- What are coding bootcamps?
- Pros and cons of coding bootcamps
- How much do coding bootcamps cost in 2023?
- Bootcamps vs apprenticeships
- Benefits of coding apprenticeships
- How to decide if coding bootcamps are worth it
- Limitations of coding bootcamps
- Can you get a job with a coding bootcamp?
- Learn software engineering with a Multiverse apprenticeship
However, in recent years, many bootcamps have raised their tuition, and are becoming just as or more expensive than a year or two of college. Others defer tuition and take a large cut of students’ pay once they complete their program and begin working in their chosen field. With rising costs and a changing tech landscape, you may ask: Are coding bootcamps worth it in 2023?
Learning to code can open up high-paying career opportunities in tech, finance, and other industries. But there are more—and perhaps better—options available than paying for college or a bootcamp.
Let’s dive deeper into the pros and cons of coding bootcamps like costs, experience, and job placement success. Then, we’ll explore alternatives like paid apprenticeships to help you decide if a bootcamp is worth it for you.
What are coding bootcamps?
Coding bootcamps are accelerated training programs that teach students specific skills like web development or languages like Python. In the last decade, they’ve become a popular way for aspiring programmers to learn coding faster than they would at college.
According to the 2022 Stack Overflow Developer Survey(opens new window), 10.8% of Developers learned to code at coding bootcamps. By contrast, only 3.5% reported attending coding bootcamps in the 2015 Developer survey(opens new window).
Pros and cons of coding bootcamps
Coding bootcamps often advertise themselves as a fast way to transition into the tech industry, but are they as helpful as they promise? Here’s a quick breakdown of their pros and cons.
How much do coding bootcamps cost in 2023?
Coding bootcamps may be more affordable than a college education, but they’re still expensive for most young people.
We looked at the current tuition costs of popular coding bootcamps compared to Multiverse’s apprenticeship program and a traditional four-year college degree.
Bootcamps vs apprenticeships
Multiverse apprenticeship programs are tuition-free. Apprentices also get paid a salary between $50,000 and $70,000 while they work and learn on-the-job at top companies.
Here’s a closer look at the differences between Multiverse apprenticeships and coding bootcamps.
Benefits of coding apprenticeships
Coding apprenticeships offer many benefits that make them attractive alternatives to bootcamps and college degrees, including:
- No tuition: Multiverse apprenticeships are tuition-free and pay apprentices a salary.
- Competitive salaries: Apprentices get paid to learn code and gain hands-on experience.
- Industry connections: Apprentices are matched with top companies and receive personalized coaching from experienced professionals in their field. They can also attend Multiverse social events and workshops.
- Professional portfolio: At the end of your apprenticeship, you’ll have a portfolio of projects to show recruiters.
- Career support: Multiverse offers interview preparation, personal career coaching, and other resources.
How to decide if coding bootcamps are worth it
If you’re considering a coding bootcamp or apprenticeships, these are the most important factors to help you decide.
Typically, coding bootcamps have fewer admissions requirements than apprenticeships.
Here are common coding bootcamp requirements:
- 18 years or older
- High school diploma or GED
To become a Multiverse apprentice, you must:
- Be 18 years or older
- Not have a Bachelor's degree (A high school diploma, GED, or Associate's degree is acceptable)
- Be authorized to work in the United States
If you don't meet the requirements for a coding apprenticeship, a bootcamp could be a viable alternative to college.
Return on investment (ROI)
Popular coding bootcamps cost anywhere from $14,000 to $20,000 or more. Many programs advertise that their graduates can qualify for six-figure jobs without a degree, but they don't guarantee employment.
One way to determine if it is worth the cost is to look at the return on investment (ROI). You can compare the cost with the average salary for your desired job title. However, this method assumes that you’ll secure a job shortly after completing a program.
When assessing any program—bootcamps or apprenticeships—you can request information about placement rates. But, don’t take it at face value alone. Research recent alumni to see how likely you are to land a job after graduation.
Payment structure also influences your ROI. Some bootcamps require students to pay the full tuition upfront, while others offer income share agreements. These plans delay paying tuition until students land a job. Then, the bootcamp charges them a set percentage of their income (such as 15%) for two to four years.
While this may sound like a good deal at first, many graduates pay far more than the upfront tuition cost.
Multiverse apprenticeships don’t charge tuition—upfront or later on.
Length and commitment
Most bootcamps last three to six months if you attend full-time, while part-time usually takes six to 12 months.
Additionally, students may attend 9-5 Monday through Friday, making it challenging to keep working your current job. Many students need to take time out of the workforce to focus on the bootcamp which causes a loss of income.
The learning format directly affects the quality of education and level of career preparation students receive. Bootcamps are largely unregulated, so you should ask questions about their structure.
Consider these factors as you research:
- In-person vs. online: In-person bootcamps offer more networking opportunities, but you'll need to spend time and money commuting. By contrast, online coding bootcamps may provide more convenience and flexibility but require greater self-discipline.
- Structured curriculum vs. self-paced: Self-paced programs offer more flexibility, but it may be harder to stay motivated and complete it on time.
- Professional preparation: Does the bootcamp include mentorship and on-the-job training? Programs that go beyond basic skill development will better prepare you for a career.
Accreditation and certification
Only two bootcamps have received accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training(opens new window). Unaccredited programs lack regulation and oversight, so they may not provide quality training.
Additionally, there’s no set curriculum for coding bootcamps, so the content can vary drastically. Ask programs about the topics they cover to see if you’ll gain skills aligning with your chosen career path.
Multiverse software engineering apprenticeships include a Department of Labor Apprenticeship Certificate, which can vary by employer.
Limitations of coding bootcamps
While coding bootcamps teach basic skills, they come with several limitations that may limit their effectiveness. These include:
- Few to no job placement services
- No practical, hands-on experience in the workplace
- Focus on teaching basic skills and tools that may soon become obsolete instead of foundational and advance software engineering concepts
- May not provide one-on-one mentorship or networking opportunities
Can you get a job with a coding bootcamp?
It’s possible to get a job after doing a coding bootcamp. Most coding bootcamps claim to have 70-90% job placement after graduating. However, the data around this usually comes from coding bootcamps or platforms that promote them, so it’s not unbiased or independent.
Also, most coding bootcamps don't specify the type of jobs their graduates land. They may inflate their placement rates by factoring in temporary and freelance jobs, even though these positions don't provide long-term financial stability.
On the other hand, an apprenticeship makes it more likely that you'll secure a well-paying job in your desired field. According to the US Department of Labor, 93% of apprentices(opens new window) landed a job with their employer at the end of their apprenticeship.
Learn software engineering with a Multiverse apprenticeship
A Multiverse Software Engineer apprenticeship teaches you how to code in 15 months and provides on-the-job experience. Apprentices get paid to learn while they work at a top company. By contrast, coding bootcamps cost thousands of dollars and don’t guarantee job placement.
If you’re interested in becoming a Multiverse apprentice, complete this quick application(opens new window). You’ll verify your eligibility and complete a profile. A member of the Multiverse team will then follow up to learn about your career goals and share next steps.