Are Programming Bootcamps Worth It?

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To determine if programming bootcamps provide good value, start by considering the essential offer:

  • Programming bootcamps are mostly (not entirely) for career-switchers who want to learn to code
  • You learn to code and become qualified for careers in the $60,000 – $130,000 range
  • You pay, depending on the bootcamp, between $9,000 and $15,000

The value proposition is pretty clear: if the bootcamp works, it will typically pay for itself in one year of software development work, and could continue to pay dividends for the rest of your working years.

Of course, that’s contingent on the first four words: “if the bootcamp works”. So the question isn’t “Are programming bootcamps worth it?” but rather “Do programming bootcamps work?”

And there’s evidence that they do work. For example, Bloc’s alumni page has hundreds of testimonials from students like this:

“Got a job within 2 days of graduating. If you’re struggling, keep plugging away, the rewards are definitely worth it.”

Statistics show that job opportunities will continue to grow. The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics says employment of software developers is expected to grow “much faster than the average for all occupations” through the year 2022. Computer science programs aren’t graduating nearly enough candidates to fill this gap: there are “40,000 computer science bachelor’s degree earners each year but roughly 4 million job vacancies” according to this article summarizing a Brookings Institution report.

So coding bootcamps work. But do they work for everyone?

No, they don’t.

You get out what you put in. If you have a gym membership but you don’t use it, or if you show up but don’t have self-discipline and focus, a bootcamp is not for you.

Programming bootcamps require significant focus and consistency. You have to constantly keep your goal in mind, and reevaluate as you progress.

If you’re focused and consistent, a programming bootcamp is absolutely worthwhile.