How Much Do Coding Bootcamps Cost?
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- Coding bootcamps have been rising in popularity each year for the past decade.
- Many find bootcamps to be faster and less expensive than a degree to enter a career in tech.
- Like any educational program, good coding bootcamps can be an expensive investment.
- Most programs range from $10,000-$15,000 and take months to complete.
The number of bootcamp graduates has increased each year for the past decade. Bootcamps offer quick, targeted, hands-on learning in high-demand fields. After graduating, you may be able to qualify for a tech job with a high salary. These programs are less expensive than a normal four-year degree and can often be completed in a few months.
However, that does not mean that coding bootcamps are cheap or easy to get through. There is a wide spectrum of cost and intensity between programs. How much you invest in a bootcamp program depends on the program type and length, the location, and the provider.
How Much Is a Coding Bootcamp?
Tuition costs for intensive, full-time coding bootcamps that deliver thorough career preparation and typically last several months usually range from $10,000-$15,000.
Based on data collected by BestColleges in 2020 from over 620 bootcamp programs offered by about 130 bootcamp providers, the median bootcamp tuition was $13,500. The average total cost was $13,579. The priciest bootcamps charged more than $20,000, while the least expensive cost a few thousand dollars.
In contrast, the average undergraduate tuition for the 2020-21 academic year was $16,600, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Multiplied by four years for each year of college, that's more than $66,000.
Featured Coding Bootcamps
You may be able to save a little money by opting for a part-time program. The average tuition for part-time bootcamps in 2020 was $12,265. However, not all part-time programs cost less than full-time options.
If you want to get your feet wet before committing to an intensive program, some bootcamp providers offer short introductory courses in addition to career-focused programs.
Bootcamps may also offer professional development courses focusing on a particular skill or programming language for experienced coders. These courses typically range from one to a few thousand dollars, with a median price of $2,250 in 2017.
Costs also vary depending on the technical discipline. Web development and UX/UI design bootcamps cost around $12,500 on average, while data science and software engineering bootcamps cost around $15,000. Some university-affiliated bootcamps may also cost less than bootcamps offered by other providers.
You should also consider other expenses, including opportunity costs, technology costs, and living expenses if you're considering enrolling in a coding bootcamp.
One opportunity cost of attending a bootcamp instead of a traditional degree program may be that while bootcamps typically charge less and allow graduates to enter the workforce sooner, degree-holders tend to earn higher salaries.
Technology costs for the hardware and software required by a bootcamp may also be a significant expense, as you usually need to buy necessary equipment yourself.
Bootcamp Cost Breakdown
In addition to coding instruction, tuition usually covers a variety of career preparation services that support you in things like preparing for a coding interview, building a professional web presence, and developing a programming portfolio.
Sometimes, tuition also pays for mentoring sessions from tech industry professionals and networking events. Some bootcamps also connect you with internship and employment opportunities.
Bootcamp Payment Options
Attending a coding bootcamp does not qualify you for federal student financial aid because these programs lack the appropriate accreditation. However, you have other options to help manage coding bootcamp costs.
You can avoid interest fees if you pay the cost of tuition at the beginning of your bootcamp. Some bootcamps even offer interest-free payment plans.
Deferred tuition means that you'll pay little to no upfront tuition. Once you secure employment, however, you'll start making payments of a set dollar amount.
Income Share Agreements
Income share agreements refer to an arrangement where you agree to pay a percentage of your future salary to the bootcamp for a set period of time as long as you meet a minimum income threshold.
You can look to private lenders, such as Skills Fund, that offer loans specifically for coding bootcamps.
There are some scholarships available to bootcamp students. These awards pay all or a portion of bootcamp tuition. Scholarships may target certain groups of students, such as women, military veterans, and members of other underrepresented groups in the tech industry.
If you're a veteran, you can use your GI Bill funding to pay for tuition at eligible coding bootcamps. You may also qualify for a housing allowance.
Are Bootcamps a Good Alternative to Traditional College?
Our 2021 Bootcamps Trends Report found that "almost half (48%) of all business leaders surveyed, and 56% of those from tech companies and organizations that hire for tech roles, said that bootcamps will play a pivotal role in meeting future workforce training needs".
Coding Bootcamp vs. Bachelor's in Computer Science Cost Comparison
You can save thousands by attending a coding bootcamp rather than pursuing a four-year degree in computer science. Bootcamps cost roughly the equivalent of one year of college tuition.
However, if you're comparing the coding bootcamp cost of $10,000-$15,000 to the $50,000+ cost of a degree, you may wonder if a bootcamp will lead to similar job opportunities as a traditional program.
Because bootcamps do not go through an accreditation process like most colleges and universities do, it can be difficult to gauge student outcomes across the bootcamp industry.
Individual bootcamps often report their graduation and employment rates on their websites. If the bootcamp is a member of the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting, you can find standardized outcomes for its programs that have been independently audited and verified.
The employment outcomes for graduates of coding bootcamps are often quite positive:
The Tech Academy Front-End Developer Bootcamp (2021 CIRR report):
- Median annual base salary: $39,720
- Graduation rate: 87%
- Nearly 90% of graduates found work in the first 180 days after graduation
Codesmith Full-Stack Developer Bootcamp (2021 CIRR report):
- Median annual base salary: $130,000
- Graduation rate: 96%
- 82% of graduates found work in the first 180 days after graduation
The Turing School Back-End Developer Bootcamp (2021 CIRR report):
- Median annual base salary: $86,500.
- Graduation rate: 48%
- 79% of graduates found work in the first 180 days after graduation
While some employers still view college degree programs as providing more thorough career preparation than bootcamps, this idea appears to be changing. A 2017 survey by Indeed found that 72% of employers think coding bootcamp graduates receive equal preparation as those with computer science degrees, with the same likelihood of succeeding on the job.
Many large companies, including Apple and Google, no longer require college degrees for tech workers.
Financial Perks of Coding Bootcamps
Coding bootcamps may offer financial incentives to students that are not typically provided by a college degree program, such as money-back guarantees and the ability to start learning without making a down payment on tuition. Increasingly, bootcamps may also offer stipends or living assistance.
One of the draws of coding bootcamps is the possibility of well-paying employment in the technology sector after graduation. Many coding bootcamps stand behind their career preparation programs by providing full tuition refunds for students who do not secure a job in the tech industry within a set timeframe.
No Money Down
Coding bootcamps with deferred tuition plans or income share agreements often do not require you to put money down toward your tuition before getting started with your training. Some programs ask for a small down payment.
Because you typically cannot maintain employment during a full-time coding bootcamp, some programs offer cost-of-living stipends. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Devmountain provided housing for full-time, in-person students.
Frequently Asked Questions About Coding Bootcamp Costs
Are coding bootcamps expensive?
No matter how you look at it, coding bootcamps are a serious investment. Some programs cost more than others, but in the end, if you want to prepare yourself for a new career, it won't be cheap. Most schools offer scholarships, loans, or payment programs to lessen the burden if it is too much to pay upfront.
Are online coding bootcamps cheaper?
Between the pandemic and the general benefits of online learning, most programs currently only offer online courses. Some may return to in-person formats, but that is still to be seen and will likely only be available in large cities. For the programs that currently offer both, there does not seem to be much difference in cost.
Are there free coding bootcamps?
If you're eager to learn how to code, there are countless free online classes and resources for you to choose from. These are often individual classes or YouTube channels, but there are a handful of free coding bootcamps as well.
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