How to Learn Swift

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In addition to her work covering bootcamps, technology, and careers for BestColleges, Sharon Wilfong focuses on SaaS, marketing, media production, education, and lifestyle content. She's also an award-winning screenwriter, memoir writer, and poet. ...
Updated on April 18, 2023
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the need for software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers is growing. The demand for new smartphone and tablet applications is driving the need for skilled professionals. That means Swift jobs are some of the most in-demand occupations today.

Learning Swift could be an excellent starting point for those who want to build a career in software development. Apple created the Swift programming language specifically for building iOS and Apple products, Mac, and Linux systems. Apple Insider says the ability to run C, Objective-C, and C++ within a single program is Swift’s most noteworthy feature.

Since it's open-source, developers can also incorporate Swift into other areas, including web design. If you’re wondering how to learn Swift, there are multiple routes you can take, from free online courses to Swift bootcamps. Here’s what you need to know.

Coding Bootcamps

A short, intensive coding bootcamp helps learners develop programming language, software, mobile app, and web development skills. Students may not gain the same depth or scope of education as a computer science degree. However, a Swift bootcamp can be a great choice for learners who want to focus on programming for Mac, iOS, or Linux.

Additionally, a Swift bootcamp can be the start of a career in tech or a step toward career advancement. Graduates from a coding bootcamp typically come away with a portfolio of projects illustrating their skills. Not only that, but the best coding bootcamps work with industry partners to offer graduates job placement opportunities.

Not all coding bootcamps provide the same quality education. Also, they're typically not accredited. But some of the best bootcamps work with the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR). The organization's standards help prevent deceptive graduation and job placement claims.

Coding Bootcamps for You

Online Courses

Coding bootcamps can be expensive, but they aren't the only option. Apple offers an app solution that gamifies learning Swift with interactive puzzles to help students master the basics. There's no experience necessary. Learners can download Swift Playgrounds for iPad or Mac and create real-life apps with Apple-designed interactive walkthroughs.

Free and inexpensive online courses are another choice if you’re looking into how to learn Swift.

Learn Swift: Students learn fundamental programming concepts in this free course from Codecademy. Lessons include variables, conditionals and logic, loops, arrays and sets, dictionaries, functions, structures, and classes. There are no prerequisites. The course takes around 25 hours to complete, and learners graduate with a portfolio of projects.

Swift for Beginners: This free course teaches Swift basics and reviews its core problem-solving features. Students learn to construct algorithms and build feature-rich mobile applications through videos led by industry professionals and practice exercises. It takes approximately seven days to complete four lessons on variables, strings, if statements, and functions.

Build iOS Apps with SwiftUI: This beginner's course includes Swift, SwiftUI, wireframing, and creating a project in Xcode. Students learn to build iOS from start to finish using Apple's UI framework, then publish it to the App Store. They study core Swift language features, including Arrays and Dictionaries. This skill path requires a subscription to Codecademy Pro.

Introduction to Programming in Swift 5: Students learn the basics of the Swift programming language, Swift concepts, tools, and object-oriented programming. This self-paced beginner course takes around 11 hours to complete. Introduction to Programming in Swift 5 is the first of four courses in the Swift 5 iOS Application Developer Specialization.

Tables, Data & Networking in iOS: Students learn to get apps working with servers and external data and create a ToDo app in this advanced-level class. They gain experience using tables and collections to create visual displays and use core data to build more robust applications. The course takes around 16 hours, and students earn a shareable certificate upon completion.

Online Courses vs. Bootcamps

Online Courses
Pros Cons
  • Free or inexpensive
  • Subscriptions that include access to various courses
  • Self-paced
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Less accountability
  • Limited support services
  • Limited interaction with classmates or instructors
  • No job placement or career services
Pros Cons
  • Interaction with classmates and instructors
  • Accountability
  • Certification
  • Student services, career services, and job placement
  • Scheduled meeting times
  • Must maintain an intensive pace
  • Can be expensive
  • May need prior education or coding experience

Coding Bootcamps to Learn Swift

Developer Bootcamp

  • Locations: Remote
  • Program Cost: $2,400-$4,800
  • Learning Formats: Online
  • Time Commitment: Self-Paced

Evening & Weekend Options

Developer Bootcamp offers a Mobile App Developer bootcamp that can be taken in a two, three, or four-course track format. Tuition varies by track. All of Developer Bootcamp’s courses are a combination of on-demand video lectures and hands-on lab work. Their Mobile App bootcamp teaches students how to develop iOS apps for Android and iPhones through the use of Swift programming. Students who choose to enroll in more tracks will learn Objective-C and work with the Xamarin platform.

All veterans are subject to a 20% discount for any bootcamp. Almost all of the bootcamps that Developer Bootcamp provides offer multiple tracks, allowing room for both beginner and advanced students to grow. All courses are offered in a self-paced format.


  • Locations: Remote, Dallas, Lehi
  • Program Cost: $9,900
  • Learning Formats: Online, In-Person
  • Time Commitment: Full-Time, Part-Time

Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options

Devmountain provides its iOS development as an immersive in-person and online course. The process starts with an online application, phone consultation, and skill review. Once students get accepted, the last step is to complete the onboarding checklist. Students will use Github, Xcode, and Swift to develop their own iOS application by the end of the course.

Free student housing is available on a first-come, first-served basis for on-campus students. Additionally, a career support team helps with everything from optimizing resumes to building a tech-skills portfolio. Students practice interviewing, and graduates have ongoing access to career fairs, job search assistance, and networking events.

Noble Desktop

  • Locations: Remote, New York City
  • Program Cost: $2,495
  • Learning Formats: In-Person, Online
  • Time Commitment: Part-Time

Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options

Noble Desktop’s iOS App Development Bootcamp lasts about 60 hours and can be taken online or at their NYC campus site. Students will use Swift and Xcode to develop their own apps, widgets, and buttons. By the end of the course, students will have created their own application with embedded pictures, videos, and data sets. There are no prerequisites, but it is helpful to have some basic coding experience beforehand.

Tuition can be paid for in installments. Once the bootcamp is paid for, students have one year to retake the course, if desired. A MacBook will be provided for those attending the in-person class.

The Tech Academy

  • Locations: Remote, Portland, Salt Lake City
  • Program Cost: $11,660
  • Learning Formats: Online, In-Person
  • Time Commitment: Self-Paced

CIRR Member
Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options

Tech Academy offers bootcamps in various subjects, including website development and design, mobile app development, data science, and cyber security. The academy's mobile app developer program takes 18 weeks full-time and 34 weeks part-time to complete. Students learn how to develop iOS and Android apps using Swift, Objective-C, and Java.

Learners work on live coding projects that focus on specific tasks and technologies. They work as a team to do the development work and gain practical experience. The job placement course covers both phone and in-person interviews, resume writing, and where to find tech jobs.


  • Locations: Remote
  • Program Cost: $109.99
  • Learning Formats: Online
  • Time Commitment: Self-Paced

Money-Back Guarantee
Evening & Weekend Options

Udemy’s Complete iOS App Development Bootcamp focuses on project-based learning, guiding students to create several apps within the course. Examples include a dice app, a music app, and a story app. Students will use Xcode and Swift to create their projects, but don’t worry — no prior experience is needed. The self-paced bootcamp consists of over 49 hours of on-demand video and other resources.

Once purchased, students can retake the bootcamp with a lifetime guarantee. Graduates will receive a certificate of completion and several notable projects to put in their portfolios.

Swift Jobs

A Swift certification validates a professional as an expert in the iOS programming language. The certification can help you start a career or open the door to new opportunities. Employers can count on the fact that candidates with certifications from reputable programs have industry-level skills.

Below are some careers you can pursue once you have a strong foundation in Swift.

Web Developers and Digital Designers

The BLS projects a 13% increase in the need for web developers and digital designers between 2020 and 2030. These professionals collaborate with management and clients to develop the design and functionality of an interface or website. Digital designers create the look and user experience, while web developers often specialize in front-end, back-end, or full-stack development.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $77,200

Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers

According to the BLS, software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers accounted for approximately 1.8 million jobs in 2020. They typically work in teams with designers and programmers. Software developers create computer and mobile applications and systems, while quality assurance analysts and testers identify problems within the software.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $110,140

Computer and Information Research Scientists

The BLS projects job openings for computer and information research scientists to increase by 22% between 2020 and 2030. These scientists design computer architecture, study and design new programming languages, and make the software more efficient. Additionally, computer and information research scientists may specialize in fields such as medicine or biology.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $131,490

Frequently Asked Questions About Learning Swift

Is Swift easy to learn?

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Swift is easy to learn, even without prior experience in coding. Apple designed it to be a programming language suitable for beginners, efficient, and easy to use. First-time coders can download Swift Playgrounds to learn the coding language with gamified Apple-designed lessons.

Additionally, there are many courses online to learn Swift basics. Learners can build on their skills with intensive coding bootcamps and develop a portfolio along the way. Remember to do some research before spending thousands of dollars on a bootcamp. Check CIRR for job placement rates.

Where can I learn Swift for free?

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There are many options to learn Swift for free, from Swift Playground to free courses on Codecademy and Coursera. Apple created the Swift Playground app as an interactive and fun way to learn the language. Learners solve a series of puzzles to master Swift basics and progressively learn the building blocks of apps with interactive walkthroughs.

Typically, it's beginner courses that are free. Many bootcamps also offer free prerequisite courses to prepare students for success. Additionally, employers may provide free education benefits to help professionals gain skills for Swift jobs within the company.

What is the best way to learn Swift?

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If you're wondering how to learn Swift, start with Swift Playground and free courses, then begin building a portfolio. Whether you have experience or are completely new to coding, the best way to learn Swift is through practice. Apple designed Swift Playground to help beginners build their skills.

Courses and bootcamps provide opportunities to create real-world projects, develop a body of work, and earn certifications. Developers incorporate Swift code into their apps and build apps entirely in Swift. Use your portfolio to demonstrate your skill in Swift and create projects relative to your goals.