The U.S. Department of Education recently announced the launch of an experimental program that will allow federal student loans to cover the cost of some computer coding classes.
Coding bootcamps are intensive educational programs that teach participants how to code and become a web developer. Acquiring these in-demand, tech-based skills can often open up a world of career opportunities, allowing you to start a new career, command a higher salary, or become a founder of an innovative startup.
If you’re interested in improving your tech skills, here are the top four coding bootcamps to check out.
Coursera partners with renowned universities such as Stanford, Princeton, Yale, and many more to create in-depth, online courses for a fraction of the cost of enrolling as a full-time student. Essentially, you can get an Ivy league education without the massive student loan debt.
Costs for classes can range from less than a hundred dollars to several hundred dollars. Coursera does offer financial aid to students who face significant economic hardship.
Most classes do not have any prerequisites in regards to experience, so you can jump right in. If you feel like you need a more solid foundation, you can start with Computer Science 101 offered by Stanford University.
2. General Assembly
General Assembly offers full-time, immersive programs, classes, workshops, and courses. Established in New York City in 2011, General Assembly now has 19 locations in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to their on-campus classes, you can also take coding classes online.
General Assembly offers a four-month, full-time web development program that is offered in various cities. At $13,500, the cost of the program isn’t cheap. Financing is available through personal loan providers, many of which we have outlined here.
They also offer a more affordable online course, “HTML, CSS, and Web Design Circuit” for just $1,250. This 10-week online coding class is mentor-guided, providing the chance to work one-on-one with a professional in the field.
Bloc is another great option for learning to code. They offer the Full Stack Web Developer Track, which teaches you every aspect of an application from database to code.
You can choose from their intensive, full-time track that lasts 24 weeks, or something you can do in addition to a full-time job at 15 hours a week for 72 weeks. Additionally, you can choose a mentor to work with.
One of the perks of this program is that Bloc offers job prep and career support, too. Plus, their program is a bit more affordable than General Assembly’s at $9,500. If you want to focus on something specific such as User Experience or Android/iOs, there are tailored programs as well, which are shorter and more affordable at $4,999.
Check out Bloc’s True Cost Calculator, which illustrates the real costs of coding bootcamps and shows your options side-by-side.
Springboard (formerly SlideRule) takes a personalized approach to education. When starting a class, you speak with a student advisor to discuss your goals. In addition, you’ll have weekly one-on-one video calls with a mentor.
Currently, Springboard offers a UX (user experience) design course to help get your skills into shape. You learn at your own pace and pay by month — as of now, the cost is two monthly payments of $299 each, which includes course curriculum, a mentor, and more. There are no prerequisites.
Springboard also offers Web Development using Python & Django, as well as Android App Development, and more. Additionally, students have the opportunity to learn at a self-guided pace through Springboard’s “Learning Paths.”
As the number of students who take on student loans grows and they become frustrated with traditional educational models, I believe we’ll see a surge in alternative education platforms focused on technology and teaching in-demand skills.
There are many classes, courses, and workshops out there to choose from already . Using these top four coding bootcamps, you can have a leg up in your current career or change careers altogether.
Coding will be the language of the future and could mean a huge return on your investment. Consider how learning to code could provide you more funds to pay off debt, save, invest and live a life you love with a career you enjoy.
Have you used any of these coding bootcamps? What is your experience with alternative education platforms?
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