The Economics of Dev Bootcamp (And Other Code Schools)

One of the biggest concerns I hear from people who are interested in learning to code and doing a program like Dev Bootcamp is how costly it is. For reference, Dev Bootcamp currently costs $12,200. Is this a lot of money? Of course! But think of what you’re getting for the price.

In only 9 weeks, you will learn enough to become a full-time Software Developer, earning somewhere between $75,000 and $95,000. As you get full-time experience, that salary will only keep going up, way up! Computers are not going away (although they’re transforming into being more portable), and even successful physical business need websites.

Currently, to get a very similar job, you’d have to go to school for four years, spending as much as $200,000 in addition to the opportunity cost of spending 4 years not earning upwards of $400,000 in income. In the grand scheme of things, $12,200 is pocket change compared to how much earning potential you’ll have in the long run!

Now, is it possible to get a job just by learning on your own on the side for a few months? Yes, of course it is! But it’s likely going to be much harder to do and you’ll have to spend more time learning and getting to the point where you can get a full-time job with your new skill. And, since you’ll be learning on your own, you’ll have a harder time understanding best practices and how professional programmers work. Before Dev Bootcamp, I was perfectly capable of making my own Rails applications, but most of the time, I was just guessing and putting band-aids on my code. Dev Bootcamp helped me understand why things are the way they are, and what practices I need to use to have cleaner and optimized code from the onset.

I know $12,200 might seem like a lot right now, and you might not have it, but figure out how to get it in addition to some extra funds for living expenses. Borrow it from your friends and family if you have to or get someone to lend it to you on a site like Lending Club. Then, sit down and start learning.

I recommend doing months of preparation before spending the money and going to Dev Bootcamp or any other Code School (use these months so keep accumulating your savings!). The more prepared you are beforehand, the better chance you have of standing out and getting the job right after the program – a job that will help you pay back your Dev Bootcamp debt in likely less than a year.

And, as a Dev Bootcamp graduate, I can tell you that the experience was really priceless for me. I was able to fill in my gaps in knowledge, and really take my programming skills to the next level. I would have never learned that much on my own. In fact, I loved it so much, I’m going to do a similar program to learn iOS, but more on that later…

If you’d like to learn more about how to make the most out of a bootcamp experience, read more in my book:  How To… Learn To Code. Get Your Dream Job. Change Your Life.

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