Best Free Coding Bootcamps

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by Kasia Kovacs

Published on September 22, 2021 ยท Updated on June 9, 2022

Edited by Kelly Thomas
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In the U.S., the technology industry continues to grow rapidly. The number of web developers could increase by 13% from 2020 to 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Plus, web developers earned median pay of $77,200 in 2020, which is well above the median national income across all careers ($41,950), making it a lucrative career choice.

However, as the industry grows, it grapples with a diversity problem. A survey by mthree found that 68% of business leaders thought there was a lack of diversity in their tech workforce. In addition, 68% of 18-28-year-olds reported feeling uncomfortable in a job because of their gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, or neurological condition.

Many aspiring developers turn to bootcamps to enter the industry. These programs offer intensive instruction, allowing students to enter the workforce with their newly mastered skills in 3-6 months. Some bootcamps teach students to learn to code for free; these bootcamps often aim to help diversify the industry by admitting women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people of color.

This guide lists the best free coding bootcamps for individuals who want to make their mark in tech without a financial barrier to entry.

Popular Online Coding Bootcamps

List of the Best Free Coding Bootcamps

Ada Developers Academy true
  • Location: Remote, Atlanta, Seattle, Washington D.C.
  • Program Cost: Free
  • Technical Disciplines: Full-Stack Web Development
  • Learning Format: In Person, Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time

Career Services
Start For Free

Founded in 2013 to make the web development profession more diverse, Ada Developers Academy offers free intensive programming training for women and gender-expansive individuals. The bootcamp prioritizes Black, Latinx, Indigenous American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, LGBTQIA+, and low-income applicants.

The program itself lasts six months, and students enroll for six hours a day, five days a week. Students learn how to write and develop code. Specifically, the curriculum covers Python, SQL, Flask, HTML/CSS, and JavaScript skills. After students complete their coursework, they participate in a five-month internship experience. During the internship, students earn $20 per hour for 35 hours each week.

Individuals who want to try coding before they enroll in the intensive program can enroll in the free eight-week virtual Ada Build Live experience, which offers an introduction to programming.

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Code Platoon true
  • Location: Syracuse
  • Program Cost: Free
  • Technical Disciplines: Software Development
  • Learning Format: Hybrid, In Person, Online
  • Time Commitment: Part Time

Career Services
CIRR Member
Evening & Weekend Options
Start For Free

Specifically created to boost career opportunities and bolster the developer industry in central New York, Careers in Code facilitates a 24-week software development bootcamp. The hybrid program instructs students through both in-person and virtual learning. Students attend courses in the evenings, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., allowing individuals to pursue the program while working full time.

According to data reported to the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting, 27% of graduates were employed within 180 days of completing the bootcamp. The data indicated that graduates earned an average salary of about $50,600, an 82% salary increase from their previous professions.

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Codecademy true
  • Location: Remote
  • Program Cost: Free
  • Technical Disciplines: Data Science, Web Development, Machine Learning, Web Design
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Part Time, Self-Paced

Evening & Weekend Options
Start For Free

Codecademy offers several online courses for individuals who prefer a self-paced way to learn to code. Courses range in length, from the six-lesson beginner-friendly HTML module to the 16-lesson Java module. Courses include reading assignments, videos, projects, and quizzes that students work through at their own pace. This free online coding bootcamp also publishes resources, like cheat sheets and an informative blog.

Codecademy charges for Pro courses, which are usually more advanced; individuals can subscribe to Pro for $15.99 per month. Remember that self-paced resources like Codecademy don't necessarily include instructor feedback or personalized career services.

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freeCodeCamp true
  • Location: Remote
  • Program Cost: Free
  • Technical Disciplines: Data Visualization, Front-End Web Development, Back-End Web Development, Machine Learning
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Part Time, Self-Paced

Evening & Weekend Options
Start For Free

As a self-paced learning platform, freeCodeCamp offers several courses that students can work through individually. When students complete 300 hours of coursework in a specific topic, such as data visualization or back-end web development, they earn a certificate. freeCodeCamp operates as a nonprofit, running on donations instead of tuition.

Although students do not work through the courses with classmates like in a more traditional bootcamp, they can connect with others through freeCodeCamp's forum. Individuals can also take advantage of coding challenges meant to prepare students for questions they might encounter in a job interview.

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MASTERMIND Academy true
  • Location: Remote
  • Program Cost: Free (Pay what you want system)
  • Technical Disciplines: Software Engineering, Web Development
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Part Time

Evening & Weekend Options
Start For Free

Unlike the other bootcamps featured on this list, MASTERMIND Academy does not strictly operate as a free program. Instead, it follows a pay-what-you-want system, with students able to pay anywhere from $30 to nothing. The academy calls its bootcamps "journeys," which last 8-12 weeks and include three or more hours of live sessions per week. Each journey also consists of five quizzes, three exams, and at least three projects.

Students can also take advantage of "excursions," or 4-6-part series that allow deep dives into more niche topics, like Linux, Terraform, and Git.

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Per Scholas true
  • Location: Remote, various locations across the U.S.
  • Program Cost: Free
  • Technical Disciplines: Cybersecurity, Software Engineering
  • Learning Format: In Person, Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time

Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options
Start For Free

Per Scholas aims to offer cost-free technology training to make the technology industry more equitable. The bootcamp focuses on educational opportunities for people of color and women; in fact, Per Scholas reports that 85% of its graduates are people of color.

Per Scholas campuses all over the country offer courses covering various subjects, like cybersecurity and data engineering. Courses train beginners, but they can also serve as professional development for tech workers with previous experience.

Statistics published by Per Scholas show that 80% of graduates find full-time employment within one year of completing the program.

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Resilient Coders true
  • Location: Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Remote
  • Program Cost: Free
  • Technical Disciplines: Web Development
  • Learning Format: In Person, Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time

Career Services
Start For Free

With the mission of "social justice through economic empowerment," Resilient Coders trains people of color for high-growth careers in the technology industry. The full-time program lasts 20 weeks, and learners master object-oriented programming principles through full-stack JavaScript. In addition to learning coding, students also receive guidance in soft skills like communication techniques and time management practices.

Resilient Coders considers applicants who identify as people of color, qualify as low income, and are between the ages of 18-30. Students also receive a stipend of $500 every two weeks.

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Satellite Bootcamp true
  • Location: Remote
  • Program Cost: Free
  • Technical Disciplines: Technology Sales
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Part Time

Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options
Start For Free

Satellite Bootcamp offers a different area of focus than most programs; students at Satellite focus on technology sales. The full program lasts eight weeks. Learners attend 3-4 hours of weekly meetings and dedicate an additional 8-12 hours each week to independent study. The course teaches skills like prospecting, cold-calling, and objection handling.

In addition, students practice job interviews, and Satellite connects graduates with hiring partners. According to Satellite's self-reported statistics, 85% of graduates find a job within three months with an average starting salary of $69,500.

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Techtonica true
  • Location: San Francisco, Remote
  • Program Cost: Free
  • Technical Disciplines: Web Development
  • Learning Format: In Person, Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time

Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options
Start For Free

Techtonica runs a full-time software engineering bootcamp for women and nonbinary people from low-income backgrounds. Classes run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with students learning full-stack web development using JavaScript. After six months of classes, graduates get six months of support while searching for jobs. The bootcamp offers stipends to students with living and childcare costs; learners without computers also receive free Macbooks.

Techtonica's student demographic statistics show that 85% of their graduates have identified as people of color, 19% have a disability, 8% identify outside of the gender binary, and 2% are veterans.

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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.

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.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Are Free Coding Bootcamps Any Good?

Free coding bootcamps may vary in quality, so it's important to evaluate each one on its own merits. When researching bootcamps, inquire about graduate outcomes. Look for specific data,like the percent of graduates employed within three months after completing the program and their average starting salary. These statistics can give some insight into the quality of free coding bootcamps.

Pros and Cons of Free Coding Bootcamps

Pros

Cons

Frequently Asked Questions About Free Coding Bootcamps

Which free coding bootcamp is the best? true

The answer to this question depends on your learning preferences and career goals. For more independent students who might want to balance a bootcamp with their job, a self-directed course from freeCodeCamp or Codecademy may seem ideal. For students who prefer a more immersive, full-time experience, Ada Developers Academy may prove a better option.

Consider your career track as well. Many free coding bootcamps offer web development courses, but courses in data visualization or machine learning might be more difficult to find. You can also inquire about student outcomes, which can give you some indication of the bootcamp's success rate and overall quality.

Do employers like coding bootcamps? true

Many employers like coding bootcamps, and they hire graduates of these programs. A 2017 Indeed survey found that 72% of employers believed that bootcamp graduates are "just as prepared and likely to be high performers as candidates with computer science degrees."

In addition, 12% of employers believed that bootcamp graduates are even more prepared than individuals who studied computer science at college.

How can I learn to code for free? true

While most coding bootcamps charge tuition, several allow students to learn to code for free. However, some of these bootcamps include certain stipulations. For instance, some free bootcamps aim to make the technology industry a more equitable space. These programs specifically enroll low-income individuals, women and gender nonbinary people, and/or people of color.

If a structured bootcamp does not fit into your lifestyle, you can consider self-paced coding resources. Sites like freeCodeCamp and Codecademy offer programming lessons online that students can work through individually.

Finally, some coding bootcamps with tuition costs offer full scholarships.

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.


Feature Image: Luis Alvarez / DigitalVision / Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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