Are Coding Bootcamps Good for Beginners?

Liz Eggleston

Written By Liz Eggleston

Last updated on May 16, 2023

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Everyone starts learning to code as a beginner – but if you're new to tech, will a coding bootcamp work for you? While a few bootcamps tout low admissions rates and are meant for students with programming experience, the vast majority of bootcamps actually cater to beginners! Small class sizes, project-based learning, networking, and dedicated career coaching are all standard at coding bootcamps, making bootcamps a perfect option for beginners. 

The data: how many coding bootcampers are beginners? 

The goal for most bootcamps is to take a student from zero to sixty. 39% of bootcamp alumni started as complete beginners. And another 56% did some self-teaching before a bootcamp. This type of student may go from twenty to one hundred.

According to Course Report research, only ~5% of coding bootcamp alumni started as experienced programmers. The rest were complete beginners or had done some self-teaching in their free time. That means that if you're a beginner, then you're in good company! Thousands of students have started as complete beginners and gone on to have rich careers in tech. 

And post-bootcamp salaries are strong for beginners. As you can see in the table below, complete beginners still earn salaries of ~$67,000 in their first job after graduating from a bootcamp.

Pre-Bootcamp Programming Experience
Programming Experience Reported % Post-Bootcamp Salary
Complete Beginner 39% $66,748
Some Self-Teaching 56% $69,854
Experienced Programmer 5% $76,735

Why coding bootcamps are great for beginners:

  • Small class sizes: Cohorts are ~15-30 students, giving students enough attention from instructors.
  • Mentorship: Some bootcamps match you with a mentor to guide you through the curriculum. These mentors are typically industry professionals and can help beginners understand what the day-to-day job is like. 
  • Project-based learning: Hands-on learning is a hallmark of coding bootcamps, giving beginners the opportunity to deploy real code. 
  • Career Coaching & Networking: The #1 thing that beginners lack is experience. Career support teams at bootcamps help craft your resume, LinkedIn, online presence and teach you skills to apply to jobs. If you're a beginner in tech, then you've never worked a tech job. That could be a killer apprenticeship, an entry-level developer job, or even a contract that turns into a full-time gig. The network you build at a bootcamp – with instructors, other students, and mentors –  is priceless. 

Remember, everyone starts as a beginner!

Take this advice from a Hack Reactor alum, Victoria Ziegler: 

Tackle that impostor syndrome right away! You are meant to be here. It's really hard, but anybody can learn how to code. Start with the mindset that you are an engineer, you are a coder, you are a programmer! 

Set Yourself Up For Success: 3 Tips for Beginners

  • Take an Intro Course – remember that students who did some self-teaching before starting class earn ~$3,000 more than complete beginners. Here are the 16 Best Bootcamp Prep Programs.
  • Ask Questions & Stay Curious
  • Tackle Imposter Syndrome Early

About The Author

Liz Eggleston

Liz Eggleston

Liz Eggleston is co-founder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students choosing a coding bootcamp. Liz has dedicated her career to empowering passionate career changers to break into tech, providing valuable insights and guidance in the rapidly evolving field of tech education.  At Course Report, Liz has built a trusted platform that helps thousands of students navigate the complex landscape of coding bootcamps.

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