Are you interested in breaking into the tech industry but aren’t quite sure where to start? Whether you are a recent high school graduate or are interested in making a career change, pivoting into a tech career can be done without a four-year college degree. These days, many people are skipping the four-year degree and enrolling in coding bootcamps to kickstart a career in the tech industry.
In 2020, at least 44,254 people attended or graduated from a coding bootcamp, according to a CareerKarma market research report. Coding bootcamps have become a popular option over traditional programs; however, the bootcamp format might not be for everyone. This article will break down everything you need to know about coding bootcamps and help you decide if a coding bootcamp is right for you.
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.
Every bootcamp is different. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about coding bootcamps so you can decide if this immersive learning experience is right for you.
Coding bootcamps are offered in a variety of formats. Despite the different formats, the curriculum and subjects covered are virtually the same. Your choice will depend heavily on your learning style and the amount of time you can commit. Options include:
In-Person or Virtual/Remote
Coding bootcamps are offered in both in-person and remote formats. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more coding bootcamps have moved toward providing both in-person and remote learning options to students.
Enrolling in an in-person coding bootcamp is an excellent option for those who thrive in a traditional class setting. Expert instructors teach these courses in a classroom, allowing you to engage in real-time with your instructor and fellow cohort members. Additionally, a benefit of in-person classes is the ability to focus on coursework without distraction.
Virtual coding bootcamps allow learners to engage in this immersive learning experience from the comfort of their home or office. These days virtual classes are live, interactive, and integrate real-time engagement from expert instructors. Classes are typically offered via Zoom or other video conference tools, while instructors and cohorts engage and collaborate via Slack or Github.
Part-Time, Full-Time, and Self-Paced
The duration of programs can vary across coding bootcamps. Options include:
Part-time coding bootcamps, often called flex programs, are an excellent choice for working professionals, parents of small children, or students who cannot afford not to work while enrolled. Part-time coding bootcamps offer the same curriculum as full-time programs but typically over a more extended period. Part-time courses are usually offered in the evenings or on weekends. Students typically dedicate between 15 -30 hours per week to attend class and complete coursework.
Full-time coding bootcamps allow students to immerse themselves in coding at an accelerated rate. These bootcamps are a perfect option for learners that want to change career paths quickly. Full-time bootcamps are typically shorter in length, ranging between 2 months to 7 months. Students can expect to dedicate 40+ hours each week to class and outside coursework.
Self-paced coding bootcamps allow students to complete their curriculums at a pace that fits their schedules. Students typically dedicate 20 hours or less per week to coursework. While a great option for those with busy schedules, these bootcamps often take much longer to complete, unlike part- and full-time bootcamps. Schools typically pair students with a mentor who will assist them in setting and achieving course milestones. Self-paced bootcamps are an excellent option for students who need flexibility but are diligent and self-motivated to complete their work.
The tech industry has a diversity problem, and there is a need for more women, nonbinary, and people of color (POC) in the field. To tackle this problem, schools have begun to offer women-only and POC-only coding bootcamps. These coding bootcamps provide a community of support and mentorship to break into tech.
Financing a Coding Bootcamp
Financing a coding bootcamp is a significant factor when considering which bootcamp is best for you. The cost of a coding bootcamp can vary based on institution, location, and format. You will find that many coding bootcamps offer similar financial support to students, which can include:
If you have the means to do so, you can always pay for your bootcamp upfront. Doing so will allow you to be free of debt or payment obligations once you complete your bootcamp.
Income Share Agreements
This contractual agreement allows students to pay a certain percentage of their salary once they meet a certain monthly income threshold for a designated period.
Bootcamps often work with industry-leading loan providers to help students access low-interest loans. This option is best for those interested in making smaller monthly payments.
Coding bootcamps often offer scholarships or tuition discounts, especially for those experiencing financial hardship or from underrepresented communities in tech. Examples of coding scholarships available include Black Girls CODE and Women Who Code.
GI Bill or VET TEC Benefit
You can use GI Bill or VET TEC funding to pay for coding bootcamp tuition at approved coding bootcamps.
If your current employer provides a professional development stipend, you may be able to enroll in a coding bootcamp and be reimbursed by your employer.
Career Supports and Job Placement at Coding Bootcamps
Many coding bootcamps offer career services to students to help them land jobs after graduation. Career supports are often provided to current students and alumni of coding bootcamps and can include:
- Building a personal brand through a resume, cover letter, and Linkedin workshops
- Hosting mock interviews that cover both technical assessment and soft skills
- Connecting students to prospective employers
- Pairing students with a career advisor or alumni mentor
- Portfolio development
- Negotiation preparation
Coding bootcamps typically disclose their job placement rate on their websites and the average amount of time it takes for graduates to land a job. Enrolling in a coding bootcamp that offers career support and job placement can be crucial for students from non-tech roles.
Is Coding Experience Needed to Apply to a Coding Bootcamp?
Previous coding experience is usually not necessary to apply to a coding bootcamp, but it can help! Those with a Computer Science background or knowledge of coding languages will have an easier time applying to bootcamps with a more rigorous application process. Many coding bootcamps offer preparatory, or 101, courses that will teach you the programming fundamentals you need to know to set you up for success in a coding bootcamp. Additionally, you can engage in self-teaching and learn how to code on your own using books and online tutorials. Coding bootcamps recommend attending a coding prep or tutorial course before enrolling in a bootcamp so students can determine if coding is right for them.
What are the Job Prospects for Coding Bootcamp Grads?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that between 2020 and 2030, the number of job openings for software developers will grow by about 22%. In addition, web developers and data analysts can expect a surge of anywhere between 13-25%.
Are you ready to learn how to code? 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.