Should I Choose a University-Affiliated Coding Bootcamp?

Learn what to expect when choosing a regular coding bootcamp vs. a college-affiliated bootcamp. Learn the benefits of university-affiliated bootcamps.

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.

Ready to start your journey?

portrait of Bethanny Parker
by Bethanny Parker

Published August 19, 2022

Edited by Tyler Epps
Share this Article


University-affiliated coding bootcamps are on the rise, with dozens of universities now offering some kind of coding bootcamp. Many universities offer bootcamps in coding, data science, and cybersecurity. Some also offer digital marketing or tech project management bootcamps.

When choosing between a regular coding bootcamp vs. a college-affiliated bootcamp, the main difference is name recognition. Most universities that offer bootcamps issue a certificate upon completion, so you'll be able to put that on your resume, along with the name of the university.

What Is a University-Affiliated Coding Bootcamp?

A university-affiliated coding bootcamp is a coding bootcamp offered by a college or university. The school uses its reputation to draw in students for the bootcamp, which is often offered in partnership with a bootcamp provider such as Trilogy Education Services.

University-affiliated bootcamps typically last 12 weeks full-time or 24 weeks part-time. However, the length of the courses can vary. The most common bootcamp courses offered are coding or web development, cybersecurity, and data analytics or data science. Other options include project management, digital marketing, and UX/UI design.

What Are the Benefits of Doing a Coding Bootcamp Through a University?

If you're trying to decide on a coding bootcamp vs. a college degree, a university-affiliated bootcamp is another option to consider. You'll get many of the benefits of a college education along with the benefits of a coding bootcamp.

Name Recognition

One of the biggest benefits of taking a university-affiliated bootcamp is the name recognition. You'll be able to add the college to your resume and, in many cases, state that you received a certificate through that college.

A certificate from a well-known college or university could have more pull than completing a coding bootcamp through a lesser-known bootcamp provider.

High-Quality Instructors

Depending on how the university sets up their bootcamps, you may have access to actual college professors during your bootcamp.

If that's the case, you'll be receiving high-quality instruction from professional instructors who likely have at least a master's degree. Other bootcamp providers may be less likely to employ master's-level instructors.

More Accessible

Unlike independent bootcamps, which are typically available only in large cities such as San Francisco and New York City, university-affiliated bootcamps are offered wherever the college is located.

You can choose from dozens of locations around the country. Many universities offer coding bootcamps remotely as well.

Large Job Support Network

Many universities offer large job support networks, which may be bigger than the networks available from independent bootcamp providers.

Having access to a large job support network can help you find jobs you would not have otherwise found and network with people who may be able to help you land those jobs.

What Are Some Examples of University Coding Bootcamps?

There are dozens of university-affiliated coding bootcamps all over the country offering a variety of tech-oriented bootcamps. Here are a few examples that might interest you.

University Bootcamps vs. Independent Bootcamps: What's the Difference?

University bootcamps and independent bootcamps have a lot in common, but what are the differences? Read on to learn more about the differences in admission requirements, curricula, program lengths, and more.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements for university-affiliated bootcamps are typically similar to those of independent bootcamps. Either way, the process starts with submitting an online form, which leads to a call from the admissions office.

Following the interview with admissions, most bootcamp providers require candidates to take a test to demonstrate their level of proficiency in coding. Each bootcamp provider has its own standards for determining whether a candidate qualifies for enrollment.

Curriculum

Most university-affiliated bootcamps use a curriculum provided by Trilogy Education Services or another service provider. However, some do create their own curriculums. Most independent bootcamp providers develop their own curriculums.

Regardless of whether the school creates its own curriculum or not, there is a lot of overlap between what is taught in each bootcamp. For example, most coding or web development bootcamps teach HTML, CSS, and JavaScript since those are the main languages needed to create web pages.

Program Length and Format

Independent bootcamps usually take 3-6 months to complete, but most university-affiliated bootcamps run 12 weeks full-time or 24 weeks part-time.

Most bootcamps, whether independent or university-affiliated, can be taken in person or online. However, some bootcamp providers offer only one format or the other.

Self-paced bootcamps are somewhat rare. Most bootcamps require students to attend lectures at specific times, even if they are attending remotely.

Cost and Financing

The cost of a university-affiliated bootcamp typically ranges from $7,995 to $12,495. The average cost for all bootcamps in 2021 was $13,580, so university-affiliated bootcamps are typically a bit cheaper than average.

However, independent bootcamps typically offer more financing options. They may accept installments or have arrangements with third-party financing companies.

Many of these third-party financing companies offer deferred payment options or interest-only payments until after the bootcamp is completed.

Career Outcomes and Salary Potential

Career outcomes and salary potential vary from one bootcamp to another. It's difficult to compare the career outcomes for independent coding bootcamps vs. college-affiliated bootcamps because most college-affiliated bootcamps do not publish their career outcomes.

Cal Poly publishes a 91% job placement rate, but it's hard to tell whether that is typical of all university-affiliated bootcamps due to a lack of data.

It's possible that university-affiliated bootcamp graduates may have better luck in their job searches due to name recognition and the size of their affiliate networks. However, almost all bootcamps offer career services regardless of whether a university runs them or not.

Should I Choose an Independent Bootcamp or a University Bootcamp?

If you're looking for name recognition, you should definitely choose a university-affiliated bootcamp over an independent bootcamp. Graduating from a university-affiliated bootcamp will allow you to add the school to your resume.

Most schools offer a certificate for completing the program, and that certificate will have the name of the school on it. Some hiring managers may give more weight to university-affiliated bootcamps.

Cost-conscious students may also opt for a university-affiliated bootcamp. These bootcamps are often cheaper than the average coding bootcamp, so they provide good value. If possible, you should consider the school's student outcomes.

If the school does not publish these statistics, ask for them and use them to help you evaluate the program.

Frequently Asked Questions About University Coding Bootcamps

Do university bootcamps offer college credit?

Some universities do offer college credit for their coding bootcamps, but that varies from one school to another. You'll need to check with your school to see if you might be able to receive credit toward another program if you complete their coding bootcamp.

However, even if the college doesn't offer credit, you may be able to earn credit after completing the program by taking a CLEP test. CLEP tests allow you to earn credit for what you know, regardless of how you learned it.

Do I need to enroll in a university to participate in a university bootcamp?

No, you do not need to enroll in a university to participate in a university bootcamp. The bootcamp is a separate program. You simply need to enroll in the bootcamp itself. However, it may be possible to take college classes and a bootcamp at the same time.

Some students take a university-affiliated bootcamp as an add-on to their degree program. For example, a computer science student may want to learn additional skills, such as cybersecurity or data analytics. They could enroll in a degree program and a bootcamp simultaneously.

Do university bootcamps qualify for student loans?

Ordinary student loans do not typically cover bootcamps. However, there are private loan companies that offer educational loans for this purpose. You would have to do some research on your own to determine what companies offer this type of financing and then apply through those companies.

Getting a loan can be a good option for financing your education, but you should make sure you know how much your payments will be and take a realistic look at whether you can afford them or not.

Feature Image: SrdjanPav / E+ / 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.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.