Coding bootcamps are an increasingly popular path to a job in information technology. Coding bootcamps are typically short, intensive educational programs that prepare graduates to enter the tech industry by teaching relevant, real-world coding skills.
Bootcamps often offer specialized instruction within a particular field of computer science, like cybersecurity or data analytics. In fact, coding bootcamps prepare students for a variety of career paths, from web development to UX/UI design. Read on to learn more about these different career tracks, including typical salary levels, job responsibilities, and projected career outlooks.
Coding Bootcamp Career Tracks
Coding bootcamps prepare students for work in a variety of areas. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth in computer and information technology (IT) fields will likely outpace many other occupations, with a projected 11% increase between 2019 and 2029 (compared to an average projected growth of 4% across all other fields).
The BLS also reports that careers within the IT space come with a good paycheck, with professionals in the industry making a median salary of $88,240 in 2019. Keep in mind that salaries can vary dramatically depending on location, experience, specific role, and specialization within the tech industry. So what can you do with coding? Below, we list several common specializations that many coding bootcamp students pursue.
- Web Development
The BLS reports that web developers earned a median annual salary of $73,760 in 2019, and it projects that jobs in web development will grow 8% between 2019 and 2029.
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- Software Engineering
Software engineers spend their days building, testing, maintaining, and improving software. They may develop database programs, software for operating systems, and apps for web browsers. Software engineers code in a variety of programming languages, such as Python, Java, and SQL.
By combining principles of software development and engineering, professionals in this field can create customized systems and programs for their company or clients. The BLS reports that software developers earned a median salary of $107,510 in 2019. Jobs in this field are projected to grow 22% between 2019 and 2029 — an increase of more than 315,000 jobs.
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- Data Science
Data scientists combine their expertise in database management, data analysis, and business to provide insight into common business problems. These professionals use data to help companies identify their goals, evaluate trends, and forecast future performance.
Data scientists frequently use the programming languages Python, SQL, and R. According to the BLS, data scientists earned a median annual salary of $94,280 in 2019.
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- UX/UI Design
User experience and user interface (UX/UI) designers help create visually pleasing, usable technology products for clients. UX/UI designers help advocate for the customer, ensuring that users or audiences have a smooth experience when utilizing a website or other virtual product. These professionals often conduct user research, create product designs, develop prototypes, and run user testing.
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Explore Cybersecurity Careers
- Computer Programming
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Career Outcomes of Coding Bootcamps
Bootcamps can prepare graduates to enter the workforce with a portfolio of work and tangible experience in-hand. Quite often, bootcamps target their instruction to a specific career track, focusing on relevant and current technologies, skills, and languages. Coding bootcamps can be a good fit for those just starting out in tech, as well as for tech professionals trying to advance in their career.
According to the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR), bootcamp graduates find employment in their field of study at a high rate, often within a relatively short amount of time. According to data reported to CIRR by 46 coding bootcamps between January and June 2019, the average percentage of graduates employed in the field 180 days after graduation is around 79%.
Employment rates do vary, depending on the bootcamp and job market conditions at the time of the job search. For instance, graduates from Hack Reactor's 2019 software engineering bootcamp in Austin had an employment rate of about 81% 180 days after graduation, while Hack Reactor's 2019 software engineering bootcamp in New York City only had a 67% employment rate after 180 days.
Many employers look at bootcamps favorably. According to a 2017 survey from Indeed, 84% of employers surveyed consider bootcamp graduates just as or more prepared for work as those with computer science degrees.
Multiple factors can influence bootcamp graduates' salary, including their prior experience, technical specialization, and location.
Depending on an individual's prior work experience, grads may find a job with more responsibility, which usually comes with a higher paycheck. For instance, among graduates from Fullstack Academy's 2019 Immersive Bootcamp in Chicago, 13% secured a job with a salary below $60,000 per year, about 24% made above $80,000 per year, and the majority of graduates earned $60,000-$80,000.
Location can also impact salary levels. Graduates of Epicodus' Portland bootcamp in 2019 reported a median starting salary of $60,000, while Epicodus' Seattle graduates earned a median annual salary of $75,000.
Salaries can also vary based on the specific bootcamp career track. Each speciality comes with its own typical salary range. For instance, according to the BLS, the median annual salary in 2019 for a web developer or digital designer was $73,760. Alternatively, data scientists earned $94,280 and software engineers earned $107,510.
These differences are often reflected in bootcamp outcome data. Graduates of Codeup's San Antonio data science bootcamp in 2019 secured a median salary that was about $22,000 higher than their web development counterparts.
What Are the Top Tech Cities To Work in Post-Bootcamp?
Employment rates and wages vary state to state, with some areas offering considerably more opportunities for bootcamp graduates. According to the BLS, states with the highest levels of employment for computer programmers include California (San Francisco and San Jose), Texas (Austin and Dallas), and New York (New York City). In terms of average salary, areas with the highest annual pay include Washington ($164,610); Washington, D.C. ($117,350); and California ($103, 790).
In terms of average salary, areas with the highest annual pay include Washington; Washington, D.C.; and California.
Opportunities remain plentiful in established tech hubs like San Francisco, where more than 168,000 technology jobs were posted in the 12 months preceding November 2020. The San Francisco and Silicon Valley region boasts high-profile tech companies like Google, Netflix, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Software developers remain in high-demand throughout the region, with professionals in the San Francisco and San Jose areas earning average salaries above $145,000 a year, according to the BLS.
Emerging tech hubs like Austin may also be good places to attend a bootcamp and start a job search. Austin is home to many small startups and hosts office locations for several major tech companies, such as Apple, IBM, and Oracle.
Attending a coding bootcamp in the city where you want to find employment can help you find a job, as bootcamp instructors often include local professionals. Additionally, bootcamps may provide networking opportunities with nearby employers.
Career Support Available to Bootcamp Graduates
In addition to the technical skills training coding bootcamps provide, students also typically gain access to career services to help them in their job hunt after graduation. These services often include help with resume-building, professional portfolios, and interview prep.
Bootcamps may also provide networking opportunities where students can connect with local professionals, businesses, and alumni. Additionally, many bootcamps partner with local employers to get their graduates recruited for employment. Some even offer guaranteed positions or internships, though this is rare.
Frequently Asked Questions About Coding Bootcamp Careers
- Will a coding bootcamp get you a job?
Employment outcomes are strong for many bootcamps. According to data reported to CIRR by 46 coding bootcamps between January and June 2019, the average percentage of graduates employed in the field 180 days after graduation is around 79%.
Bootcamps typically offer a variety of career services to help graduates prepare for their job search. This includes helping students with their resume, portfolio, and interview skills, as well as hosting networking events with prospective employers.
- Is it worth doing a coding bootcamp?
The BLS projects that the computer and information technology field will grow 11% between 2019 and 2029. Demand for technical skills remains high, and enrolling in a coding bootcamp can help you become competitive in the field. In addition to their coding curriculum, most bootcamps offer coaching and other services to help graduates obtain employment after graduation.
- What are the best coding careers?
The "best" coding career varies from person to person, depending on your specific interests, work-life balance needs, and skill sets. Luckily, you can choose from a variety of coding career paths, such as web development, UX design, data science, and cybersecurity.
- How much money can I make after completing a coding bootcamp?
The median salary for a professional in the computer and information technology industry in 2019 was $88,240, according to the BLS. For those already in the field, learning a new skill set from a coding bootcamp could also lead to a salary increase or promotion.