Are Coding Bootcamps Worth It?

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Are Coding Bootcamps Worth It? – The Short Answer

In our previous article, we have already discussed what programming bootcamps are, what you need to know about them and how they differ from other IT training courses. In this article, we look at whether a programming bootcamp is worth it, who it’s worth it for and what you should consider before applying for a course.

We can address the question briefly, but we cannot give a clear answer, because whether a programming bootcamp is worthwhile depends on many things. It is this particular “it depends” that we will explore in this article.

Bootcamps are practice-oriented forms of training, with little theoretical background, providing intensive lessons in the use of each programming language in practical examples over a period of 3-12 months.

If the opportunities and framework provided by bootcamps match your goals and learning style, and if you can find the financial resources and time to invest in them, it is probably worth it.


are coding bootcamps worth it?


Encouraging Data and Careful Consideration

While the above figures seem very encouraging, they should be treated with caution and one should also look for reports where there is actual traceability. It is important to point out that the above statistics are all for graduates, not recruits, so the high employment rate is not “undermined” by drop-outs.

Not All Students Finish Bootcamp

The three largest training institutions had different drop-out rates: between 2015 and 2019, 31.3% of students dropped out at Codecool, 12.8% at Green Fox and 2.6% at Progmasters. In total, more than one-fifth of the programming bootcamp students did not complete their training.

This is not a coincidence, as a bootcamp can be demanding, financially taxing, and it leaves little free time. It is a serious commitment, and for many, it is only during the course that they find out that they cannot do it.

Research, Ask Questions, Make Responsible Decisions

It’s important to check the terms of the training carefully, to be aware of the details, the payment arrangements and the job guarantee conditions, if a job guarantee is included in the bootcamp. Our article on Programming courses with job guarantees can help you with this.

Consider whether the specific training framework is worth it for you. Find out what you are taking on, as there is usually a training contract to sign.

How Long Does it Take to Recoup the Cost of a Programming Bootcamp?

There are no obvious answers to this question because programmer salaries are varied, and because the price of a programming bootcamp can vary greatly depending on the type of structure the student chooses: whether they pay upfront or use post-financing, whether they take up the job offered at the end of the course, etc.

We’ve covered the salaries of programmers separately, and you can find out more by reading our article titled IT Salary Guide 2021 – Top 14 IT professions and their average salaries.

What Field Are You Coming From and Where Are You Going?

A big advantage of the IT sector compared to other sectors is that salaries are clearly growing dynamically over time. Even a few years’ experiences can make a difference, and a senior developer with 5-8 years’ experience can earn double or triple what a junior programmer earns.

If your starting salary in your new IT job might not be significantly higher than your previous salary, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it, because such a course is an investment in your future. After a career change, you can move into a field that offers continuous development and career progression, and in a few years, you could be earning several times your previous salary.


Are coding bootcamps worth it?


It also depends on whether it’s worth it for you to leave your career for programming. If you leave a career that pays low per month and switch to the IT sector, it’s definitely worth it financially.

A 2020 labor market survey on the potential for cooperation between educational institutions and IT companies summarized the importance of bootcamps as follows:

“The market, however, clearly confirms the justification of bootcamp training: the labor market opportunities of the graduates are excellent, their curriculum and methodology are tailored to the needs of domestic businesses, providing specialized and up-to-date knowledge and great project experiences to the students.” 

Do You Need Prior Programming Skills for a Bootcamp?

Many bootcamps are advertised for complete beginners, but it can still be an advantage if you have some programming experience, because:

  • There is usually a pre-screening, which can be a very serious, multi-stage process—partly filtering your problem-solving, your English skills, creativity, but also basic programming skills.
  • You will learn a lot of new things during the training, very intensively. If you are hearing everything for the first time, it might overwhelm you or you might forget some of it, but if you deepen your knowledge and practice what you already know at a bootcamp, it can be very effective.
  • A bootcamp like this requires a lot of energy and time investment, and you need to know the field a little bit to know if you are really interested and willing to learn. It’s good if you have more than a superficial understanding of programming, and have tried it, encountered the difficulties, and assessed how you react to them.


However, the data from the previously mentioned IVSZ bootcamp audit show that advanced programming skills are not at all necessary to successfully complete a bootcamp. 80% of graduates had at most basic programming knowledge before starting the training.


Are coding bootcamps worth it?


Summary – When Is It Worth It to Apply for a Bootcamp?

  • If it’s important to you to finish in a short time and you’re willing to learn very intensively to do it.
  • If a career in programming would bring a positive change to your life compared to your current job: more financial security, more flexible working hours, maybe a reduced workload.
  • If you are really interested, motivated and able to stay in the IT field, you will always find new challenges and success in programming.
  • If getting a job in this field as soon as possible is critical for you, then a bootcamp might be a good choice, but if a career in programming is a longer-term goal, or you don’t want a career in programming but just want to learn to code a little, then look around on the course market.
  • If you can work while studying, have other income, or have the means to study for a longer period of time at a lower intensity (non-bootcamp courses) it can be a much cheaper and often much friendlier, even more effective way of learning, because it suits many people’s learning styles and capacities better than very intensive bootcamps.


If a Bootcamp is Too Expensive or Too Intensive for You

There are many people whose life situation doesn’t allow for 3-12 months of learning 8-10 hours a day, or who are just learning about the world of programming and are not sure if they want to make a career change. For these people, it is a good first step to look for a shorter programming course of their choice that suits their goals, and teaches a language they like rather than a bootcamp.

Codeberry courses teach you the basics of programming through the most popular programming languages (including JavaScript, Java, Python, C++). The majority of our courses are either basic level courses lasting 4 weeks and taking a total of 20 hours, or intermediate courses building on the basics you’ve already learned.

Basics of Programming

In CodeBerry Programming School’s “Basics of Programming” series, we discuss programming-related topics and everything you need to know to get started. Stay tuned for new articles and find the answer to every “what”, “why”, and “how”, you may have had about coding!

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