3 Months vs 2 Years: How Long Should Your Coding Bootcamp Be?

Imogen Crispe

Written By Imogen Crispe

Last updated on February 18, 2020

Course Report strives to create the most trust-worthy content about coding bootcamps. Read more about Course Report’s Editorial Policy and How We Make Money.


For some students, the traditional 12-week, full-time coding bootcamp may not seem like enough time to acquire the skills that employers want. As the coding bootcamp industry has evolved, longer coding bootcamps such as Turing, Galvanize, C4Q, Ada Developers Academy, Learner's Guild, CODE University, Holberton School, Make School, We Think Code, and 42 have emerged with courses ranging from 6 months to 5 years. These schools emphasize computer science concepts, offer apprenticeships, and provide in-depth, cutting-edge technology education, without the opportunity cost of a traditional computer science degree. Think a longer coding bootcamp could be for you? Start your research here.

Teaching Style

Many of these longer coding bootcamps adopt a flipped classroom or progressive education style of learning where students learn through building apps and products, and often emulate a work environment, rather than through traditional lecturing and rote learning.

Deferred Tuition and Payment Plans

Because these coding bootcamps are long, full time, require you to be out of work, dedicate all your time to learning to code, but are generally not eligible for federal loans, many of them offer payment plans. Deferred Tuition or Income Sharing Agreements allow a student to pay little to nothing upfront, followed by a percentage of their salary once they find a job. Julien Barbier of Holberton School explains why income sharing ensures a more diverse cohort: “If there is a wall around payments, then only people who can afford tuition will be able to attend. We want to offer this high-quality education to all, because we believe that people from every community and background should have the opportunity to become a software engineer.”

Is a Longer Coding Bootcamp Right for You?

Are you trying to decide between a traditional 12-week coding bootcamp, or a longer program? Here are some points to consider:

Learning Style

Do you learn best from instructors through lectures and workshops followed by coding challenges and projects? Then a traditional 12-week coding bootcamp could be for you.

Do you learn best through trial and error, trying to teach yourself to build something alongside other students without formal instructors? Then a longer coding education program could be for you.


Are you eager to get out into the workforce very quickly and can’t spend more than a few months studying? Then a traditional 12-week coding bootcamp is for you.

Do you feel like you want to solidify your coding skills, and learn multiple technologies without a time limit? Or get access to an internship/apprenticeship before searching for jobs? Then a longer coding education program could be for you.


Most traditional coding bootcamps cost between $5,000 to $15,000 and require an upfront payment of some sort.

These longer coding education programs can be more expensive (up to $60,000!), but generally have a number of tuition options such as Deferred Tuition, Income Sharing Agreements, or no cost at all.


Best Long Coding Bootcamps

Bootcamps that are 6 to 12 months long

1. Galvanize

Galvanize offers a 24-week Web Development Program which aims to transform beginner coders into job-ready software engineers.
Length: 6 months full-time
Learning style: Lessons/lectures, pair programming, project work
Instructor student ratio: 1:12
Cost: $21,000 with financing available from lending partners SkillsFund and Climb.
Location: Boulder, Denver, CO; San Francisco, CA; Austin, TX; Phoenix, AZ; Seattle, WA
Related Reading: Alumni Spotlight: Tim of Galvanize


2. C4Q

Access Code is a 10-month intensive coding bootcamp hosted by Coalition for Queens (C4Q). Students can choose between tracks in Android, iOS, and full-stack web development.
Length: 6 months full-time training + 4 months career prep
Learning style: Project-based learning, with hands-on instruction
Instructor:student ratio: unknown
Cost: Deferred tuition - students pay 12% of their salary for 2 years
Location: Queens, NY


3. Ada Developers Academy

Ada is a not-for-profit, tuition-free software school for women who want to become software developers. It is made up of 6 months of full-time classroom training, followed by 5 months of internship.
Length: 6 months full-time learning + 5 months internship
Learning style: A mix of lectures, project work, and homework
Instructor student ratio: unknown
Cost: Free
Location: Seattle, WA


4. Turing School

Turing School offers a Back End Engineering Program and a Front End Engineering program, has very experienced instructors, and aims to produce graduates who will be valuable to future employers.
Length: 7 months full-time
Learning style: Lectures, pair programming, and project work
Instructor student ratio: 1:12
Cost: $20,000 (includes laptop) with financing available from the GI Bill and lending partners SkillsFund and Climb
Location: Denver, CO
Related Reading: Alumni Spotlight: Chris of Turing School


5. Learners Guild

Learners Guild is a full-stack web development learning collective where people learn from others and pass on their own skills and knowledge, with the aim of building professional-level tech skills. Students can opt to get a stipend while learning.
Length: 10 months full-time
Learning style: self-directed collaborative learning through team projects with other students
Instructor student ratio: N/A. Everyone is both a student and a teacher, plus there are experts available.
Cost: $29,750 or deferred tuition via Income Sharing Agreement. Pay nothing upfront, then if you get a job earning $50,000 or more, you will make payments of 12.5% to 21% (depending on whether you had a stipend) of your gross salary for 3 years.
Location: Oakland, CA


Bootcamps that last 2 to 5 Years

1. Holberton School

A self-described 2-year alternative to college, Holberton is training students to become Full-Stack Software Engineers. After nine months, students have the skills to find an internship, or a job. Towards the end of the two-year program, students specialize in a topic of their choice.
Length: 2 years (9 months full-time + 6 month internship + 9 months specialization)
Learning style: Project-based, peer learning inspired by Progressive Education
Instructor student ratio: N/A. Mentors from the industry are available to help students.
Cost: Deferred tuition – 17% of your salary for 3 years once you find a job
Location: San Francisco, CA
Related Reading: Alumni Spotlight: Rona of Holberton School


2. Make School

In addition to their 8-week Summer Academy, Make School offers a two-year Product College that covers computer science and product development and aims to prepare students for a career as a founder or software engineer. Students can choose between learning Mobile Development or Full-Stack Web Development.
Length: 2 academic years including an internship
Learning style: Students learn through building products
Instructor student ratio: 1:8
Cost: $60,000 or deferred tuition via an Income Sharing Agreement of 25% of your salary for 3 years.
Location: San Francisco, CA
Related Reading: Alumni Spotlight: Ivy of Make School


3. 42

A 3 to 5-year coding education program where learning revolves around project-based peer to peer learning. Admission is determined through a 4-week “piscine” where students are thrown into a “sink or swim” experience and have to learn as much as possible. The main 42 program includes one optional and two obligatory internships. Students must be aged 18 to 30.
Length: 3 to 5 years
Learning style: Self-paced, project-based peer-to-peer learning via an online curriculum
Instructor student ratio: N/A. There are no professors. Students learn from themselves and each other.
Cost: None
Location: Fremont, CA; Paris, France:


4. WeThinkCode_

A 2-year program using curriculum developed by 42, where students gain coding skills through peer-to-peer learning. To be admitted, students must pass a 4-week selection bootcamp, where they are assessed on attitude, resilience, and problem solving abilities. The program includes two internships. Students must be aged between 17 and 35.
Length: 2 years
Learning style: peer-to-peer learning
Instructor student ratio: N/A. Students learn via an online curriculum and from each other
Cost: No-upfront cost. Students or their employer pay a placement fee if they find a job as a programmer.
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa


5. Launch School

Launch School is an online coding program that takes 1-2+ years to complete. Once students have completed the entire Launch School Core Curriculum, they can apply for a 3-6 month Capstone Mentoring program. Launch School employs mastery-based learning to teach full-stack software engineering.

Length: 1-2 years to complete Core Curriculum, then a 3-6 month Capstone
Learning Style: Instructor-led, Mastery-based learning
Cost: No upfront cost; students pay a percentage of fist year's salary
Location: Online


Related Reading:

About The Author

Imogen Crispe

Imogen Crispe

Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves exploring technology and education in her work. Her strong background in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites, makes her a contributor with professionalism and integrity.

Also on Course Report

Get our FREE Ultimate Guide to Paying for a Bootcamp

By submitting this form, you agree to receive email marketing from Course Report.

Get Matched in Minutes

Just tell us who you are and what you’re searching for, we’ll handle the rest.

Match Me