Are Coding Bootcamps Worth It in 2024?

Liz Eggleston

Written By Liz Eggleston

Jess Feldman

Edited By Jess Feldman

Last updated on November 2, 2023

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.

Coding bootcamps are often called a “fast track” to well-paying tech jobs. And with lower tuition costs, shorter class times, and a practical learning curriculum, these alternative education schools are praised for increasing access to tech education. But are coding bootcamps really worth it? In Course Report research, we’ve asked thousands of alumni about their investment and whether it paid off – here’s what we’ve found.

Are bootcamps worth it?

  • The Short Answer is Yes – coding bootcamp alumni earn ~51% higher salaries compared to their previous jobs!
  • On average, graduates earn $70,698 at their 1st job after bootcamp; that rises to $80,943 at their 2nd job after bootcamp and $99,229 at their 3rd job.
  • At a coding bootcamp, you should expect to spend 12-20 rigorous weeks learning to build and deploy software using hands-on, project-based teaching. Career Services teams are responsible for preparing you for the job search!
  • There are tips you can follow to choose a bootcamp that is worth it and to make a bootcamp worth it for you.

Are coding bootcamps worth it?

Short answer: the data says YES. But let’s dig a little deeper into what makes an educational program worth it and how coding bootcamps measure up.

Most university computer science programs are four years long and you can expect your tuition to ring in at about $163,140. The average bachelor’s degree holder earns $59,124. On the other hand, coding bootcamps are ~14 weeks long and average $11,874 in tuition. And the average coding bootcamp graduate earns $70,698. Bootcamp students can learn how to code faster and cheaper with guided support in smaller class sizes, and bootcamp graduates actually earn higher salaries than college grads.

How much will I earn after bootcamp?

Here are the facts – overall, 79% of coding bootcamp grads are employed full-time and it takes 1-6 months to get that first job. Everyone will have a different job search journey, but it’s important to remember that networking with other tech professionals and utilizing the coding bootcamp's career services help is vital to landing your first job.

In Course Report’s most recent study of 3,043 bootcamp graduates, we found that coding bootcamp graduates earn an average of about $70,000, but this increases as developers gain seniority in the industry. On average, graduates earn $80,943 at their second job after bootcamp, and $99,229 at their third job after bootcamp.

If you're interested in how coding bootcamp grads perform a few years out, Flatiron School surveyed more than 150 alumni who graduated one to four years ago to find out how their careers have positively progressed. Watch VP of Career Services, Rebekah Rombom, share what coding bootcampers can expect their career trajectories to look like.

Are coding bootcamp grads actually getting jobs?

Coding bootcamps are intensive, accelerated learning programs that teach digital skills like Full-Stack Web Development, Data Science, Digital Marketing, UX/UI Design, and Cybersecurity.

In Course Report’s latest Outcomes Report, 80% of respondents say they've worked in a job requiring the technical skills they learned in the bootcamp.

So if you have aspirations of becoming a software developer or data scientist, or a tech-adjacent job like a product manager, a bootcamp may be worth it.

How much will I pay for a coding bootcamp?

While coding bootcamp tuition is substantially less than a traditional university, there’s still an important financial commitment when attending bootcamp. The average tuition for a coding bootcamp is about $12,000, and ~20% of students use a lender like SkillsFund or Climb Credit. And with the rise of deferred tuition and income-sharing agreements, you can avoid paying tuition until you get a job. There are various ways to pay for a coding bootcamp – be sure you’re choosing an option that covers your costs, but doesn’t leave you with high-interest debt.

Can I calculate my bootcamp ROI?

To understand if a bootcamp is worth it, you’ll need to calculate two figures: your total investment and your starting salary goal.


Coding Bootcamp

College CS Degree

Total Investment

$20,000 – $30,000

Pro Tip: the average bootcamp tuition is $11,874. Your total investment should include Tuition + Computer + Living Costs for 3-6 months.


Starting Salary Goal

~$70,000 per year on average

According to Course Report’s research, coding bootcamp graduates report an average of $70,698, with a median salary of $65,000 in their first jobs.

~$60,000 – $120,000 per year

The average bootcamp grad sees an average salary increase of 50.5% or $23,724(!) which almost immediately pays off your investment. Everyone’s story is different, but here’s how General Assembly graduate Ileana Ordonez calculated whether General Assembly was worth it.

However, maybe your salary isn't the most important factor to happiness and worth for you. In addition to salary, many bootcamp alumni find their jobs more gratifying and flexible, and their better quality of life is what makes a bootcamp worth it for them. 

Our Tips: Making a Coding Bootcamp Worth It

Just because the average bootcamper sees a salary lift, doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed these results. Here’s how you can make sure that coding bootcamp is worth it for you:

  • Set your expectations and salary goals before you attend a coding bootcamp. What’s your endgame? Are you a career changer or are you trying to get a promotion? Will your projected salary be worth it?
  • Give yourself room to be open about the experience. Setting expectations is key but be sure to adapt to the learning experience. You may find that you like working with one language over the other, or that your career goals have shifted throughout the bootcamp.
  • Be ready to do the work. No coding bootcamp will “give you a job.” Expect to work hard and hustle to get your first job after graduating.
  • Understand your job search timeline. It may take longer than you expect to find a job after bootcamp (we suggest planning for 3-6 months). Tap into your network and support system. And never stop learning or networking after your coding bootcamp

Choose a Legit Bootcamp – which bootcamps are worth it?

Do alumni think a coding bootcamp is worth it?

So you’ve now seen the stats; you know that the average coding bootcamper reports an 8.3/10 satisfaction rating. But what do real alumni actually say? Shameless plug – you can read 50,000+ reviews on Course Report! Here are a few first-hand sentiments:

Julia Wells went from non-profits to web development, and chronicles her salary change: “After Sabio, my first job was at IBIS World (…) making $62,000 per year as a Junior Developer (which was a $5K increase from my job in non-profits). Recruiters started buzzing, and I told them not to talk to me unless they could get me a job making $90,000. I thought this would get them to leave me alone, but someone offered me a job in Burbank at Health Data Vision for $90,000 in March 2015! I’m now on my third post-Sabio job as an Applications Developer, and two weeks ago, they offered me a raise to $102,000.”

Katie Scruggs went from teaching to software engineering and says "It was completely worth it for me to change careers and learn at Turing School. It's hard to imagine what my life would've been like if I hadn't. I owe a lot to them. I love having a career I can do from home, that is intellectually stimulating and interesting to me everyday, and that has opened my world financially — I was able to buy a house in Denver! I wouldn’t have ever been able to do that on a teacher’s salary."

For Emma Schaper, it’s not just about the salary (although it certainly helps): “I invested $10,000 in Software Guild and I knew there wasn’t a job guarantee. Software Guild alumni are lucky because a huge benefit of attending that bootcamp is the employer network. I am on the Search Product team at Best Buy now. I was a volunteer before this job, so by moving into this career, my salary multiplied by six! It’s a crazy jump when you think about it in a purely financial way, but you shouldn't just change careers for the financial reasons. You should get into tech because it's something that speaks to you.”

James Sullivan was able to launch his own business after learning to code at New York Code and Design Academy: “I can’t think of a more worth it investment of my time and money for an education. I don’t think I could have gotten a better experience if I’d gone to college and studied computer science.”

Do employers hire from bootcamps?

Employers continue to use coding bootcamps as a tech talent pipeline to hire qualified new developers – we’ve found that bootcamp alumni are working in over 650 different companies. And it’s not just startups! Established companies like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, Dropbox, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and Amex all hire from bootcamps like Fullstack Academy and the Grace Hopper Program. Bootcamps are evolving with industry trends, adding computer science fundamentals to their curricula, and employers are taking notice. 

Employers like that they can receive tech talent with hands-on experience in a shorter amount of time. There are many reasons as to why employers love hiring coding bootcamp grads, here’s what some key employers have to say:

Elizabeth Thompson, the Senior Engineering Manager at Preset, says "Preset values diversity in our hiring, and App Academy gives us an opportunity to recruit engineers who come from other backgrounds and industries, and who most often don’t have a Computer Science degree. A lot of the candidates are transitioning from a prior career in a completely different field and at some point found that they loved to code, and we appreciate that App Academy helps those individuals transition into a field which has traditionally been difficult to enter without a formal degree.”

Pat Poels, Director of Engineering at Eventbrite, puts it this way, “If you make the investment, you choose the right people, and invest in them in the right way, it's going to pay off. Those bootcamp grads will be worth so much more to you down the road. Think beyond the next six months; what can these new hires mean for the next six years?”

For Razorfish’s Talent Acquisition Manager, Nick Easlick, “a coding bootcamp is able to turn over their curriculum quickly as the tech landscape changes. I hate to be crushing four-year universities because they definitely have their place in the tech space, of course, but it's hard for a four-year university with a very solid locked-in curriculum to change at that same pace. Bootcamps are teaching things that are more applicable, more emerging, more innovative than someone out of a four-year university.”

At Cisco, the Director of Experience Design, Dustin Beltramo and Technical Leader, Joe Sutton believe that most full-stack engineer resumes look the same. They’ve found that “the only way to really gauge a candidate is by the quality of the code they write.” And since schools like Hack Reactor have their final projects and other work available on GitHub, it’s easy to get a sense for what type of developer they’re going to be. On top of that, the two Cisco employers believe “the Hack Reactor program seems to prepare students exceptionally well, they have a good sense of what it’s like to work on a modern web development project.”

Further Reading

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.

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