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Katelynn M Tenbrook
Katelynn M Tenbrook

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Should You Join A Coding Bootcamp?

Joining a coding boot camp is a great way to start your programming career and for good reason. Research conducted by Career Karma indicated that between 74%- 90% of coding boot camp grads are placed in Software Developer jobs within 6 months post-graduation. With numbers like that it's easy to see why the explosion of people attending coding boot camps has skyrocketed. Just last year in 2019, around 35,000 people have graduated from coding boot camps and I think everyone can agree that this number is only going to grow. Lucky for grads, the demand for software developers is still not being met. In September there were 1,365,500 job openings in the United States. It is important to note that we don't know how the pandemic has affected boot camp graduates. Technology is one of the few jobs you can do fully remotely so hopefully job placement wouldn't be affected too negatively but we will have to wait for that data to come out.

Now let's talk about cost. The average boot camp is on average $13,293 and this price is expected to rise as coding boot camp popularity increases and people continue to get jobs from these institutions. Sadly that price is only a dime compared to the average cost of a degree, for a student who lives on campus a degree can cost a terrifying $84,800 in 2020 according to educationdata.org. It's easy to see why individuals young and old are trying to find alternatives to formal education. Some boot camps offer that you pay nothing upfront and sign an income shared agreement based on whatever job you obtain after the course. It is important to note that this agreement, most of the time, applies regardless if you're a software developer or a car salesman. Make sure you read the fine print and ask the right questions when you talk to boot camps.

You've decided you want to attend a boot camp. Which one should you pick? I would recommend attending a boot camp with a reputation for getting people jobs! Also, selecting one that's local to you can help as well. Most boot camps have career coaches that recommend jobs to you and have connections in the area. Connections play a big part in getting your foot into the door and you should take any opportunity to connect with individuals.

While it can be scary to take a leap of faith for a new career if you're willing to work harder than ever before, have a passion for technology and the real-world problems that can be solved with it, you should go for it! I recommend going onto https://www.coursereport.com/best-coding-bootcamps and putting in your information. Don't forget to ask about any scholarships they're offering. If you are a person of color or underrepresented minority in any way, it can greatly increase your chances of getting a scholarship.

Thank you for reading my article. I plan to write about my own boot camp experience soon so stay tuned for that. You should connect with me on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/katelynntenbrook-111/ and follow me on GitHub https://github.com/Ktenbrook1

Sources for those curious,
https://careerkarma.com/blog/bootcamp-market-report-2020/
https://educationdata.org/average-cost-of-college

Top comments (6)

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brad_beggs profile image
Brad Beggs

+1 for reading the fine print and fully understanding it. And perhaps use your willingness to read the fine print as an indicator if dev work is for you. :) Dev work is detail work and reading/understanding a contract is detail work.

I'm using an ISA now and was able to pay 3/4 upfront. The cost of a private loans could be more than an ISA if the private loan rates are either high or variable.

Before you do a bootcamp, monitor how you react to learning to code (via the 100s of free lessons). If you find learning to code stressful, frustrating, and rarely enjoyable, your experience at bootcamp will be worse.

Dev work is not for everyone.

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ktenbrook1 profile image
Katelynn M Tenbrook Author • Edited on

Absolutely right Brad!! Developer work is NOT for everyone and is most certainly not a "get rich quick" scheme. It takes hours, weeks and months to master material if you are to fully understand everything that is going on. So if your thinking about joining one you should definitely start out by looking on free code camp. Or even head over to Udemy where there are hundreds of courses for usually 10 dollars. If you like it and feel comfortable with it then its time to consider a boot camp of some fashion.

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jennrmillerdev profile image
Jen Miller • Edited on

" read the fine print" is good advice. Those salary share agreements work fine in some cases, but can be crippling in other situations.

One thing I will add is that, software developer jobs are not homogeneous so the whole "1,365,500" number includes jobs not available to new grades (bootcamp or otherwise)

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ktenbrook1 profile image
Katelynn M Tenbrook Author

That is absolutely correct. Basically what I'm getting after is that the title "Software Developer" brings up thousands of job postings.

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adriantoddross profile image
Adrian Ross

I love the idea of coding bootcamps but I hate that income share agreements have become so commonplace. Thanks for sharing these links & resources

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ktenbrook1 profile image
Katelynn M Tenbrook Author

I know. I strongly prefer people join camps with a hard set price that people can take out loans for. I do see why people are attracted to the income share agreements though. Just don't be disillusioned, some are trying to trap you regardless of the job you obtain after the camp.

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