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The job outlook for software developers is expected to grow by 21% by 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics — far higher than the national average for all professions. This has made coding bootcamp a popular alternative to attending a four-year university.
The coding bootcamp market grew by 242% between 2014 and 2019, according to Course Reports. And for a 2018 coding bootcamp graduate, the average starting salary was $64,528.
Here’s what you need to know about coding bootcamp and how to pay for it:
- How do coding bootcamps work?
- What’s the average cost of coding bootcamp?
- How to pay for coding bootcamp
How do coding bootcamps work?
Coding bootcamps are intensive programs you can complete in a matter of months rather than several years. In general, most bootcamps last for three to four months.
There are different types of programs available, depending on your needs:
- In-person programs: Some of the biggest coding bootcamps have in-person curriculums, with rigorous all-day schedules that include lectures, hands-on challenges, portfolio building, and collaboration with other students.
- Remote or part-time programs: Remote programs are available if you’d prefer to study online or can’t attend classes in person. There are also part-time options if you want to continue working while you study. Just remember that while a part-time approach can help you finance your education, the program will take longer to complete.
Keep in mind that because of the time restrictions, coding bootcamps can’t be as comprehensive as a four-year bachelor’s degree. Rather than giving you a grounding in mathematics and science, bootcamps focus solely on software and programming.
By the time you finish the bootcamp, you’ll have:
- Developed a portfolio to show potential employers
- Worked on your interview skills
- Built an online presence
Most bootcamps will help you with job searching but don’t guarantee career placements.
Learn More: Where to Get a Personal Loan
What’s the average cost of coding bootcamp?
While coding bootcamps are less expensive than a four-year degree, they’re still a significant investment. In 2019, the average tuition of an in-person bootcamp was $13,584, and the average cost of an online course was $12,900.
Here are some other costs to keep in mind:
- Preparatory courses: Depending on the program, you might need to complete preparatory courses before enrolling in the coding bootcamp. These courses give you foundational knowledge before you start the curriculum and can cost hundreds of dollars.
- Room and board, plus living expenses: Make sure you account for room and board, plus additional living costs. For example, if you attend an in-person bootcamp in an area with a high cost of living (like Los Angeles or New York), you might end up paying thousands of dollars on top of tuition to rent an apartment.
Check that the school reports to the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting, a nonprofit organization that documents student outcomes for coding bootcamps.
The school should disclose its student graduation rates, how many students go on to find employment, and how much students earn after graduation on average.
How to pay for coding bootcamp
Coding bootcamps are for-profit institutions with short-duration programs. Because they’re not degree-granting schools, they’re not eligible for federal financial aid or private student loans. But you still have options.
Many bootcamps offer scholarships for low-income individuals, women, minorities, and those who have overcome adversity or are dedicated to using technology to better their communities.
For example, the Diversity Scholarship Fund offers a scholarship that pays 50% to 75% of the tuition bill for women, minorities, and veterans taking eligible courses at the bootcamp that offers the scholarship.
And the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship offers 50% funding for LGBTQ women learning to code at one of several coding bootcamps.
Use GI Bill benefits
If you’re a military veteran, you might qualify for GI Bill benefits that could cover some or all of your education costs. Not all coding bootcamps qualify for GI bill benefits, but some do.
Apply for the EQUIP Pilot Program
The U.S. Department of Education launched the Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP) Pilot Program to offer federal financial aid to attendees of select non-traditional training programs.
Three coding bootcamps are eligible for EQUIP: The Flatiron School, HackerRank, and MakerSquare. Visit each school’s website for more information on how to apply for aid.
Consider an income-share agreement
With some coding bootcamps, such as The Flatiron School, you can finance your education with an income-share agreement (ISA).
With an ISA, you make a tuition deposit and pay nothing else until after you graduate, secure a job, and begin earning a predetermined minimum income. Once you meet that threshold, you’ll start making monthly payments equal to a percentage of your income.
An ISA could be a good idea if you don’t qualify for other financing options like personal loans. However, keep in mind that an ISA might cost you more in the long run compared to alternatives.
Take out a personal loan
Another option is to take out a personal loan to cover your tuition and living expenses. Personal loans are unsecured (meaning they don’t require collateral) and usually come with a fixed interest rate and fixed monthly payment.
You’ll also be able to choose between a short-term or long-term personal loan, depending on the lender.
It’s a good idea to use a personal loan calculator to see how much a personal loan will cost you first.
If you decide to take out a personal loan, be sure to shop around and consider as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for you. Credible makes this easy — you can compare rates from all of our partner lenders in the table below in just a few minutes.
|Lender||Fixed rates||Loan amounts|
|9.95% – 35.99% APR||$2,000 up to $35,000**|
*If approved, the actual loan terms that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination, state law, and other factors. Minimum loan amounts vary by state.
**Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33.
|6.49% – 29.99% APR||$5,000 to $35,000|
|4.99% – 19.99% APR||$5,000 up to $100,000|
|6.99% – 19.99% APR1||$3,500 to $40,0002|
1Rate reduction available for AutoPay.
2You may be required to have some of your funds sent directly to pay off outstanding unsecured debt.
3After making 12 or more consecutive monthly payments, you can defer one payment as long as you have made all your prior payments in full and on time. Marcus will waive any interest incurred during the deferral and extend your loan by one month (you will pay interest during this extra month). Your payments resume as usual after your deferral. Advance notice is required. See loan agreement for details.
|5.99% – 24.99% APR||$5,000 up to $35,000|
|6.95% – 35.99% APR||$2,000 up to $40,000|
|5.99% – 17.53% APR||$5,000 to $100,000|
|7.99% – 35.97% APR||$1,000 up to $35,000|
|8.13% – 35.99% APR4||$1,000 to $50,0005|
4The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 20% and 36 monthly payments of $35 per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.
5Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa.The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in OH is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5,100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100.
6If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), you will receive your funds the next business day. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and funding in accordance with federal law.
About Rates and Terms: Rates for personal loans provided by lenders on the Credible platform range between 4.99-35.99% APR with terms from 12 to 84 months. Rates presented include lender discounts for enrolling in autopay and loyalty programs, where applicable. Actual rates may be different from the rates advertised and/or shown and will be based on the lender’s eligibility criteria, which include factors such as credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history, and vary based on loan purpose. The lowest rates available typically require excellent credit, and for some lenders, may be reserved for specific loan purposes and/or shorter loan terms. The origination fee charged by the lenders on our platform ranges from 0% to 8%. Each lender has their own qualification criteria with respect to their autopay and loyalty discounts (e.g., some lenders require the borrower to elect autopay prior to loan funding in order to qualify for the autopay discount). All rates are determined by the lender and must be agreed upon between the borrower and the borrower’s chosen lender. For a loan of $10,000 with a three year repayment period, an interest rate of 7.99%, a $350 origination fee and an APR of 11.51%, the borrower will receive $9,650 at the time of loan funding and will make 36 monthly payments of $313.32. Assuming all on-time payments, and full performance of all terms and conditions of the loan contract and any discount programs enrolled in included in the APR/interest rate throughout the life of the loan, the borrower will pay a total of $11,279.43. As of March 12, 2019, none of the lenders on our platform require a down payment nor do they charge any prepayment penalties.