I looked at the cost, duration, structure, and USP for each online coding bootcamp
If you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, let me quickly tell you about what a coding bootcamp is before I get into the top online coding bootcamps. Basically, a coding bootcamp is an expensive and mentally intense way to shoehorn skills and knowledge into your brain at top speed, allowing you to skip past degrees at record speed.
In the past, you’d need a degree to get a job in computer science. But today, some kind of proof you can do what you say you can do - a certificate, or a portfolio - is often enough to get you through to the interview round. Bootcamps serve two purposes. One, they’ll give you the skills you need to get the certificate or build your own project portfolio. Two, they often offer their own certificate or project ideas.
A quick distinction: many coding bootcamps are in person. But thanks to the pandemic (and regular convenience) some of the best coding bootcamps are now online. These are often more affordable and flexible. Some coding bootcamps are even part-time.
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What is the structure of an online coding bootcamp?
A good online coding bootcamp will be a mix of instructor-led lessons, independent study, practice assignments, and group projects, much like you’d get at a university degree. The main difference is the speed at which you do these. Many online coding bootcamps require a steep time commitment of full-time work for 13-22 weeks in some cases. (Part-time or self-directed bootcamps range from 20-60 weeks.)
They’re also separate from websites like Coursera that basically offer degrees or certificates through online courses from accredited universities in coding. They’re intense, expensive, time-demanding, and in certain cases, very effective at teaching you to code.
When is it worth doing an online bootcamp?
They’re expensive and time-consuming. With so many low-cost, flexible learning options available, when is it worth doing an online bootcamp in 2022?
If you’re someone who struggles with self-guided learning, or if you need a sense of accountability and partnership, an online coding bootcamp will be a good option for you.
Want to know what the top 8 online coding bootcamps are? In the following sections, I’ll include the cost, the duration, the specialty, and why each online coding bootcamp makes the cut.
1. AppAcademy.io Online Coding Academy: Job-focused
I also love their mastery-based learning model. If you don’t learn the material of a given week, you can redo that week at no cost.
Since their business model relies on your future employment, this online coding bootcamp is 100% geared toward finding you a job. If you have any questions before applying, you can attend one of their learning sessions to answer questions. Finally, you don’t need any coding experience before you get started - they offer prep work to get everyone up to starting speed.
Cost: Free until you land a job with a salary of at least $50k per year. Then they take 15% for three years, capped at $31k total.
Duration: 24 weeks full-time, also part-time offers for 52 weeks. They did not provide an hourly estimate, but 60+ per week is fairly normal for bootcamps.
Structure: Mix of pair programming, live lectures, office hours, group projects, and homework.
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2. Coding Dojo Online Coding Bootcamp: Geared for Beginners
This online coding bootcamp is designed to be comprehensive for beginners. It boasts a very impressive 89.1% job placement rate and an average starting salary of $72,325 for its graduates. You’ll learn not one, but three stacks, including the basics of HTML, CSS, JS, jQuery, VS, Terminal, and Git.
This online coding bootcamp is also very job-oriented. As a grad, you get lifetime access to career services. Throughout the bootcamp, there’s plenty of job-oriented help, such as portfolio building, CV review, mock interviews, and more.
Cost: There are plenty of different options depending on your financial situation. The upfront cost is $14,995 if you pay in full. You can also do an income share agreement with a $1000 deposit. You’ll pay 9.8% of your earned income for a max of 60 months once you’re earning upwards of $32k annually. If you’re interested in this program, I recommend you check out the payment options page yourself to see what works best for you.
Duration: The online full-time is 14 weeks, estimated to be a 70-90h weekly time commitment. There’s also a part-time accelerated option, clocking in at 16-32 weeks of 25-35 hours per week, and a part-time flex program of 28 weeks of 10-15 hours per week.
Structure: You’ll start each day with live algorithms, discussion sessions, and group activities. There are also code reviews, open lab hours, and live instruction.
3. Grace Hopper Online Coding Academy: For Women and Nonbinary Coders
This online coding academy was inspired by the titular Admiral Grace Hopper, who was a pioneer in the tech industry. This program was developed to specifically help women and nonbinary coders.
Coding is obviously a non-gendered activity – men are not inherently better at coding than women, for example – but thanks to stigma and stereotypes, there is a hefty gender gap in computer science jobs - less than 30% of coding jobs are filled by women or nonbinary people.
It’s an inclusive program that gives its students the same rigorous coding curriculum as their Fullstack Academy, but with added guidance and support around combating systemic barriers.
Cost: the upfront cost is $18,910 for the full-time immersive and $17,480 for the part-time immersive. You’ll pay a $99 deposit fee and complete the rest of the payment throughout the course duration.
Duration: The Foundations portion typically requires about 20 hours of dedicated work per week (4 weeks total). After that, you can expect full-time hours plus 15+ hours of independent study.
4. Flatiron Software Engineer Online Coding Bootcamp: For Software Engineering
Flatiron’s online coding bootcamps are among the most decorated – they’ve won the Best Coding Bootcamp of 2021 award, the Best Data Science Bootcamp 2021 award, the Best Cyber Security Bootcamp 2021 award, and the Best Online Bootcamp 2021 award. They also offer 180 days of 1:1 career coaching to help with resume review, mock interviews, and personal branding. They claim that you can learn to develop software for websites and apps in as little as 15 weeks.
If you have any questions, they have plenty of events and admissions staff willing to talk to you.
Cost: The cost is $16,900, with a $500 deposit. They only offer upfront payments, loan payments, of 12 monthly payments of
Duration: option to learn full-time (15 weeks) or on a flexible pace schedule (20, 40, or 60 weeks). They expect a forty-hour week from you, with some “prework” requirements to get you up to speed.
Structure: They spend some time teaching you about the fundamentals of programming, which is key for any online coding bootcamp. You’ll also get daily touchpoints with your cohort, group work with instructor help, paired with programming sessions, lab time with instructional staff, and community support. It’s worth noting that their part-time offering is much more self-driven – you’ll get mostly recorded lectures, with optional live weekly lectures and office hours, weekly check-ins with instructors, and have the chance to chat with classmates and instructors via Slack.
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5. General Assembly Online Coding Bootcamp: For Industry Connections
General Assembly is one of the best online coding bootcamps in the business. They’ve been around for over a decade, have had over 80k students, and have 12k+ hires to their name. They’re practically an institution.
Their real claim to fame is the industry angle. Their curricula are developed with guidance from their software engineering advisory board. They’re intensely connected with industry leaders, with over 19k hiring partners. If you believe your network is your net worth, this online coding bootcamp is for you.
Cost: $15,950 upfront, $450/month for 24 months, or an income share agreement paid back when you have a job. (There were no further details for the cost on their website.)
Duration: The full-time course is twelve weeks; they estimate you’ll need to commit to 40-hour weeks. The part-time course is five months long, with 20 hours per week spread out over evenings and Saturdays.
Structure: This course is a mix of self-paced work, taught instruction, project toolkits, portfolio-building projects, and instructor- and TA-led office hours. For your final project, you’ll mock a team-client interaction. You and your team will work together to build and deploy a full-stack application.
6. Springboard Online Coding Bootcamp: For Data Science Jobs
Coding is quite a vague term nowadays, necessary in any number of jobs. Rather than looking for the best online coding bootcamp, sometimes it’s better to look for online bootcamps in specific career tracks that will teach you the coding skills you need for that career track.
One of the main focal points of Springboard’s online coding bootcamp is their mentorship. Every student gets a mentor who’s a working professional, keen to support you in everything from doing technical problems all the way through to career guidance.
The data science career track also comes with a job offer guarantee. It has terms and conditions, like you have to apply to a certain number of jobs per week, but it’s a guarantee anyway.
This particular program comes with prerequisites – you’ll need six months of active coding experience with a general-purpose programming language like python or R. You also need to be comfortable with basic probability and descriptive statistics, including concepts like means, medians, standard deviations, and more.
Cost: This program is one of the less expensive options, clocking in at $9,900. There’s also a month-to-month option, where you pay $1,890 a month for up to six months. There’s also a deferred tuition plan option. Here, you’ll pay monthly only after you start a data science job. It’s $450 a month up to $16,900.
Duration: This program is self-guided, with over 500 hours of video lessons.
Structure: The structure of this online coding bootcamp is split between videos, articles, hands-on projects, and career-related coursework. This is all self-guided. You’ll also get one-on-one mentorship from industry experts and help developing a design portfolio with 14 real-world projects.
7. WBS Coding School: For Web Developers
This cutting boot camp is geared to help you become a full-stack web and app developer in just less than 4 months. The career path is the start as a junior developer shortly after finishing the course. As most people know, web development and table development are here to stay. This course will prime you to also add more technologies, languages, and frameworks to develop your career and new directions.
The only requirements they list are an open mind, conversational English, and a computer with internet access. They claim that you don’t need to know any coding basics, have a mathematical mind, or have a competitive mindset.
This course trains you and functionality and interactive software. You’ll also learn about design and presentation for software. The final weeks of the course are dedicated to helping you create a real-world coding project in teams, mimicking conditions that you might experience in a real tech company.
Cost: This online coding bootcamp costs 9 thousand euros. They also offer installment plans if you can’t pony up.
Duration: This course is 15 weeks long, and takes 45 hours per week minimum.
Structure: This course is structured to be similar to a workweek, or university schedule, 9 am to 6 pm. You’ll find the day typically filled with workshops, reviewing work you did previously, doing coaching sessions, or doing Project work. There are also lectures and coding exercises.
8. Hack Reactor Immersive Online Coding Bootcamp: For the Ambitious
Hack Reactor makes a big claim for their live online coding bootcamp: that you’ll be able to get a job paying potentially up to $95,000 as a software engineer, totally able to deal with any potential problem or complex application that comes up in your future job. They go so far as to say that you will be a pro after the course.
Cost: This online coding bootcamp is more on the expensive end – you’ll pay $17,980 if you pay upfront. They also offer an income share agreement which means you don’t pay anything upfront, and you can defer tuition until you’re making at least $60,000 a year. At that point, you’ll pay 10% of your monthly income for 53 months, or less if you hit the cap.
Structure: The structure changes based on if you’re in the junior phase or the senior phase. In the junior phase, your day starts with live coding, followed by lectures, hacking, and paired programming. After lunch, you’ll start a group project. Then you have dinner, and then after dinner is another lecture. After the lecture, you’re getting back to work on a sprint for 1 hour. In the senior phase, you’re much more self-guided. There are fewer lectures, and you’re working on individual projects more.
How to pick the right online coding bootcamp
As with every listicle of options I write, I want to be clear that there’s no right answer. Some of these coding bootcamps will be better for you than others. I can’t make that decision. Only you can.
What I hope to do instead is present all of the relevant information in one easy place for you to have a look at. I recommend you continue doing research to get a vibe for the reputation of these bootcamps. Online coding bootcamps are expensive, they’re time-consuming, and some of them can be a little shady. It might be that you read this list and come to the conclusion that a coding bootcamp isn’t right for you at all. That’s okay, it might also be worth checking out our other piece on the top mistakes you can make when trying to get a programming job.
Before you pick an online coding boot camp, I really encourage you to check out some coding tutorials online and do some self-guided learning. This can help you get a feel for if coding is right for you all together before you drop thousands of dollars on an online coding bootcamp. I can also give you a better position to start from when you do enroll in an online coding bootcamp. Those first weeks move very quickly!
Either way, with this new information you should be able to pick the right online coding bootcamp that will get you where you want to be.