Seeking the Best Coding Bootcamps? Here are 5 Great Options

 January 21, 2020
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Are coding bootcamps worth it? And which are the best coding bootcamps to look at?

For that first question, part of the answer will depend on what job you’re shooting for. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a software engineer is $105,590 per year, with openings expected to grow an impressive 21% by 2028. But for computer programmers, the median pay is $84,280, with openings expected to shrink by 7% in the next eight years, as employers outsource some of these jobs overseas.

At the end of the day, what kind of jobs you can get with a coding bootcamp education will depend a lot on the school. Wherever you go, you’ll want to first check what kind of work (and salary) recent graduates are getting. Only once you’re satisfied with the likely outcome should you sign up for bootcamp.

But where can you find coding schools with successful grads? Here are some solid options to help you begin your search.

1. The FlatIron School
2. CodeSmith
3. Tech Elevator
4. FullStack Academy
5. Bloc

Plus, here’s some more information to keep in mind:

Are coding bootcamps worth it?
Paying for coding bootcamp
Deciding on coding bootcamps

Coding bootcamp reviews: Our picks

There are many bootcamps out there, but unfortunately not all of them are reputable.

To come up with this list of the good bootcamp choices, we looked at several factors. First, we only considered bootcamps that submitted Council on Integrity in Results Reporting documents detailing their graduation rates and employment rates. The Council is a non-profit organization that uses a common framework for documenting student outcomes.

We also looked for bootcamps where graduates at least earned a higher average starting salary than the national average for all U.S. jobs, which was $51,960 in 2018. And likewise, we considered whether a school offers a money-back guarantee (most do not), what its total program cost is, and what kind of financing options are available.

Note that the information below is provided by the schools, so make sure to do your homework by checking out a variety of coding bootcamp reviews for the schools you’re considering. With that said, here are some of the schools that we liked:

1. The FlatIron School

  • Employment rate: 93% for online and on-campus students
  • Starting salary: Average of $72,000 for online students; $76,000 for on-campus students
  • Cost:
    • $9,600 to $15,000 for online programs
    • $17,000 for on-campus programs
  • Money-back guarantee: Yes

Locations

The FlatIron School, which is part of the WeWork company, has campuses in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Denver, Houston, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. It also recently opened a campus in London in the United Kingdom.

If you don’t live near one of the available campuses, the FlatIron School also offers online-learning options.

Curriculum

The FlatIron School offers several different courses. Courses range from 12 weeks to 24 weeks, but there are also self-paced options.

  • Software engineering: Students learn full-stack Javascript and Ruby. Upon completing the program, graduates can get jobs as web developers.
  • UX/UI Design: In this course, students learn user experience, client management, and technical skills so graduates can begin careers as UX or UI designers.
  • Data Science: In this course, students learn how to become data scientists.
  • Cybersecurity Analytics: The Cybersecurity Analytics teaches students how to handle technology threats.

Financing options

The FlatIron School allows you to make upfront payments, or, if you’re an online-only student, you can make monthly installment payments.

The school offers financing through its partners, the Skills Fund and Climb. Through these lenders, you can take out a loan and repay it over 36 to 42 months. Both also allow you to borrow an extra $7,500 above the price of tuition cost, so as to cover the cost of living.

The FlatIron School also offers income share agreements. With this option, you defer your tuition until after you graduate and start earning at least $40,000 per year.

2. CodeSmith

  • Employment rate: 87% of students at the Los Angeles campus graduate on time
  • Starting salary: Median starting salary is $117,500 for Los Angeles graduates
  • Cost:
    • $18,800 for the full-time software engineering immersive on-campus program
    • $12,500 for the part-time remote software engineering program
  • Money-back guarantee: No

Locations

CodeSmith operates two locations: Los Angeles and New York. Students also have the option of enrolling online in a part-time program.

Curriculum

Whether you’re a full-time student on-campus or a remote student, CodeSmith is focused on software engineering. You’ll develop skills in computer science, front-end development, back-end development and the latest technology. By the end of the program, you’ll have a portfolio of work to show potential employers.

The full-time program is immersive, with students spending at least 70 hours per week learning and practicing over the course of 12 weeks. The remote, part-time option is spread out over nine months.

Financing options

CodeSmith offers financing through two lenders, Climb and the Skills Fund. The school also has several scholarships in place for women, minorities and military veterans.

3. Tech Elevator

  • Employment rate: 94%
  • Starting salary: Graduates earn an average starting salary of $58,000
  • Cost: $15,500
  • Money-back guarantee: No

Locations

Tech Elevator offers in-person bootcamps in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Unlike some of the other companies on this list, Tech Elevator does not offer a remote or online option.

Curriculum

The program lasts for 14 weeks, and you must make a full-time commitment. Depending on your bootcamp selection, you’ll learn either Java or .NET language. By the end of the program, you’ll be able to design web applications. The curriculum also covers HTML, CSS, JavaScript and SQL.

Financing options

With Tech Elevator, you can pay all at once or in installments. If you need financing help, the company partners with Sallie Mae and the Skills Fund to offer loans.

Tech Elevator is also an eligible training provider in select states under the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act. In some cases, you may qualify for grants through the program.

4. FullStack Academy

  • Employment rate: 66.7% of students in the New York location are employed within 180 days of graduating
  • Starting salary: Median salary for New York graduates is $90,000
  • Cost:
    • New York location: $17,910
    • Chicago location: $15,910
  • Money-back guarantee: No

Locations

FullStack Academy operates campuses in New York and Chicago. There are currently no online learning options.

Curriculum

FullStack Academy has both a full-time and part-time bootcamp. The full-time version spans 13 weeks and is completely immersive. In the course, you’ll learn how to become a software engineer. You’ll develop skills in front-end and back-end development, as well as integrating databases into your applications.

The part-time option is only available in New York. It covers the same material as the full-time bootcamp, but it’s spread out over 28 weeks.

Financing options

Financing is available through Upstart and the Skills Fund. In addition to the tuition, you can also borrow money to cover your living expenses during the bootcamp.

5. Bloc

  • Employment rate:
    • Designer Track: 96.3% are employed within 180 days of completion
    • Web Developer Track: 83% are employed within 180 days of completion
  • Starting salary:
    • Designer Track: Median salary is $67,500
    • Web Developer Track: Median salary is $60,000
  • Cost:
    • Designer Track: $8,500
    • Web Developer Track: $7,500
  • Money-back guarantee: Yes

Locations

Unlike with the other bootcamps on this list, the programs at Bloc are entirely online. Bloc does not have an in-person campus to attend.

Curriculum

When you become a Bloc student, you have up to eight months to complete the program.

In the Designer Track, you’ll learn the design components of UI/UX, as well as other front-end development skills. With the Web Developer Track, you’ll learn full-stack JavaScript and computer science fundamentals.

Both tracks are entirely self-paced. If you need additional time to complete the curriculum, you can add months for an additional fee.

Financing options

Bloc offers financing through the Skills Fund. If you go this route, you can have up to five years to repay your loan. If you finish the program before the full eight months, you’ll get a pro-rated refund.

Bloc does offer a tuition reimbursement guarantee. If you don’t get a job within six months of completing your Bloc program, you can get your money back.

Are coding bootcamps worth it?

When deciding whether to attend a coding bootcamp, consider these benefits and drawbacks:

Pros

  1. You can switch careers within just a few months: If you’ve always wanted to switch careers, you can get through a coding bootcamp within just a few months. That timeframe is a much smaller commitment than the years it would take to get a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
  2. You can increase your earning potential: If you’re stuck in a low-paying job, you may be able to earn significantly more money after completing a coding bootcamp.
  3. It costs less than a four-year degree: According to College Board, a single year at a public, four-year university will run you $9,410, on average. Go to a private school, and that number jumps to $32,410. That means a four-year degree could cost anywhere from $37,640 to $129,640.

Cons

  1. You’ll need to be technology savvy to succeed: While some programs say they’re suitable for beginners, you’ll need to have some technology skills to succeed.
  2. You may have to leave your job: Most coding bootcamps are completely immersive, meaning you have to dedicate all of your time to the program. You’ll have to leave your job (or take leave), eliminating your income for that time.
  3. A bootcamp doesn’t replace a degree: While you can learn a great deal in a coding bootcamp, they don’t replace a computer science degree. A 2017 survey of tech recruiters and HR managers by jobs site Indeed found that 41% would prefer job applicants to have a four-year degree, so only attending a coding bootcamp could limit your employment options.
  4. Loans for bootcamps tend to be expensive: Coding bootcamps don’t qualify for most student loans. Instead, you’ll have to turn to lenders that offer loans just for coding bootcamps or personal loan lenders. These tend to have higher interest rates than you’d get with student loans, making them more costly, and the repayment terms also tend to be shorter.

If you decide that attending a coding bootcamp is right for you, make sure you do your research ahead of time. Even with the schools on this list, look for information on their costs, employment rates, career services departments, and their refund policies. As the demand for bootcamps grows, more and more companies are popping up — and not all of them are worth your time and money.

Paying for coding bootcamp

As noted above, coding bootcamps aren’t eligible for federal student loans or even most private student loans. If you need help paying for your education, consider these other options:

Specialty loans

While you won’t be able to get federal student loans, there are loans for bootcamps available. Lenders like Climb, the Skills Fund and Upstart offer loans specifically designed for coding bootcamps.

These three lenders work only with certain coding bootcamps, however, so double check with the lender to see if your selected school qualifies.

Income share agreements

Another option is income share agreements. Some schools allow you to defer tuition until after you graduate and get a job. Once you find work and are making a predetermined level of salary, you’ll use a set portion of your income to repay the money you received. Not all schools offer this option, but talk to the school’s admissions department to see if an income share agreement is available.

Personal loans

If you have good credit, you may be able to get a lower interest rate and longer repayment term with a personal loan, rather than a specialty school loan. Personal loans are unsecured, meaning you don’t have to use any property as collateral.

Deciding on coding bootcamp

Coding bootcamps can be a great way to learn a new skill and transition to a new career. However, not all programs are the same in terms of cost and quality, so do some research before submitting your application and deposit. Look at the schools’ Council on Integrity in Resulting Reporting submission and evaluate your own finances to decide which coding bootcamp is best for you.

Melanie Lockhert contributed to this report.

The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.

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2 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.

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Student Loan Refinance Interest Rate Disclosure Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 2.99% APR to 8.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.99% APR to 8.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. The maximum rate for your loan is 8.95% if your loan term is 10 years or less. For loan terms of more than 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95%. Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX. Let us know if you have any questions and feel free to reach out directly to our team.


3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

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Fixed rates range from 3.49% APR to 7.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 1.74% APR to 7.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.


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Laurel Road Disclosures

All credit products are subject to credit approval.

Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.

As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.

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This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
 


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You can choose between fixed and variable rates. Fixed interest rates are 2.99% – 8.24% APR (2.74% – 7.99% APR with Auto Pay discount). Starting variable interest rates are 1.99% APR to 8.24% APR (1.74% – 7.99% APR with Auto Pay discount). Variable rates are based on an index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) plus a margin. Variable rates are reset monthly based on the fluctuation of the index. We do not currently offer variable rate loans in AK, CO, CT, HI, IL, KY, MA, MN, MS, NH, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, and VA.


6 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

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Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it  endorse,  any educational institution.

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of  5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.

As of 5/17/2022 student loan refinancing rates range from 2.05% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.49% APR – 7.93% Fixed APR with AutoPay.


7 Important Disclosures for PenFed.

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Fixed Rate Loan Terms: 5 years/60 monthly payments, 8 years/96 monthly payments, 12 years/144 monthly payments or 15 years/180 monthly payments. Annual Percentage Rate is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed rates range from 3.29% to 5.43% APR. Rates are subject to change without notice. Fixed APR: Fixed rates will not change during the term. This rate is expressed as an APR. Since there are no fees associated with this loan offer, the APR is the same percentage as the actual interest rate of the loan. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.


8 Important Disclosures for CitizensBank.

CitizensBank Disclosures

Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure:  Variable interest rates range from 1.99%-8.38% (1.99%-8.38% APR). Fixed  interest rates range from 2.99%-8.63% (2.99%-8.63% APR).

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Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure:Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount. Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on  their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan  servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to  successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month  period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.