Coding Bootcamp vs. Computer Science Degree

Coding Bootcamp vs. Computer Science Degree

Sep 29, 2023
Adam Cuppy

Choosing between a coding bootcamp and a computer science degree is like standing at a tech crossroads. Both paths lead to the vibrant land of technology but offer different journeys. So, how do you decide which route to take? Let’s explore the landscapes of both options to help you make an informed decision.

What’s the Duration of Coding Bootcamp vs. Computer Science Degree?

Time is of the essence, especially when you’re eager to jumpstart your career in tech. Coding bootcamps are like express trains – they get you to your destination quickly, typically in 3 to 6 months. This short, intensive journey helps those looking to enter the tech industry swiftly.

On the flip side, a computer science degree is more of a scenic route. It usually takes four years to complete, giving you ample time to absorb the theoretical foundations of computer science and explore a broader range of knowledge.

How Do Costs Compare Between the Two?

Budgeting for education is crucial, and weighing the financial investment of both options is essential. Coding bootcamps are generally more wallet-friendly, with costs between $10,000 and $15,000. It’s a more affordable ticket to tech city, especially for those on a budget.

In contrast, a computer science degree can be a pricier venture. The average undergraduate tuition and fees can range from $9,934 for in-state residents to $32,635 for out-of-state students, depending on whether you attend a public or private institution. It’s a significant investment, but it delves deeper into computer science.

What’s the ROI for a Coding Bootcamp vs. Computer Science Degree?

Return on investment (ROI) is crucial to your decision-making process. For coding bootcamps, the average cost is around $13,579, with graduates typically seeing a median salary increase of $22,000 over their pre-bootcamp jobs. The short duration and salary boost make for an attractive ROI.

Computer science degrees, while having a higher initial cost and longer duration, can open doors to lucrative careers with high earning potential. The lifetime ROI for a bachelor’s degree in computer and information sciences is around 71% 14. Plus, according to Payscale’s College ROI Report, computer science majors have one of the best 20-year net returns on investment.

How Do Teaching Methods Differ?

The classroom experience varies significantly between coding bootcamps and computer science degrees. Bootcamps are about hands-on, project-based learning, focusing on practical skills development and specific programming languages. It’s a fast-paced environment where you’re quickly introduced to concepts and dive into in-depth assignments.

Computer science degrees, however, offer a more lecture-based experience. Professors explore concepts and theories in-depth, covering theoretical foundations and a broader range of knowledge. You’ll also be required to complete general education requirements, such as math, science, and humanities courses, providing a well-rounded education.

What’s the Average Salary for Graduates?

Salary expectations are a hot topic when choosing an educational path. According to research, the average salary for coding bootcamp graduates hovers around $70,000. It’s a competitive starting point, considering the short duration of these programs.

For computer science degree graduates, the median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $91,250 as of May 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The earning potential can vary depending on the job and location. Still, it’s a promising prospect for those pursuing a four-year degree.

What Skills Will You Learn?

The skills acquired during your educational journey will shape your tech toolkit. Coding bootcamps are skill-centric, focusing on practical skills such as web development, mobile app development, and data science 5. It’s a concentrated dose of knowledge aimed at making you job-ready.

In contrast, computer science degrees offer a comprehensive skillset covering algorithms, data structures, computer architecture, and software engineering. It’s a broader spectrum of knowledge that delves into the theoretical foundations of computer science, preparing you for various tech careers.

What Career Paths Can You Pursue?

Whether you’re a coding bootcamp graduate or a computer science degree holder, many tech careers await you. Bootcamp graduates often find roles as Web Developers, Data Scientists, UX/UI Designers, and DevOps Engineers, to name a few.

Computer science degree holders have diverse careers, including roles as Database Administrators, Computer Network Architects, Information Security Analysts, and Computer Hardware Engineers. The comprehensive education acquired through a degree opens doors to various positions in the tech industry.

Conclusion: Which Path is Right for You?

Deciding between a coding bootcamp and a computer science degree is a unique and individual journey. If you’re seeking a swift, practical, and cost-effective entry into the tech industry, a coding bootcamp could be your express ticket. On the other hand, if you’re inclined towards a thorough education exploring the theoretical underpinnings of computer science, a degree offers a more scenic and comprehensive route.

Remember, there isn’t a universal solution. The key is to align your aspirations, financial circumstances, and envisioned career trajectory with the educational path that resonates most with you. If you decide whether to opt for a coding bootcamp or a computer science degree, our Career Mentors are readily available. Schedule a quick info chat with us to embark on your journey, and we’ll help you navigate your career path into tech.

Whether you’re near our headquarters in San Diego, contemplating a career shift in the expanding biotech industry, or aspiring to be part of the innovative tech startups in Silicon Valley, your adventure in tech is just around the corner. We’re here to guide and support you every step of the way.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to the most common questions you may have. If you still can’t find the answer you’re looking for, just Contact Us!

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Can I work while attending LEARN academy?

We have had students hold part-time jobs while attending the coding bootcamps at LEARN academy. They tell us that it’s not too bad if your work is on the weekend, but working more than one night per week is really tough. It is tough but possible.


What is the class schedule?

LEARN academy’s 4 month bootcamp is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.


What do you mean by "full-time"?

LEARN academy’s full-time course is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Students spend the first 12 weeks working in the online classroom and the final 4 weeks in their remote programming internship.


What is the background of the typical LEARN Student?

There isn’t really a typical student at LEARN academy. Most have not taken computer science classes in college, although some have. Some have not gone to college at all, but many have undergraduate degrees in something other than computer science. Past graduates have been in the entertainment industry, waitresses, massage therapists, in the military, and just about anything else you can think of.

Can I call you or drop by to talk?

Absolutely! We love chatting with potential partners and students. It is always best to make an appointment first so we can make sure someone is available to answer your questions. You can email us hello@learnacademyorg.


Is there any required prep work?

Students who are accepted and enrolled in the 4 month bootcamp are required to attend and participate in a workshop, called Jumpstart, offered by LEARN academy prior to the first day of the program. These workshops are free for students and included in the price of the tuition for the bootcamp. LEARN academy offers multiple workshops leading up to the start of class that students can sign up for.


I don't live in San Diego, can I still apply?

Yes! LEARN academy’s live-remote courses allow students to take our courses from just about anywhere in the United States. However, we are not able to support International students at this time.


How long should my application be?

One of the things we look for in an application is – did we get to know you? It’s almost impossible for us to get to know a candidate if each of the essay answers is only two sentences long. It doesn’t need to be a novel, but before you submit, check to make sure your personality is coming out in your writing.


How old do I have to be to attend LEARN academy?

Code school students must be 18 years old by the date of the first class as we are not legally able to accommodate minors.


What does the application process look like at LEARN academy?

Once you have submitted your application, the team at LEARN academy will review it and be in touch within a week of your submission date. If we feel it is a good fit we will ask you in for an interview. It is an informal interview. A chance for us to get to know you and for you to ask any questions you might have about the coding course. We know that it is vital to your success to find the course that is best for you and your learning needs. We use the interview to find out if we are the best fit for you! If at that point we both agree that it is a good fit we will invite you to secure a seat in the class of your choice.


Can I work while attending LEARN academy?

We have had students hold part-time jobs while attending the coding bootcamps at LEARN academy. They tell us that it’s not too bad if your work is on the weekend, but working more than one night per week is really tough. It is tough but possible.


What is the class schedule?

LEARN academy’s 4 month bootcamp is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.


What do you mean by "full-time"?

LEARN academy’s full-time course is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Students spend the first 12 weeks working in the online classroom and the final 4 weeks in their remote programming internship.


What is the background of the typical LEARN Student?

There isn’t really a typical student at LEARN academy. Most have not taken computer science classes in college, although some have. Some have not gone to college at all, but many have undergraduate degrees in something other than computer science. Past graduates have been in the entertainment industry, waitresses, massage therapists, in the military, and just about anything else you can think of.

Can I work while attending LEARN academy?

We have had students hold part-time jobs while attending the coding bootcamps at LEARN academy. They tell us that it’s not too bad if your work is on the weekend, but working more than one night per week is really tough. It is tough but possible.


What is the class schedule?

LEARN academy’s 4 month bootcamp is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.


What do you mean by "full-time"?

LEARN academy’s full-time course is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Students spend the first 12 weeks working in the online classroom and the final 4 weeks in their remote programming internship.


What is the background of the typical LEARN Student?

There isn’t really a typical student at LEARN academy. Most have not taken computer science classes in college, although some have. Some have not gone to college at all, but many have undergraduate degrees in something other than computer science. Past graduates have been in the entertainment industry, waitresses, massage therapists, in the military, and just about anything else you can think of.

Can I call you or drop by to talk?

Absolutely! We love chatting with potential partners and students. It is always best to make an appointment first so we can make sure someone is available to answer your questions. You can email us hello@learnacademyorg.


Is there any required prep work?

Students who are accepted and enrolled in the 4 month bootcamp are required to attend and participate in a workshop, called Jumpstart, offered by LEARN academy prior to the first day of the program. These workshops are free for students and included in the price of the tuition for the bootcamp. LEARN academy offers multiple workshops leading up to the start of class that students can sign up for.


I don't live in San Diego, can I still apply?

Yes! LEARN academy’s live-remote courses allow students to take our courses from just about anywhere in the United States. However, we are not able to support International students at this time.


How long should my application be?

One of the things we look for in an application is – did we get to know you? It’s almost impossible for us to get to know a candidate if each of the essay answers is only two sentences long. It doesn’t need to be a novel, but before you submit, check to make sure your personality is coming out in your writing.


How old do I have to be to attend LEARN academy?

Code school students must be 18 years old by the date of the first class as we are not legally able to accommodate minors.


What does the application process look like at LEARN academy?

Once you have submitted your application, the team at LEARN academy will review it and be in touch within a week of your submission date. If we feel it is a good fit we will ask you in for an interview. It is an informal interview. A chance for us to get to know you and for you to ask any questions you might have about the coding course. We know that it is vital to your success to find the course that is best for you and your learning needs. We use the interview to find out if we are the best fit for you! If at that point we both agree that it is a good fit we will invite you to secure a seat in the class of your choice.


Still have questions?