Updated on 01.12.15

Coding Boot Camps: Three Months to Six Figures?

Crash courses in Web development offer the promise of high-paying jobs.

Creating screen gems: Photo: Plank Design

Fast-paced coding boot camps train aspiring developers hungry for high-tech skills — and a good-paying job. Photo: Plank Design

The mention of coding boot camps may conjure images of helmets and laptops. Far from it.

They’re intensive programs, nine to 12 weeks on average, that provide training in computer coding so students can land jobs as Web developers.

Such programs are increasing in popularity and reportedly had 2014 tuition revenue of $59 million. They often claim to increase your chances of finding a job with a generous salary — after all, computer science typically offers good-paying careers and software developers are expected to see a 22% increase in jobs between 2012 and 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And according to a survey by Course Report, the typical attendee has never worked as a programmer before.

But this new type of high-tech trade school comes at a price. Tuition for these programs averages $9,920, and 43% cost more than $10,000, according to FastCompany.

Where to Find Them

Coding boot camps are popping up across the U.S. and Canada targeted toward various skill levels, and some are offered online. While the end game might be the same or at least similar, these programs have their differences.

Course requirements and duration, the application process, and tuition and fees (along with ways to pay them) are just some of the variables between programs.

And the perks can differ, too. Some offer flexible payment plans and scholarships or partial tuition reimbursement if you’re getting a job with a partner company. Others, like App Academy, only require you to pay tuition after you get a developer job.

Skilledup.com offers a list of available coding programs along with descriptions, required experience, costs and payment plans, how selective they are, application process, class size and length, contact information, and whether or not they offer job assistance or refunds.

Women and Coding

The Course Report study shows an increase in women pursuing programming. While only 14.5% of women pursue a bachelor’s degree in the field, about 38% of coding program attendees are women, according to Inc.

One possible explanation for this boost is there are scholarship opportunities for women. Women2.com provides a list of some of these scholarships, such as DevPoint Labs in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas that offers a $2,000 scholarship for women, or Dev Bootcamp in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, which teamed up with Girl Develop It to offer a $2,500 scholarship.

What Are the Results?

The Course Report study says 75% of graduates report finding a new job utilizing their skills after graduation, and 44% saw a salary increase. The study surveyed 432 graduates from full-time programming schools in the United States and Canada.

But how much is that salary increase? According to FastCompany, Hack Reactor in San Francisco says that of the 98% of graduates who land a job within 90 days after completing the program, the average annual salary is $110,000.

Coding boot camps are also valuable to entrepreneurs. In an article for Inc, Alumnify CEO A.J. Agrawal says the programs create the opportunity to make valuable connections while building a product for which you already had a vision.

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