In 2021, ”Big 3” consulting firm McKinsey & Company published a Women in the Workplace report that detailed a reality most women already know: women add tremendous value in the workplace but are still underpaid, overlooked, and under-appreciated.
The tech industry specifically is in serious need of more gender diversity and inclusivity. In a 2021 article on wage disparity, Forbes said “a recent study concluded that the gender gap for women in technology as a whole is actually worse today than it was in 1984.” That startling decline is an urgent call to action to increase the number of women in tech.The education industry may answer the call: Coding bootcamps are helping women build their technical skills, and in turn, the confidence to break into the industry around the world. Bootcamps are being offered by traditional universities, full-time and part-time bootcamps, and self-paced learning providers, which gives women with many options to advance their future in tech.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to coding bootcamps and free resources for women at every age and stage of their lives, scholarship offerings, and groups advocating for change in the industry.
Coding Education Opportunities for All Ages
We’re seeing good signals for helping to skill up more women: There’s no shortage of prep courses, resources, and online coding boot camp offerings for women of all ages to begin learning and advance their coding skills. Some of them are made available at no cost, others have tuition costs associated with their courses and programs.
Whether you want to change your career, advance your experience, build on your college education, apply the skills you learned during your degree, or are a K-12 student who wants to learn coding, there are various part-time, full-time, and summer bootcamp and tutorials available to help you start.
Naturally, the no-cost courses are very popular areas to start. Let’s take a look at the free, asynchronous bootcamps and tutorials first, then dive into a more formal bootcamp experience for women only, and wrap up this section with online bootcamps that anyone can take.
Free Online Coding Bootcamps For Women
The resources listed below are currently free and allow women from all backgrounds to learn to code.
- Ada Developers Academy is a non-profit, cost-free coding school for women and gender-expansive adults that prioritizes serving Black, Latine, Indigenous Americans, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander, LGBTQIA+, and low-income students. They offer a six-month online, or in-person class, paired with a five-month internship.
- Hear me Code is a community where thousands of women are learning how to code with free, beginner-friendly coding classes. The community originally started as class offerings to women in DC, however since classes are no longer held in person, the curriculum and materials are free and widely available to anyone that needs them. The widespread availability of resources to more women is one of the few positive side effects of the pandemic.
- Codebar is a charity that offers free online tutorials to help support the growth of a diverse tech community. There are 35 tutorials available that cover front-end, back-end, app-focused, and generalized coding content to learn from at your own pace. You can also find their resources on GitHub.
- Women Who Code offers free tutorials and tech industry blogs to help women establish relevant coding skills and a baseline understanding of how to build their abilities. Their mission is to “inspire women to excel in technology careers.”
We like the resources being poured into these bootcamps and prep courses, though they are particularly good for self-starters who are individually motivated to learn.
Free Online Coding Bootcamps For Young Women
To help close the gender and equity gap in the tech industry, it’s essential to get more young women exposed to computer science early in life and encourage their discovery of the field.
One annual event leading the charge of inspiring young women to get involved with coding is Computer Science Education Week. This week is dedicated to helping K-12 students learn computer science and highlights the impact that computer science has on everyone's lives, every day.
In addition to CSED week, there are several platforms that young women can work from to start building their skills outside the classroom:
- Girls Who Code is an international nonprofit working to close the gender gap in technology by supporting young women grades 3 -12 around the world. They offer free online code tutorials and in-person programming events like Summer Immersion Programs, Clubs, and College Loops.
- Black Girls Code This bootcamp builds “pathways for young women of color to embrace the current tech marketplace as builders and creators by introducing them to skills in computer programming and technology.”
- Code with Google is a free coding curriculum curated by Google to ensure “every student has access to the collaborative, coding, and technical skills that unlock opportunities in the classroom and beyond–no matter what their future goals may be.” They also encourage self-directed learning to enhance any tech subject.
- Django Girls offers free beginner-friendly workshops and open-sourced online tutorials to help young women learn coding basics and advanced techniques in Python, Django, HTML, and CSS.
Online coding bootcamps for women
The following bootcamps are proudly offered to women only at varying costs.
- Hackbright Academy is a coding bootcamp that provides a “personalized path to a software engineering career”. Their courses are offered part-time, full-time, and prep format to students with costs ranging from $250 to $12,900. Hackbright Academy also offers the Hackbright Changemaker Scholarship - two half-price scholarships quarterly.
- The Grace Hopper Program at Fullstack Academy is a 17-week immersive course provided through the Fullstack Academy. “The experience starts with a 4-week, part-time portion, Foundations. That's followed by the full-time, 13-week immersive. During the immersive, students learn through a mix of lectures, hands-on workshops, projects, pair-programming, and more. “ This program costs $17,910 but also offers two scholarships specifically for women: Ada Lovelace Scholarship and Edie Windsor Scholarship.
Online coding bootcamps available to all
The bootcamps listed here are programs that anyone can enroll in, regardless of gender. These programs are offered in the typical part-time and full-time format and have different support options that come with the cost of enrollment. When considering the bootcamps below, remember to review the learning support and career services offered to students.
- Flatiron School offers online software engineering, cybersecurity, data science, and product design programs and 180 Days Of Career Coaching after the program. They also feature in-person courses at campuses in Austin, Chicago, Colorado Springs, Denver, New York, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. All their programs have the same cost: $16,900 with a $500 deposit. They also provide $1,000 and $3,000 scholarships to women with no prior experience working in the role they’re being trained for.
- Coding Dojo is a bootcamp that provides access to Software Development, Data Science, Cybersecurity, and UX/UI Design programs. Created in 2012, Coding Dojo features a three-stack program with hands-on, instructor-led learning.
Coding Dojo provides a $1000 scholarship award to Women in Tech who require financial help to start their coding careers.
Many companies and nonprofits are committed to helping close the gender gap with affordable programs and scholarships to support enrollment. Here are additional scholarships for women to help you break through the glass ceiling in Tech.
Scholarships for Women in Tech
Securing funding for an online coding course or bootcamp is a concern for many women. Thanks to the opportunities available below, women throughout all stages of life can invest their time, energy, and future in coding.
Note: many scholarships are for specific bootcamps only, require personal essays or statements, and sometimes a copy of your transcript. The application process varies so please make sure to read the details of each.
- Who’s Eligible: Students enrolling in a Metis program who are women, part of an underrepresented population in tech, LGBTQ+, or Veterans.
- Amount: $2,000 - $3,000 scholarship
- Who’s Eligible: Enrolled Tech Elevator students who belong to historically underrepresented groups are eligible for this scholarship.
- Amount: $13,175 scholarship
- Who’s Eligible: Students enrolling in a BrainStation program must be admitted and apply for this scholarship before enrollment.
- Amount: The amount varies and exact scholarship amounts aren’t shown on their site.
- Who’s Eligible: Students enrolling in a DeltaV course who belong to a population underrepresented in technology (e.g. women, veterans, low-income, racial minorities, those with disabilities) are eligible for tuition assistance.
- Amount: The amount varies and exact scholarship amounts aren’t shown on their site.
- Who’s Eligible: Students who have been accepted into the Turing School and belong to a group underrepresented in tech, such as LGBTQ+ people, women, racial minorities, people with disabilities, and veterans
- Amount: $4,000 scholarship
- Who’s Eligible: Students from underrepresented groups in tech, including female, Black, and Latine students who enroll in a Digitalcrafts program
- Amount: $1,000 (Part-time program) or $1,500 (Full-time program) scholarship.
Additional Scholarships Women Can Apply For
- Who’s Eligible: Students with full-time enrollment in the Coding Dojo Full-Time Bootcamp
- Amount: Up to $1,500 for those making less than $40,000 per year
- Eligibility: Veterans enrolling in a Code Platoon program (requirements vary slightly based on scholarship)
- Amount: Between $13,000 and $16,000
- Eligibility: U.S. citizens or permanent residents accepted to either the Hack Reactor at Galvanize Software Engineering Immersive (SEI) Program or the Galvanize Data Science Immersive (DSI) Program
- Amount: $17,980 scholarship
- Eligibility: Individuals from underserved backgrounds including people who identify as LGBTQ, women, People of Color, people with disabilities, and veterans and are enrolling in a Code Fellows course
- Amount: $4000 scholarship
- Eligibility: Low-income or underrepresented students enrolling in a We Can Code It bootcamp
- Amount: Up to $2,000 scholarship
- Eligibility: Students who enroll in a Zip Code Wilmington coding program and have a household income 200% below the national poverty level
- Amount: $6,000 scholarship
- Eligibility: Individuals enrolling in a LEARN Academy course or bootcamp who belong to an underrepresented community in tech
- Amount: $2,000 tuition discount
Additional scholarships for anyone interested in a coding bootcamp can be found here.
Advocates championing change
We’ve covered why the tech industry is in such desperate need of more women - to help close the gender gap and equal pay gap. We dove into free resources and coding bootcamps that are committed to helping women start and advance a career in Tech, as well as young women still in school looking to hone their abilities.
Now let’s pay tribute to the companies and nonprofits that exist to bring more women into software engineering and technology jobs tech. There’s a lot more meaningful work needed to close the significant wage gap and workplace disparity women are facing in today’s workforce, but these programs and investments are carving the path in the right direction.
According to Microsoft “Over the next five years, the global workforce can [will see] around 149 million new technology-oriented jobs. Most of them are in software development, but roles in data analysis, cyber security, and privacy protection will also grow.” As such, advocacy for women in Tech is imperative, not just for the workforce, but for companies and products they create.
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), a robust network of “change leaders focused on advancing innovation by correcting underrepresentation in computing”, is at the forefront of change. NCWIT provides opportunities to raise awareness through support and volunteering, inspire and engage students through coding experiences and workshops, and expand the diversity of the workforce with research, data, and strategic approaches.
One strategic approach women can take is to participate in events run by organizations dedicated to making meaningful changes in the industry. The following groups are focused on elevating fellow women in tech and pushing to close the diversity gap:
This nonprofit organization for women in tech was founded in 1997 by two computer scientists, Anita Borg and Telle Whitney. The mission of their organization is to support women in technology and to “connect, inspire and guide women in computing.” Systers, the first online community for women in tech which was founded in 1987 by Anita Borg, is also a part of the AnitaB.org group. Systers is now the “largest email community of women in technical computing” with over 8,500 community members.
Change Catalyst is a group focused on diversity in tech for women and minorities through training, consulting, coaching, and events. They are widely known for their client partnership “working together to develop diverse, equitable, and inclusive teams, culture, processes, and products”.
Ladies of UX is a community dedicated to supporting women in UX/UI Design by pushing the boundaries of the industry and promoting their abilities. They feature opportunities to connect, mentor each other, skillshare, and create professional connections that will help them land their dream role in Tech. Local groups are based in cities around the world, with a welcoming environment for women to discuss learning and work opportunities.
Ladies, Wine & Design is a non-profit with chapters in 280 cities with a mission to create more diversity in the creative industry, especially within leadership roles. They take a holistic approach to their community support and offer free mentorship connections, project and portfolio reviews, advice and tips, and meetups for underrepresented creatives.
She++ is a nonprofit with a mission to empower underrepresented groups in technology by breaking down negative stereotypes surrounding technical careers for women. This organization offers a lot of great resources on Tech news, advocacy, career advice, research, ways to reduce discrimination, and high school and college student opportunities.
TechWomen is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. According to their website, the initiative was “created to support the next generation of women leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from Africa, Central, and South Asia, and the Middle East by providing them the access and opportunity needed to advance their careers, pursue their dreams, and inspire women and girls in their communities.” Working professionals with a minimum of two years of experience working in a STEM field with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent can apply to participate as a mentor for the organization. They have over 700 women from 22 countries worldwide as members of this group.
Tech Ladies is a worldwide community with 100,000 members where ladies can get help growing their careers in tech. Through a supportive online group, a free job board, and opportunities to learn, Tech Ladies has connected thousands of women in tech with opportunities across the world. They also recently authored a report for the United Nations about the gender digital divide!
UX HER is a career development organization founded by UX Designer turned UX Researcher, Nandi Manning. The group provides BIPOC women with tools, resources, and community to begin and advance UX/UI Design careers. Through a supportive online network, job board, and learning opportunities, they help women of color navigate their careers and find a community in the field.
Women in Innovation (WIN) is a non-profit organization and community of tech leaders and innovators in New York, San Francisco, and London. They host monthly interactive sessions and workshops that explore leadership, development, and growth.
If you’re saying to yourself, “there are so many resources and support systems, this is my time to shine!” We agree. Our extensive list of coding bootcamps, financial resources, and advice for anyone looking to start a career in tech is here to help you. Get matched to one of the best coding bootcamps for you by filling out our questionnaire.