can vary in length but typically range from 8 to 12 months 

Curriculum:  Tech certification curriculums focus more on theory but do include practical assignments to reiterate lessons. Certifications are meant to provide those with some experience become subject-matter experts in a particular technique or technology. Tech certification is offered in several subjects, such as software development, data visualization, machine learning, and information security. A few examples of certifications that you could get include: 

  • Amazon Web Services 
  • C+ programming language
  • Oracle Certification
  • Salesforce 
  • Microsoft 

Job Outcomes: Having an IT certification can help you stand out in the hiring pool and boost your salary potential. Skillsoft recently revealed that cybersecurity and cloud certification bring the most lucrative salaries at $150,000 or more. 

Pros of Tech Certificate 

  • Certification programs are well respected because they are awarded by accredited universities and industry-leading companies 
  • Universities offer more financial aid options that can assist you in bringing down the total cost of attendance 
  • Curriculum provides students with a more well-rounded perspective because of its emphasis on theory and some practical application

Cons of Tech Certificate 

  • Certifications can be more expensive than bootcamps 
  • There are limited financial aid options compared to bootcamps 
  • The curriculum's emphasis on theory may leave students less able to practically apply what they learned

So, which is a better option for me? 

Ultimately, this decision depends on you! There are a number of factors, such as time, budget, job experience, and career goals, that can impact your decision. Explore all your options and choose the career path that works 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.