The Best Coding Bootcamp Prep Courses
As coding bootcamps become popular training grounds for aspiring tech professionals, admission into these programs has grown competitive. Because of this, interested candidates have had to double down on preparation to increase their chances of getting in. This is where coding bootcamp prep courses come in.
Coding bootcamp prep courses, by definition, were created to prepare students who wish to enroll in immersive bootcamp programs. These courses teach you the basics of your chosen field of study, making them especially helpful for those without prior coding knowledge or experience. If you’ve got your eyes set on any top-tier coding bootcamp but lack the confidence to get in, coding bootcamp prep courses can boost your chances.
In this article, we’ll talk about coding bootcamp prep courses, from the benefits they offer to the best ones around. By the end of it, you’ll have working knowledge on how you can get into a competitive bootcamp fully-prepared and with confidence.
What Is a Coding Bootcamp?
A coding bootcamp is a non-traditional learning platform designed to provide aspiring tech professionals with a quicker and more affordable alternative to a college education. Its curriculum varies by field of study, whether in software engineering, web development, data science, or cyber security.
Coding bootcamps are run by independent, for-profit businesses, equivalent to certain business schools. The mode of delivery for bootcamp education comes in two formats: online and in-person learning, which can be further divided into part-time and full-time study.
Bootcamps are a great option for anyone who wants to get themselves ready for the tech industry in a short time. They are fast and offer a degree of security both in terms of value for money and job placement guarantee.
What Is The Difference Between a Coding Bootcamp and a Traditional College?
The difference between coding bootcamps and traditional college institutions rests on three aspects: duration, cost of attendance, and learning structure. While a bachelor’s degree in computer science typically takes four to six years to complete, bootcamp programs never go beyond one year of study.
This, in turn, makes coding bootcamps far less expensive than traditional college institutions. Coding bootcamps, on average, cost anywhere between $10,000 and $20,000. Compare that with the average cost of college in the United States at $32,889. And that’s for one academic year alone.
Lastly, because coding bootcamps only last for months, their curricula immediately narrow in on skills training. Coding bootcamps specialize in blending theoretical learning, which is usually what colleges focus on, with hands-on learning, equipping students with demonstrable skills and knowledge for the workplace.
What Is a Bootcamp Prep Course?
A bootcamp prep course is just that: a workshop that equips you with the necessary skills and knowledge before stepping into the intensive curriculum offered by immersive bootcamp programs. Think of it as a refresher or an introduction to the building blocks of the field you’re seeking to break into.
Bootcamp prep courses are ideal if you:
- Have no prior knowledge in your choice of tech field and thus in need of basic training
- Have prior but outdated knowledge and thus in need of a review
- Are unsure with your choice of tech field and thus in need of a ‘trial period’
Whichever criterion you check, bootcamp prep courses are designed to boost your chances of getting into your prospective coding bootcamp.
Why Should You Choose A Bootcamp Prep Course?
A bootcamp prep course is your ticket to top bootcamp programs, particularly ones that require some technical knowledge. Bootcamp prep courses typically provide a three-pronged curriculum that covers conceptual learning, practical learning, and bootcamp admissions preparedness.
These courses are designed by the bootcamp instructors and admissions team themselves. The bootcamp instructors provide students with the essential technical knowledge and boost this with hands-on projects that students can add to their portfolio. The admissions team, meanwhile, conducts mock interviews and coaching sessions that help students navigate the bootcamp admissions process with confidence.
This is why students of these courses gain some guarantee for admission to the bootcamp that’s providing the course. However, this rarely means guaranteed acceptance. Often, this means having a guaranteed seat to the admissions process or insider’s tips on how to ace the bootcamp’s technical interviews.
If you’re looking to get into a specific bootcamp, check if it offers a prep course. If so, it’s wiser to take that opportunity to increase your chances of getting accepted in its immersive program instead of going for other prep programs.
The Best Bootcamp Prep Courses
Just like immersive bootcamps, bootcamp prep courses also come in a multitude of formats, from online and offline, part-time and full-time to free and paid. And just like immersive programs, prep courses come aplenty. To help whittle down your search, we’ve hand-picked several of the top coding bootcamp prep courses that you can choose from.
Fully Online Bootcamp Prep Courses
If you’re opting for convenience and the ability to access materials anytime and anywhere, consider attending an online bootcamp prep course. These will help you prepare for top-tier bootcamps without having to leave the comfort of your home.
- Provider: Flatiron School
- Cost: Free
- Duration: 75+ hours of lessons, self-paced
Despite being a preparatory course, this course goes beyond introductory coding videos and lessons. Rather, you get a comprehensive insight into the skills and knowledge required to become a qualified web or software developer.
On-demand assistance from professional coaches makes this Flatiron bootcamp prep course even more student-friendly. Students also work on three main projects, all of which can be added to their programming portfolio and boost their candidacy. Students who complete this course can proceed to Flatiron School’s Immersive Software Engineering Bootcamp, if interested.
- Provider: Codesmith
- Cost: $750
- Duration: 2 weeks
By the end of the program, you’ll have a fundamental understanding of software development and will be fully prepared to take on a software engineering immersive.
- Provider: Metis
- Fee: Free
- Time: Self-paced
Metis offers live online immersive bootcamps that specialize solely in data science. If you want to get into their data science and analysis bootcamps, this prep course is your way in. Designed and created by Metis’s Admissions and Data Science Teams themselves, the Metis Admissions Prep course covers the fundamentals of data science within five modules.
Each module narrows in on different technical areas, namely: Linear Algebra, Calculus, Probability, Statistics, and Python Fundamentals. Learning doesn’t have to be linear. If you feel like you’re well-versed in linear algebra and calculus but weak in probability and statistics, you’re allowed to skip the first two modules. This helps students learn and focus on priority areas.
- Provider: Quick Start
- Fee: $2,950
- Time: 8 weeks
This educational curriculum seeks to lay the groundwork for anyone interested in attending Quick Start’s six-month-long Immersive Cyber Security Bootcamp. Instruction is delivered online, with activities that include hands-on labs and a capstone project.
Divided into four phases, the curriculum covers learning the fundamentals of hardware and operating system, networking, and security. The course caps with a project that you can add to your portfolio and build your profile as a strong candidate for a top-tier cyber security bootcamp.
In-Person Bootcamp Prep Courses
If learning in a silo isn’t for you, then the following prep programs may work better. Below are our top picks for coding bootcamp prep courses that are conducted in-person. Note that these courses are temporarily offered in remote live format due to the pandemic.
- Provider: App Academy
- Location: San Francisco, New York City
- Cost: $2,999
- Duration: 4 weeks
- Provider: Learning Fuze
- Location: Irvine City, California
- Cost: $95
- Duration: 2 weeks
Bootcamp Prep Courses Available Online and In-Person
Can’t decide between online and offline learning formats? Below are several prep courses made available for both distance and in-person learning.
- Provider: Galvanize
- Location: Across the United States and online
- Cost: Varies; $250 (Premium Prep) or free (Basic Prep)
- Duration: Varies; 5 days/week (full-time Premium Prep) or self-paced (Basic Prep)
The difference between the two lies in engagement, learning structure, and cost of attendance. If you light up at the idea of self-paced, independent, and zero-cost learning, choose the Basic Prep. But if you prefer personalized 1:1 coaching sessions, scheduled classes, and access to a community of other Galvanize students, then go the Premium Prep way.
- Provider: First Step Coding
- Location: San Francisco, Boston, and online
- Cost: $1,499 (fully online format) or $1,499 (in-person format)
- Duration: 4 weeks
As the course title implies, this is an introductory course designed to develop your coding literacy within a month. The curriculum goes over the core JavasScript, HTML, and CSS concepts through coding exercises and pair programming.
- Provider: Fullstack Academy
- Location: San Francisco, New York City, and online
- Cost: Free (self-paced) or $199 (live online)
- Duration: Varies; 40 hours /1 week/1 month
With Fullstack Academy’s prep course, you can choose between live online and self-paced learning structures, the former of which can be taken in just a week or a month depending on your availability. Whatever format you choose, the program offers a comprehensive glimpse into programming.
You’ll stack up on technical knowledge about functions, data types, and objects, among others, while developing your soft skills through activities that promote collaboration, such as pair programming.
Enrollment in this course increases your chances of getting selected in Fullstack Academy’s core immersive courses. Over 90 percent of the prep course graduates avail discount on their bootcamp expenses at the code school.
Are Coding Bootcamp Prep Courses Worth It?
Coding bootcamp prep courses are a good investment for complete beginners who wish to improve their coding knowledge in as little time as possible. More than just teaching you the basics, these prep programs also help you get into top-tier coding bootcamps by walking you through the application and interview process.
In recent years, tech giants, such as IBM, Google, Facebook, and Apple, have removed the degree requirement from their job ads. The move sent a clear message to aspiring tech professionals: there’s no limit to launching a career in tech.
This has led to an increased number of candidates seeking to get into coding bootcamps, which advance intensive yet fast-paced learning. As the demand for coding bootcamps increases, competition for admission has become fiercer. If you want to stand out among the sea of bootcamp candidates, consider enrolling in a coding bootcamp prep course.