Welcome to Atlanta -- home of barbecue, sweet tea, the Falcons, a Golden Globe-winning TV show, and some of the best coding bootcamps in the southern United States. Georgia’s experienced a 10% growth in population and diversity over the past decade, particularly in metropolitan areas like Atlanta. Much like the rest of the country, a migration toward cities with higher paying jobs remains a trend. Due to its well-designed neighborhoods, a prolonged summer, proximity to one of Americas’ key travel hubs (Depending on who you ask, Hartsfield-Jackson is both a blessing and a curse), the city is a key target for prospective coding professionals considering an Atlanta coding bootcamp. Fortunately, it has the bootcamps to match.
Much like a morning commute on I-85, choosing a coding bootcamp can be challenging. Not only are you making a big decision about your future, but the southern United States is a target-rich bootcamp destination. While it seems natural to start with questions like “What’s the best coding bootcamp?”, you actually want to drill down a bit further into your motivations before getting there -- particularly with so many coding courses geared at different learning styles. Realistically, you’re asking “What is the best coding bootcamp for me?” You need to consider the costs of attending, your return on investment, and what’s the most attractive to you: Job placement, core competencies of the coding bootcamp (data science, web development, UI/UX, cyber security), and what eventual jobs the bootcamp can set you up for -- in Atlanta and beyond.
As we begin an analysis for choosing the best coding bootcamp in Atlanta, you have to ask some questions that that will put you on the right coding journey for your career:
- What’s driving your interest in coding? What are some of the projects you’ve dreamed of working on that a bootcamp will help you gain the skills to do?
- What is your current coding proficiency? Coding bootcamps offer programs to different abilities, and the introductory exercises in Atlanta-based coding bootcamps will help you answer this question.
- Consider your budget. Depending on the bootcamp you choose, this may become a factor. While The average Atlanta bootcamp has different costs, most have several financing options for their students. We’ll discuss this in more detail later in this article.
Evaluate these questions as you plan for a career in the tech industry in Georgia’s capital. There are several benefits to choosing a coding school in the five boroughs, so let’s explore the advantages of Atlanta and discuss the type of coding skills you want to learn.
The Benefits of Attending Coding Bootcamps in Atlanta
For so many industries strategically placed in the business capital of the world, Atlanta offers the richest talent hubs for coding in the world. Startups can lure talent from many of the tech giants who’ve set up regional offices and corporate headquarters in other cities. And on the other side, maturing companies who need fresh entrepreneurial thinking are able to source from both recent bootcamp grads and tech industry veterans. The demand for talent post-graduation is high, so students do well to both learn and work in Georgia.
Atlanta’s attraction is more than professional. Those who have Atlanta on their shortlist for their coding education have a positive perception of its important history in Civil Rights, beautiful parkland, proximity to the natural wonders of Georgia’s forests, attainable cost of living, and the resulting diverse talent the city attracts. There are several other reasons why the ATL is an attractive option for the aspiring software engineer:
- Coding professionals are in high demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the employment for software developers will grow 21% through 2028. This is a little more than four times higher than the average industry in the U.S over the same period. A software engineer earns a median six-figure salary, essentially double the median income of an Atlanta household, and why the city is a high-value destination for an aspiring coding professional.
Coupled with HackerRank’s findings that full-stack developers are among the toughest jobs to find qualified candidates for, selecting an immersive bootcamp with a program that specializes in your area of interest can be invaluable in the marketplace.
- Loads of opportunities to build products that can contribute directly to the community. Atlanta generates significant foot traffic and tax dollars to local businesses by attracting Hollywood films to shoot within the city limits, but it’s also beginning to attract tech accelerators and incubators. Resiliency, proactivity, and community are undeniably a part of its reputation. The same is true for its bootcamps. The coding bootcamps in “The A” attract personalities of all types that share a commonality: they are hyper-focused on addressing big and small challenges in areas like web development, data science, and UX design that can unlock value for the public and private sector employees.
The coding bootcamps in Atlanta facilitate the type of coding courses where students can code, collaborate on, and deploy projects that prepare them for real-world development teams. They’ve become so popular that even the most prestigious universities including Emory University - nicknamed “The Harvard of the South” - are partnering with well-established programs like Fullstack Academy to help fill the demand for the near-50% increase in tech job growth that the city of Atlanta has seen over the past decade. Demonstrating coding expertise and fundamentals is a pivotal interview step at tech startups and in increasingly competitive software engineering roles in corporations. Tech giant Cisco recently announced they’re bringing hundreds of tech jobs into the city.
Choosing the right bootcamp will offer you more than just a good coding class. It will create an opportunity to learn how to position yourself as a respected programmer, work collaboratively with a team, and ideally be a catalyst for building solutions that change the world, no matter the programming language the solution uses to solve the problem.
- High demand in mature corporations undergoing digital transformation. Atlanta is home to some of the most famous American companies of the last century, an overlooked benefit of relocating to the city. Coca-Cola’s headquarters makes the most headlines, but Delta, UPS, Home Depot, and Equifax are global powerhouses fiercely competing for developer talent with the city’s more recent upstarts.
What makes an Atlanta coding bootcamp a great place to get started?
Atlanta is arguably the most important metro-area in the Southern United States. Outside of Miami, Atlanta is one of the highest tech growth cities in the Southern United States for software development, growing at a healthy clip over the past decade. In fact, BizJournals Atlanta reported solid investment raises by Atlanta entrepreneurs, raising nearly three quarters of billion dollars in April alone. Venture capital firms are seeing the opportunity for tech talent in Atlanta.
Atlanta startups raised nearly three quarters of a billion dollars in April 2021 alone.
With an overflow of capital hitting Atlanta, the city is a solid recruiting pool for large and small companies looking for full stack web developers and other web development roles. Students gravitating more toward careers in data science also have opportunities to network with companies looking for expertise in Python, SQL, and more.
Lifestyle. Atlanta has a deserved reputation for both working hard and playing hard. The 1996 Olympic games transformed the city's infrastructure and public space, introducing the MARTA transit system and Centennial Park, a public park for picnicking, relaxing, and concerts in the heart of downtown Atlanta. It’s no mistake that the park was built near the most famous business (and tourist attraction) in Atlanta’s history, The World of Coca-Cola and the Coke headquarters.
Coding professionals in Atlanta work hard and see the fruits of their labor. The city is home to one of the most famous unicorn exits in recent history after homegrown Mailchimp sold for $12 billion, and is increasingly home to regional expansions of high-growth companies like Twilio. Atlanta’s educational institutions are also investing upstream, with flagship schools like Emory and Georgia Tech investing in startups from underrepresented populations even before entrepreneurs begin formally raising capital.
The city is not all work. Atlantans play hard, too. Perhaps the most important personal investment a developer does outside of coding is eating, and there are plenty of options across all neighborhoods. We hear Castlebury Hill, Decatur, and East Point are bringing a wealth of options to the hungry programmer, making the city an attractive town for relocation. From barbecue to Ethiopian, carnivores to vegetarians, Atlanta’s reputation for food is rising along with its coding prowess.
Bootcamps that fit your style. While we’re seeing some positive indicators following the pandemic, future software engineers and developers naturally have different work styles and levels of comfort getting back into the office. Currently, most of the in-person experiences have moved entirely online until schools feel they can guarantee the safety of their students, a mentality we endorse. However, Atlanta offers similar on-ground opportunities as other large cities in the United States.
Immediate Accessibility. On-ground boot camp instructors have the ability to provide quick feedback on questions or projects, whether it be questions on coding challenges, specific information about the curriculum of a coding course, or their advice for applying to that dream data science or web development job you’ve been researching. This hasn’t changed as schools temporarily transition to an online learning format until in-person gathering is deemed safe as the pandemic wanes.
Additionally, Atlanta boot camps like DigitalCrafts are experimenting with hybrid learning models for local students who want the flexibility of a bootcamp that can adjust to a complicated lifestyle. They have the option to work in the classroom or remotely, including a coworking membership as part of their tuition.
Reputation & Prestige. Atlanta is competitive and its bootcamps are no different. Growing bootcamps like General Assembly and Emory’s Coding Bootcamp (in partnership with Fullstack Academy) are fully immersive, on-ground programs that have a strong on-ground presence in or within driving distance from downtown Atlanta.
Before Attending a Coding Bootcamp in Atlanta: Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Coding bootcamps in Atlanta offer several to students. Depending on the chosen programming language, data science immersion, and/or design tracks you choose, curriculums will vary both on content, breadth, and length. A “typical” bootcamp curriculum will have several paths that require a base knowledge of the concepts. Let’s explore what skills an aspiring software engineer, full stack web developer, or data science professional will need prior to entering the bootcamp.
One of the benefits of this important step before applying and then enrolling in the boot camp is that it allows you to assess your current skill level, and choose the programming course that best suits your budget and proficiency. Perhaps more importantly, preparing for your boot camp allows you to understand the nuances of coding languages, prepare for your boot camp interview, and engage in introductory projects with other students.
Preparing for the coding bootcamp and the evaluations you’ll complete will help ensure that you receive a return on investment from the time and money you put toward your coding education.
Cost of Coding Bootcamps in Atlanta
The cost of a full stack coding bootcamp in Atlanta isn’t that different from the national average. According to Nerd Wallet, the average cost for a bootcamp is close to $13,584, but several different payment options are available should you be exploring different ways to pay for a coding school.
If you’re considering paying for a coding boot camp upfront with a credit card, you can consider opening a travel card to meet the minimum benefits of a bonus card while earning miles. However, several other options exist. Many students use third-party financing options like Meritize or Ascent, two popular bootcamp loan options that provide a loan and feature grace periods for repayment. This may not be a bad option for a student projecting to earn a software engineer salary and budgeting after the course is completed.
Considering the high cost of living in Atlanta, there are belt-tightening opportunities for all bootcamp students. Here are three great tricks to funding your coding bootcamp enrollment:
- Apply for every coding scholarship. Several coding bootcamps offer scholarships geared toward increasing the number of underrepresented coding professionals in the tech sector. Coding Dojo - a bootcamp offering part-time and full-time online software development bootcamps in Atlanta - offers scholarships incentivizing LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and military veterans (through the GI Bill) to apply and attend the bootcamps. Several need-based scholarships are also popping up across different coding schools in the city.
- Research income-share agreements. Some bootcamp graduates pay for their tuition using income-share agreements (ISAs). An income share agreement is a written agreement between you and a bootcamp provider that says you’ll commit to paying the provider a percentage of your income for an agreed amount of time. While this deferred tuition model is becoming increasingly more popular, it requires a clear understanding of the salary floor of the jobs you consider after the bootcamp. If the salary isn’t sufficient, you may find yourself financially strapped with expenses, utilities, and now education taking up a larger portion of your monthly income.
With that in mind, a hidden advantage of ISAs is that they force you to calculate how much you will need to be paid per year in order to be able to live, commute, pay back your tuition, and save. Pay careful attention to the minimum salary you need to make before an ISA kicks in and that you don’t accept a web development job for too low of a salary. If your agreement stipulates that you must pay back the online coding bootcamp if you land a job making above $35,000 to $40,000 per year, that doesn’t leave you much room for living expenses. (The good news: The average salary for even an entry-level programmer is $50,000 per year, but those of you in high cost-of-living cities should be doing the math closely.)
- Project your salary earnings. Carefully evaluate the tech job you can realistically land and the median salary of your desired position. Is that desired position going to be paying you significantly more than your current role? Will it earn you a higher multiple several times over than the cost of the bootcamp itself? For example, if you want to be a full stack developer and or are also seriously considering data science roles, know the market rates for each of those positions.
Deciding to Attend a Coding Bootcamp in Atlanta
There’s no place like Atlanta. The city that Outkast, Ted Turner, and Usher call home is known for its fast pace, slow cooking, and a community of top-tier web developers and tech companies awaits bootcamp graduates seeking a personal and professional network. Despite the pandemic, major tech companies like Coca-Cola, Facebook, Amazon, and Salesforce are reinvesting in their office space and continue hiring full stack developers, data scientists, and software engineers at highly competitive market rates. The potential for an early-stage startup in Atlanta is limitless.
If you’ve been thoughtful about what drives your interest in coding, analyzed the benefits of attending a bootcamp in Atlanta, properly budgeted for life during and after becoming a bootcamp grad, and have a strong sense of what you want to pursue, we can match you with the right bootcamp. Click here to find your future bootcamp.