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By the Numbers – College vs. Coding Bootcamp

When most people graduate from college, they walk across the stage elated with the sense of accomplishment and excitement for the promise for what’s to come in their new job in the ‘real world’. Unfortunately for a lot of people, those first steps into the real world include setting up a payment plan for their student loans.

According to a study by CNBC, 70% of graduates leave college with student debt. More than 44 million Americans hold almost 1.5 trillion dollars in debt collectively and the average amount per person is $37,172. For a lot of people, this is the price to pay for a well-paying job and job security, but there are other avenues for landing the dream job. Options like trade schools, apprenticeships, self-learning, and coding schools offer alternative tracks to success without the time and expense of a 4-year degree program.

Tuition Comparison

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average annual price for undergraduate tuition, fees, room and board for the 2016-2017 year at a public institution was $17,237. In total for a typical four year education, this comes out to $69,948.

We recently sat down with Eleven Fifty student, Lawrence Wagner. When asked why he chose coding bootcamp, he said ‘This opportunity is too good of an opportunity to pass up for the time and financial investment. Compared to other education paths, you really can’t get a better return on investment in time and money.’

Time Comparison

Four years is a long time to commit to learning a discipline. For most people, that means working and going to school at the same time to afford living expenses. Additionally, because of the balance between school and work, many people take 5-6 years to earn their degrees. This time is not only costly in tuition expenses, it eliminates four years of high earnings.

Earning Potential Loss

According to Course Report, data from 2017 shows that the average coding bootcamp graduate will receive an average salary of $61,050 and 70% of graduates find jobs within 120 days or less. New data also shows this number is on the rise, with more recent numbers seeing $70,698 salaries for first jobs out of a coding camp. When we look at the opportunity for earning $61,050 over four years, the total lost earnings is $224,200. Adding in the cost of tuition, this is a total loss of $293,148 for those who opt for a four-year degree, pay the tuition, and miss four years of earnings.

Workers Without a College Degree

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that high school graduates without a degree make on average $718/week, which totals to be $37,336 annually. To bridge this gap in compensation, people are looking for other paths to earn more money without the time and expense of a  4-year degree program. The answer for 22,949 people in 2017 was a coding bootcamp.

Career Growth Opportunity

While earnings for a starting salary with a computer science degree average to $66,005 according to the National Association for Colleges and Employers, the repayment of student loans is often a heavy burden for years after college. While coders who choose a shorter path to start their careers benefit from years of experience and career advancement in that time. In a study by Course Report, bootcamp graduates earned around $80,000 per year in their second job after graduation, and by their third job, alumni report earning on average $90,421 per year.

A four-year degree is a good path for a lot of people, but understanding the cost and benefit of a four-year program when compared to a coding bootcamp could save you time and money in the pursuit of your dream career. Take a few minutes and fill out the ROI calculator to see for yourself. For more information about coding bootcamps and transitioning into a career in coding, connect with a member of our team and we’ll be happy to answer all of your questions!

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