Deciding which programming bootcamp to attend can be tough. It can be frustrating when finances constrain your choices. Here are 7 tips to keep in mind.
Answer these questions to exclude options that don’t apply to you. Doing so will make it easier to compare prices.
Do you need a bootcamp with a flexible schedule, or will your schedule permit a full-time (40-60 hours per week) bootcamp?
Should you enroll in an online bootcamp, or do you prefer a classroom setting?
What topic do you want to learn? Bootcamps offer a variety of classes, including web development, iOS and Android mobile development, UX/UI design, data science, and more.
Answer these questions, and remove bootcamps that don’t offer what you want from your list.
Programming bootcamps vary in many ways, but most share these traits:
They provide training for a finite number of hours
They cost money
Use this equation:
Total Program Cost ÷ Hours of Education = Cost per Hour
If a bootcamp doesn’t list hours of education, you can multiply the number of weeks in a program by the weekly hour requirement. For example, Bloc’s Full Stack Web Developer Track costs $9,500 for 960 hours of training, or $9.60/hour. By comparison, Dev Bootcamp costs $12,200 for 810 hours of training, or $15.06/hour.
When learning to code, the number of hours you practice is the largest predictor of success. Make sure you receive value for your time.
There are “hidden” costs you might encounter when enrolling in a programming bootcamp.
If you must quit your job to attend a full-time bootcamp, you should budget for lost income. You can use this equation:
Annual Salary ÷ 52 × (Weeks in Bootcamp + Weeks Looking for Job After Graduation) = Lost Wages
For example, if you:
leave a job paying $35,000 / year
take General Assembly’s 13-week Web Development Immersive
spend four weeks looking for a job
You’ll lose $11,442 of income.
If you plan to move to another city, then you should be prepared for an increase in housing and other living costs.
Online programming bootcamps with part-time options mean you don’t have to quit your job to learn to code.
Use the True Cost Calculator to see some other hidden costs.
One fifth of Bloc students say their employer contributed to their tuition. Some employers even paid the entire bill.
Program managers, product managers, customer support representatives, and graphic designers have all switched to a new job within their existing company after graduating Bloc.
Course Report’s Convince Your Boss to Pay for Programming Bootcamp also lists some great negotiating tips.
To minimize the chance of financial loss on your investment, compare refund policies for your top choices. Here are refund policies for some major bootcamps:
If Bloc isn’t the right fit for you after all, you can withdraw at any time. Bloc is backed by a Real Results Guarantee that’s real simple: Withdraw in your first week for a full refund. Withdraw later, and get a pro-rated refund based on the number of days you’ve spent in the program, minus a non-refundable cancellation fee of $500.
General Assembly’s refund policies vary by location, but typically once you’re a certain amount into the course, no refund is available.
Dev Bootcamp’s refund policy is a bit complex, but once you’ve begun their on-site program at least $2,050 is non-refundable.
Financing is a double-edged sword: it can increase your overall costs but improve your payment flexibility and cash flow. It can also defer some of the costs until you’re closer to getting a new job.
For example, Bloc’s Full Stack Web Developer Track costs $9,500 if you pay it off within four months, but for an extra $500, you can spread the payments out over ten months. Bloc also has partnerships with loan companies who can provide you with different terms; contact a student advisor for more information.
Some coding bootcamps offer scholarships. Here are a few:
General Assembly’s opportunity fund offers scholarships for women, people of color, military veterans, and individuals from low-income backgrounds.
Dev Bootcamp has a scholarship for “veterans, anyone who identifies as a woman or is a part of the diverse gender community (trans*, genderqueer, gender nonconforming, etc.), and anyone who identified as an ethnic minority group underrepresented in tech”.
Scholarships sometimes come with strings attached. For example, some Bloc scholarships require you to blog about your experience after graduation. General Assembly’s fund requires that you put in 100 hours of volunteer work with one of their nonprofit partners.