What Is an Online Bootcamp?


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If you want to develop a career in the tech industry, you will come across Bootcamps as an alternative to a computer science degree. This guide will give you a clearer idea of what’s involved in an online bootcamp and why some choose them instead of a degree.

Online Bootcamps Explained

An online coding bootcamp is an intense, fast-paced course that prepares individuals to start working in an entry-level tech role. Programming, web development, UX, and data analysis are typically bootcamp pathways.

Bootcamps are designed to take beginners and, through hands-on, practical training, give them the skills and know-how to land their first tech role. An online bootcamp provides the same skills and abilities as an in-person course but with the flexibility of being able to study from anywhere in the world with a decent internet connection.

Online bootcamps develop confidence and experience in collaborating remotely in teams, which is much more similar to how developers interact to build applications and deliver projects in commercial environments. In some ways an online bootcamp develops the softer skills required for remote collaboration compared to in person teaching.

How Bootcamps Started

One of the biggest challenges that all tech companies face is finding developers with the right skill sets. Over time, as technology becomes fundamental to more products and services, the demand for developers has outpaced the supply from traditional pathway of university computer science graduates and self-taught mavericks.

The first coding bootcamps or bootcamp-like training emerged in 2011 in the US. Since then, the number of bootcamps and graduates has grown. In the USA alone, 2023 saw 58,756 graduates from tech bootcamps.

The number of people graduating from bootcamps has grown steadily over the last decade, and many who predicted in 2016 that bootcamps were a bubble and were producing more graduates than the industry required have been proven wrong.

How Online Bootcamps Work

Upon completing an online bootcamp, graduates have a portfolio of work demonstrating the fundamental technical skills required for roles in software engineering. Bootcamps are taught by instructors from industry with real world experience and project based.

Online Bootcamp Learning Experience

  • Instructor-led live classes
  • Self-paced lessons
  • Real-time Feedback and support
  • Individual and team-based projects


Bootcamps aim to reflect real-world working, and most use Slack, zoom, or Google Meet to replicate how development teams work.

On a software engineering bootcamp, you can expect to cover the following areas.

  • Front-End Development
  • Full-Stack Development
  • Front-End Frameworks
  • APIs and Full-Stack Development
  • Final Project- build a full-stack application that uses a third-party API


Bootcamp Final Project

The Final Project builds on and reinforces all the skills covered in the courses and often mirrors real-world team—client interactions.

Coding bootcamps prepare students for industry roles with relevant problem-solving and coding skills through practice experience and by building the basic computer skills to become software engineers, web developers, or data analysts.

Compared to a traditional university programme, Bootcamp syllabi are updated much faster; sometimes, even between cohorts, new learning can be added based on industry demand. A 3 years university computer science degree will give you a greater depth of learning but the syllabus can take years to be updated meaning there is always a lag in university courses picking up the latests industry trends.

Types of Online Bootcamps Available

Most bootcamps are full-time, requiring around 40 hours a week, but you can find part-time bootcamps covering around 400 to 500 hours of learning and practical work. You can also find self-paced bootcamps with minimal instructor input.

Bootcamps range from the ree and excellent Odin Project open course to university bootcamps with hefty fees.

The subjects covered by bootcamps are driven by industry demand, with syllabuses continually updated.

Popular Bootcamp Subjects

  • Coding
  • Data Science
  • User experience (UX) / User Interface (UI) Design
  • Cybersecurity
  • Fintech
  • Digital Marketing
  • Data Analytics
  • Web Development

Online Bootcamp Graduate Prospects

Getting accurate numbers on employment after graduation from a bootcamp is hard to pin down. Only a few bootcamp providers publish graduate employment statistics. However, the ones that do provide that data boast impressive results and can be just as impactful as completing a computer science undergraduate degree.

In 2018, Stackoverflow surveyed the time to gain a role after completing a bootcamp which turned up an unexpected results from over six thousand respondents. 45% of Bootcamp graduates were already working in a programming role. This is a likely indication that many people use a bootcamp as a quick way to upskill quickly for career progression or to become more competitive in the job market.

For the remaining respondents who were not already working in a tech role, 38% of graduates who were not already working in tech roles secured a position within six months of graduation.

Stackoverflow has not asked the same question since 2018. However, they have been asking about the education background of respondents each year. Since 2018 it has been stable at around 10% of all respondents of the professional surveyed have completed a bootcamp.

How Much Do Coding Bootcamps cost?

An online bootcamp is a time- and cost-effective way to start a career in tech compared to a traditional computer science degree. However the cost of taking a bootcamp is still a significant investment. The table below gives you an indication of the fees charged by some of the most popular bootcamps.

Training Provider
Bootcamp Fees
Le Wagon£7,400 to £8,500
The Jump£4,999 – £7,500
General Assembly£9,000

How To Fund a Coding Bootcamp?

It is important to know that Bootcamps are not eligible for a government-backed Student loan in the UK. This means that students taking a bootcamp must use savings or take a bank loan to cover the fees.

We have a guide on high street loans for education that can be a good starting point of you are looking at ways to fund a bootcamp.

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