Are Coding Bootcamps Worth It? A Comprehensive Analysis
If you're considering a tech career, you might wonder if coding bootcamps are worth the investment. After all, coding bootcamps are designed to provide you with the technical skills you need to land a job in the tech industry. However, the cost of coding bootcamps can be high, and most coding bootcamps don’t guarantee job security after graduation.
In this post, we'll provide a balanced analysis of the pros and cons of coding bootcamps. We'll cover what bootcamps offer, the coding bootcamp cost, and what coding bootcamp graduates can expect from them. We'll also discuss the job market for software developers and the technical and digital skills bootcamp students will acquire. Finally, we'll give you practical tips and advice for those considering tech careers, even if you don’t have a background in computer science.
This article was contributed by Rocket Academy’s founder and CEO, Kai Yuan Neo. He completed his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science at Stanford University. He started Rocket Academy because the world still lacks software engineering talent, and people that had not studied Computer Science but wish to become software engineers have few good ways to do so.
What are Coding Bootcamps?
Coding bootcamps are intensive programs that teach students the technical coding skills they need to succeed in the tech industry. Most bootcamps focus on web development, but there are also bootcamps that teach data science, software engineering, and other technical skills.
The programs are designed to be completed in a short period, typically ranging from a few weeks to several months. Bootcamps offer an alternative to traditional college education, which can take four years or more to complete. By the end of the programme, coding bootcamp grads will have the necessary portfolio to become a software developer or a web developer even if they don’t have computer science degrees.
Are Coding Bootcamps Worth the Cost?
In short, yes, coding bootcamps are worth the cost. While the cost of a bootcamp may seem high, it's important to consider the potential return on investment. According to Course Report, the average salary increase for bootcamp graduates is $23,000 per year. This means that in most cases, graduates can recoup the cost of their education within half a year of starting their new job.
One of the biggest concerns for those considering coding bootcamps is the cost. The average coding bootcamp costs can range from $10,000 to $20,000, and some programs can cost even more. However, bootcamps offer scholarships and income share agreements (ISAs) to make them more accessible to students who can't afford the upfront cost.
In addition to the potential salary increase, bootcamps offer job placement services, which can help graduates land a job in the tech industry. Most bootcamps have partnerships with tech companies, and some offer job guarantees. Compared to degree holders, a coding bootcamp graduate might have more opportunities to get hired in selected tech careers.
What Do Coding Bootcamps Offer?
Coding bootcamps offer a range of benefits, including:
- Practical Skills:
Bootcamps focus on practical skills that are in demand in the tech industry. Students learn how to code, build websites and applications, and work with databases.
- Immersive Programs:
Bootcamps are designed to be immersive and intensive. Students work long hours and are expected to complete projects outside of class.
- Career Services:
Bootcamps offer career services to help graduates land a job in the tech industry. This includes job search support, interview preparation, and resume building.
- Soft Skills:
Bootcamps also focus on soft skills, such as communication and teamwork, which are essential in the tech industry.
- Flexibility: Online coding bootcamps are becoming increasingly popular, making it easier for students to attend bootcamps while working or attending college.
What to Expect from Coding Bootcamps?
Coding bootcamp students are to expect long hours of work and to complete projects outside of class. Coding bootcamps are not for everyone. The programs are intensive and require a significant investment of time and money.
In addition, not all bootcamps are created equal. Some programs are better than others, and it's important to research a program thoroughly before committing to it. Look for bootcamps with good job placement stats, partnerships with tech companies, and a focus on computer science fundamentals.
Is a Career in Tech Worth It?
If you're considering a career in tech, it's important to understand the job market and the potential benefits of technical skills. The tech industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the economy, and the demand for skilled tech professionals is high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 11% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
In addition to job security, technical skills can lead to higher salaries and more opportunities for career advancement. The average salary for software developers in the US is $110,140 per year, according to the BLS. This is significantly higher than the national average salary of $56,310 per year.
The Benefits of Coding Bootcamps
Coding bootcamps offer several benefits to those looking to switch careers or gain technical skills. Some of the key benefits include:
- Shorter Time to Employment:
Bootcamps are designed to be completed in a shorter amount of time than a traditional college degree, which means that graduates can start working in the tech industry sooner.
- Practical Skills:
Bootcamps focus on teaching practical skills that are in demand in the tech industry, which means that graduates are well-prepared for their new careers.
- Job Placement Services:
Many coding bootcamps offer job placement services, which can help graduates land a job in the tech industry. This can be especially helpful for those who are new to the industry and don't have a strong network.
Coding bootcamps offer flexibility in terms of scheduling and location. Many bootcamps offer online classes, which means that students can attend from anywhere in the world.
- Scholarships and Income Share Agreements:
Many coding bootcamps offer scholarships and ISAs to help make their programs more accessible to students who can't afford the upfront cost.
What are the drawbacks of Coding Bootcamps?
While coding bootcamps offer many benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider. These include:
- High Cost:
The cost of coding bootcamps can be high, and not all programs offer scholarships or ISAs. This can make bootcamps inaccessible to some students.
- Intensive Programs:
Bootcamps are designed to be intensive, which means that students are expected to work long hours and complete projects outside of class.
Not all coding bootcamps are created equal. Some programs are better than others, and it's important to research a program thoroughly before committing to it.
- No Guarantee of Employment:
While many coding bootcamps offer job placement services, there is no guarantee of employment after graduation. Graduates may still struggle to find a job in the competitive tech industry.
- Lack of Soft Skills:
While bootcamps focus on teaching technical skills, they may not provide as much emphasis on soft skills, such as communication and teamwork, which are essential in the tech industry.
Are Coding Bootcamps Worth It?
There is no short answer, it really depends. Coding bootcamps can be a great option for those looking to switch careers or gain technical skills quickly. They offer practical skills, job placement services, and flexibility in terms of scheduling and location.
However, coding bootcamps are not for everyone. They can be expensive, intensive, and there is no guarantee of employment after graduation. It's important to research bootcamps thoroughly and consider whether the program is the right fit for your goals and learning style.
Ultimately, whether a coding bootcamp is worth it depends on your individual circumstances and career goals. If you're considering a career in tech and looking to gain technical skills quickly, a coding bootcamp may be a good option for you. At Rocket Academy, we're proud to say that our coding bootcamps have a perfect track record of 100% job placements.
However, if you're looking for a more comprehensive education or have the time and resources to pursue a traditional college degree, that may be viable option as well.
What are Practical Tips for Those Forging a Career Path in Software Engineering?
If you're considering a career in tech, here are some practical tips to help you get started:
- Research Career Paths:
There are many different career paths in the tech industry, and it's important to research them thoroughly to determine which one is the best fit for your skills and interests.
- Gain Technical Skills:
Whether through a coding bootcamp or self-study, it's important to gain technical skills in areas such as web development, software engineering, or data science.
- Develop Soft Skills:
Soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving are essential in the tech industry. Look for opportunities to develop these skills, such as through volunteering or taking a public speaking course.
- Build Your Network:
Networking is important in any industry, and the tech industry is no exception. Attend tech events and meet ups, join online communities, and connect with others in the industry.
- Consider Bootcamps:
If you're looking to gain technical skills quickly, consider a coding bootcamp, or perhaps a short coding course. Research programs thoroughly, and look for those with good job placement stats and partnerships with tech companies.
Rocket Academy Programming Bootcamps
Our online coding bootcamps focus on giving students practical hands-on skills that get them hired. Coding bootcamp graduates with Rocket see a 100% rate in securing a job placement. Whether it’s a career in web development or software development, our bootcamp graduates are equipped with the latest skills to embark on their journey into the tech industry – which more than makes up your coding bootcamp cost.
Our online coding bootcamp offers a fast and intensive way to gain technical skills and enter the tech industry. While they can be expensive and intensive, they help bootcamp grads with job placement services, practical skills, and flexibility. Whether an online coding bootcamp is worth it depends on your individual circumstances and career goals.
If you're considering a career in tech, it's important to research different career paths, gain technical skills, and develop soft skills. Building your network and considering a coding bootcamp can also be helpful. With the right skills and education, you can find success in the competitive and fast-paced tech industry.