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Career and Interview Tips

What to Look for When Choosing a Bootcamp

Partner Content

This piece was written by Erica Freedman, Client and Content Specialist at SwitchUp.org

For many, a coding bootcamp can be the perfect opportunity to switch to a tech career. These programs can be offline or online, part-time or full-time, and generally require far less time and investment that a four-year degree.

If you think a coding bootcamp could be a great fit for your career goals, you're probably wondering how to get started.. What do you look for when trying to choose a bootcamp? How do you know if it's the right fit? No matter the focus, the core components that make the best programs stand-out from the rest are consistent. To make things easier, we've compiled a list of the most important things to consider when comparing coding bootcamp programs.


What Are Your Goals?

Much like college or university, we ask potential students to consider their personal, financial and career-focused goals. Are you trying to:

  • Acquire new skills?
  • Increase your salary?
  • Land your first job?
  • Find more fulfillment at work?

These are all vastly different reasons to invest in bootcamp programs. Some bootcamps are focused on job placement while others are targeted at university graduates looking to transition into more specific career tracks.

Read school summaries or about sections as a first step towards understanding the program and school. You'll also want to weight whether the format of the school is the best fit for your goals, as bootcamps range from part-time, online programs to rigorous in-person courses.

Capitalize on Free Events

Don't be afraid to go to the school for a free coding session or info session. Often, code bootcamps have these events listed on Facebook and Eventbrite. Some schools host events on a monthly or even bi-weekly basis, and offer intro courses, basic code skills, or a deeper dive into their program.

Attending one of these sessions may enable you to:

  • Connect with teachers or administrative staff
  • Give you a taste of their learning process
  • Clear up anything unclear on the school website

Such sessions are both cost and risk-free. Plus, many schools offer them in an online format, so you can easily attend from anywhere! You only have skills and experience to gain from attending.

Career Services

Many schools boast one-on-one mentorship, a career services team or even a job guarantee after you graduate from their program. With a strong career services department, a bootcamp can help students land high-paying, quality careers that are aligned with their personal and professional goals. When you research a bootcamp, see if they:

  • Offer mentorship
  • Help you practice interviewing
  • Aim their curriculum towards portfolio development
  • Guarantee jobs after graduation

Note: We used the word quality when referring to job placement above. Transparency is key when looking at job placement statistics. Make sure you ask not only if students are being placed in jobs after graduation, but also typical job titles and graduate salaries.

When comparing job outcomes statistics, be sure to ask your school for a third-party verified outcomes report. These reports will give you a detailed breakdown about how a school reports and publishes outcomes.

Pricing and Financial Support

Compared with university programs, bootcamps are known for offering significantly lower upfront tuition. Many programs offer additional discounts or scholarships, or in-house financing that offers interest-free loan options. If you are intimidated by the thought of funding your dream, know that there are options.

The cost of the bootcamp itself can also play a huge role in determining your perfect program. Bootcamps can have very low costs depending on their location, level of one-on-one support and a slew of other factors.

Scholarships are also a great option for students in a financial bind. Many bootcamp programs offer diversity scholarships. This comprehensive Women in Tech Scholarship list offers bootcamps focused on bringing more women into the tech space.

Are you a veteran? There are bootcamps that accept the GI Bill as well.

See What Students Have to Say

Because regulations for tech programs vary, prospective students can depend on the experiences and feedback of alumni to find quality programs. "There are currently 120 in-person bootcamps and hundreds of part-time and online programs available worldwide," based on SwitchUp's research. While choice can be good, it can also make it difficult to find what is just right for you.

Many bootcamp alumni leave reviews on site like Quora, Google, Facebook and Medium, or on a review site like SwitchUp.

Personal accounts are important because they take students beyond marketing statsor publicity, and provide valuable first-hand experience. Their on-the-ground perspective is unlike anyone else's. It can help you understand the big picture, from the beginning of your research through to your career in tech.

The reviews on Switchup include how programs helped students before, during and after their attendance. If you're curious about pre-work, info sessions, career services or even the application process, all of these details can be found on the alumni reviews page for each individual school.


There is a lot to consider when choosing a coding bootcamp, but the research is worth it. This is a huge investment of time and money. A little effort will go a long way as you change careers and follow your dreams.
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Join Our #LocalLunchChallenge.

Join Us to help #FlattenTheCurve AND support local business along the way. Eat lunch at home today — and use the money you saved to support others in need. Because We All Have the #PowerToHelp

As members of a fully remote team, we know we're extremely privileged not to have our livelihood directly impacted by COVID-19.

And while we're encouraging everyone who can to work from home to help flatten the curve, we know that not everyone has this luxury. We also know that many people are being forced to stay home without pay.

We wanted to do something to help support the individuals and small businesses who are being directly impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19, so we came up with the #LocalLunchChallenge.

If, like us, you're able to work remotely, eat your meals at home, etc., then please join us in supporting those who are being directly impacted by this pandemic.

If we all come together, it doesn't take much to make a difference — even donating the amount you would have spent on lunch had you gone out today, or buying a gift card, can be a great way to support those whose livelihood has been jeopardized by this pandemic. Whether you want to give to a local restaurant, or support an organization that's helping to feed the millions of children who relied on meals at school each day, no amount is too small!

How You Can Participate

  1. Take a pic of your lunch on/near your remote workspace. If you've got a makeshift workspace, even better! We're trying to share, not shame.
  2. Post your picture with the following caption & hashtags (depending on what you're doing, your preference, etc.):
  • I'm doing the #LocalLunchChallenge by ordering carryout from locally-owned restaurants to help them stay open. I challenge these 5 friends with the #PowerToHelp and participate in their community: tag 5 friends [pic of your delivery food at your desk, tag the restaurant to get them some business]. #FlattenTheCurve
  • For the #LocalLunchChallenge I'm donating the money I would have spent eating out to my local food bank. I challenge these 5 friends with the #PowerToHelp and participate in their community: tag 5 friends [pic of your lunch at your desk, tag the foodbank/Meals On Wheels/local org donating food/etc.]. #FlattenTheCurve
  • Or come up with a post of your own! Just be sure to make a donation to a local organization in need and use #PowerToHelp and #LocalLunchChallenge.
Let's come together to #FlattenTheCurve and support our communities during this challenging time!
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