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Best Coding Bootcamp Chicago, IL

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If you’re considering attending a coding bootcamp, Chicago is a vibrant and historic city with many coding bootcamp options for anyone wanting to learn to code in an immersive environment. Similar to other major U.S. cities experiencing an influx of capital and talent, Chicago has seen significant growth in tech jobs over the last decade.

There are a few important factors before applying and enrolling in the best bootcamps in the Windy City. First, you should decide which coding bootcamp will suit your needs and offer programming courses that are relevant to your interests (web developments, data science, etc.). There are many different types of coding bootcamps, all with their own educational style and focus on specific programming languages and technologies.

Second, it’s also important to think about your budget; The tuition for coding bootcamps can vary greatly by the type of program offered and any scholarships or income share agreements offered. For all coding bootcamps, make sure you’re practicing some introductory programming, or are enrolled in bootcamp prep classes before beginning the immersive course.

Benefits of a Coding Bootcamp in Chicago

Growth in the tech industry has boomed in Chicago over the past decade. This is partly due to the demand for coding skills in the country and in the state of Illinois. Take data science for example. It’s understandable to think that high-demand hotspots like Washington D.C. and Seattle would beat out Chicago attracting a prospective data scientist, but Illinois has the fourth-highest data science employment level among all 50 states only behind California, New York, and Texas.

The city’s charm and reputation for scholarship attract your software developer and UX professionals as well. There are many benefits of living and working in Chicago as well as a surplus of career opportunities that await those with tech skills after they finish a programming bootcamp. Companies in the greater Chicago area (big and small ) are hiring tech talent at a scorching pace. Every industry the city is known for - hospitality, athletics, education, and architecture - is making it a priority to recruit the type of talent that can combine digital expertise with their core product. Tech giants like Facebook or Google aren’t limited to the coasts. They have a presence in Chicago as well as other publicly traded and privately-owned companies like Boeing, AllScripts, Spoton, Navteq, and Cision. There’s no shortage of opportunities when you're living and working in one of America's largest tech hubs.

Chicago tech jobs offer some key advantages over tech-related positions in cities with higher visibility. Notably, employees of Chicago tech companies enjoy a lower cost of living when compared to cities like San Francisco or New York City which have higher living expenses. Even better? Despite the lower cost of living, salaries are still competitive with coastal cities. Jobs in the tech industry including average salaries of $97,500 for a Front-End Developer, $111,000 for a Software Engineer, and $119,000 for a Data Scientist in 2020. Chicago’s coding bootcamps feature training for each of those positions.

Some of the more well-known coding schools made sure to set up in downtown Chicago, and some also offer an online coding bootcamp beyond the in-person programs. The physical campuses for prestigious bootcamps such as Code Platoon, Flatiron School, Coding Dojo, General Assembly, and FullStack Academy are located a stone’s throw from some of Chicago’s main sites. With competitive advantages in relation to cost of living, and similar on-campus opportunities as other major U.S. cities. Chicago is an ideal city to both settle long-term or spend a year or two during your bootcamp experience and after you land your next job as a software engineer.

What Makes Chicago a Great Place to Attend a Coding Bootcamp?

Chicago, windy as it may be, is a city that values hard work, dedication, and discipline. As the third most innovative tech hub in the U.S., Chicago has a strong job market for developers. Due to surging venture capital levels flowing into Chicago tech startups, the need for developers will continue to grow, with an estimated 15% more demand by 2026.

But even outside of work or a coding bootcamp experience, Chicago is a great place to live. While it’s economy continues to grow, there are many activities for the hardworking people who live here. Domestic and international travelers flock to see live music, sports, and the arts conveniently located within the city lines and accessed using it’s transportation system. The Chicago skyline receives international acclaim, famous for its architecture and the soaring views of the Willis Tower. Chicago’s also home to some of the most famous chefs in America, often overlooked in favor of their coastal counterparts. A thriving nightlife also attracts hospitality and mixology professionals to the area, providing the hardworking web developer with a well-mixed negroni after an intense week of coding.

For those who enjoy long walks and natural attractions, there are many parks and outdoor activities to do in the city. Millennium Park, Lincoln Park, Grant Park, and the North Avenue beach are a huge draw for the aspiring software developer looking to relax and meet new people. They’re also a walking (or biking) distance from some of the cultural mainstays of Chicago: the Lincoln Park Zoo, Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum, and the Art Institute, all offering wonderful daytime experiences.

Perhaps Chicago’s most famous trait is its beautiful architecture. Anyone with family in town or impressing Boat Tours offers an architecture tour that will take you along the Chicago River, and/or surrounding bodies of water to show off the city’s architecture during a leisurely boat ride. The tour guides will talk passengers through 130 years of architectural history and offer passengers breathtaking views of some of the city’s most iconic buildings.

This town does not just look beautiful though, it is also an American powerhouse for so many industries. Chicago has one of the world’s largest and most diversified economies, with more than four million employees and generating an annual gross regional product (GRP) of over $698 billion. The city is an efficient economic powerhouse, home to more than 400 major corporate facilities, including 36 in the Fortune 500, and 31 in the S&P 500. From the North Center to the South Shore, Chicago is home to some beautiful neighborhoods, a powerful economy, and a rich history.

What to Know Before Attending a Coding Bootcamp in Chicago

Before attending a coding bootcamp in Chicago, start to think about the types of jobs you want and the commitment needed to secure a coding job. Depending on the course you choose, the commitment and time required for a coding bootcamp varies. On average, immersive courses take about 12 weeks to complete. There are different training paths offered depending on the chosen programming language, data science immersion, or design focus that require varying levels of knowledge about topics covered in their curriculums.

Most coding schools will require a certain level of proficiency and knowledge before beginning the coding bootcamp. Whether you have previous experience coding or preparing for the assessment, programs will require you to pass a technical assessment or some other type of test. This is a given to assure the students have a fruitful experience. Most bootcamps move very quickly and build upon a solid understanding of a given programming language from day 1.

Researching bootcamps before applying to them will help you narrow down which program best fits your needs and provide guidance on where your skill level should be before your technical interview. Beginning to engage with the course material and other prospective students gives some invaluable insight into whether you are enrolling in the right program for you.

How to Pay for Bootcamps in Chicago

Coding bootcamps are a great way to learn to code and become proficient at it quickly, but there’s certainly a cost involved. Most bootcamps charge around $12,000 for around 12 to 16 weeks of learning experience. Here are a few options on how you can pay for tuition outside of funding all of it up front:

  • Income Share Agreements: Certain programs will offer an income share agreement (or ISA for short). These ISA agreements stipulate that the tuition cost for the bootcamp will be deferred until after you land a job. This generally means that there is no cost upfront, and a portion of each of your paychecks will go toward paying back your coding bootcamp experience. The tradeoff is that in return for a deferred future payment, the tuition will be elevated to a higher cost.
  • Third Party Financing Options: Coding bootcamps accept a host of third-party financing options and loans. Companies like Meritize and Ascent are two popular options geared toward financing professional training for prospective students.
  • Coding Bootcamp Scholarships: For almost every coding bootcamp program, there are tech scholarships awarded for each cohort of students. These scholarships are generally geared toward specific demographics such as underrepresented groups, the LGBTQ+ community, military veterans, and those who are looking to make a career transition. There are also scholarships offered based on needs and life experiences of prospective students. Some of these scholarships require full written essays or short form written responses.

Deciding to Attend a Coding Bootcamp in Chicago

Whether you’re a certified Chicagoan or planning a move, this city offers ample opportunities for learning and working that cover the spectrum of programming languages and future jobs in tech sector and beyond. Once you understand your intentions for what you want to do in the tech world, whether it be software development, web development, computer science, etc., you'll have a good start to make an informed decision on which program is right for you. A Chicago coding bootcamp can unlock opportunity in a major U.S. city with a solid and diversified economy. With many outlets to take advantage of outside of learning and working hours, current students and bootcamp graduates alike will have plenty to keep themselves busy. If you are considering continuing, transitioning to, or starting a tech career or going into software engineering, click here to find your future Chicago bootcamp.