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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Code Camps: A Better Choice than College

Here is a way to gain skills you can actually use.

Thanks to the modern technological world that we live in, knowledge has never been more obtainable than it is today. But while information is more accessible than it ever has been, the cost of a college degree has actually skyrocketed, resulting in a rise of individuals needing to take out student loans in order to pay for their education.

As more young Americans are getting degrees, the degrees themselves are actually losing value. When there is an influx of college educated Millennials all competing in the same sector, that college degree no longer serves to distinguish you from the rest of the pack.

Even the most expensive coding bootcamps are cheaper than the average out-of-state or private school tuition.Fortunately, thanks to the technological advances we have seen during our lifetimes there are now alternatives to earning a four-year degree that might actually help you get ahead in the job market while saving time and money.

Since 1998, October 3rd has been recognized as “National Techies Day.” “Techies” have helped reshaped the education sphere. Before the days of the internet, the study of computer science was something you learned only in an institution of higher knowledge. Today, anyone wanting to learn how to code can do so without ever taking out a cent of student loans.

Coding bootcamps, for example, have provided a viable alternative for those interested in pursuing a career in the tech field. Instead of graduating with $50,000 of student loan debt and no real world experiencing, those opting to attending coding bootcamps will pay a small portion of the cost of a college degree while earning actual experience in a fraction of the time.

There was a time when a college degree was essential to building a lucrative career. No more. While the cost of bootcamp programs vary from a few thousand dollars to as much as $20,000, the average cost is around $11,450. However, even the most expensive coding bootcamps are cheaper than the average out-of-state or private school tuition costs for a traditional four-year degree program.

Another convenient aspect to these coding bootcamps is the amount of time it takes to complete the course. Most of these courses last about eight weeks and after completion, many students transition directly into their careers. In fact, some of these programs operate on an apprenticeship model where students are actually earning money while they learn to code.

The demand for coding skills is not likely to decrease at any time in the near future. In fact, it is only expected to grow in the coming years. According to, there are currently 523,222 job openings in the computing field and only 42,969 computer science students graduated into the job market last year. Colleges are not turning out enough computer science graduates to fill these jobs and coding bootcamps are helping to fill these gaps.

There was a time when a college degree was essential to building a lucrative career, but thanks to the technological advancements of our time, a four-year degree is no longer the only option. For those looking for alternative ways to break into the tech world, coding bootcamps offer financially feasible alternatives to the traditional college experience.

This piece ran on Generation Opportunity

  • Brittany is a writer for the Pacific Legal Foundation. She is a co-host of “The Way The World Works,” a Tuttle Twins podcast for families.