Choosing a coding bootcamp can be challenging. Not only are you weighing significant decisions about your future, but the number of bootcamps options can be overwhelming. What’s the best coding bootcamp? is too loaded to ask with so many coding courses at your disposal. Realistically to answer that question, you need to weigh the costs, benefits, and what’s the most attractive to you: Job placement, core competencies of the coding bootcamp (data science, web development, etc.), and what eventual jobs the bootcamp will open up for you in Denver and beyond.
As we begin this guide on choosing the best coding bootcamp in Denver, 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 Denver coding bootcamp will help you gain the skills to do?
- What’s your current coding proficiency? Coding bootcamps offer programs to people at different levels, and before applying to a program in Denver you’ll want to answer this question.
- What’s your budget? Depending on the bootcamp you choose, this may become a factor. While the average Denver bootcamp varies in cost, most offer financing options for students who aren’t prepared to pay the upfront tuition in full.
Consider these questions as you read more about the Mile-High City and plan for a career in the tech industry. There are several benefits to choosing a coding school in the greater Denver area, so start thinking about the coding skills you’ll need for the job you eventually want to land.
Before Attending a Coding Bootcamp in Denver: How to Prepare
Coding bootcamps in Denver offer attractive options 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 before 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.
Benefits of a Coding Bootcamp in Denver
The tech industry in Denver proved itself to be highly resilient during the pandemic. This was set up by a few years of growth before the challenges brought on by the novel coronavirus. Crunchbase reported that Denver saw the most VC-backed startups in several years. The competitive (but rising) cost of living is offset by the high average salaries of these roles. These positions are naturally attractive to a software developer permanently relocating to the city after they become a bootcamp grad.
The city’s proximity to some of the most popular national parks is surely a draw for software developers and UX professionals as well. There are many benefits of living and working in Denver as well as a surplus of career opportunities that await those with tech skills after they finish a programming bootcamp. Companies in the greater Denver area (big and small) are hiring tech talent at a torrid pace. Every industry the city is known for - retail, cannabis, outdoor retail, and energy - are making it a priority to recruit the type of talent that can combine digital expertise with their core product. Consumer brands like Chipotle are headquartered in Denver as well as Einstein Brothers Bagels and Samsonite. There’s no shortage of opportunities when you're living and working in a city whose tech companies are successful and committed to hiring.
Denver tech jobs offer some key advantages over tech-related positions in other cities. Notably, employees of Denver tech companies enjoy a lower cost of living when compared to cities like Los Angeles, but are still compensated at market rate despite the difference. Even better? Despite more affordable living, salaries are still competitive with coastal cities. Jobs in the tech industry include average salaries of $117,000 for a software engineer, $94,000 for a Design/UX professional, and just under $100,000 for a Data Scientist in 2021. Denver’s coding bootcamps feature training for each of those positions.
Cost of Coding Bootcamps in Denver
The cost of a full stack software engineering bootcamp in Denver isn’t that different from the national average. According to Nerd Wallet the average cost for a bootcamp is nearly $13,584, but several different payment options are available should you be considering different ways to pay for coding school. If you’re considering paying for a coding bootcamp upfront with a credit card, you may want to 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 allow you to study, and feature grace periods for repayment. Regardless of how you plan to pay for a bootcamp education, always consult a financial planner to help calculate your living costs on a software engineer salary once the course is completed.
Considering the higher cost of living in Denver relative to others in the same region, there’s 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 amount of underrepresented coding professionals in the tech sector. Need-based scholarships are also popping up across different coding schools across the country.
- Research income-share agreements. Some coding 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. 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 between $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.
Remember that the cost of a coding bootcamp is your tuition and your time. Always estimate the cost for both prior to enrolling in a class for the next 12-16 weeks.
Apply to Coding Bootcamps in Denver
If you’ve decided on attending a Denver coding bootcamp, here are some of the better on-ground programs in the city:
- General Assembly. Consistent with other General Assembly (GA) locations, this bootcamp offers a host of full-time and part-time immersive courses including software engineering, data science immersive, and UX design, GA Denver is located a five-minute walk from Denver’s acclaimed River North Art District.
- Flatiron School. The plush Denver campus has beautifully designed community spaces where students can collaborate with their full-stack web development cohort. The Flatiron School uses an independent auditor to measure outcomes for its Denver students. They’ve recently reported a 90% employment rate and $67,000 for students who accepted a full-time role in Denver. As always, we recommend prospective students pay attention to the fine print on these numbers, as the average salaries are often not inclusive of students who took on contract roles after graduating.
- The University of Denver. The University of Denver launched a full-stack 24-week coding bootcamp with a focus for women in 2018. Powered by Trilogy, this bootcamp offers a relatively similar curriculum to its core bootcamps in coding, data analytics, UX/UI, cybersecurity, and digital marketing courses are being offered remotely.
Whether you’re a longtime Coloradoan, a recent transplant, or a future resident, the city of Denver offers ample opportunities for learning and working that cover the spectrum of programming languages and future jobs in tech and beyond. Once you understand your intentions for what you want to do in the tech world, whether it be web development, web machine learning, computer science, or something more tied to product design, you'll have a good start to make an informed decision on which program is right for you. A Denver coding bootcamp can unlock the opportunity to work in a mid-tier 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, click here to find your future boot camp in Denver.