What will your salary be after coding bootcamp? Coding bootcamps are judged almost entirely by their ability to find students high-paying jobs as software developers. Some schools release data about alumni jobs, others offer money-back job guarantees or deferred tuition, but how much are students earning when they graduate and how does their earning potential change as they gain experience? Every year, Course Report surveys real coding bootcamp graduates to better understand who is graduating from coding bootcamps and how successful they are in the workforce. In our second post of this series, we explore the lucrative data about salaries after a coding bootcamp.
How much do coding bootcamp graduates earn in their first jobs?
In Course Report’s most recent study of 1450 graduates, we find that coding bootcamp graduates earn an average $70,698, with a median salary of $65,000 in their first jobs.
Not only is that salary impressive, but it also marks a 50.5% salary increase in comparison to an alumni’s pre-bootcamp salary. For some, like former administration worker Devon Lindsey, the raise is even more transformative: “I quadrupled my salary and have this whole new exciting career coming my way,” she says.
We found that 79% of coding bootcamp grads found their jobs within 120 days or less.
How much do coding bootcamp graduates earn in their second and third developer jobs?
As bootcamp grads progress in their careers, salaries rise as well. In this latest survey, we found that in their second jobs, bootcamp graduates earn around $80,000 per year, and by their third jobs, alumni report earning, on average, $90,421 per year! This data confirms that as new grads become more experienced developers, they’re also increasingly valuable to their teams and companies (and can command higher salaries).
For example, Julia worked for nonprofits before attending Sabio, and now four years after graduating, her salary rings in over $100,000.
David, a former high school teacher, graduated from Codesmith in 2016 and landed a job at small online health startup MedCircle. After 10 months there, learning and growing as an engineer, David accepted a job as a Web Solutions Engineer at Google, where the average salary is $114,788.
How much can you earn as a developer if you don’t have a college degree?
Post-graduation salaries certainly depend on factors like background and education. However, while the lack of a college degree can limit your career, programming is a field that values ability over degrees. Coding bootcamp graduates without bachelors degrees still see an average salary of $58,877 – which is an average increase of 55% compared with their pre-bootcamp jobs.
For example, Temple Naylor attended The Tech Academy at age 19, without going to college, and landed a Lead Developer role after graduating.
Coding bootcamp grads who have a bachelors degree see a salary increase of 58% to $75,370.
Does the amount of pre-bootcamp programming experience affect salary?
There is a significant difference in salary between complete beginners, and people who have done some self teaching.
- Graduates who were complete beginners before bootcamp saw an average salary of $60,466 in their first jobs.
- Graduates who taught themselves some code before bootcamp make an average of $74,542 in their first jobs.
- Graduates who were experienced programmers before bootcamp make an average of $84,560 in their first jobs.
For example, Emma, a graduate of The Software Guild, learned some R and Python before starting the bootcamp, and is now working as developer at Best Buy. She reflects on her career change: “I was a volunteer before this job, so by moving into this career, my salary multiplied by six.”
In which states do coding bootcamp grads earn the most?
In addition to pre-bootcamp experience, salaries seem to be influenced by gender and location. Perhaps predictably, graduates working in California see the highest salaries; the average is $100,482. Next up is New York, where grads make an average of $74,756. Interestingly, graduates who studied online had the third highest average salary of $70,500.
However, living costs are likely to be higher in those tech hubs in California and New York, so make sure to take that into consideration when looking for a job.
How does gender affect salary?
As we explored in our Deep Dive: Gender Parity in Coding Bootcamps piece, gender does affect salary. In our study we found that men earned an average of $73,228 after coding bootcamp, whereas women earned $68,578 after coding bootcamp.
How much do graduates from each coding bootcamp earn?
While our Outcomes study reports on data in aggregate, many schools release their own outcomes reports.
- Hackbright Academy graduates have a median starting salary of $88,000 in San Francisco
- Hack Reactor graduates have a median starting salary of $75,000 in Los Angeles, $90,000 in New York City, $105,000 in San Francisco
- Flatiron School graduates earn an average of $75,997 in New York City
- Fullstack Academy graduates have a median starting salary of $75,000 in Chicago, $85,000 in New York City
- Sabio graduates have a median starting salary of $65,000 in Los Angeles, $70,000 in Newport Beach
- Tech Elevator graduates have a median starting salary of $56,500 in Cleveland, $62,500 in Columbus
- The Software Guild graduates have median starting salary of $53,500 in Akron, $60,000 in Minneapolis, $52,000 in Louisville
- Thinkful online bootcamp graduates have a median starting salary of $65,000 in the full-time program, $60,000 in the part-time program
- Turing bootcamp graduates have a median starting salary of $70,000 in the back-end program.
Note: All of the above numbers are self-reported about graduates who successfully completed each course, and some of them have been evaluated by a third-party auditor. Also note that some of these results are reported via averages, and some via medians, so the amounts may not always be comparable. You can find more coding bootcamp outcomes data at the Council on Integrity Results Reporting.
How can you increase your chances of a high salary after coding bootcamp?
Number one: do some self-teaching! As we saw above, graduates who had done some self-teaching earned almost $15,000 more than those who were complete beginners.
Having a college degree certainly helps, but it’s still possible to land a respectable salary without one. Finding a job in a city with higher salaries can help too, but the living costs may be higher in those areas.
No matter what, the most successful bootcampers commit to a goal and work hard before, during and after bootcamp to land a well-paying job. One of those successful alumni, Tom Goldenberg, approached bootcamp with a lot of intensity: “My advice is you do really have to go above and beyond,” he says. “You have to network and build really non-trivial projects to showcase for employers to get that full-time position.”
Then once you graduate, it’s all about networking, meeting people, and showcasing your skills.
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