Career & Jobs: The Rise of the Coding Bootcamp Industry


By Artur Meyster

If this is the first time you’re hearing about coding bootcamps, we’ve got a lot to cover! Coding bootcamps are emerging all over the world as a viable way to gain specialized skills for careers in the technology field faster and more efficiently than pursuing a traditional college degree. 

The subjects covered in bootcamps are also growing to reflect the demands of companies who want to hire talent with the particular skills they need. It is with good reason that the trends show bootcamps are transforming the educational industry in profound ways. 

Bootcamps vs College

While colleges tend to cover a wider array of subjects throughout the four-year degree course, bootcamps offer a more accelerated and single-topic structure. This means that often bootcamp graduates possess more practical skills compared to their college counterparts. 

However, it is also worth noting that bootcamp graduates’ salaries might not be as high as their college counterparts when first starting. However, this relatively small earnings-gap levels out in time as they both gain more experience.

Interestingly enough, if two people start their training at the same time, the bootcamp grad will get to work a full three years sooner than the college student. 

As noted in the State of the Bootcamp Market report, a best bootcamp differs from traditional college degrees on several key factors. Here’s a quick comparison:

Bootcamps College
Average Duration 4-26 weeks 4 years
Average Tuition $13,293 (in-person) or $14,623 (online) $50,000 — $100,000
Job Placement Assistance Offered by many bootcamps Rarely offered by colleges
Financing Options Grants, Loans, Income Share Agreements (ISA), Scholarships, In-House Financing, Deferred Tuition Grants, Loans, Scholarships

As shown by the chart above, the fact that bootcamp grads often get to work sooner, have much less debt, and have a broader choice of financing options than their college counterparts make it easy to see why coding bootcamps are gaining in popularity. 

How to Choose a Bootcamp

With numerous choices available to you, your first order of business is to figure out which way you want to go.

Making your decision based solely on how much money you could make after graduation is asking for failure.

You honestly need to examine your interests, your situation, how much time you can commit, and other factors before you decide. 

Figure out if a coding bootcamp is worth the time, money, and effort you must put in. While some offer a learn-at-your-own-pace model, others require you to adhere to a strict schedule to get through all of the information in the specified timeframe. Above all, you must be willing to commit to your own success.

Try a few free resources for learning how to code before committing to a subject. But, don’t be fooled by the vast amount of free coding resources out there.

While it may be tempting to just teach yourself—unless you have that personality type—a structured environment will help you succeed much faster. It is way too easy to get lost down the rabbit hole of information, lose your focus and become discouraged.

Finally, once you have figured out which direction you want to go in your new career, how much time you can dedicate, and how to pay for coding bootcamp, you’re ready to find the perfect bootcamp for you and be on your way to a rewarding new career. Cheers to your success! 

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About Author: 

Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19). After graduating from a coding bootcamp, Hack Reactor, he joined Funding Circle as a full stack software engineer. This led him to start the Breaking Into Startups podcast featuring people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech which reached over 3 million people. In 2019, Artur was one of the first bootcamp grads to graduate from YCombinator.

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