Coding Bootcamp vs Computer Science Degree: Is a Coding Bootcamp Worth It?

Disclaimer: I started college in Computer Science, and after two years, I migrated to Computer Science and Engineering Technology. I have a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering Technology from the University of Toledo. Today, I am a Lead Instructor at The Software Guild, a coding bootcamp.

Everywhere you go, you hear someone talking about “coding.” You may already be interested in learning more. Maybe you’re someone who likes tinkering with coding as a hobby. Maybe you’re someone who already has some background in coding and wants to get a more solid understanding of things. Two of the common questions people have about learning to code are:

  • Why would I choose a coding bootcamp or a university?
  • How do they differ?

The following are some of the factors that may come up when choosing between a coding bootcamp and a computer science (CS) degree.

Cost

How much are you looking to spend?

The cost of a program is one factor in choosing a coding bootcamp vs. a CS degree. A computer science degree could come in the form of an associate degree, which could lead to a bachelor’s degree. It could come in the form of a bachelor’s degree. An associate degree costs an average of $39,496 spread over two years, according to CollegeCalc.org. A bachelor’s degree costs an average of $157,760 spread over four years. Most coding bootcamps, on average, cost $11,450, according to Course Report. Full-time coding bootcamps may be as short as six weeks and as long as 28 weeks. Here at The Software Guild, our offerings include a 12-week in-person full-time bootcamp or a 10- to 14-month online part-time bootcamp.

Timeline

How long are you willing to work?

As mentioned above, full-time associate degree programs are typically two-year programs and may be offered by community colleges or other colleges and universities. Full-time bachelor’s degree programs are typically four-year programs offered by colleges and universities. Full-time coding bootcamps typically range between six weeks and 28 weeks.

Industry Acceptance

How legit are coding bootcamps in the industry? How do we know that a company sees a coding bootcamp as serious?

There are many job listings out there that require four-year CS degrees. Some job listings look for at least a two-year degree. Some companies require a degree of any type from a college or university. And then, there are companies out there that see the value in those who come through our program and that may look past the absence of a degree. While we can’t tear down the walls that companies place where they require the college degrees, we have been able to knock on doors and get them to see that we are legitimate in what we do and how we offer it. While we can’t speak to all coding bootcamps, The Software Guild is known for its well-rounded curriculum and coaching people to become world-class beginners. What kind of companies hire our graduates? Learn more about our Employer Network.

Curriculum Differences

Are there curriculum differences between the degree and coding bootcamp route?

Most coding bootcamps are structured so that you can learn skills that can be applied early and honed in the field. At The Software Guild, we give you a full-stack curriculum with practical knowledge, making it easy to transition from the bootcamp environment into the workforce. In the college environment, you learn a lot more theoretical knowledge — how things work under the covers and at the lowest of levels. You can gain a solid understanding of things like memory management, efficiency of search algorithms and optimizing code at the compiler level in a college program. With the college program, there’s a stronger understanding of how things are supposed to work — and some programs even have co-op or internship experiences for the practical side of things.

In the past, we have had CS college students come through our Software Guild cohort to get a more practical approach to better position themselves in the field.

Conclusion

The coding bootcamp route and the college degree route are different. When considering between the two, go with what matches your goals better. Not sure if a coding bootcamp is right for you? Want to learn more? Chat live with our enrollment counselors on our site!