If you’re looking for a way to start a new career this year, a coding bootcamp may be right for you. Here’s what you should know before you start looking at the best bootcamp options that are available.
What Is a Coding Bootcamp?
Coding is a way to communicate with a computer. You use a coding language to tell the computer what you want it to do. In this way, coding—also known as computer programming—is a set of instructions that you must write if you want to make a website or mobile app. But before you can start writing instructions for computers to follow, you must learn one or more coding languages. That’s where coding bootcamp comes in.
When you attend a coding bootcamp, you’re entering a short-term, intense training program that will teach you the basics of programming. Bootcamps like this are often recommended for people new to coding because they take much less time than a traditional college degree while teaching you the basic skills you’ll need to become a coder.
You can expect to study the following computer programming languages at coding bootcamp:
- Full-Stack Java Development
- Ruby on Rails
How Long Are Coding Bootcamps?
Coding bootcamp programs can vary in length, with the average being about 16.5 weeks long. It’s possible to find longer bootcamps that last up to 24 weeks. But these are usually part-time and are meant for people who need time to work during the day while learning coding skills during nights or weekends.
How to Pay for a Coding Bootcamp
Coding bootcamps can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000, with the average bootcamp costing about $13,500. If you’re wondering how to cover tuition, you should start by contacting the school to find out if there are payment plans, as many coding bootcamps let you pay in installments.
Some schools also offer grants and scholarships based on need, which can be a good option. And if your employer would benefit from you learning coding basics, ask if you can get help with tuition.
Is a Coding Bootcamp Worth It?
If you have an interest in computer programming and want to get a feel for whether you’re right for this field, you might want to look into coding bootcamps. Within a few months, you’ll get a fast-paced, high-level look at the many languages you’ll need to learn to start coding. You’ll also quickly find out if this subject holds your interest before you begin a new career.
If it turns out you want to work in this industry, you’ll have the basics down and can start looking for entry-level positions once you complete the bootcamp. If you decide coding is not right for you, then you’ve only spent a few months on it and can pivot to a different field. Either way, coding bootcamps can be a fast way to help you decide on your next career move without spending four years getting a degree at a traditional school first.
Is Coding Right for Me?
If you have an interest in computers—specifically making websites and apps—then coding may be the right career path for you. A coding bootcamp can be the best place to figure out if this is truly the right job for your situation, since it takes a lot less time and money to complete a bootcamp compared to a four-year college degree in the same subject.
If you’re looking for a way to learn the basic skills for coding within a few months, a coding bootcamps can be the ideal way. One of the best parts about these bootcamps is that you can usually complete them online and at your own pace, all without quitting your job. And once you’re done, you have a chance of starting a career that pays about $89,000 on average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Applying to Coding Bootcamps
The first step to applying to coding bootcamps is to take a close look at the list of the best bootcamps at the top of this page. Every bootcamp has its own website with instructions on how to apply. Fortunately, most bootcamps don’t require coding knowledge or previous experience, so applying to several of them should be quick and easy.
Granted, some bootcamps do have certain requirements and deadlines to pay attention to, so be sure to read the fine print before you apply. In particular, the more popular coding bootcamps may have special requirements or a waiting list. But with some patience and planning ahead of time, you should have a good chance of getting into the one you want.
Coding Bootcamps vs. Traditional Degree
Coding bootcamps are considered a good way to get an overview of computer programming basics in a few months. You may even be able to get an entry-level job after completing a coding bootcamp, which is why many graduates feel that it’s worth it to attend one for a few months rather than studying this subject in college for four years.
However, the traditional college degree still has a stronghold in the programming field. Many coding jobs require a bachelor’s degree in a related field, for example. But if you can find an employer who will give you a chance—while getting job placement assistance from the school you’ve chosen for bootcamp—you may be able to get a coding job without a traditional college degree.