How Effective Are Coding Bootcamps?

By Jes­si­ca Mitsch ● October 19, 2021

When considering a coding bootcamp, it is important to know that you are gaining a valuable return on investment.

Implied by the fitness-inspired name, coding bootcamps are rigorous. They involve considerable time, energy, and financial commitments, so how effective are coding bootcamps at helping you achieve your personal goals? For many, coding bootcamps offer numerous advantages over other tech-focused education options, but there are a variety of considerations to keep in mind:

Time

One aspect that is desirable about coding bootcamps is the accelerated time frame. Coding bootcamps, only take 3-4 months, on average, to complete as opposed to several years for other programs, such as attending courses at a two-year community college. Momentum offers both a part-time and full-time course to get you ready to enter the software engineering job market in 24 weeks, and the immersive full-time course will allow you to gain these skills in a rapid 16 weeks. You will need to assess the trade-offs of forfeiting income to enroll in a shorter, full-time program versus trying out a longer course that allows room in your day to continue working.

Dedication

Given the sometimes challenging material and fast pace of coding bootcamps, students must commit ample attention to the course. Fortunately, making space in your schedule to work through tough problems and seek extra help allows all kinds of learners to find success in a bootcamp setting. That’s why choosing a coding bootcamp that promises hands-on, individualized support from attentive and accessible instructors is especially important. Whether virtual or in-person, it is also imperative that programs offer an encouraging community of learners to support each other and collaborate on projects. In deciding when to enroll, think about how much effort you can put into the class, as you will get the most out of the experience when fully invested.

Financial Commitment

Coding bootcamps are often a substantial monetary commitment for students; however, there are numerous financing options available to make the cost of bootcamp work for you. There are also more and more scholarships for coding bootcamps, especially for students who have historically been underrepresented in the technology sector, and a rise in sponsorship opportunities from employers. Additionally, because coding bootcamps offer a comprehensive learning opportunity in such a condensed format, there are not a variety of classes needed in order to master these skills and thus no repeating costs versus a more traditional college education. Going the college route is a bigger financial burden, marking an average yearly cost of attendance of $16,037 for in-state 2-year public institutions and increasing substantially for four-year or private schools. Beyond solely financial priorities, if you are looking to gain other knowledge outside of these technical aptitudes, then it may make more sense to invest in a multi-subject education over a coding bootcamp.

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Educational Value

In assessing bootcamp effectiveness, it is wise to ensure the curriculum will allow you to acquire the appropriate coding knowledge to enter the workforce as a programmer. It should be relevant, in line with industry trends for necessary skill sets, and involve hands-on learning. Project-based learning is also advantageous for students to apply the material in realistic examples and have a robust portfolio when entering the job market. While this is harder to vet from the outside, doing your research on the design of the course and topics covered will guarantee the education sets you up as an attractive candidate in the tech sphere.

Job Security

Aligned with content, one of the biggest things to think about when exploring how effective are coding bootcamps is the job security offered by graduating from a coding course. The great news is that 75% of employers think bootcamp graduates are “just as prepared” to be high performers as coders with college degrees. The pay raise of having these technical skills is also quite impressive, with graduates experiencing an average salary increase of $13,000 after a 16-week coding bootcamp. In terms of career placement, a staggering 89% of students receive job offers after attending a quality coding bootcamp. In addition to these perks, grads are incredibly satisfied with their jobs, reporting an average happiness rating of 8.9 out of 10 in their new roles.

ROI Calculation

While all of these facets are important in deciding whether a coding bootcamp is your best bet, more numbers-oriented individuals may want to actually calculate their anticipated ROI. To do so, you divide the profit amount by the cost of investment and multiply by 100. For example, you could be earning $32,000 in your current role and have your sights set on a career with a $60,000 salary. Your investment in bootcamp tuition is $14,000 and you are losing $8,000 from missing three months of work. Your return on investment would be 127.27%, marking a solid ROI. Remember that this is an overly simplified equation, as this math fails to take into account other valuable factors such as personal passion for your job; the ROI for someone who is not experiencing a salary rise may be less than someone experiencing a major boost in income, but it could be worth it if you are gaining skills that help you break free from a path that is not causing you professional contentment.

Now that we’ve examined the pros and cons in these different areas and modeled an ROI calculation example, how effective are coding bootcamps?

Well, they cost less than a college education, can be completed in a relatively short period of time, and equip you with the knowledge to be just as competitive of a candidate in the tech landscape as those with more formal education degrees. Enrolling in Momentum is a bang for your buck that makes a true life-changing difference.

Co-Authored by Ginny Howey