Coding Bootcamps: Options, Benefits, Requirements, and More

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Coding bootcamps offer a fast, intensive way to learn practical skills to get started as a tech professional. Learn more about bootcamp options, benefits, and more.

[Featured Image]:  A coder, sitting at her desk, working with two desktop computers, is preparing to begin a coding bootcamp.

A coding bootcamp is a short—yet intense—way to learn key skills to begin working as a tech professional. While many bootcamps emphasize the skills you'll need to be a software engineer, you can also find bootcamps that focus on data analytics, full-stack web development, and more.

In this article, we'll review more about what attending a coding bootcamp involves, along with popular bootcamp options, and the benefits of attending one.

What is a coding bootcamp?

Coding bootcamps are intensive educational programs that focus on practical skills development. While the curriculum will differ for each bootcamp, you can typically expect to learn:

  • Programming fundamentals, like JavaScript, CSS, and HTML

  • Web development

  • Popular programming languages, like Python, Java, or C+

  • Data queries and management web page development

Coding bootcamps take place in-person or online, can be attended part-time or full-time, and can run anywhere between 12 weeks to seven months. Given their shortened timespan, they can also be expensive. Many coding bootcamps cost several thousand dollars, while some can run over $20,000 USD.

Read more: 5 Types of Programming Languages

Requirements for coding bootcamps

Admission requirements to coding bootcamps vary. Some bootcamps accept students with no prior background in computers, while others expect some experience. In the US, many typically require applicants to have their high school diploma or GED.

Some programs may also require a test to prove your math, English proficiency, and technical skills, as well as an interview. Each bootcamp provider's website should list the specific requirements, and it's worth reviewing these as you consider your options.

Can a coding bootcamp replace a bachelor's degree?

Whether you should attend a coding bootcamp rather than earn your bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field is a common question. While a coding bootcamp doesn't completely replace a bachelor's degree in terms of the breadth of education you receive, it does emphasize practical skills development and may help you quickly learn what you need to get started as a tech professional.

When you're interested in starting your career in tech at a faster pace, a coding bootcamp may be a strong option. That being said, you may at some point find that employers want a bachelor's degree as you seek out more senior roles.

Learn more: Is Computer Science a Good Major?

Below, we've gathered five of the more popular coding bootcamps and certificates to explore when you're interested in developing your practical skills at a faster pace.

1. Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate

If you're interested in working in information technology (IT), then Google's IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate may be a good choice. The program takes six months to complete when you can dedicate 10 hours a week to your studies, and you'll learn how to program with Python, use Git, and solve problems with IT automation. The program also includes an applied learning project that gives you hands-on coding experience.

2. IBM DevOps and Software Engineering Professional Certificate

IBM's DevOps and Software Engineering Professional Certificate emphasizes a DevOps mindset. The program takes around three months to complete when you can dedicate 10 hours a week to your studies. You can expect to learn and practice the Agile philosophy and Scrum methodology, and grow proficient in creating applications using Python.

3. Meta's Front-End or Back-End Developer Professional Certificates

You've got two options from Meta when you're interested in working with either the front-end or back-end of websites. Certificates take between seven and eight months, when you can dedicate six hours a week, and you'll learn practical skills and get coding interview support.

With the Meta Front-End Developer Professional Certificate, you'll learn about responsive web design with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. With the Meta Back-End Developer Professional Certificate, you'll learn programming systems, including Git, SQL, Version Control, Cloud Hosting, APIs, JSON, and XML.

4. BrainStation's Software Engineer Bootcamp

BrainStation's Software Engineer bootcamp takes around three months to complete when you attend full-time, and eight months when you attend part-time. You'll begin by learning about the fundamentals of computer science, before developing more specific and practical skills to work as a software engineer. The project-based program also brings in exclusive guest lecturers to bolster your experience.

5. General Assembly's Software Engineering Immersive

General Assembly's Software Engineering Immersive focuses on helping you become a full-stack web developer by learning engineering fundamentals, key programming languages, and completing projects to build your skills. The online program takes around three months to complete, is led by experts, and promises industry relevance.

6. Flatiron School's Software Engineering Bootcamp

Flatiron School's Software Engineering Bootcamp takes as little as 15 weeks to complete when you're able to attend full-time, and courses are offered in-person and online. The program was designed by engineers, who also teach the courses, and emphasizes a focus on both front-end and back-end development. Topics include using Rails, HTML, CSS, and more to build apps and webpages, and you'll do a capstone project to showcase the skills you developed.

How to choose a coding bootcamp

There are many factors to consider as you figure out which coding bootcamp is right for you, including the learning format, subject matter, time, and cost.

Learning format

Both in-person and online bootcamps have their merits, so you should choose the environment that makes you feel most empowered—and supported. Online coding bootcamps are designed to be more flexible so you can attend to your other responsibilities. If you prefer an interactive learning environment with face-to-face support from the instructor, you may want to attend an in-person bootcamp.


It is important to consider what you want to gain from a coding bootcamp. Are you a beginner that needs to build a skill set or an advanced professional who wants to strengthen your knowledge of an in-demand area, like cybersecurity? You can find bootcamps to help you fulfill either goal. Spend time reviewing what you'll learn to make sure it aligns with your needs.


Each bootcamp program lasts a different amount of time. Consider how much time you have to dedicate to your learning and which makes the most sense given those potential restrictions.

You may find that a part-time, online program is a good option if you want to continue working or have competing demands. Or you may want to attend full-time and move through the program more quickly so you can begin looking for relevant roles.


As we mentioned, coding bootcamps can be expensive (and the most expensive options are not necessarily better). Think about how much you have to spend—and want to spend—on a bootcamp, and whether programs offer payment plans or if they require full payment upfront.

3 benefits of joining a coding bootcamp

There are many benefits to completing a coding bootcamp. Let's review some of them.

1. Boost your salary potential.

Working as a tech professional tends to come with higher salary options than other career paths. For instance, software developers earn a median US salary of $109,020, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics [1]. That's nearly double the median US salary [2].

2. Gain in-demand skills.

Building an in-demand skill set can open opportunities for increased salary rates and new employment opportunities. For example, demand for web developers is expected to grow by 23 percent in the US over the next decade, which is much higher than average.

Because of its focus on practical skills development, you may leave a coding bootcamp with a variety of in-demand skills that make you a more competitive job candidate.

3. Expand your career possibilities.

Attending a coding bootcamp is an excellent way to gain the fundamental skills to explore a range of tech professions—many of which remain in high demand. The following list details some of the more common jobs you may be able to get after you finish a bootcamp:

  • Junior developer: Work alongside senior developers to design and troubleshoot software

  • Technical support specialist: Assist customers with installing and troubleshooting software and hardware

  • UX designer: Create and assess applications and websites with the end user in mind

Next steps

If you're new to computers, explore whether the subject is a good fit for your career interests by learning a programming language. Check out the University of Michigan's Python for Everybody course on Coursera to get started. Alternatively, you may consider a computer science Professional Certificate, offered by industry leaders on Coursera, to dive deeper into an aspect of software engineering and development.

Article sources


US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Software Developers," Accessed May 12, 2023.

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