The Best Coding Bootcamps of 2021
Coding bootcamps have become one of the most popular ways to acquire in-demand skills and compete in the increasingly tech-oriented job market. But as the popularity of coding bootcamps has grown, it has become difficult to determine which programs are worth the time, money, and effort. We created our list of the best coding bootcamps to sort through the confusion. We hope that the information here will help you find the right program to jumpstart your tech career.
The demand for software engineers and web developers is growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the field will grow a whopping 22 percent in the next decade. Plus, companies have nearly exhausted the supply of qualified candidates. As a result, the software engineering job market is extremely favorable, making now a great time to transition into the industry.
The 25 Best Coding Bootcamps
Actualize offers full-time and part-time coding bootcamp courses for students, both online and at its Chicago campus. Full-time students take courses Monday through Friday. Part-time students take courses during weeknights and on Sundays. There are options for upfront payments, month-to-month installments, and loan financing to cover tuition costs.
Alchemy Code Lab is a full-time software development program. Throughout the bootcamp, students take courses in modern programming languages and development methods. In addition to an industry-leading curriculum, Alchemy Code Lab offers mentorship assistance for each student to help them throughout the program.
App Academy offers immersive courses for both part-time and full-time students in software engineering. The bootcamp provides free courses to help prepare students, especially if they have no prior experience in programming. Graduates from App Academy go on to work at large companies, such as Amazon, Facebook, Slack, Uber, Google, Microsoft, and Zendesk.
BrainStation is a large coding bootcamp that operates in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, Seattle, and Miami. Available courses include data analytics, data science, cybersecurity, web development, digital marketing, UX/UI design, Python programming, and more. Graduates from BrainStation go on to work for companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Spotify, and Facebook.
Codesmith is an online coding bootcamp for aspiring software engineers. The program offers part-time and full-time courses for future software developers. Students with no experience can take part in the various training and prep courses to get ready for the bootcamp. Graduates from Codesmith go on to work at Google, Amazon, and LinkedIn.
Coding Dojo is an immersive coding bootcamp that teaches you to become a software developer in 14 weeks. Courses are offered online and at campuses in Boise, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Tulsa, and Arlington. In 2018, the average salary of Coding Dojo Alumni was $76,000. Graduates go on to work at eBay, Facebook, Google, IBM, and Uber.
Devmountain is a coding bootcamp that offers courses in web development, iOS development, QA software, and UX design. Campuses are located in Dallas, Lehi, and online. Upon completing the program, students build portfolios and gain the experience needed to take on entry-level positions in the field.
DigitalCrafts is a web development bootcamp that offers both full-time and part-time opportunities for students. The bootcamp has sites in Atlanta, Houston, Seattle, and Tampa, as well as online. In addition to standard courses, DigitalCrafts offers remote workshops for students and alumni to continue their education.
Since 2012, this bootcamp has helped countless students find fulfilling careers at Google, Black Rock, Apple, and even NASA. The program offers Income Share Agreements to help students overcome the cost of tuition. Flatiron School offers courses both on-campus and online. The courses include data science, software engineering, cybersecurity analytics, and cybersecurity engineering.
Fullstack Academy is a full-time and part-time coding bootcamp. It teaches students computer science, front-end and back-end development, databases, and programming. Courses are available in New York, Chicago, and online. Graduates from the bootcamp go on to work at Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
Graduates from the program go on to work at Etsy, American Express, Wayfair, Facebook, Google, and Spotify. The median starting salary for graduates is $72,000 and $90,000 in Chicago and New York City, respectively.
Hack Reactor is an online and in-person coding bootcamp where students learn to become software engineers. Graduates from the program go on to work at Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce, and LinkedIn. The average compensation rate for graduates is $91,000. Students have the opportunity to forego tuition costs until employment.
Hackbright Academy is an engineering school for women. It teaches students, no matter their expertise, how to become professional software engineers. In addition to its courses, Hackbright Academy provides prep courses and free courses to prepare potential students for the bootcamp. Program graduates go on to work at companies such as SurveyMonkey, Slack, Amazon, Dropbox, Yelp, and Uber.
Ironhack offers bootcamps in UX/UI design, web development, data analytics, and cybersecurity. Thousands of students have graduated from the program so far and went on to work at companies such as Google, Visa, Twitter, and Mango. Throughout the program, students learn by creating. They work on programs to build a portfolio and gain real-world experience.
Kenzie Academy is a bootcamp that offers full-time software engineering and part-time UX design programs for students. Throughout the bootcamp, students learn skills for a tech career. The curriculum is focused on industry needs. Graduates from the program go on to work at Zyla, Salesforce, Infosys, Shopify, Angie’s List, and J.P. Morgan.
Lambda School is a bootcamp that trains you remotely to become a web developer or data scientist. Even without prior experience, this bootcamp teaches you everything needed to work in the industry. Graduates from the program are hired by Fortune 100 companies and some of the most popular startups in the world. Some companies that graduates work for include Walmart, Charter, Nike, Verizon, Microsoft, Apple, Cisco, Google, and HP.
Le Wagon offers immersive coding bootcamps in web development and data science. There are both part-time and full-time courses available to students. Upon graduation, students from Le Wagon go on to work at companies such as PayPal, Facebook, Spendesk, Apple, Uber, and Getaround.
LearningFuze is a full-time and part-time coding bootcamp for web development and UI/UX design. Students can take part in in-person or live online courses. Throughout the program, students learn PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS, Amazon Web Services, and other subjects. Graduates work with employers such as Intuit, Zillow, Nasa, Yamaha, Apple, Nike, and Verizon.
Nucamp is a full-time and part-time coding bootcamp that offers a beginner course in web development fundamentals and advanced courses in web and mobile development. Students learn during the evenings and weekends so that they may fulfill other obligations. Students learn under experienced instructors who’ve worked for companies such as Starbucks, Intel, Microsoft, Zillow, and T-Mobile.
Springboard offers job-focused coding bootcamps in data analytics, data science, software engineering, and UI/UX design. If you aren’t sure what program is right for you, Springboard provides you with a short quiz. The project-based curriculum allows students to learn while creating a portfolio for future employment. Graduates receive offers from companies such as Dell, Zoom, Pandora, IBM, Lyft, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Verizon.
Thinkful is a coding bootcamp that teaches you online. Students gain the skills to work in high-paying fields in tech. There are $0 tuition costs until you start your career. Courses Thinkful offers include software engineering, UX/UI design, digital marketing, data analytics, product management, and technical project management. Graduates from the program work at companies like Walmart Labs, Amazon, IBM, Google, and Boeing.
Wyncode bootcamp teaches students the art of code. It’s an accelerated learning program. Students learn any of the following: full-stack web development, UX/UI design, front-end web development, and digital marketing. Graduates from Wyncode work at some top tech companies in the United States, such as Amazon, Wix.com, Citrix, KIPU, and Microsoft.
Why Choose a Coding Bootcamp
The tech labor shortage made coding bootcamps necessary. But they kept growing after the shortages began to improve for a simple reason: they worked for both candidates and companies. Bootcamps solved the problem by cutting out the unnecessary information and getting right to the point. At the same time, they demonstrated a candidate’s work ethic and dedication.
In this rapidly developing economy, the bootcamp model makes sense. Today, careers change extremely quickly yet traditional education takes too long and costs too much for many people. The bootcamp model, on the other hand, is short term. It focuses on skills that are in demand now so graduates can land a job and continue to learn in the workplace.
They also teach people the skills they need to develop their ideas into finished products. This comes side by side with the encouragement of peers and the guidance of seasoned industry professionals. And the model is working. Many programs willingly publish job placement statistics, usually citing rates between 70% and 90%.
Unlike college, you don’t have to go into debt to attend a coding bootcamp. Many programs offer income share agreements and other financing plans. Through these, the school absorbs the risk rather than placing it solely on the student. Plus, job guarantees help bring peace of mind and increase the odds of getting the most out of the training programs.
The Bootcamp Curriculum
Coding is a huge part of a software engineering bootcamp curriculum. Students begin with simple scripting languages such as HTML. Once they understand syntax and other coding quirks, they move on to complex coding concepts and high-level languages like Python and Java.
Each bootcamp is free to decide what languages it covers so there is some variation in the field. Nonetheless, most software engineering bootcamps cover a set of core languages that are vital to many modern programming projects. We compiled a list of these common languages so you can get a better idea of what to expect.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but each of these languages is important in the field. Additionally, bootcamps focus on these languages because it allows students to pursue a wide range of specializations after the program. These include web development, mobile app development, game design, and database management.
Best Coding Bootcamps
Software engineering coding bootcamps come in a variety of formats. The most popular is the traditional full-time model. Full-time bootcamps have a reputation for being intensive and exhausting, which is to be expected. These programs often run eight hours per day, five or six days per week, for six weeks or more.
Part-time programs are also available for people who prefer (or need) a more relaxed schedule. These programs often run for a few hours in the evenings and sometimes on weekends. However, part-time programs require more time to cover the same material—usually up to six months.
Remote students can also attend full-time and part-time bootcamps online. Schools often require students to participate in live online training classes at set times. Some offer flexible or self-paced programs with live instructor assistance available if needed.
Part of the reason many people prefer in-person courses is the sense of community they offer. One can’t stress enough the importance of surrounding yourself with a community of peers with shared goals and ambitions. In-person bootcamps offer face-to-face interaction and encourage the group to keep each other accountable, ultimately increasing everybody’s chance of success.
Over the past few years, online bootcamps have caught up to the importance of student engagement. Thus began the online bootcamp communities that allow students to interact with their peers, instructors, and alumni anytime and anywhere.
The Bootcamp Interview Process
Coding bootcamps don’t generally admit just anyone. There’s almost always a multi-step interview process that helps bootcamps find motivated applicants who will take the program seriously. Some programs are more selective than others but the interview process benefits the bootcamp and the applicant.
Typically, students begin by filling out an application form and listing relevant skills and interests. This allows the admissions team to determine if the student is a good fit. If the application meets admissions standards, the program reaches out to the applicant to arrange an in-person or virtual meeting. During the initial meeting, applicants have the chance to ask questions and get to know the program better.
After the initial interview, applicants are often required to pass a basic coding test. Don’t worry, most programs generally use the test to gauge your learning abilities and problem-solving skills. Many provide study material with everything you’ll need to pass the test.
After the test, some programs arrange a final interview. Afterward, students are officially accepted into the program and can then begin completing additional prerequisite requirements (if any).
Financing Options for Coding Bootcamps
Coding bootcamps aren’t like traditional colleges. They’re not bound by the same rules and aging financial institutions. That means they’re free to offer a wide range of financing options and free from the pressures of the old system.
Nonetheless, bootcamps can be expensive, especially if you want to pay upfront. Bootcamps in the United States generally cost between $10,000 and $20,000, making financing necessary for the majority of people. Here are some of the most common financing options offered by bootcamps.
Traditional Financing (Loans)
Traditional education loans are available at many programs. Some accredited bootcamps also accept federal student loans, along with programs like the G.I. bill. However, most bootcamps aren’t accredited as colleges. Still, private student loans are available through programs like Climb Credit and Skills Fund.
Income Share Agreements (ISAs)
Income Share Agreements, or ISAs, are a revolutionary new way to pay for higher education. ISAs defer the cost of tuition until students graduate and land jobs in the field. Once employed, students pay a fixed percentage of their salary (often around 15%) for a short duration (often one to three years). Afterward, students are completely free and clear of obligation.
If students can’t find a job in their field, the bootcamp absorbs the risk and forgives the cost of tuition. ISAs incentivize schools to provide up-to-date curriculum and excellent job placement services. That’s not to mention how ISAs give students confidence that their education is worth it.
Coding Bootcamp Structure
Coding bootcamps are structured differently depending on the subject and experience level of the students. Most software engineering bootcamps are directed at new programmers with little or no coding experience. As a result, students need a comprehensive coding education.
As the program progresses, students move on to field-specific languages and high-level programming tasks. During this period, students often work on collaborative projects. Toward the end, students build advanced programs with their coding skills. These projects also serve a dual purpose as portfolio items that can help students land a job.
Students often build entire software programs by themselves, creating interfaces, and performing functionality tests to prove the concept. Job training and assistance also occur at this point. Students work with career advisors to craft a resume, portfolio, and make LinkedIn connections.
Companies Hiring Software Engineering Bootcamp Grads
Virtually all well-known tech companies have bootcamp graduates working for them. Bootcamp graduates are known to work for companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon, along with countless startups. Some software engineering bootcamp students choose to start their own companies and many find success with their ideas. Here’s a list of some companies hiring software engineering bootcamp grads.
Will a coding bootcamp help me get a job?
A coding bootcamp is an excellent way to prepare for a job in tech. Bootcamp students learn many of the skills that university computer science graduates normally lack. In addition, many bootcamps offer job guarantees, with some going as far as refunding tuition if the student is not able to land a job within a specific time.
How much does it cost to attend a coding bootcamp?
Coding bootcamp tuition varies. Coding bootcamps in New York City cost around $10,000 to $20,000. However, many scholarships and tuition deferment programs are available. What you see as the price is not necessarily what you will end up paying.
Can I attend a coding bootcamp while working full-time?
Yes, coding bootcamps allow people with full-time positions to attend the program. Several bootcamps offer part-time programs that better suit a working individual’s schedule. This may include classes being conducted at night and on weekends. Coding bootcamps often offer online and self-paced learning as well.
Do I need to know programming before attending a bootcamp?
You don’t need to know programming to attending a coding bootcamp. Most bootcamp curriculums are designed for people with no background in programming. Bootcamps that do require coding knowledge typically offer free or prep courses to prepare students for the program.