How Long Are Coding Bootcamps?
Coding bootcamps can be as short as one week or as long as a few years. In general, how long coding bootcamps are varies according to the demands of the program. Regardless of length, almost all bootcamps are faster than college degree programs. This is because they are designed to prepare students for a career in tech on an accelerated schedule.
If you’re shopping around for the best coding bootcamps, this piece is for you. You can become an industry professional with in-demand web development skills and bootcamp career services teams. You can get developer jobs with employer partners from any length of bootcamp. Read on to discover what bootcamp length is right for you.
Bootcamp Program Lengths
The length of bootcamp programs varies, and longer programs aren’t necessarily better than shorter ones. Reading a bootcamp review is usually the best way to determine the quality of the education. Many coding bootcamp graduates post their career journeys online so you can get a feel for what your coding program will be like.
That being said, the duration of a program is still important to know. Not all technologies can be taught in a couple of weeks. Bootcamp length can affect the performance of applications you build and the level of education you receive. Below is a guide to the most common lengths in the coding bootcamp industry and what they can tell you.
Two-Week Bootcamps and Shorter
This short type of bootcamp isn’t too common in the tech industry because two weeks is hardly enough time to complete high-quality hands-on projects. Most programs that run for one or two weeks are bootcamp prep courses, which are designed to give students the foundational knowledge they need to succeed in a longer program.
With a few notable exceptions, tech bootcamps typically do not try to offer complete training in such a short period. In a two-week prep course for a coding bootcamp, the curriculum might cover computer science fundamentals, programming languages, and frameworks. Prep for a data science bootcamp might include quick lessons on how to use Python or R.
One-Month or Two-Month Bootcamps
One-to-two-month bootcamp programs are more common than one-to-two-week programs in the United States, but still not very common. Generally, four-week bootcamps cover fundamental concepts, while eight-week bootcamps go more in-depth. A bootcamp student may be required to study 50 to 70 hours a week if the curriculum in question is extensive.
Although these bootcamps are intensive, they are a good choice if you don’t have a lot of time. You can learn employer-competitive computer science concepts over the summer or winter break if you’re a student. Potential employers will be able to see your level of dedication if you attend a bootcamp six or seven days per week.
Three months is the most popular length for full-time bootcamps. Students usually need to commit 50 to 70 hours per week for the entire program. This is a good choice for job seekers because you can dedicate all of your time to your job search. Whether you’re in Silicon Valley or New York, you can find a great bootcamp like Hack Reactor or General Assembly.
The curricula for these three-month bootcamps typically cover job-specific training. For example, if you enroll in a full stack bootcamp, you will work on projects that you can add to your full stack web developer portfolio. In a Python bootcamp, you will learn how to use Python along with other hard and soft skills relevant to your job hunt.
Four-Month or Five-Month Bootcamps
These longer bootcamp programs can be either full-time or part-time. A full-time program may run for three or four months, while its part-time counterpart may run for five or six months. When opting for a part-time program, students trade the shorter length of a full-time program for a shorter time commitment, usually 10 to 20 hours and three days each week.
Some programs end with real-world job training, which extends the overall length. LaunchCode, for example, sets each student up with an apprenticeship after its 14-week CodeCamp. This allows students to practice all the skills they’ve learned while establishing a professional network and building a bridge to full-time employment.
Six-Month Bootcamps and Longer
Some people still believe that the short length of coding bootcamps makes them less useful than university education. So, in the interest of competing with traditional institutions of higher learning, several bootcamps have developed long-term programs that are structured more like college degree programs. These can last between six months and a few years.
A few examples of long-term bootcamps are Launch School, Holberton, and Make School, whose programs range from eight months to two years. In these programs, you can gain soft skills training, work with a close team of people, and gain access to continuation courses. They will give you more time to learn in-demand technologies like Agile methodology.
Traditional Coding Bootcamp vs Long Coding Bootcamp
A traditional coding bootcamp is any school whose programs run for a few months, usually between 12 and 16 weeks. Any tech bootcamp that lasts for longer than six months is considered a long coding bootcamp. Many different aspects, like personal obligations, price, and programming skills can affect your choice. Keep reading for a detailed comparison.
The cost of a traditional 12-week bootcamp ranges from $7,500 to $17,500. Long bootcamps are typically much more expensive unless they offer a free bootcamp. For most longer programs, you can expect total tuition to be anywhere from $30,000 to upwards of $60,000, including payment plans. This is still cheaper than a computer science degree.
The curricula are usually quite similar. In either case, you will cover a wide variety of topics and engage in extensive hands-on learning. However, the shorter bootcamps might move at a faster pace, but the longer bootcamps might give students the option to study in greater depth or incorporate more industry-specific practices into their training.
A traditional 12-week coding bootcamp tends to be instructor-led by industry professionals. Longer bootcamps are mostly self-paced learning, which is one reason why they can take longer. So, if you’re someone who wants to be held accountable in a formal and competitive environment, you will benefit from the traditional bootcamps.
Both traditional coding bootcamps and longer bootcamps tend to have a dedicated team that provides career services to students. Most bootcamps offer mock interviews, help with application materials, and access to employer networks. This helps bootcamp graduates follow their career paths and get real-world experience within a shorter period of time.
More important than the specific mix of career services is the job placement rate. A high job placement rate signals that the bootcamp is doing a good job of preparing students for the job market. Anything above 85 percent is considered high, and it indicates dynamic instruction, quality portfolio reviews, and good career coaching.
Both short and long bootcamps generally have several financing options. However, you’re more likely to find monthly payments and deferred tuition at long-term bootcamps. Loan financing firms like Skills Fund are found mostly traditional bootcamps. You can speak to an admissions advisor about payment plans to choose the best financial option for you.
What Length of Bootcamp Is Right for Me?
The right length for you depends on your goals, schedule flexibility, and your budget. Prospective students should consider their preferred class time and the additional opportunities they can get with longer bootcamps. To help you choose a bootcamp length, let’s look more closely at each of our criteria.
If you’re looking for an opportunity to upskill in your current career, a traditional coding bootcamp allows you to reach your goal faster. If you’re at the beginning of your career and know you want to work in tech, the immersive bootcamp experience of a long-term program is a great alternative to a college program.
Often, shorter coding bootcamps cover a limited set of specific skills while longer bootcamps have the time to provide a more comprehensive education. For example, a C++ bootcamp might be shorter than a software engineering bootcamp.
The time it takes to learn coding often depends on how much time you can afford to dedicate. If you have limited time, stick to the traditional programs and graduate in a few months instead of a four-year degree. If you have a lot of time, go for the longer bootcamp, which can help you make better career connections and a stronger portfolio of projects.
Remember that traditional bootcamps are typically more affordable than longer bootcamps. Even if there are installment plans or deferred payment options available, make sure you choose a bootcamp program that falls within your budget. You don’t want to end up in debt or affect your life commitments.
How Much Are Coding Bootcamps?
Coding bootcamps charge between $0 to $60,000 for a full program. On the less expensive end, there are free coding bootcamps that invest in bridging the tech skills gap. For example, Ada Developers Academy and LaunchCode are bootcamps where students can learn how to code for free.
For traditional bootcamps, the cost can range between $7,500 and $17,500. However, it could differ depending on the program. For a long-term bootcamp, you may pay between $30,000 and $100,000. This seems expensive, but it pays off. The average salary of a senior software engineer is about $119,455, according to PayScale.
Coding Bootcamp Curriculum
Coding bootcamps prepare students for a career in software engineering. The curriculum might focus on web development, mobile development, front end development, backend development, or other forms of software development. It is perfect for anyone who wants to become a full stack developer or enjoy similar career opportunities.
Many bootcamp curricula are organized around particular programming languages and their relevant uses. A course on full stack development, for example, might include a module on Ruby on Rails. A program on game development, meanwhile, may structure its curriculum around C++ or C#. You can try a bootcamp match system to find the right one for you.
Bootcamp curricula usually also include career services such as resume workshops, interview prep, and salary negotiation tips. It is not just about getting technical skills but also learning everything that might help you advance your career. For example, Kenzie Academy’s job placement services include career days and social media tips.
Can You Get a Job After a Coding Bootcamp?
Yes, you can get a job right after a coding bootcamp if you build an impressive portfolio while you’re there. Bootcamps are designed to help you find a job in the tech industry, even if you had no prior experience in programming. To this end, some bootcamps even offer software engineering apprenticeships to help students bridge the gap between school and work.
Even if the bootcamp doesn’t offer much in the way of job assistance, you may still be able to land a job within the first few months of graduation. For many employers, the job-specific training and real-world projects that bootcamps offer are enough. As long as your bootcamp program is project-oriented and well-connected, you’ll be able to find a job.
Are Coding Bootcamps Hard?
The difficulty level of a bootcamp depends on the school, the bootcamp program, and the length. Longer bootcamps tend to offer more breathing room, whereas full-time traditional bootcamps are often more rigorous. In either case, be prepared for a huge time commitment. Unless you choose a part-time program, you will be unable to keep your day job.
The difficulty of coding bootcamps and online courses is important to consider. If you invest too much time per week, you can get burnt out. Although these job training programs are a great choice, you should pace yourself. Many bootcamp grads say that their bootcamps were intensive and took over their lives for a few months.
Should I Attend a Coding Bootcamp?
Yes, you should attend a coding bootcamp if you have a passion for software engineering and don’t want to learn on your own. These bootcamps are great alternatives to computer science degrees at traditional universities. You don’t need to take general education courses or subjects you don’t enjoy to pursue your career in tech. If you’re looking for a more flexible option, an online coding bootcamp might be the way to go. Some of the best online bootcamps for learning in-demand coding skills are App Academy, Flatiron School, General Assembly, Nucamp, and Thinkful. Whether the bootcamp you end up choosing is short or long, it will help you advance your career in no time.