The true cost of coding bootcamps

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The coding bootcamp industry is growing rapidly. According to Course Report’s Bootcamp Study, the industry is approaching a market size of $200 million, which is 138 percent growth over the prior year.

At the same time, critics warn about similarities to for-profit colleges, especially regarding "poor performance, exorbitant pricing, and exploitation of vulnerable, low-income students". Though I found my Computer Engineering undergraduate education to be helpful and fundamentally sound, I do not think it adequately prepared me for my first job. A case in point is that I learned as much working at a startup as I did in four years of university education. Based on this experience, it’s really important to me that students of all coding bootcamps get the technical skills and job training they need to achieve their goals.

Inspired by this concern and a desire to make coding bootcamps more financially accessible, we spent some time researching different options, their effectiveness, and cost. Here’s what we found:

  • Unlike for-profit colleges, bootcamps regularly place students at jobs, the rate at which differs based on the bootcamp and determination of the graduates.
  • Tuition for career-switching coding bootcamps falls between $10,000 and $20,000. (For example, Bloc’s Web Track costs $9,500, Dev Bootcamp costs $12,700-$13,950, and Hack Reactor costs $17,780.)
  • Bootcamps that incorporate one-on-one mentoring are more flexible and available to a wider audience than classroom bootcamps, which typically apply an aggressive admissions filter to admit already-capable students.

But the most startling realization was this:

  • Full-time bootcamps don’t include the true cost of their program in their marketing materials.

Students with jobs often quit them to attend a full-time bootcamp. Many also consider moving to another city. To help prospective coding bootcamp students make the most informed decision, I believed our team could help by building the "True Cost Calculator". Here’s how it works:

  • Pick a city where you want to attend a bootcamp.
  • Enter your current salary, or leave it at $0 if you’re unemployed.
  • Choose which parameter to sort by.
  • Calculate and compare the results.

The True Cost Calculator will list how you coding bootcamps, their tuition, and their projected cost which includes lost income. For example, if you live in New York City, and your current salary is $40,000, here’s what you’ll see:

We tried to make this as unbiased as possible. Bloc, our company, doesn’t always end up on top, and we included every competitor that we believe is rigorous enough to help students switch careers.

Most students view coding bootcamps as an investment. Students are typically career switchers, hoping to receive a higher salary and better quality of life upon graduation.

If you’re considering a coding bootcamp, we hope the True Cost Calculator will help you make  the best decision. And whether or not you choose Bloc’s Full Stack Web Developer Track, please know that each coding bootcamp featured in our calculator will require you to make a commitment to the craft and will offer a formidable education program invested in your success.

credit: Gunnar Pippel/Shutterstock

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