What are the Differences Between Coding Bootcamps and a Master’s Degree?


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of work openings for software engineers will increase by 21-24 percent between 2020 and 2028. Web developers and data analysts should predict a 15% to 20% increase in their workload.

As compared to the overall job growth rate of 7-8 percent, these figures are staggering. It’s easy to see why so many people are drawn to the tech industry when you consider the high demand and attractive salaries.

And as more people join the tech industry, it continues to expand too quickly to fill all of the available positions. So, if you want to become a developer, if you go to a coding bootcamp or a traditional college, you won’t be short on opportunities. The industry needs you now, and it will need you in 10 years.

If you want to get into technology, you’re probably wondering if you should go to a coding bootcamp or get a conventional degree. The answer to this question will vary depending on where you are in life. So, we’ll compare the two choices so you can determine which learning path is better for you!

What are Coding Bootcamps?

Coding bootcamps are rigorous, accelerated professional training programs that teach students of all backgrounds and abilities how to create websites, apps, software, and digital media products that have the greatest effect and importance to real consumer demands. In a project-based learning environment, coding bootcamps are designed for speed and high-impact learning. Coding bootcamps provide students with a portfolio, an online profile, and the trust and expertise they need to start a new career in technology.

Although the term “coding” will lead you to believe that these bootcamps are solely focused on writing programming, “coding” actually encompasses a wide range of disciplines. There are also computer science, UX/UI design, cyber security, and product management bootcamps, though software engineering “coding” bootcamps are by far the most common.

person using black and red Acer laptop computer on table

How do Coding Bootcamps Work?

Coding bootcamps have traditionally operated in one of two ways: entirely online or entirely offline. Both, though, have their shortcomings.

Standard coding bootcamps are in-house, full-time programs. They use a traditional teacher-to-student learning style with a strong emphasis on coding education. While these classes are definitely immersive, the fact that they are full-time means that students must leave their careers in order to attend. Furthermore, they will cost $10,000 or more, making them prohibitively expensive and forcing students to take on loans in order to continue their education. Furthermore, they are mostly concentrated in major metropolitan areas. In reality, only ten cities in the United States are home to half of all bootcamps. The conventional offline boot camp model may work for someone who is unemployed and has some disposable income. However, since it is so rigid, it is unlikely to be a viable choice for most students who choose to learn to code.

The other traditional concept is coding bootcamps that are only available online. Although they avoid much of the problems that standard offline coding bootcamps do, they do have their own set of issues. They are, on the one hand, highly adaptable. You can do them on your own as time allows, and you can finish them regardless of where you are. Furthermore, at $100 per course, they seem to be reasonably priced. But there’s no need to finish them because no one is holding you accountable! That is why, despite their low cost and versatility, just 3% of students complete them.

As a result, a new coding bootcamp concept called the group coding bootcamp has arisen. It combines the best of both conventional online and offline platforms to maximize the benefits of both. Coursework is completed online, but students have access to a dedicated tutor, helping them to train at their own pace with the help of a professional developer, even while keeping their day jobs or other commitments. Students are now members of a hyper-local group of students who are all enrolled in the same coding bootcamp. They get together every weekend for bootcamp sessions, where they work together and with a coach to troubleshoot and overcome any obstacles. In reality, this hybrid online/in-person approach closely resembles the day-to-day activities of a real developer who deals for both an in-house and virtual staff on a regular basis!

Unlike traditional online courses, group coding bootcamps are designed to help students stay accountable! Each learning module lasts four to five weeks and involves weekly homework tasks with set deadlines. Each part of the class is working toward that deadline and taking advantage of their instructors and in-person weekend workshops to get the guidance they need to finish on schedule.

Admission Requirements for Coding Bootcamps

Admission to a top bootcamp usually necessitates the completion of a GED, a high school diploma, or any other kind of academic completion. Since bootcamps are structured as non-traditional, stand-alone programs that bring interested students to a field of study with an emphasis on end-result certification and job placement, they accept students from a range of academic backgrounds, as well as those who want to expand or specialize their professional skills. The timeline for completion of the qualification and the number of credit hours needed varies by program, but schedules are often accelerated and challenging.

How long does it take to complete a Coding Bootcamp?

Coding bootcamps are available in a variety of specializations, as well as in a variety of learning styles and lengths. However, how long do coding bootcamps last? Any bootcamps are just one week long, and most are six months long. According to a 2019 study, bootcamps take an average of 16.5 weeks to complete, or just less than four months.

The duration of a bootcamp is often linked to the time commitment and intensity levels anticipated. For students who can enroll full-time and prefer to work quickly, some bootcamps deliver simple, immersive programs. Part-time bootcamps, on the other hand, will last six months or more, which is ideal for students who choose long-term study to a crash course.

How much does a Coding Bootcamp Cost?

The cost of a coding bootcamp can differ significantly. Community college-sponsored programs can cost as little as $3,000, while private coding schools can cost as much as $20,000. A free coding bootcamp could be available to certain students.

When calculating bootcamp expenses, keep in mind the type of program. Coding bootcamps can run anywhere from one day to six months, can be full-time or part-time, and can teach a range of coding languages to varying levels of proficiency. However, who funds the service and whether it is in-person or online are normally the most important considerations in determining price.

According to the bootcamp review site Course Report, the total cost of an in-person coding bootcamp is $13,584. An online coding bootcamp costs on average $12,898.

Can you get Financial Aid for Coding Bootcamps?

Typically, coding bootcamp students won’t have access to conventional funding sources, although that is evolving now. Earnest and Skills Fund are two private loans who provide affordable rates to bootcamp students. Some deal solely with bootcamp students and have established relationships with major training institutions. Furthermore, the bootcamps also introduced new cost-cutting solutions for students.

Several institutions now provide grants to minorities, women, and LGBTQ people, and more institutions also support the G.I. Bill, which is assisting more veterans in pursuing a career in technology. 

Career benefits after completing a Coding Bootcamp

Coding bootcamps, which are rigorous, fast-paced programs that teach job-ready skills, are a viable choice. These bootcamps are a cost-effective, efficient, and effective way to improve a person’s realistic skills and job prospects.

Coding bootcamps have a high rate of success. According to a series of polls undertaken over the last few years, both students and employers believe coding bootcamps are helpful. “72% of employers believe bootcamp applicants are just as qualified and likely to be top earners as recruits with computer science degrees,” according to Indeed. Although bootcamps are not the same as a computer science degree, they are a less expensive choice that teaches foundational and functional skills that are in high demand today. Some students choose bootcamps because they require less time than conventional degrees.

What kinds of jobs do people get after completing the Coding Bootcamp?

Coding bootcamps have a variety of advanced training options. It’s perfect if most applicants have no idea what they want to do. For coding bootcamp students, software engineering is an excellent option. Computer engineers have a high degree of job placement, and they can work in a variety of technology sectors. Here’s a rundown of software engineer job options:

  • Web development
  • Data science
  • App development
  • Game design

Specialization improves job placement rates, so picking a particular area of study is a smart choice.

Find the following opportunities in addition to finding a job in the industry:

Return to school: After finishing coding bootcamp, consider earning your first (or second) college degree in a computer science discipline. You will improve the qualifications for advanced positions or those in leadership by building on the skills you just gained.

Freelance: Starting a freelance business allows you to put your new talents and experience to use on your own time. Locate customers who need your services, such as site design, creation, and management, or application development.

Teach others: After having some training, you can teach others in your field, whether at a community college, technical school, or coding bootcamp. Alternatively, you can mentor coding-interested children and young adults through a youth center, library, web forum, or as a freelancer.

Use the skills in your daily job: You will be able to continue working while completing a coding bootcamp, but most programs require students to enroll full-time. If you already have a career, search for opportunities to apply your new skills in your current role, such as taking on technical tasks or using code to simplify or enhance your workflow.

What is a Master’s Degree?

A Master’s degree is an advanced degree awarded to people who complete a particular area of study. Persons who have earned a Master’s Degree are expected to have mastered advanced high order skills in the particular area.

Students who receive a Master’s Degree have the right to learn about themselves. They will solve complex problems in their field of research on their own. They also have specialized experience in their area of expertise and are considered specialists in that field after completing the requisite courses for their Master’s Degree.

The recipient earns their Master’s degree diploma in their desired area of study after graduation. Master’s degree programs are available in nearly all fields of research at the university. Master of Art (MA) and Master of Science (MS) are two of the most traditional master’s degree certificates (MS, or MSc).

man holding his graduation cap

Admission requirement for a Masters Degree

Master’s degree programs have different prerequisites depending on the curriculum and the course. A bachelor’s degree is the basic acceptance prerequisite, although applicants may also be required to fulfill other minimum GPA criteria, as well as to have majored in a certain area or taken certain courses during their undergraduate studies. Applicants of certain master’s degree programs must also have prior educational experience. In addition, students must apply application materials that are unique to their program. Again, they differ by school and curriculum, but the following are general requirements:

  • College transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal essays, often about educational and/or career goals
  • Standardized tests, such as the GRE, GMAT, and/or TOEFL

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) determines a student’s readiness to take on graduate-level work; the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is expected for students engaged in business, and the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) determines a foreign student’s ability to communicate in English.

How long does it take to complete a Master’s Degree?

The duration of master’s degrees varies. The length of time it takes to receive your degree can vary depending on your enrollment level and the university. They do, though, normally necessitate 12 to 18 college courses. As a result, a reasonable estimation is one and a half to two years.

Most services allow you to participate full-time or part-time. People completing a master’s degree also chose to do so part-time while they are working and learning at the same time. Since a master’s degree is higher education and more specifically targeted to the subject you want to pursue, the learning style is more versatile than that of a bachelor’s degree. As a result, master’s applicants must maintain a high level of motivation and interest in their field of study.

Full-time: from 1.5 to 2.5 years

Part-time: up to 5 or 6 years

How much does a Master’s Degree Cost?

The cost of graduate school is determined by a variety of considerations, including the subject and curriculum, the institution, the state in which the student is enrolled, and so on. Here are all of the costs associated with a master’s degree program.

Tuition Cost for a Master’s Degree

However, before we get into the specifics, let’s take a peek at the most important expense: annual tuition. The majority of Master’s Degree Programs require a two-year course of study, but depending on the subject, your program could last anywhere from 18 months to three years.

Any online colleges charge more per credit hour if you only take one course at a time than if you take multiple courses at the same time—the per-credit cost falls if you participate in more credit hours per term.

The cost per credit hour for the most affordable online schools would be between $500 and $625. The estimated annual tuition is $5,362.

Fees for a Master’s Degree

Unfortunately, the university’s tuition will not be the only expense. Fees will almost always apply (depending on how many credits you are taking the semester):

  • Per Credit Fees
  • Technology / Tech Support Fees
  • Counseling Fees
  • Assessments for Course-Level Placement
  • Laboratory Fees
  • Criminal Background Checks
  • Clinical Courses
  • Exam Proctoring
  • Official Transcript Fee
  • Graduation Fee

Other Costs for a Master’s Degree

An internship could be required for certain programs. Check to see if there are any travel conditions or other program requirements. Remember to add in the cost of books and materials, which can be very high for certain programs. You would also need a computer and a stable Internet connection.

The average cost of a Master’s Degree

According to Sallie Mae, students spend an average of $24,812 a year. A traditional master’s degree is two years long. As a result, the total expense of a master’s degree is estimated to be about $48,000. It’s important to remember that the expense varies greatly depending on the services and colleges. An MBA, for example, is usually more expensive than other programs. However, an MBA from an Ivy League school would cost far more than an MBA from a non-Ivy League school.

Can you get Financial Aid for a Master’s Degree?

University tuition in the United States can be prohibitively costly. It is not only the tuition fee that drains your bank account, but there are other costs that can add substantially to the total expenditures, such as housing expenses, accommodation expenses, and insurance costs, among others. There are a few other costs that contribute to the overall cost. These expenses can be demoralizing for the average middle-class student, particularly for working-class parents. Education loans are fantastic, but the ever-increasing interest rates are disheartening. Under such a situation, any financial assistance can be very beneficial and can make your life as well as your parent’s life easier.

Fortunately, one of the benefits of studying in the United States is that eligible candidates can apply for different forms of financial assistance. It implies that students can earn money when continuing their education. These benefits will result in significant savings in overall spending. 

Career benefits of doing a Master’s Degree

A master’s degree allows you to acquire advanced skills that can help you succeed in your career. A graduate degree demonstrates your commitment to improving your business experience and reputation as the workforce grows. You will concentrate on a single area of research, allowing you to become more successful in your chosen field.

A master’s degree will also help you improve your existing talents, learn new skills, or move to a completely different area. Hundreds of graduate degrees are available in a number of disciplines, from industry to architecture.

Lifelong Learning

A master’s degree will help you develop your science, writing, and analysis abilities. As a result, you’ll be able to solve problems more effectively and take on more complicated tasks. A graduate degree allows you to build on a foundation of experience, training you for a life of continuous learning.

Furthermore, 73 percent of Americans consider themselves lifelong learners, and 74% have engaged in an experience in the past year that has aided their search for education.

Expanding Your Network

When you seek a graduate degree, you meet a lot of new people. Although it shouldn’t be your main motivation, expanding your network will help you land a job. You’ll have a better chance of learning about vacant openings at organizations if you have a larger network, as well as more future suggestions for those organizations.

Internships and study positions are available in many graduate programs, which will help you network with experts in the field you choose to enter. Many people who seek graduate school find jobs in the institutions where they interned or did a study.

Increased Earning Potential

Having a graduate degree will help you advance in your career. According to the US Census Bureau, master’s degree holders receive an average of $55,242 relative to those holding just a bachelor’s degree who earn an average of $42,877.

In the health sector, for example, anyone with an undergraduate degree may expect to earn about $60,000 a year. Individuals with a medical degree, on the other hand, earn more than $80,000. This improved earning ability is partially attributed to the education’s increased reputation and awareness. Increased expertise provides you with a comparative advantage over other prospective employers. Employers, for their part, tend to hire the best candidates and are willing to pay more to get them. When changing roles or looking for a new opportunity, this can be immensely beneficial. When you graduate from college with less debt, it’s much easier to change careers.

Career Advancement

A master’s degree will help you advance into more senior roles like management and leadership. Many companies not only understand the value of a master’s degree, but they also tend to hire people with one. In reality, over the past few years, 74% of employers have lifted educational requirements, with many businesses seeking to recruit those with advanced degrees. Graduate degrees are required qualifications and the right way for certain careers or promotions in certain fields, such as education or health care.

Which one should I take? Coding Bootcamps or Masters Degree?

If you want a bootcamp or a degree, you’ll be prepared for a future in technology. So, ultimately, it is up to you to decide which form of learning best suits your lifestyle.

Let’s make your decision a bit smoother. If you have the time and money to go to college and want to have a typical college experience, go for it. The selection of courses as well as the social facets of a college or university experience may be beneficial.

If you’re low on time and space, though, a bootcamp is the way to go. If you want to jumpstart your career quickly, this is normally the best option. If you want to combine other facets of your life with your work, this is a perfect solution.

Coding bootcamp vs Masters’s degree. What are the differences?

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About Derrick Vaughan

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