A coding bootcamp is an effective way to kickstart a career in tech and an excellent alternative to traditional education. However, it can also be expensive. To support students, many ISA bootcamp options exist that make education affordable and hold schools responsible for providing the best education possible.
Income share agreements, or ISAs, are becoming more widely available as coding bootcamps continue to gain popularity among students wishing to pick up tech skills quickly and effectively. Schools benefit because more students can afford an education, and students benefit because schools are accountable to help them become competitive in the workplace.
This guide will walk you through the fundamentals of income share agreements and how you can leverage them to afford a coding bootcamp education. With ISA bootcamps, it’s now possible for students from all financial backgrounds to take control of their career prospects and get an education.
What Are Income Share Agreements?
ISAs are financing programs that put the majority of the risk on schools instead of students. ISA payment programs defer the cost of tuition until after students graduate and find a job in the industry they trained for. Once employed, students agree to pay a percentage of their income for 2-3 years, after which they’re free of debt. If students can’t find a job despite their best efforts, they don’t have to pay.
ISA bootcamps often have a minimum salary cutoff, preventing students from making payments unless they can afford it. The cutoff is usually between $50,000 and $60,000. These programs hold schools accountable for providing up-to-date curricula and provide students with peace of mind.
Best Income Share Agreement Bootcamps: A Comparison
|ISA Bootcamp Provider||Payment Duration||Payment Percentage||Payment Cap||Minimum Income|
|4Geeks Academy||48 months||9%||1.5 x tuition cost||$35,000|
|Alchemy Code Lab||52 months||9.5%||1.5 x tuition cost||$50,000|
|App Academy||36 months||15%||$31,000||$50,000|
|Clarusway||5 years max||7.5%||N/A||$40,000|
|Coding Dojo||70 months||9.8%||70 payments||$32,000|
|General Assembly||48 months||10%||$15,000||$40,000|
|Hack Reactor||48 months||10%||1.4 x tuition cost||$60,000|
|Le Wagon||Up to 5 years depending on location||4,8% - 5,5%||€13,000||€27,000|
|The Tech Academy||N/A||N/A||N/A||$30,000|
Why Choose an Income Sharing Bootcamp?
So, why choose an ISA bootcamp? Income sharing bootcamps offer many benefits over traditional education and even other bootcamp programs. When a school offers an income share agreement to most of its students, it’s a good sign that the program is confident in its ability to guide them toward successful careers. After all, most income share agreement providers only profit if graduates find a job.
The best ISA programs can give students the opportunity to get an education that otherwise they could not afford. They also offer clear terms and conditions so you understand what you’re getting into from the get-go. This system has clear benefits over traditional financing and helps break down the barrier to entry that once prevented thousands of motivated individuals from attending a bootcamp.
Pros and Cons of Income Share Agreements
As tempting as an ISA might be at first, it is important that you evaluate both the pros and the cons before you make a commitment. Keep in mind that there are other financing options, such as deferred tuition plans, which can also help you cover tuition for your desired bootcamp. Keep reading to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of ISAs.
Income Share Agreement Pros
- You can start your education without investing money. The clearest advantage of ISAs is that they allow you to get an education without having to pay money upfront, eliminating any financial barrier.
- You won’t pay unless you make more than the stipulated minimum income. Another pro is that you will not start paying until you are making the minimum income stipulated by the bootcamp. If you’re struggling to find work after graduation, you won’t have to worry about ISA payments until you find your footing.
- There are payment caps in place. Payment caps in the shape of a maximum amount to be repaid and a maximum number of months are in place so that you always know the end is in sight and you won’t be dragging debt for years.
Income Share Agreement Cons
- You often pay more than your tuition cost. A disadvantage of ISAs is that you will likely end up paying more money than what tuition would originally cost, even with payment caps in place.
- Your income will suffer. As soon as you start making the minimum stipulated in your agreement, you will have to sacrifice a percentage of your income. This might hinder your ability to save up or pay other debts for an extended period of time.
- ISAs are not regulated. Unlike traditional loans, ISAs are not regulated by any government agency. This means that each bootcamp or financial partner is free to charge as much as they want, which might lead to disproportionate amounts of money paid to the school in the long run.
Will an ISA Bootcamp Help Me Get a Job?
Yes, an ISA coding bootcamp will likely help you get a job. The average job placement rate for bootcamps members of the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR) is 79 percent. This is several percentage points higher than the corresponding figure for university degrees.
In addition, some of the coding bootcamp on our list boast job placement rates above 90 percent, such as App Academy and General Assembly, though it should be noted that these are self-reported numbers. All in all, when it comes to getting a job, the data shows that bootcamps are the most effective training method.
One of the reasons coding bootcamps, particularly those that offer income share agreements, have such high placement rates is that they have more to gain (and lose) from the success of the student than other education providers. Since the amount the school receives in payment is tied to the salary of the student, bootcamps have every incentive to help students secure a high-paying job.
Jobs You Can Access After an ISA Bootcamp
ISA coding bootcamps offer programs in a variety of disciplines, not just software engineering or web development. Other major fields that you can study at an ISA bootcamp include UI/UX design, data science, cyber security, and digital marketing. Below, we dig a bit deeper into the most common jobs for coding bootcamp graduates:
Software engineers design and develop software applications, focusing on coding, debugging, and software maintenance. To become a software engineer, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field, but coding bootcamps offer an accelerated path into this profession. The average salary for software engineers in the US is $124,200.
Web developers build and maintain websites. Depending on your specialization, you may work on the front end, the backend, or both. The latter is referred to as full stack development. This profession enjoys a very positive job outlook of 16 percent.
Cyber Security Engineer
Cyber security experts safeguard digital systems from threats. This role typically demands a degree in cyber security or computer science, but coding bootcamps with cyber security tracks can provide practical skills and certifications quickly. This is one of the highest-paid professions in tech, with practitioners earning an average of $112,000 per year.
Data scientists analyze and interpret data to extract valuable insights. If you attend a data science bootcamp, you will learn how to extract, clean, and interpret data using SQL, Python, and other essential data science tools. The field of data science boasts an impressive job outlook of 35 percent.
Other Payment Options to Finance Your Coding Bootcamp
Coding bootcamps are known for their flexibility when it comes to payment. Most bootcamps offer several payment and financing options, not just income share agreements. Below are the most common options to pay for a coding bootcamp.
- Upfront payment. This option offers immediate access to your program, without incurring interest or long-term financial commitments. It’s cost-effective for those with the means.
- Deferred tuition. With deferred tuition, students pay after securing a job, reducing financial pressure during the program. It’s distinct from income share agreements as it sets a fixed amount rather than a percentage of income.
- Private student loans. Coding bootcamp loans can cover the entire cost of the program. They offer flexibility but typically have variable interest rates. Some of the biggest lenders in the bootcamp space include Ascent and Climb Credit.
- Installment plans. Installment plans break down tuition into manageable monthly payments. They often have low or no interest, making them accessible.
- Scholarships. Coding bootcamp scholarships provide free or reduced-cost education, minimizing the financial burden. They’re merit or need-based and many are designed to promote diversity.
- GI Bill benefits. Veterans transitioning from the military can use their GI Bill benefits to pay for their bootcamps. Many coding bootcamps accept the GI Bill or VET TEC, including Code Platoon, Coding Dojo, and Fullstack Academy.
Are Bootcamp ISAs Worth It?
Yes, an ISA bootcamp can be worth it, but you need to be clear on what you’re getting into. ISAs can be an excellent way to bypass financial barriers and get the training that you need to launch a career in tech. They are also based on the premise that you will succeed in finding work upon graduation, which can help bootcamps stay accountable for the training they provide to students.
If you choose an income sharing bootcamp, make sure you understand what percentage you’ll be paying, how many months or years you’ll be paying for, and any other terms and conditions that are in place when you sign up. Also, remember to research all financial aid options available to select the one that will benefit you the most in the long run.