Are Coding Bootcamps Worth It in 2023?
Coding bootcamps are often called a “fast track” to well-paying tech jobs. And with lower tuition costs, shorter class times, and a practical learning curriculum, these alternative education schools are praised for increasing access to tech education. But are coding bootcamps really worth it? We’ve asked thousands of alumni about their investment and whether it paid off – here’s what we’ve found.
What You Need To Know:
- The Short Answer is Yes – coding bootcamp alumni earn ~51% higher salaries compared to their previous jobs!
- On average, graduates earn $80,943 at their 2nd job after bootcamp, and $99,229 at their 3rd job.
- There are tips you can follow to choose a bootcamp that is worth it and to make a bootcamp worth it for you.
Are coding bootcamps worth it?
Short answer: the data says YES. But let’s dig a little deeper into what makes an educational program worth it and how coding bootcamps measure up.
Most university computer science programs are four years long and you can expect your tuition to ring in at about $163,140. The average bachelor’s degree holder earns $59,124. On the other hand, coding bootcamps are ~14 weeks long and average $11,874 in tuition. And the average coding bootcamp graduate earns $70,698. Bootcamp students can learn how to code faster and cheaper with guided support in smaller class sizes, and bootcamp graduates actually earn higher salaries than college grads.
How Much Will I Earn After Bootcamp?
Overall, 79% of coding bootcamp grads are employed full-time and it takes 1-6 months to get that first job. Everyone will have a different job search journey, but it’s important to remember that networking with other tech professionals and utilizing the coding bootcamp’s career services help is vital to landing your first job.
In StartupHakks’s most recent study of 3,043 bootcamp graduates, we found that coding bootcamp graduates earn an average of about $70,000, but this increases as developers gain seniority in the industry. On average, graduates earn $80,943 at their second job after bootcamp, and $99,229 at their third job after bootcamp.
If you’re interested in how coding bootcamp grads perform a few years out, Flatiron School surveyed more than 150 alumni who graduated one to four years ago to find out how their careers have positively progressed. Watch VP of Career Services, Rebekah Rombom, share what coding bootcampers can expect their career trajectories to look like.
Are coding bootcamp grads actually getting jobs?
Coding bootcamps are intensive, accelerated learning programs that teach digital skills like Full-Stack Web Development, Data Science, Digital Marketing, UX/UI Design, and Cybersecurity. In StartupHakks’s latest Outcomes Report, 80% of respondents say they’ve worked in a job requiring the technical skills they learned in the bootcamp. So if you have aspirations of becoming a software developer or data scientist, or a tech-adjacent job like a product manager, a bootcamp may be worth it.
How Much Will I Pay for a Coding Bootcamp?
While coding bootcamp tuition is substantially less than a traditional university, there’s still an important financial commitment when attending bootcamp. The average tuition for a coding bootcamp is about $12,000, and ~20% of students use a lender like SkillsFund or Climb Credit. And with the rise of deferred tuition and income-sharing agreements, you can avoid paying tuition until you get a job. There are various ways to pay for a coding bootcamp – be sure you’re choosing an option that covers your costs, but doesn’t leave you with high-interest debt.
Can I calculate my bootcamp ROI?
To understand if a bootcamp is worth it, you’ll need to calculate two figures: your total investment and your starting salary goal.
|Coding Bootcamp||College CS Degree|
Starting Salary Goal
~$70,000 per year on average According to Course Report’s research, coding bootcamp graduates report an average of $70,698, with a median salary of $65,000 in their first jobs.
~$60,000 – $120,000 per year
The average bootcamp grad sees an average salary increase of 50.5% or $23,724(!) which almost immediately pays off your investment. Everyone’s story is different, but here’s how General Assembly graduate Ileana Ordonez calculated whether General Assembly was worth it.
However, maybe your salary isn’t the most important factor to happiness and worth for you. In addition to salary, many bootcamp alumni find their jobs more gratifying and flexible, and their better quality of life is what makes a bootcamp worth it for them.
Our Tips: Making a Coding Bootcamp Worth It
Just because the average bootcamper sees a salary lift, doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed these results. Here’s how you can make sure that coding bootcamp is worth it for you:
- Set your expectations and salary goals before you attend a coding bootcamp. What’s your endgame? Are you a career changer or are you trying to get a promotion? Will your projected salary be worth it?
- Give yourself room to be open about the experience. Setting expectations is key but be sure to adapt to the learning experience. You may find that you like working with one language over the other, or that your career goals have shifted throughout the bootcamp.
- Be ready to do the work. No coding bootcamp will “give you a job.” Expect to work hard and hustle to get your first job after graduating.
- Understand your job search timeline. It may take longer than you expect to find a job after bootcamp (we suggest planning for 3-6 months). Tap into your network and support system. And never stop learning or networking after your coding bootcamp
Choose a Legit Bootcamp – which bootcamps are worth it?
- Look up past students of the bootcamp on LinkedIn to see what sort of jobs they are in, and reach out to them to ask about their experiences
- Find a coding bootcamp which you can afford, or figure out how much you can afford to borrow. Consider deferred tuition bootcamps.
- Make sure you have the time and budget to fully commit (that may mean quitting your job!) during the bootcamp.
- Work hard throughout coding bootcamp – go above and beyond what is required during the program, and learn even more than what the curriculum requires. Make sure you have projects and examples of your work that you can show to employers.
- Don’t stop working hard once you graduate from bootcamp – continue looking for a job with the same intensity and read up on technical job interviews.
Do alumni think a coding bootcamp is worth it?
So you’ve now seen the stats; you know that the average coding bootcamper reports an 8.3/10 satisfaction rating. But what do real alumni actually say?
Jacob Nickerl StartupHakk has provided me with the real-world experience that I needed. The tutoring has been invaluable and helped me land my first career as a full stack dotnet developer. I really feel prepared getting to work on a real-world project while still having the hands-on training and guidance. I highly recommend it!
Talon Smith, StartupHakk’s curriculums helped to prepare me to start my first development job. It trained me in just the things that my employer wanted and nothing else. Having the great founding of web technologies, RESTful services, APIs, C# dotnet core, and Angular – all with Azure helped me step right into my first role as a developer and set me up for success. I would highly recommend StartupHakk!
Henry Mitchell was able to launch his own business after learning to code at New York Code and Design Academy: “I can’t think of a more worth it investment of my time and money for an education. I don’t think I could have gotten a better experience if I’d gone to college and studied computer science.”