- Are Coding Bootcamps Worth It?
- Are coding bootcamps worth it?
- Can I calculate mybootcampROI?
- How Much Will I Make After Bootcamp?
- How Much Will I Pay for a Coding Bootcamp?
- How can I make sure I get these results?
- Do alumni think a codingbootcampis worth it?
- Our Tips: Making a Coding Bootcamp Worth It
- Further Reading
- The Highest Paying Jobs with an Associate Degree
- What is an Associate Degree?
- Best-Paying Industries
- STEM Degrees
- Are Non-STEM Degrees Worth Pursuing?
Are Coding Bootcamps Worth It?
By Liz Eggleston
Last Updated September 24, 2020
Coding bootcamps are often called a “fast track” to well-paying tech jobs.
And with lower tuition costs, shorter class times, and a practical learning curriculum, these alternative education schools are praised for increasing access to a tech education.
But are coding bootcamps really worth it? We’ve asked hundreds of alumni about their investment and whether it paid off – here’s what we’ve found.
Are coding bootcamps worth it?
Short answer: the data says YES. If you want the long answer, let’s dig a little deeper into what makes an educational program worth it and how coding bootcamps measure up.
What makes a good educational experience in tech? Right now, most university computer science programs are four years long and you can expect your tuition to ring in at about $163,140. The average bachelor’s degree holder earn $59,124. On the other hand, coding bootcamps are ~14 weeks long and average $11,874 in tuition. And the average coding bootcamp graduate earns $70,698.
Our Takeaway: Bootcamp students can learn how to code faster and cheaper with guided support in smaller class sizes, and bootcamp graduates actually make more than college grads.
Can I calculate my bootcamp ROI?
To understand if a bootcamp is worth it, you’ll need to calculate two figures: your total investment and your starting salary goal.
Total Investment: Be sure to consider Tuition (Pro Tip: the average bootcamp tuition is $11,874), Computer, Rent + Living Costs for 3-6 months
Starting Salary Goal: According to Course Report’s research, coding bootcamp graduates report an average of $70,698, with a median salary of $65,000 in their first jobs. On average, expect to make ~$70K per year.
The average bootcamp grad sees an average salary increase of 50.5% or $23,724(!) which almost immediately pays off your investment. Everyone’s story is different, but here’s how General Assembly graduate Ileana Ordonez calculated whether her coding bootcamp was worth it. See how Ileana squeezed the most value her coding bootcamp experience:
Here are a couple of tools to help you calculate these numbers:
- A coding bootcamp ROI calculator.
- This coding bootcamp ROI worksheet.
How Much Will I Make After Bootcamp?
Here are the facts – overall, 79% of coding bootcamp grads are employed full-time and take 1-6 months to get their first job. Everyone will have a different job search journey, but it’s important to remember that networking with other tech professionals and utilizing the coding bootcamps career services help is vital to landing your first job.
In Course Report’s most recent study of 3,043graduates, we found that coding bootcamp graduates earn an average of $69,079, but this increases as developers gain seniority in the industry. On average, graduates earn $80,943 at their second job after bootcamp, and $99,229 at their third job after bootcamp.
If you're interested in how coding bootcamp grads perform a few years out, Flatiron School surveyed more than 150 alumni who graduated one to four years ago to find out how their careers have positively progressed. Watch VP of Career Services, Rebekah Rombom, share what coding bootcampers can expect their career trajectories to look .
Coding bootcamps are intensive, accelerated learning programs that teach digital skills Full-Stack Web Development, Data Science, Digital Marketing, UX/UI Design, and Cybersecurity.
In Course Report’s latest Outcomes Report, 80% of respondents say they've worked in a job requiring the technical skills they learned in the bootcamp.
So if you have aspirations of becoming a software developer or data scientist, or a tech-adjacent job a product manager, a bootcamp may be worth it.
How Much Will I Pay for a Coding Bootcamp?
While coding bootcamp tuition is substantially less than a traditional university, there’s still an important financial commitment when attending bootcamp.
The average tuition for a coding bootcamp is about $12,000, and the use of external lending partners has increased dramatically over time – about 20% of students used a lending partner SkillsFund or Climb Credit in 2017.
And with the rise of deferred tuition and income sharing agreements, you can avoid paying tuition until you get a job. There are various ways to pay for a coding bootcamp – be sure you’re choosing an option that covers your costs, but doesn’t leave you with high-interest debt.
How can I make sure I get these results?
Just because the average bootcamper sees a salary lift, doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed these results. Here’s how you can make sure that coding bootcamp is worth it for you:
Do alumni think a coding bootcamp is worth it?
So you’ve now seen the stats; you know that the average coding bootcamper reports an 8.3/10 satisfaction rating. But what do real alumni actually say? Shameless plug – you can read thousands of reviews on Course Report! Here are a few first-hand sentiments:
Julia Wells went from non-profits to web development, and chronicles her salary change: “After Sabio, my first job was at IBIS World (…) making $62,000 per year as a Junior Developer (which was a $5K increase from my job in non-profits).
Recruiters started buzzing, and I told them not to talk to me unless they could get me a job making $90,000.
I thought this would get them to leave me alone, but someone offered me a job in Burbank at Health Data Vision for $90,000 in March 2015! I’m now on my third post-Sabio job as an Applications Developer, and two weeks ago, they offered me a raise to $102,000.”
For Emma Schaper, it’s not just about the salary (although it certainly helps): “I invested $10,000 in Software Guild and I knew there wasn’t a job guarantee. Software Guild alumni are lucky because a huge benefit of attending that bootcamp is the employer network.
I am on the Search Product team at Best Buy now. I was a volunteer before this job, so by moving into this career, my salary multiplied by six! It’s a crazy jump when you think about it in a purely financial way, but you shouldn't just change careers for the financial reasons.
You should get into tech because it's something that speaks to you.”
James Sullivan was able to launch his own business after learning to code at New York Code and Design Academy: “I can’t think of a more worth it investment of my time and money for an education. I don’t think I could have gotten a better experience if I’d gone to college and studied computer science.”
Employers continue to use coding bootcamps as a tech talent pipeline to fill roles – we’ve found that bootcamp alumni are working in over 650 different companies.
And it’s not just startups! In 2018, established companies Google, , LinkedIn, Amazon, Dropbox, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and Amex all hire from bootcamps Fullstack Academy and the Grace Hopper Program.
Bootcamps are evolving with industry trends, adding computer science fundamentals to their curricula, and employers are taking notice.
Employers that they can receive tech talent with hands-on experience in a shorter amount of time. There are many reasons as to why employers love hiring coding bootcamp grads, here’s what some key employers have to say:
Pat Poels, Director of Engineering at Eventbrite, puts it this way, “If you make the investment, you choose the right people, and invest in them in the right way, it's going to pay off. Those bootcamp grads will be worth so much more to you down the road. Think beyond the next six months; what can these new hires mean for the next six years?”
For Razorfish’s Talent Acquisition Manager, Nick Easlick, “a coding bootcamp is able to turn over their curriculum quickly as the tech landscape changes.
I hate to be crushing four-year universities because they definitely have their place in the tech space, of course, but it's hard for a four-year university with a very solid locked-in curriculum to change at that same pace.
Bootcamps are teaching things that are more applicable, more emerging, more innovative than someone a four-year university.”
At Cisco, the Director of Experience Design, Dustin Beltramo and Technical Leader, Joe Sutton believe that most full-stack engineer resumes look the same. They’ve found that “the only way to really gauge a candidate is by the quality of the code they write.
” And since schools Hack Reactor have their final projects and other work available on GitHub, it’s easy to get a sense for what type of developer they’re going to be.
On top of that, the two Cisco employers believe “the Hack Reactor program seems to prepare students exceptionally well, they have a good sense of what it’s to work on a modern web development project.”
Our Tips: Making a Coding Bootcamp Worth It
- Set your expectations and salary goals before you attend a coding bootcamp. What’s your endgame? Are you a career changer or are you trying to get a promotion? Will your projected salary be worth it?
- Give yourself room to be open about the experience. Setting expectations is key but be sure to adapt to the learning experience. You may find that you working with one language over the other, or that your career goals have shifted throughout the bootcamp.
- Be ready to do the work. No coding bootcamp will “give you a job.” Expect to work hard and hustle to get your first job after graduating.
- Understand your job search timeline. It may take longer than you expect to find a job after bootcamp (we suggest planning for 3-6 months). Tap into your network and support system. And never stop learning or networking after your coding bootcamp
The Highest Paying Jobs with an Associate Degree
An associate degree prepares graduates for careers in a variety of fields, such as healthcare, technology, and engineering. Some associate degrees lead to entry-level roles, diagnostic medical sonographer, engineering technician, or physical therapy assistant. These associate degree jobs offer above-average salaries.
An associate degree prepares graduates for careers in a variety of fields, such as healthcare, technology, and engineering.
Completing an associate degree takes less time and money than a bachelor's degree, with public community colleges offering lower tuition rates than public or private four-year colleges. Graduates with an associate degree can also transfer into a bachelor's program, often completing the four-year degree with just two additional years of study.
What is an Associate Degree?
An associate degree is a two-year degree that provides training for a variety of careers, many of which offer competitive salaries.
For example, air traffic controllers, nuclear medicine technologists, and occupational therapy assistants meet the education requirements for their jobs with an associate degree.
An associate degree also meets the education requirement for prospective dental hygienists and radiation therapists to earn professional licensure or certification.
Associate degree students can also study fields business, communications, political science, or biology. In these fields, an associate degree prepares graduates to pursue a bachelor's degree. At many colleges and universities, transfer students with an associate degree can complete a four-year bachelor's degree in two years.
Top-paying careers for graduates with associate degrees include positions in healthcare, engineering, and science. These positions are challenging and change as technologies advance, but they are also rewarding and in high demand.
Healthcare professionals work in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and ambulatory care centers, assisting individuals with mental and physical health problems. These professionals may work as doctors or nurses, specializing in areas pediatrics, cardiology, and podiatry. They may also work as technicians, therapists, or EMTs.
Healthcare professionals often need advanced knowledge in areas such as anatomy, medicine, diseases, and medical technologies. They also need strong decision-making and critical thinking skills.
Most healthcare careers require a bachelor's or master's degree, or even a doctorate, but associate degree holders can pursue careers in dental hygiene, radiation therapy, and MRI technology.
Engineers apply mathematical and scientific concepts to develop new products and structures. They may build machines and products in industries agriculture, aerospace, and healthcare. The BLS projects that the demand for engineering positions will grow 4% between 2018-2028, ly due to advancing technology, changing infrastructures, and evolving energy resources.
Engineers must understand advanced scientific and mathematical concepts and have strong technical, critical thinking, and analytical skills. Students can pursue engineering associate degrees in areas aerospace engineering, civil engineering, and electrical engineering.
Life, physical, and social sciences examine human life and behavior as well as natural processes and elements. Professionals specialize in areas biophysics, weather, food production, political systems, animals, or energy. The BLS projects occupations in this field to grow 7% between 2018-2028.
Science careers require specialized knowledge and skills. For instance, meteorologists must understand weather patterns and relevant technology, while agricultural and food scientists need to understand animal and agricultural science.
The highest-paying associate degrees for careers in this category address nuclear technology, environmental engineering, and geological and petroleum technology.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
STEM programs must reflect at least one of these categories, and they can include disciplines architecture, computer science, resource conservation, healthcare, and agriculture.
Some of the highest-paying associate degrees in the U.S. address STEM subjects and lead to careers air traffic control, radiation therapy, web development, and aerospace engineering.
Other STEM careers include network architects, hardware engineers, programmers, and information systems managers. However, some of these careers may require bachelor's or master's degrees. The BLS projects significant growth for many of these careers between 2018-2028.
Are Non-STEM Degrees Worth Pursuing?
There are plenty of non-STEM careers that pay well. For instance, paralegals and legal assistants only need an associate degree and earn a median annual salary of $51,740. The BLS projects 12% growth for these positions between 2018-2028. wise, the median annual pay for funeral service workers surpasses $58,000.
Non-STEM associate degrees also include artistic subjects floral arrangement, photography, acting, culinary arts, and dance. Many careers in these fields do not require a degree, but employers may prefer applicants with a degree for positions head chef, announcer, choreographer, or floral designer.
Even if a degree isn't required for a particular career, associate programs help students hone their skills and knowledge, leading to more opportunities. Photographers, for instance, can explore new technologies and techniques during an associate program, which can lead to a better portfolio and more clients.