4 Year CS Degree vs. 12-Week Coding Bootcamp

4 Year CS Degree vs. 12-Week Coding Bootcamp

Here is what Stephen Portanova said about graduating coding bootcamp in relation to his college experience:

“I learned 10 times more, in one-tenth the time, that I did at a four-year institution”

Hundreds of these types of sentiments and reviews regarding the efficiency of coding bootcamps can be found with a simple Google search, but why take anyone else’s word for it?  The reason why attending our coding bootcamp is the obvious choice for establishing an incredible career is clear: In a word (or acronym, rather), it is ROI.

ROI Explanation

ROI (return on investment) is a simple business concept that you can utilize to your advantage to see why investing just ten thousand for our twelve week program could be the best starting decision of your career.  More on this later.


Should you go to a four year institution to get a computer science degree?

Bear in mind that some (but not all) employers still do like to see that one has graduated with a degree under his or her belt.  It would invariably help you land a job a bit more easily than someone with the same experience and knowledge, but without a degree.  It also shows to employers that you are able to commit and follow-through with something that takes between 4-6 years.  That is powerful.


However, there are some major benefits to taking a twelve web developer bootcamp whether or not you decide to get a four-year degree at all (granted that you have a keen interest in becoming a web developer).  To make my points, first let’s take a look at the estimated total tuition costs for the top three  four-year Computer Science programs in Southern California.

They are as follows:

  1. University of California – Berkeley $52,000[2]
  2. California State University – Long Beach $26,500[3]
  3. University of California – Los Angeles $51,000[4]

The above universities take four years to graduate (on-time graduation – the majority of students take more than four years), and cost 2.5 – 4.5 times what our programming bootcamp costs – $10,000 (if paid up-front, and doesn’t include potential discounts/scholarships).  It would also be wise to keep in mind that many university students take up to six years to graduate with an undergraduate degree and that up to 40% take longer than that or don’t finish at all![5]  As of November 14, 2014, 100% of students that enrolled in our program graduated – and on time!

Opportunity Cost is a good economics concept to keep in mind as well.  Not only does it cost much more to attend university, but remember that while you are in studying at university, you are not making a dime of income, nor are you gaining any real-world (job) experience.


Explanation of Opportunity Cost
Dilbert on Opportunity Cost


Consider that the industry standard for gaining employment after graduation of an 8-12 week coding bootcamp is (based on available data) between 1-6 months, with a mean of 3.5 months.[6]Let’s be conservative and say it took you four months to gain employment after you graduated our program.  Let’s also (conservatively) estimate that your starting salary would be $55,000.[7]  If that were the case, then you would have saved between $14,000 and 40,000 in tuition costs alone.  On top of that, you would have also earned approximately $185,000 (before federal and state withholdings, of course)!

Given the above numbers and assumptions and assuming you graduate our August 25, 2014 class and paid normal tuition of $12,250, your ROI after 4 years would be 1600%, or 16 times your initial investment of $12,250 (based on final tuition amount for 0% interest payment plan option)!

If you take the four-year route, you may get a computer science degree and may start out at a higher salary, but remember that you’d lose about three and a half years of experience and pay!.  On top of that, the web development industry is ever-changing and does so at an extremely fast pace![8]

Can a standard four-year institution keep up with the demand and always changing web development industry landscape?  Perhaps, but not nearly as effectively as a fully-immersive, full-time bootcamp, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone else that does.

Keep in mind that the web development industry has careers in specialized niches, some of which – at the senior developer level – pay six figures.  You simply won’t get the fundamentals and foundations needed to excel to this level of expertise if you learn by the “a little bit about everything” learning curriculum employed by many colleges today.

Our full-immersion, full-time coding program gets you coding in real-world applications that you would face in the workplace immediately and prepares you for real working environments starting in mere weeks. Check out these additional links (in addition to our source links) to help you find more information on this topic:

Inc | How a Coding Bootcamp Will Impact Your Career

Yahoo! Finance | 7 College Graduates Wrecked by Student Loan Debt

Forbes | Student Loan Problems – One Third of Millennials Regret Going to College

Course Report | Bootcamp Graduate Demographics Outcome Study


[1] http://www.hackcollege.com/school-finder/schools/california/computer-science/
[2] http://admissions.berkeley.edu/tuition
[3] http://www.csulb.edu/depts/enrollment/registration/fees_basics.html
[4] http://www.admissions.ucla.edu/prospect/budget.htm
[5] http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=40
[6] https://www.coursereport.com/resources/course-report-bootcamp-graduate-demographics-outcomes-study
[7] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm
[8] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/himanshu-sareen/web-development-will-evolve_b_4537747.html


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