Coding Bootcamps: Costs, Average Length, and Most Popular Course

What does the average bootcamp cost? And what are the most popular bootcamp courses?

According to Course Report, which regularly monitors the bootcamp ecosystem, the average coding bootcamp costs $14,000, and the average bootcamp program is 14 weeks long. If you go by those averages, you’re paying $1,000 per week to rapidly accelerate your tech skills.

Course Report also estimates that 25,000 students attended bootcamps in 2020, grossing those institutions some $350 million. Compare that to 2013, when a mere 2,178 students graduated from bootcamps, or even 2019, when 18,000 graduated; it’s clear that the trend is accelerating. 

What do technologists tend to study at bootcamps? “Full-stack web development continues to dominate bootcamp curricula—90 percent of coding bootcamp grads learn full-stack web development,” Course Report states. “Web development coding bootcamps have historically been taught using Ruby on Rails, full-stack JavaScript, .NET/C#, Java, Python, or PHP. In 2020, full-stack JavaScript has maintained its position as the primary teaching language. 50 percent of courses reported full-stack JavaScript as the primary programming language.”

Learning the right skills for a technology job can certainly pay off, which may justify the expense for many people evaluating whether to sign onto a bootcamp. According to the latest Dice Salary Report, the average annual pay for technologists stands at $94,000. Crowdsourced data on Glassdoor suggests that the average base pay for a full stack developer is $105,813 per year; Indeed places that salary number (based off 15,500 salaries reported) at $111,884 (and that’s before you incorporate other compensation perks, such as cash bonuses). 

If you’re interviewing for a full-stack developer position, stay aware of the questions that a potential employer could ask, including your knowledge of the software development lifecycle and various programming languages. Bootcamps are historically very good at teaching practical skills, but make sure you have a good grasp of the more abstract concepts and theories underlying your chosen specialization, as employers are often interested in your higher-level thinking on projects and problems.

Bootcamps: Research Is Key

According to Course Report, the average bootcamp attendee already has six years of work experience and a Bachelor’s degree, but has never worked as a programmer. They’re shifting careers, in other words, and need to learn new skills quickly to land the positions they want. No matter what your background, if you’re debating whether to attend a bootcamp, keep in mind that it might take you a bit of time to find a job after you graduate, even with the low unemployment rate in tech. A few years ago, a Stack Overflow survey found that 20 percent of bootcamp graduates needed more than 90 days to find a new position, and nine percent never found a job in tech after graduation.

If you’re interested in potentially attending a local bootcamp, study its statistics to see how many students graduate and find jobs. Research its offered courses to make sure it’s teaching what you want to learn. Read online reviews, or even better, talk to actual graduates about their experiences. While it’s always good to learn new skills, it’s important to spend as much time as you need evaluating your options.