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2021 Guide

How Much Do Coding Bootcamps Cost?

The average full-time coding bootcamp in the United States costs $13,584, according to Course Report. However, tuition for coding bootcamps can range from $7,800 to $21,000.

If that coding bootcamp cost seems too high, it's worth noting that some nonprofit programs offer tuition-free models based on corporate partnerships. Many coding bootcamps offer deferred tuition, flexible payment plans, income share agreements, or might receive payment based on referral fees from a job placement.

Most coding bootcamps also offer a range of scholarships to help ease students’ financial burden. Another opportunity worth exploring is an employer scholarship, where students get their tuition reimbursed by their employer.

The cost of a coding bootcamp might also depend on how intensive it is. A coding bootcamp designed to teach the front-end and back-end web development skills necessary to become a Full-Stack Web Developer, for instance, might be longer and more expensive than a course focused exclusively on the front end.

Bootcamps also vary greatly in length, another reason for the disparity in tuition costs. Though the average is roughly 16 weeks, coding bootcamps can range from six to 28 weeks.

Whether you are considering a program at the high or low end of the cost spectrum, there are some elements most bootcamps have in common. They teach modern, widely used programming languages and frameworks like Ruby on Rails, Python on Django, JavaScript, and PHP stacks through project-based learning.

Students graduate from coding bootcamps with a portfolio, an online presence, and, usually, interview skills. Further, most will match students with an employer network or help them attain an internship.

Those career services seem to be working; Course Report's most recent research found that 83 percent of coding bootcamp alumni report being employed in programming jobs.

With campuses now in more than 90 cities across North America, coding bootcamps were expected to gross $309 million in revenue and graduate 23,000 students in 2019.

And the investment was worth it for most alumni, Course Report found; their study found that graduates made an average starting salary of $67,000.

What Is the Tuition for a Coding Bootcamp?

Tuition for a coding bootcamp can vary from $7,000 to $21,000. Ranging in length from six to 40 weeks, no two coding bootcamp programs are quite the same and that’s one reason for the high degree of variance in tuition prices.

If the cost of tuition is an issue, most coding bootcamps offer other scholarships as well as flexible payment plans to help you manage the cost. Others offer employer scholarships, where your next employer will reimburse your tuition fees. Some also offer a guarantee of a Developer job and if you don’t land one, you’re only on the hook for your initial deposit. It might make a difference whether you plan to attend an in-person program or an online coding bootcamp as well.

If you’re unsure that you can afford a coding bootcamp, it might be worth booking an appointment with a representative and carefully going over all the costs of the program, as well as any financial assistance programs or scholarship opportunities you might be eligible for. Many institutions offer robust scholarships for veterans, women, and other groups underrepresented in tech.

How to Pay for a Coding Bootcamp

If paying out of pocket isn't an option, here are a number of options for how to pay for a coding bootcamp.

  • Look into scholarships. Most coding bootcamps offer a range of scholarships or bursaries to students who are in need of financial assistance or meet a range of other eligibility requirements (including scholarships geared toward veterans and women).

  • Consider a loan. There are loans for coding bootcamps with lower interest rates and better repayment terms than high-interest personal loans or, certainly, credit cards. If you're going to borrow money from any source to pay for tuition, carefully compare interest rates and deferment policies and options to find what will work best for you.

  • Take advantage of a deferred tuition policy. If it's a new career you're after, you could consider a deferred tuition arrangement where you don't pay until you find a job with a certain salary. Keep in mind that many deferred tuition programs result in the student paying more money overall than they would have if they paid upfront.

  • Pursue income-share agreements. These agreements allow students to pledge future income to pay for school now. Again, however, students can find themselves paying more down the line than they would have had to pay upfront.

  • Find a program that works around your work. If gathering enough for tuition is a major concern, you could prioritize flexibility over other factors. Find a part-time coding bootcamp that will allow you to continue making your usual income or close to it, even if it means stretching your study out over a longer period of time than you might have preferred.

  • Get your employer to pay for it. If your newfound coding talent could be relevant to your current job, look into whether your employer offers training or education benefits. It might require some extra digging on your part to find out if coding boot camps specifically qualify for this, since some companies may have designed their policy around more traditional educational programs.

How Much Will I Make After a Coding Bootcamp?

On average, coding bootcamp grads in the United States have a national average starting salary of $65,000-$70,000, and the graduates typically increase their salary around 50 percent after program completion. Low-income students have been especially affected, receiving around a 180 percent raise in salary.

But there are lots of factors at work when looking at the salaries of freshly graduated coding bootcamp students, including what part of the country they’re in, what type of career they have, and the amount of freelance experience they might have gained.

A Full-Stack Developer who specializes in the programming language JavaScript is likely to receive a starting salary somewhere in the low-to-mid $60,000 range, while a Python Developer — a role that is arguably in higher demand right now — might start out somewhere in the low $80,000 range.

Further, if you have any prior experience in the tech field, you can certainly expect a higher starting salary. If you’re someone with a tech background considering attending a coding bootcamp to boost your skills, you might even expect a salary in the six figures after you graduate. Coding bootcamps can be a great fit for career changers who want to acquire an in-demand new skill in a hurry, but if you’re not sure if this is right for you, you can calculate your bootcamp return on investment (ROI).

First, take a look at your current financial situation and jot down your monthly income after taxes and your current expenses.

Next, look at the total time and money you’d be investing in the program. Calculate or estimate the cost of tuition, the time it will take to graduate, your cost of living while you take the course, the cost of financing your tuition (if applicable), and any other upfront costs – like a new computer or any other supplies.

Finally, let’s get realistic about your post-graduate expectations. What salary do you expect to make? Although the average salary for a Web Developer is $78,248 in the U.S., we recommend erring on the side of caution and putting in a more conservative figure for now. Then factor in expected income taxes and the amount of time you expect it will take to find a job placement.

Then, you just need to weigh the total investment against the difference in your expected income after taxes.

Earning Potential for Coding Bootcamp Grads

Coding bootcamp grads earn an average of roughly $65,000 in their first jobs after graduating, according to a survey of more than 1,800 grads. Expect that number to leap up as you gather more experience in the field. According to the survey, coding bootcamp graduates in their second job earn around $77,000. By their third job? They earn an average of $90,000 per year. And of course, student outcomes vary depending on which bootcamp graduates attended.

Your educational background will also likely affect your salary. For instance, coding bootcamp graduates who also have computer science degrees or some form of traditional computer science education could be in line to make more, especially compared to bootcamp graduates who don't have a college degree at all.

However, even grads without a bachelor’s degree still see an average salary of roughly $60,000 – an average increase of 77 percent compared to their pre-bootcamp wages.

A job candidate's skill set will also influence their salary. Positions that require expert-level knowledge of advanced coding languages would likely come with a higher salary than less technical development roles. Location also makes a big difference for a bootcamp grad's earning potential. Jobs in software development and web development tend to come with much higher salaries in tech industry hubs like New York and San Francisco, where top tech companies compete for the most talented programmers.

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