So you decided to make the leap into tech and apply to a coding bootcamp? Now it’s time to choose a bootcamp. With so many bootcamp offerings out there, the search for the right bootcamp can be pretty overwhelming. When selecting a bootcamp course, there are several factors you should consider to pick the program that meets your professional goals, learning style, and budget.

Noble Desktop will break down a few questions you should consider when choosing the right bootcamp for your needs in this guide.

What Are Your Career Goals and Interest?

Before diving deep into your bootcamp research, you will need to do some self-reflection. There is no size fits all for coding bootcamps, and each has a unique focus and different offerings for learners. Step back and consider the following questions: What exactly made you want to learn to code? What is your dream job? Once you understand what made you interested in the first place, you can more effectively weed through bootcamps to see if they match your needs.

You should browse the curriculums of coding bootcamps you are considering and review the programming languages taught in the curriculum. Are these the programming languages you need to know to achieve your career goals? Likewise, you should take time to review the instructors leading the courses and their backgrounds. The benefit of coding bootcamps is that they can adapt to the changing technologies of the time—often because the curriculums are created and taught by experts in the field.

Additionally, you should consider the level of support you will need to switch careers. Some bootcamps are longer and provide a more immersive and well-rounded curriculum and integrated career services support to replace formal college training. This type of bootcamp can be helpful to learners with no previous coding experience or those coming from non-technical careers. On the other hand, shorter, less immersive bootcamps will teach you the technical skills you need to know to land a tech job. These bootcamps offer minimal career and job placement support. They are suitable for those with some technical background or knowledge and who may transition more quickly to a Software Engineer role.

How Much is the Cost of Tuition?

Enrolling in a coding bootcamp is a big financial commitment. According to NerdWallet, the average in-person coding bootcamp costs $13,584, and the average online bootcamp costs $12,898. It is essential that you consider the cost of coding bootcamps and how it aligns with your budget, especially if you plan to quit your job to enroll in a coding bootcamp.

How Can Tuition Be Paid?

There are two primary payment options that coding bootcamps use:

  • Upfront Payment: This payment option requires students to pay the total cost of tuition before beginning the course. The benefit of paying upfront includes graduating debt-free and without a payment obligation. In addition, you have the benefit of working with a fixed cost and can plan accordingly. However, paying upfront comes with its own shares of risks, including forfeiting the money if you decide coding isn’t for you or do not successfully land a job in the field after graduating.
  • Income Share Agreement: This payment model allows students to pay a certain percentage of their salary for a designated period once hired and meet a certain income threshold.

What Are Other Financing Options Available to Students?

Nowadays, many coding bootcamps offer a variety of financing options that meet students where they are. Bootcamps typically provide scholarships and tuition discounts, especially for students from underrepresented backgrounds in tech or those experiencing economic hardship. Additionally, many bootcamps partner with industry-leading loan providers to offer low-interest loans tailored for bootcamp students.

What Bootcamp Format Works Best For Your Lifestyle?

Your choice will depend heavily on your learning style, motivation, and personal time commitments. A few options to consider:

Full-time, in-person bootcamps

If you are ready to eat, sleep, and breathe code for a few months non-stop, a full-time in-person coding bootcamp might be for you. These immersive experiences are typically shorter (between 2 months to 7 months) than other bootcamp formats, but students dedicate ~ 80 hours per week to classwork.

Good option if:

  • You are interested in switching careers in a short amount of time
  • You thrive in a traditional class setting and prefer to interact with instructors and cohort members in real-time.
  • You can leave your full-time job and take on limited outside obligations while enrolled in the program.

Full-time, remote bootcamps

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual coding bootcamps have become increasingly more popular with more full-time options now than ever before. Full-time, remote bootcamps have all the benefits of in-person bootcamps with the added comfort of completing coursework from the comfort of your home. And while they don’t operate traditionally in the classroom, remote bootcamps still create meaningful interactions and relationships between instructors and students via teleconferencing and communication tools, such as Zoom and Slack.

Good option if:

  • You are interested in switching careers in a short amount of time
  • You currently live in a city with no in-person bootcamp or cannot move to a town with in-person bootcamp offerings.
  • You’re self-motivated but enjoy some structure

Part-time, remote bootcamps

One main draw of part-time remote bootcamps, also called flex bootcamps, is the flexibility it provides for students to learn wherever (or whenever) they are. These bootcamps typically meet during the evening or on weekends over a more extended period.

Good option if:

  • You want to learn at a slower pace and aren’t in a rush to switch careers.
  • You currently live in a city with no in-person bootcamp and are unable to either temporarily or permanently move to a town with in-person bootcamp offerings.
  • You are balancing an already busy schedule and cannot afford to quit your job.

Self-paced bootcamps

In a self-paced bootcamp, students complete their curriculums at a pace that fits their schedule, often over a much more extended period. Students typically dedicate 20 hours or less per week to coursework. Schools typically pair students with a mentor who assists them in setting and completing course milestones.

Good option if:

  • You want to learn at a slower pace and aren’t in a rush to switch careers
  • You are balancing an already busy schedule and cannot afford to quit your job
  • You are diligent and self-motivated enough to complete your work.

Does the Coding Bootcamp Provide Career Services Support?

Many bootcamps offer both career and mentorship support to students. Bootcamps may also provide mentorship programs, and various career supports to students built into the curriculum, including resume and cover letter assistance, LinkedIn brand support, interview preparation, and portfolio review. Additionally, schools may offer valuable ways to interact with alumni and potential employers.

What Are Coding Bootcamp Career Outcomes?

If you decide to take on the financial and time commitment of a coding bootcamp, you want to ensure you successfully land a job in tech after graduation. Since bootcamps don’t have an accreditation system that validates that their program meets stringent academic quality standards, you must research their graduation rate, median salary, and job placement data.

Most bootcamps publish this information on their websites. You should reach out directly to the bootcamps admission team if this data is not published on their website or follow up with further questions about the employment outcomes of graduates. You can also see if bootcamps belong to the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR). CIRR provides a standardized system for measuring and reporting student outcomes that is straightforward to understand.

Are you ready to begin your coding bootcamp search? 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.