The Best Online Coding Bootcamps
The Best Online Coding Bootcamps: What Is It and How It Works?
What Should I Know about Top Coding Bootcamps?
Coding bootcamps first appeared back in 2011 to offer a viable alternative to traditional university IT-related degrees. Instead of spending a few years studying a broad variety of disciplines, often unrelated to their future careers, bootcamp students take quick, yet highly intensive courses focused exactly on the skills, techniques, and methods they are going to use in their future jobs. After spending a few months taking a course offered by one of the best coding bootcamps and successfully graduating, a student has all the necessary skills and knowledge to compete for high-demand and high-pay coding jobs.
Originally, coding bootcamps were located in Silicon Valley and other centers of IT industry; they usually required you to visit classes in person and required you to dedicate most of your time to them for the duration of the course. Since then, this industry became much more diverse; most top coding bootcamps now have campuses all across the United States and abroad; many offer an opportunity to take classes online. In addition to traditional highly intensive courses, today students can enroll in part-time coding bootcamps that last longer but give them an opportunity to study without disrupting their usual lifestyle and activities.
Tens of thousands of people graduate from these courses every year, but the demand for programmers, data scientists, and other IT specialists are still on the rise. While some potential clients may have doubts concerning the quality of education offered by coding bootcamps, numerous high-profile organizations eagerly hire their graduates. The best online coding bootcamps count companies like Microsoft, Google, Visa, Amazon, and Facebook among their hiring partners, which is an obvious indication that the skills they offer are more than enough to land a high-paying job. In fact, many bootcamps offer their students some variety of a deferred payment option. Usually, it means that a graduate does not pay until he/she finds a sufficiently high-paying job using the newly-acquired skills, and if he/she does not find such a position for a certain period, he/she does not have to pay anything at all. This is another indication of how confident top online coding bootcamps are about the quality of their education.
Should I Look for Coding Bootcamps near Me?
While some people prefer learning programming on physical campuses because they believe that face-to-face communication with instructors and fellow students makes for better results, it is not always possible. The bootcamp provider you choose may not have a campus in your location, and while they are much more widespread than a few years ago, you may have hard time finding one in your city or town. So, if you ask yourself, “Should I sign up for coding bootcamps near me?”, the answer would be, certainly, if you can find one and like what you see. However, these days there are plenty of online coding bootcamps that offer their services entirely via the Internet. They became particularly widespread because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the number of courses offering this model is ever-growing.
Online Coding Bootcamps vs. In-Person Bootcamps: Which Are Better?
In terms of delivery methods, coding bootcamps do not differ from traditional university programs: there are traditional in-person classes that greatly resemble typical college environments with a focus on teamwork and online/hybrid programs that heavily rely on the Internet.
IT disciplines seem to be particularly well-suited for being taught online, and most hiring managers do not have any prejudice against coders and programmers who got their skills this way. In other words, participating in a bootcamp online is a viable option, even if you have an opportunity to visit a campus of your chosen course provider in person. Participating in coding bootcamps online does not just give you an opportunity to choose any provider irrespectively of its geographical location; it helps you obtain the education you need without disrupting your schedule. You can take many of them at your own pace, working slower or faster depending on your current life and work situation.
The contents of most bootcamp programs offered online do not have any significant differences from the courses you have to attend in person. Some of them even feature real-time classes, with students connecting to the bootcamp’s server simultaneously and working in teams under the supervision and guidance of instructors. The only difference from a physical campus is that they can do it from the comfort of their homes, without spending time and money on travel and living accommodations.
All in all, which type of bootcamp to choose depends on your goals and circumstances. In-person programs offer an interactive environment, face-to-face communication with instructors and peers, better conditions for professional networking, and fixed schedules making for the better overall organization. Online bootcamps are better for independent learners, especially those with inconvenient schedules or ongoing obligations. Compared to in-person programs, they give participants more freedom – when you attend an in-person class, you have to proceed at the same pace as the rest of the students, irrespectively of how well you personally understand the material. In the case of an online bootcamp, you are free to speed up or slow down depending on your needs and abilities. And, of course, online bootcamps tend to be less expensive than in-person ones.
Part-Time Coding Bootcamps vs. Full-Time Programs: What to Choose?
Most coding bootcamps fall firmly into one of three categories: full-time, part-time and self-paced.
Full-time courses, sometimes called “immersive”, are what most people usually think about when they hear about coding bootcamps. These are highly intensive programs, usually covering 5 to 6 days a week and taking up to 10 hours a day. They aim to teach their participants as much as possible, as fast as they can. Needless to say, if you have external commitments, taking part in one of these may be difficult.
Part-time bootcamps are easier to manage: usually, they meet in the evenings and/or on weekends for 3 to 4 hours. They still add significantly to your daily workload, but it is possible to combine them with daily work and other responsibilities.
Self-paced bootcamps are similar to traditional online courses – they typically offer their material in asynchronous format, allowing you to proceed at the speed you are most comfortable with.
So, what should you choose?
Again, the answer to this question depends on your needs, goals, and possibilities. If you can set aside a few months and dedicate them solely to education with an intention to use the newly-acquired skills to land a high-paying job immediately after, a full-time bootcamp is probably the right solution for you. However, if you do not want to leave your current job just yet, or have many other responsibilities, a part-time program is a more viable alternative. Self-paced bootcamps are primarily aimed at the students who already have some degree of coding knowledge and are confident in their ability to master new material on their own. They are free to skip over the topics they already know, move faster when they deal with concepts that are easy to understand, and slow down when they encounter challenging tasks.
How Long Does a Coding Bootcamp Take?
Depending on the type of the bootcamp in question and the amount of material it covers, it can take anything from a few weeks to half a year or even more. A full-time course covering a relatively narrow area may be as short as two or three weeks; a part-time program dealing with a broad topic may take up to a year. However, even the longest bootcamps take up much less time than a typical bachelor’s degree program. Using the best coding bootcamps online, you will usually be job-ready in six months or so; getting a bachelor’s degree will take four years. In addition, many coding bootcamps put a specific emphasis on the practical side of things. They do not just give their students’ programming knowledge – they prepare them for work in the real world. They do not just teach students how to code – they help them with job hunting. Students do not simply obtain coding skills – they learn skills they specifically need to be more competitive in the job market.
How Much Will I Have to Pay for a Coding Bootcamp?
Prices vary, sometimes significantly. The more affordable coding bootcamps may cost about $8,000, but some cost $20,000 or more. On average, students pay around $12,000-13,000. Additionally, you have to factor in the accompanying expenses in case you take an in-person course (i.e., lodging, meals, and traveling). This may look like a significant sum, and indeed it is, especially for younger students who do not have a high-paying job. However, you have to consider several factors.
Even the most expensive coding bootcamps are significantly more affordable than a university program. For example, the average cost of a four-year undergraduate program in 2019 was $16,300 per year ($65,200 in total). Also, do not forget that taking a bootcamp makes you career-ready in half a year or so, which means that your investment is going to start paying off much sooner.
Of course, bootcamp providers understand that for many people, their fees are still way too high. That is why they offer a variety of solutions to make their courses more affordable, usually in the form of deferred payments and income share agreements.
For those who are not ready to pay even under these conditions, there is a number of free bootcamps and preparatory programs. Of course, they are far less comprehensive than paid alternatives but can serve as a great starting point for a future career in IT. If you are a complete beginner in this sphere of knowledge, they can also give you an idea of whether it is the right direction for you to pursue without having to pay for it.
The Best Online Coding Bootcamps: Grab the List
Thinkful is an optimal solution for those who seek to change careers and do it quickly, offering a broad range of full- and part-time courses in software engineering, data science, UX design, and more. Those aiming for specific and measurable results will be interested in the deferred tuition payment model, which means that if a student does not find a job in six months of completing a bootcamp, Thinkful will not collect their payment.
Springboard offers part-time courses that will take you all the way from a complete beginner to a job-ready specialist in 6 to 9 months. Courses are organized as a combination of one-on-one mentorship and expert-curated curricula, allowing you to study at your own pace without taking a break from everyday activities.
DataCamp specializes in data science, data analytics, and associated areas, offering over 350 courses taught by almost 300 instructors – some of them are experts from DataCamp itself, some come from top universities. All courses are interactive and built in a way that allows you to study at your own pace. If you want to try before you buy, there is Start for Free plan that gives you access to initial chapters of courses.
Galvanize offers a number of both part- and full-time, online and in-person coding bootcamp programs all across the USA, designed primarily for students willing to kick-start or advance their IT careers. Galvanize also gives students an opportunity to defer tuition payment until they find a well-paying job (although they still have to pay a deposit).
Metis is well-known as one of the very few coding bootcamps that carry traditional accreditation, thus guaranteeing its students a consistently high level of instruction. Specializing in data science, Metis offers a bootcamp that does not just teach its students methods and techniques but demands that they do the relevant tasks themselves, which means that they finish it having a portfolio of projects on their hands.
General Assembly is one of the largest bootcamps, having more than 30 campuses all over the world. It offers a variety of programs ranging from part-time courses to full-time immersion training in disciplines like software engineering, data science, and so on. Although the majority of its courses require an up-front payment, some of them offer an Income Share Agreement.
Nucamp has been developed with the idea of affordable, broadly available, and accessible bootcamp. Following these principles, today it offers its courses in 180 cities and towns all over the United States. Classes are held in the evenings and on weekends so that they do not conflict with other activities students may have to participate in.
Lambda School is among the most well-respected bootcamps offering a deferred payment plan. Although it offers its services online, classes are conducted in real-time, with students working in teams and experienced instructors overseeing and guiding them in their work. The deferred payment model gives students an opportunity to wait until they land a job paying at least $50,000, and then pay 17 percent of their salary for two years. If they cannot find a job within 60 months, they pay nothing.
Flatiron School has been created with an intention of offering an alternative to existing university computer science programs that would be accessible to the broader public. To make sure more students can afford them, this bootcamp offers a variety of flexible payment options, including an Income Share model. Students can take classes in nine locations across the US, as well as online.
Is Taking a Coding Bootcamp a Good Idea?
A coding bootcamp is a go-to solution for anybody willing to learn programming from scratch without having to spend a lot of time doing it. If you do not want or cannot afford to spend a few years and many thousands of dollars getting an IT-related degree, taking a bootcamp will teach you all the necessary skills in a matter of months. A coding bootcamp can serve as a more affordable and less time-consuming alternative to higher education or a way to change careers quickly.
However, you should remember this: most coding bootcamps are not officially accredited. This means that while they give you all the practical knowledge and skills you need to work in an IT job, they do not have the formal status a college degree has. Whether it is going to play a role in your job-seeking depends on what position you are after, as well as the views of the employer in question. Some companies are more conservative in this respect and do not hire specialists without a college degree. Others are more concerned with the practical skills a potential employee brings to the table. Moreover, while most businesses will be happy to hire a bootcamp graduate for a tech job, they will not consider an applicant for a higher-level managerial position if he/she does not have a relevant college degree.
In other words, whether a coding bootcamp is right or wrong for you depends on what you need. If you want to secure a job in the tech industry and start earning money fast, a bootcamp is an effective and affordable solution. If you can afford to spend a few years and a great deal of money hoping to win a high-level executive position, later on, college is the way to go.