A Guide to the 10 Best Coding and Programming Bootcamps

The best coding bootcamps continue to soar in popularity as students look to quickly enter the tech job market. Check out our 2023 list.
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Are you looking to enter the tech industry or pursue a career change? Or maybe you just like a good challenge? If so, you may consider enrolling in a coding bootcamp. When it comes to the tech industry, more and more students are forgoing the traditional university path and choosing something that better fits their needs. Coding bootcamps are often less expensive than four-year degrees. They only take between a few weeks to a few months to complete, provide more hands-on experience, and often help students find their first job after graduation. For those reasons, it's not surprising that more people are choosing bootcamps over university programs.

The tech industry also continues to be a lucrative industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 15% increase in information technology (IT) and IT occupations between 2021 and 2031, nearly double that of the average expected growth for all other industries. In 2021, these workers also earned a median annual salary of $97,430, more than double the national median salary across all jobs.

The Best Coding Bootcamps 2023 Overview

  • Actualize
  • Bloom Institute of Technology
  • BrainStation
  • Coding Dojo
  • Flatiron School
  • General Assembly
  • Hack Reactor
  • Springboard
  • Tech Elevator
  • Thinkful

What Are Coding Bootcamps?

Coding bootcamps provide a streamlined and often far less expensive option for people who want to break into the tech industry. They often cover topics from data science to software engineering to cybersecurity. Many bootcamps are also online, meaning students can work around their schedules and other responsibilities more easily.

While bootcamp students spend less time in the classroom than college students, most bootcamps start immediately with hands-on knowledge and training. In contrast, computer science degree students might spend multiple semesters learning foundational knowledge but spend limited time learning how to actually code.

Coding Bootcamps vs. College Degrees
CODING BOOTCAMP BS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE
Length One week-10 months Four years
Cost Median price of $13,500, according to data from BestColleges Average tuition price of $35,551 for the 2021-22 year, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics.
Curriculum

A coding bootcamp tends to focus on specific techniques, skills, and coding languages that are relevant to job searchers.

Many bootcamps focus on hands-on experiences that let students develop products and work with peers.

A bachelor's program in computer science offers a comprehensive curriculum. It includes coursework in the sciences, math, English, and communication, in addition to technical classes.

These programs develop well-rounded students ready to start technology or related careers.

Return on Investment

According to data from the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting, 70% of bootcamp graduates in 2020 found jobs. These professionals made an average salary of about $60,088 per year.

With a median cost of $13,500 for full-time bootcamp programs, investing in a bootcamp can provide a fairly large return on investment.

According to Payscale, people with a BS in computer science earn $89,000 per year on average as of October 2022.

But with a higher initial cost, the return on investment may not be as high as participating in a coding bootcamp.

You should research the long-term benefits of a degree, as well as repayment terms to decide which option best fits your needs.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Bootcamp

Maybe you decided that a bootcamp is the way to go. But then comes the big question: Which bootcamp should you pick? While you can find a lot of good options out there, you should consider four main factors when deciding which is the best fit for you.

Cost

As with many things, it's a difficult line between wanting a good deal and a quality product. On average, a bootcamp that prepares you for a new career may cost a few thousand dollars.

In addition to how much a program costs, you should also consider the available payment options. Many programs offer financing, scholarships, or deferred payment until you land your first job, which can help ease the financial burden.

Duration

Many programs last somewhere between 3-10 months, depending on if students opt for a full- or part-time option. While it might be tempting to look for the quickest program available so you can start working, remember that these courses teach fairly complex material. It can take a while to fully comprehend what these programs teach you.

Format

Studying online offers many benefits, but it's not for everyone. Before choosing a program, figure out if you'd prefer an online or in-person learning environment.

If online seems like the better choice, you'll also need to decide if you'd prefer a regimented structure with live classes or a more self-paced bootcamp.

Career Services

Many bootcamps provide career services to their students. Many of the programs listed below offer students up to six months of career services, helping with everything from crafting a great resume to putting students in direct contact with potential employers.

Do Coding Bootcamps Get You Jobs?

One of the primary benefits of choosing a bootcamp over a college program is that bootcamp providers are often more invested in helping their graduates find work. A few bootcamps have job guarantee policies, meaning they refund students' tuition if they cannot find work. Many bootcamps also offer career services that can help with networking, writing a resume, and nailing an interview.

Both large and smaller tech companies are changing their perceptions of the importance of a computer science degree. While previously mandatory for many tech jobs, now many employers see that bootcamp graduates can often bring more hands-on experience to the table. Examples of the companies that often hire bootcamp graduates are:

Adobe

Ranked one of the best employers by Forbes in 2021, Adobe hires software development engineers and technical support engineers to work across its product line of software programs.

Amazon Web Services

A subsidiary of Amazon, its web services provide businesses and organizations with cloud computing services and APIs. It often hires software development engineers and system engineers.

Cisco

With almost 80,000 employees worldwide, Cisco provides information technology products such as routers, industrial access points, malware protection, and web security. The company hires data analysts, software engineers, and security research engineers.

Google

One of the biggest companies in the tech industry, Google hires software engineers from a long list of bootcamps.

The Best Coding Bootcamps

Methodology

Bootcamp Ranking Guidelines

At BestColleges, we believe the best bootcamp is the one that fits your schedule, your learning needs, and your career aspirations. That's why we often present our recommendations in alphabetical order -- because the real best bootcamp is the bootcamp that's best for you.

Our Methodology

The Bootcamp Team at BestColleges has collected data for over 150 bootcamps to help you find the best bootcamp.

At BestColleges, we believe the best bootcamp is the one that fits your schedule, your learning needs, and your career aspirations. That's why we often present our recommendations in alphabetical order -- because the real best bootcamp is the bootcamp that's best for you.

At this time, our recommendation round-ups feature only immersive bootcamps designed to prepare students for job placement upon graduation.

To be included on our lists, bootcamps must meet the following criteria:

  • Must offer at least one bootcamp in the United States.
  • Must offer at least one bootcamp that is a minimum of 4 weeks long.
  • Must require at least 15 hours of work per week if the bootcamp is part time.
  • Must encourage at least 10 hours of work per week if the bootcamp is self-paced.

Pricing disclosure: The prices listed were collected from product websites in 2022. However, given the dynamic, fast-paced nature of the tech space, prices are subject to change throughout the year. To get the most up-to-date information about pricing, contact providers directly.

Methodology for Recommending Cheap Bootcamps:

  • The bootcamp must meet all of the general criteria listed above.
  • The bootcamp must cost less than $8,000 if it is offered full time, and less than $5,000 if it is offered part time. These numbers were chosen based on data collected by BestColleges in 2020 that determined the average cost of a coding bootcamp is $13,580.


Actualize

  • Location: Remote, Chicago
  • Programs Starting At: $13,900
  • Technical Disciplines: Software Development
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Part Time

Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options

Actualize offers small live classes to students in North America. This provider focuses on ways to teach the material so that students from all backgrounds and experience levels can fully grasp the information.

Actualize career advisors help students assess their previous experience and skills, build a tech-tailored resume, and connect with others in the industry. After graduation, students keep access to career services to help them during their job search.


Bloom Institute of Technology

  • Location: Remote
  • Programs Starting At: $21,950
  • Technical Disciplines: Data Science, Full-Stack Web Development, Web Development
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time

= Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options
Job Guarantee
Money-Back Guarantee
Income Share Agreement

If you are nervous about landing a job in tech after finishing a bootcamp, then the Bloom Institute of Technology might be a good option for you. This bootcamp provider is invested in getting its graduates jobs and has policies to prove it.

Not only can you try a program for free for three weeks but the Bloom Institute of Technology also offers a 110% refund if you do not get a job paying over $50,000 within one year after graduation. That means you can actually make money if a program does not work for you.


BrainStation

  • Location: Remote, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle
  • Programs Starting At: $15,000
  • Technical Disciplines: Data Science, Digital Marketing, Software Engineering, UX Design, Web Development
  • Learning Format: In Person, Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time

Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options

BrainStation is one of the largest bootcamp providers, offering in-person classes in the U.S., Canada, and England and online classes for students worldwide. There are various courses for students to choose from, which can be completed in 5-10 weeks.

BrainStation also offers various flexible payment options and scholarships for students who need financial help. After graduation, BrainStation helps connect students with hiring partners to help them find a job.


Coding Dojo

  • Location: Remote, Bellevue, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley
  • Programs Starting At: $10,495
  • Technical Disciplines: Cybersecurity, Data Science, Software Development, UX/UI Design
  • Learning Format: In Person, Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time

Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options
Income Share Agreement

Coding Dojo is another large coding school that offers a variety of different courses and learning methods. Based on its 2021 Student Outcomes Report, 84% of students found a job in their new industry 180 days after graduation, and 91% found a job within the first year.

Coding Dojo offers a free online info session for interested students to learn more about the programs, see teaching methods, and meet the instructors.


Flatiron School

  • Location: Remote, Denver, New York
  • Programs Starting At: $16,900
  • Technical Disciplines: Cybersecurity, Data Science, Product Design, Software Engineering
  • Learning Format: In Person, Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time

Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options

Flatiron School offers courses in some of the most in-demand tech fields. If you don't know which of the four programs to choose from, Flatiron School offers free tech prep courses in each discipline so you can see if the course would be right for you.

After graduating, Flatiron School offers students 180 days of one-on-one career coaching. Coaches help students craft a tech-focused resume, perform mock interviews, and develop strategies to help them stand out in job interviews.


General Assembly

  • Location: Remote, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C.
  • Programs Starting At: $3,950
  • Technical Disciplines: Data Analytics, Data Science, Digital Marketing, Software Engineering, UX Design, and more
  • Learning Format: In Person, Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time

Accepts GI Bill®
Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options
Income Share Agreement

Another one of the largest bootcamps, General Assembly offers 19 bootcamp programs in many U.S. locations, online, and worldwide. It offers free workshops and events to anyone interested in learning more about course topics or possible careers.

Even though General Assembly is one of the less expensive bootcamp providers, it also offers various payment options, including payment plans, diversity scholarships, and deferred payment plans. General Assembly also helps students request sponsorship from their employers.


Hack Reactor

  • Location: Remote
  • Programs Starting At: $17,980
  • Technical Disciplines: Software Engineering
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time

Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options
Income Share Agreement

Hack Reactor offers education in software engineering to fit any schedule. Programs last between 12 and 19 weeks and cover topics and tools, including React, Full-Stack JavaScript, and other computer science basics. While the course is open to any experience level, Hack Reactor also offers a self-guided basic prep course so students can familiarize themselves with course topics.

Hack Reactor also allows students to take advantage of deferred payments and an income share agreement. Upon approval, students can pay a $100 deposit, then pay the rest only after they start making $60K a year or more.


Springboard

  • Location: Remote
  • Programs Starting At: $7,000
  • Technical Disciplines: Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, Data Science, Software Engineering, Tech Sales, UX/UI Design
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time

Evening & Weekend Options
Job Guarantee
Money-Back Guarantee

Learning online can sometimes feel isolating, which is why Springboard provides students with many support mechanisms. These include a mentor, a student advisor, teaching aids, and community managers.

According to Springboard's 2021 report, out of nearly 10,000 students in 2021, 44% received a job offer before graduation, and 93% received a job offer within 12 months. Students also reported an average salary increase of $22,746 after completing their course.


Tech Elevator

  • Location: Remote, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Wilmington
  • Programs Starting At: $16,500
  • Technical Disciplines: Full-Stack Web Development
  • Learning Format: In Person, Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time

Accepts GI Bill®
Career Services
CIRR Member
Evening & Weekend Options
Income Share Agreement

Tech Elevator focuses on full-stack web development but offers a lot of flexibility in how students can learn. It offers full- and part-time schedules, either in person at one of its campuses or online. Tech Elevator even has groups in some cities without a campus, so distance learners can meet and foster a sense of community.

According to data from the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting, nearly 90% of graduates of its online program find work in their desired field within 180 days of graduating, earning a median starting salary of $65,780. According to its website, this salary is an average of $24,000 more a year than students' previous job.


Thinkful

  • Location: Remote
  • Programs Starting At: $6,500
  • Technical Disciplines: Data Analytics, Data Science, Digital Marketing, Project Management, Software Engineering, UX Design
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time

Career Services
Deferred Tuition Plan
Evening & Weekend Options
Job Guarantee
Start For Free

Thinkful offers students of all financial backgrounds a way to pay for their education in a way that works for them. Students can pay upfront, month-to-month, or defer payment until they land a new job. If you do not get a job in the field after six months of graduating, Thinkful will refund your tuition. Students at Thinkful receive a one-on-one mentor from day one, plus six months of career services to help tailor resumes, learn interview skills, and negotiate a high salary.

Get the Qualities You Want in a Bootcamp

We use icons to make browsing bootcamps easy for you. Use this breakdown to quickly identify program qualities you are looking for.

Accepts GI Bill®

Accepts the GI Bill® as funding for tuition.

Also Available In Person

This online bootcamp also offers in-person options.

Career Services

Offers career services to help you land your dream job after graduation.

CIRR Member

This bootcamp is a current member of the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting. Learn more at cirr.org.

Evening & Weekend Options

Bootcamps are offered during convenient evening and weekend hours.

Job Guarantee

Employment is guaranteed as soon as you finish your bootcamp.

Money-Back Guarantee

Tuition is refunded if you don't land a job within a given time frame after graduation. Visit the bootcamp website for terms and conditions.

Start for Free

No deposit is required to get started. Begin your bootcamp for $0.

Other Notable Schools for Coding

Are Coding Bootcamps Worth It?

What kind of education and experience you get from a bootcamp depends on the amount of time and effort you put in. Employers like to see an applicant's portfolio or experience, so students who use their time and opportunities well in a bootcamp may build a stronger portfolio.

Getting a tech job after a bootcamp may also lead to a pay raise, making bootcamps worth it for many people.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Coding Bootcamps

How do I choose the best coding bootcamp?

To choose the best coding bootcamp for you, look for a program that meets your specific set of needs. Think about what you want to learn and whether you learn best in person or online.

Another important consideration includes finding programs that fit your financial needs. Also, check if bootcamp providers offer scholarships, financing options, or income share agreements.

There are many good options out there, so chances are, if you do your research, you'll find something that fits your needs.

Which coding bootcamp is best for beginners?

Software engineering and web development are popular choices for those new to the tech industry. But you should choose a bootcamp based on what you want to learn and do rather than what is best for beginners.

Many coding bootcamp providers design their programs for students new to the field, so many programs are suitable for beginners. However, a few programs require a certain skill level for enrollment.

Some bootcamps that require previous knowledge may also offer an introductory class to bring students to the appropriate starting level.

Can I learn how to code for free?

Yes. There are free coding resources available online, but choosing this path may not be easy. The comprehensiveness and clarity of free online resources can be a hit or miss.

Learning to code is like learning a new language — some are a bit easier, like HTML. When learning your first language, it can be a good idea to pay for a course or bootcamp that provides learning materials and resources. But it can be much easier to learn subsequent languages, so you may be able to learn them using free resources.


GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://benefits.va.gov/gibill/index.asp.


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