Are coding & programming bootcamps worth it? Pros & cons

In this article let’s take a look at what coding boot camp is all about and whether coding boot camps and certificates of coding and programming is worth it or not and whether you can get a job from coding boot camps by looking at all the benefits and drawbacks of taking coding boot camp in detail.

This is the most comprehensive and in depth article you can find on this topic online so I would recommend you to bookmark the article and also share the article with your friends.

So without further do let’s dive right in

What is coding boot camp?

Basically coding boot camps are short term courses which will help train you in learning programming languages and other technical skills required to become a software engineer without getting a college degree of 4 years but learn skills in a couple of months so that you can get ready for a job and placement in companies and earn money.

You can consider this as a short term course to become a software engineer and full stack developer or programmer so all the students who want to become software engineer without getting a college degree can choose coding boot camp as a good alternative for it and

there are many companies which offer these programs, and you can learn things like front end development back and development web development machine learning data science and many more important programming languages like Java, python, Ruby, c, c+, with the help of coding boot camp and many programs also give you certificates of completing the bootcamp which can help you a lot when applying for a job.

Are coding boot camps and certifications worth it

To summarise in brief words, joining boot camps for coding and getting certifications is definitely worth it as long as you learn the skill because ultimately you are skill of coding and programming is what matters for the employers at the end of the day and boot camps can help you develop the skill in very cost and time effective manner instead of getting a 4 year degree course, but of course this will depend upon individual whether they should choose boot camps or not.

To make your decision a lot more easier in deciding whether you should choose a boot camp or not, let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of attending coding boot camp.

Pros and cons of coding boot camps

Pros of coding boot camp

Cost effective compared to degree

One of the main advantages of attending coding boot camp is it is very cost effective compared to normal degree program.

Let us just calculate the numbers,

According to course report the average cost of a boot camp is around $13,000 in America and The figure will vary depending upon which program you choose and what specialisation you want for example the price will be different if you want to learn web development or app development or any other skill and specialisation in software engineering and also upon the time period.

Now let us compare this with a regular 4 years degree program of computer science and information technology where you will be learning programming and web development or software engineering skills,

according to many sources the average cost is around 90,000 US dollars for 4 years of computer science bachelor’s degree in America and the price will depend upon different college institutions, there are many colleges like Harvard and Stanford where you can get admission and also scholarship depending upon your family income and assets but still if you just talk about the numbers it clearly shows that joining a boot camp is definitely worth it because there is a huge gap between cost of coding boot camp to getting a college degree of 4 years in computer science engineering.

clear direction and path

Another main advantage of attending a coding boot camp is it is very clear and structured.

What I mean to say by this is that if you attend a boot camp then you will only learn programming and other relevant things and skills required to become a software engineer which will help you get a job but if you attend and

get a computer science degree and try to become software engineers through college you will have to learn different things in different semesters which may or may not help you in your job and you will also have to write many exams assignments and

projects which can be really waste of time in terms of helpfulness for many students and this is very good for boot camps because they are highly targeted and focused towards providing only things that matter which are developing the coding and technical skills for the students.

They have a flexible curriculum because most boot camps are not accredited, so they can easily change the curriculum based upon the changing demands and need in the market since programming and software engineering is constantly changing, evolving path but it is not possible with college because they have a fixed curriculum.

Environment & community to get help

Another advantage of boot camp is its environment and community.

Many bootcamps employ the “I-We-You” method, The idea is that first, the instructor shows the class how to do a specific concept, and then you do it together as a class. Then you work on that concept by yourself for homework assignments, This is where self discipline and consistency is very important if you want to choose boot camp.

And boot camps will help you gain practical experience and knowledge and it also adds new projects in your portfolio which can help you get jobs in future.

Because boot camp courses are short and intensive so many boot camp courses offer a lot of help for the students to clarify the doubts in the limited time so that they can become good at coding and you will not find such support and guidance of coding from college.

Many people start learning to code and do give up, so it can make all the difference to have peers and mentors around so you don’t have to power through the tough times alone. They can help you to get unstuck faster, but also provide moral support, and it is reassuring to see that other people are going through the exact same struggles

Time effective

One of the main advantages of coding boot camps is It is also very time effective.

For example a decade ago, if you wanted to become a software engineer, You only have the option of attending the college and getting the computer science degree but luckily now You have many ways to learn programming and one of those is coding boot camps.

What’s really amazing about boot camp is it is not just cost effective but also time effective which means you don’t have to spend 4 years to learn programming and become a software engineer but you can learn programming languages like Java in just a couple of months and get your entry level job and start making money instead of spending 4 important years of your life in college.

It is also important to keep in mind that there are no exams you need to write in coding boot camp so it also saves you a lot of energy and keep you focused because in a normal college you will have to write a lot of exams and complete practicals assignments apart from learning coding so it is not very focused compared to coding boot camp for the students.

This is a huge benefit because this not only saves you a lot of time but also opportunity cost as you can get more time to make more connections promotions and higher salary opportunities compared to students who are still studying in college.

No age criterion

Another important benefit of attending boot camp is it is not very restrictive and it does not have any age limit and criterion for that matter.

This is a great benefit because first of all there is a age limit to study at college, there is a process to be followed like you will have to write any entrance exam to get admission first of all & to get your computer science degree you will have to complete your intermediate and school before but when it comes to coding boot camp there are no such rules applied.

And as per BLS, there is a 22% growth rise in jobs and demand for software developers between 2020 to 2030 in America and this is no surprise because you can find more than one lakh jobs to apply for software engineers and developers on online job platforms like naukri.com and indeed website so there is a huge demand and salary for software engineers because every company wants to create their website and software because the world is moving towards digital.

In this case there are many people who want to switch their career and get into software engineering by looking at such a high demand and salary packages of programmers at different ages like 25, 30, 33, etc but

getting a CS degree of 4 years from college is not an option to them at this age so this is where bootcamps are key to help them achieve their goal because bootcamps do not have any age restriction and limit as any person irrespective of their age can purchase and join the boot camp and get any entry level job as a programmer and web developer in any company in just a few months after learning the languages and skills.

This is a huge benefit for people of this age with bootcamps because it was not so easy to become a software engineer 6 or 7 years ago.

By the way You can read my article on is it too late to become a software engineer and developer or not here.

Network benefits

Another advantage of boot camp is its networking benefits.

Because all the people who attend coding boot camps are people who are either interested in shifting their career into coding and programming or want to start any business in software engineering space so developing a network with other students who are also learning programming can be really helpful for you in your future in terms of getting new opportunities for your career.

Job placement and opportunities

Another advantage of boot camp is that job placement and employment is not always guaranteed after you complete your boot camp but you can get it depending upon a few factors.

It is important to know that four out of five companies have hired a boot camp graduate in their company so as long as you are getting your course from a good boot camp institute and you are putting the work and time needed to learn the coding skills and develop the network you can be pretty sure to get a job either from your institute or off campus.

According to StackOverflow’s 2020 Developers Survey, only 9.7 percent of professional developers view formal education as “critically important

I know there are many institutions which partner with companies to provide employment for the students after completing their boot camp course from their institution but still whether you get a job and placement after completing boot camp will depend upon a few external factors like which institute are you getting your course from since getting your certificate from a good boot camp institute can help you alot because of the reputation of the institute and your job will also depend upon your skill level and expertise and there are many companies like Google Facebook Amazon slack Infosys Cisco Spotify etc hire graduates of boot camp for entry level and higher level job positions with or without a degree.

It is highly recommended that you check the track record and reviews of the institute before selecting a bootcamp course so that you can make sure that you are getting into a good boot camp course.

Increase in your salary

Course report Surveyed graduates from 79 qualifying coding schools and received 1862 qualified graduate responses.

The majority of graduates of coding bootcamps are finding full-time employment, and 83% of graduates surveyed say they’ve been employed in a job requiring the technical skills learned at bootcamp, with a median salary increase of 51% or $22,000. The average starting salary of a bootcamp grad is $66,964.

I think it comes no surprise that most boot camp grads have better skills of coding because they only learn coding and programming languages intensively for a limited period of time compared to CS grads and they eventually become very good with it which can help crack a good job and for any employer skills are what matters to them not the degree or how many marks you scored in your academics.

These are all the advantages of coding boot camp, now let’s take a look at the disadvantages.

Cons of boot camp

Not accredited

Accreditation pushes institutions to meet and maintain their high standards, in turn increasing trust and confidence in them among the public and boosting accountability. This helps potential students and their families to place a certain level of trust on the institution and course basis the accreditation received.

But when it comes to boot camps, because these are opposite to colleges so most boot camps are not accredited so it becomes a little tough for the employer to trust the student and upon his skills.

Very difficult, challenging both mentally and physically

Another disadvantage of boot camp is of its period and span.

First of all let me make it very clear that coding is not a joke and also not a easy task because it is very mentally challenging and requires a lot of concentration, critical thinking, creativity and problem solving skills.

But the problem with coding boot camps is many students who join full-time boot camps which usually last around 14 weeks and in this period the student will have to spend between 40-80 hours every week learning coding and this is very rigours process.

Coding is skill just like any other skill and learning coding and programming languages require time and also upon the individuals because different people have different learning capabilities and you cannot become good at coding within a few weeks rather you will face a lot of problems while learning programming just like any other skill like from my experience of learning Java,

initially you will be excited and quite nervous because you will be learning a language through which you can create anything and solve any problem in world but over a period of time because coding is also just a skill which you will become good at after a lot of practise but

while practising you will have to focus a lot and you will face bugs, errors while executing the code which is really frustrating, time consuming, stressful to solve and also mentally draining task so I feel this is a big disadvantage because spending around 50 or 60 hours every week in front of computer is really difficult task (at least for me) and also demotivating and I personally know many people who were super excited to learn coding in the initial days of bootcamp but never ever thought about coding after attending & completing the boot camp because coding is just not their cup of tea.

And obviously you will face many health problems like back pain neck pain and eye strain headache and many other problems after spending such a huge amount of time every week in front of computer, coding after completing the boot camp.

Still not equal to real college degree

Another disadvantage of boot camp is it is still not equal to having a real college degree even though boot camp has many benefits It cannot completely replace 4 years degree.

Computer Science curriculum offers a more well-rounded view of computers that includes understanding not only the computer’s operating systems, but the how’s and why’s. The coding languages you’ll learn in a typical CS program are not what you will use to build a website or the next mobile app. However, they provide a general foundation for programming and a deep-dive into the algorithms that help developers scale apps. Most coding bootcamps don’t really go beyond the Command Line like in CS degree Instead, the focus is on coding languages and tools for developers so boot camps do not properly establish the foundation of programming due to small time period.

And when it comes to getting in higher positions, If you see yourself as the VP of Engineering in a large corporation like Apple, Amazon or Google, you’ll need a CS degree. To a non-technical HR executive, a computer science degree from a top school is a better testament of your skillset than a Codecademy profile complete with badges and a GitHub repository full of open source projects. It’s not impossible to get a job at a top corporation without a CS degree, but be prepared to prove your skills to HR.

So as compared to CS degree, boot camp has its own drawbacks.

Still expensive & no scholarship

Even though when we compare the pricing of coding boot camp with a normal college degree, coding boot camp is significantly cheaper but still it is definitely expensive option for many students who cannot afford it.

For example if You join Harvard University for computer science degree and your family income is less than $65000 per annum then you will get 100% scholarship from Harvard which means you will have to pay no money to get your 4 years degree in the University and there are other universities which offer similar need based scholarship but you will not find such scholarships program in any coding bootcamp because they are privately runned (of course you can get student loans with lower interest which you have to repay back in future but You won’t get scholarship)

And the average price of according boot camp is around $13,000 as we have learnt earlier and this is really expensive because there are many alternatives for bootcamp like you can purchase many online courses on platforms like Udemy, code academy and coding Ninja for programming and web development or any other specialisation for significantly cheaper price.

And according to survey, more than 60% of the people learn coding through interacting with people on forums watching videos and reading articles online and taking free courses so you can also learn coding this way instead of spending a lot of money on coding boot camp which is actually expensive.

Commuting required

Another disadvantage of coding boot camp is that still many people who enrol in offline coding boot camps will have to do a lot of commuting and travelling between boot camp and home.

This is a big disadvantage because you will have to spend a lot of time, money and energy in travelling back and forth which is also very tiring task but thankfully after covid pandemic many institutions are shifting towards online boot camps and remote learning so you can try them as they are just like online coaching which can save you a lot of time in travelling.

Coding boot camps are focused on web development a lot

Another disadvantage of coding boot camp is more than 90% of the students who attend boot camps get full stack development courses and web development dominates the curriculum of boot camps so if you want to learn other specialisations apart from web development like app development, cyber security, machine learning, data science or any other course then

it can be hard for you to get those boot camps because many boot camps are still focusing on teaching web development and full stack development for the students and this is where getting online courses on Udemy and coding Ninja can become a good alternative for boot camps to get your preferred course like app development or machine learning.

These are all the advantages and disadvantages of attending coding bootcamp.

With that said let’s conclude the blog.

Conclusion

These are all the things you need to know about coding boot camps.

Do comment down what are your thoughts about coding boot camp in the comment section below.

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