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Best Coding Bootcamp Philadelphia, PA

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Philadelphia’s a city that embodies both overcoming a challenge and building things with staying power. From Rocky Balboa to the first (and second) Continental Congress, this is a city with a well-earned reputation for long-lasting success. There’s a reason more and more aspiring developers seeking a coding bootcamp look to the City of Brotherly Love.

And why not? Philly’s a magnet for the future cybersecurity professional, data science minds, and software engineering talent who see tremendous value in its proximity to New York and DC but for a fraction of the cost of living. A Philadelphia coding bootcamp is a hidden gem for students that view educational investment and smart financial planning for a bootcamp in the same way we do.

As we seem to be turning the corner on the pandemic, the city’s tech muscle looks like it won’t stay hidden for long.

Philadelphia’s Tech Scene is Exploding

Before we dive into the best coding bootcamps in Philadelphia and talk about the city itself, we need to commend the city on its potential for the future careers of bootcamp graduates. Philly is making a big impact on attracting both students and companies in 2022.

Sure – Philadelphia’s reputation as a cornerstone of America, dedication to sports, artistic acclaim, and the birthplace of Will Smith all have credence, but it’s starting to earn a reputation as a tech hub. Perhaps the Fresh Prince’s origin story is so well told that tech startups began to set up roots in the city. More founders are looking to Philadelphia as a place to “raise” their businesses, so much so that Philadelphia is tech salaries saw the largest jump in the U.S. Axios reports salaries grew a whopping 11.9% and now sit at an average of just under $143,000.

The biotechnology sector - famously a part of Philadelphia and Princeton suburbs for decades - is adding a significant startup footprint as well. 2022 saw growth in the sector, and several Philly biotech startups secured VC funding and grants in the latter half of the year.

We’ll be watching tech job growth, salary shifts, and the overall demand for web development, data science, and coding skills that growth should command in Philadelphia. We know founders and job seekers typically choose cities based on the potential to attract coding tech talent. There’s a lot to like about Philadelphia as a place to not only attend a coding boot camp, but also a place to put down roots.

Philadelphia as a Destination for Boot Camp Students and Beyond

What’s driving the staggering demand for a tech job in Philadelphia outside of VC money and major U.S. corporations? Best Coding Bootcamps believes a large part of the attraction is the city itself. The redistribution of software engineering talent from The Valley and New York to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities reached a tipping point during the pandemic, and cities like Philadelphia were beneficiaries. Hybrid and remote policies enacted by tech companies (Twitter, Meta, and more) allowed their developers to spend more time in their city versus on a slog of a commute.

  • An affordable corner of the Northeast for bootcamp graduates. Post-pandemic, rents in the Northeast exploded to unsustainable levels. Students looking to stretch their dollar and avoid the $4000 median rents in New York City saw Philadelphia as a smarter destination. With an average rent of $1877 for a one-bedroom, that’s under half of what a web development or data science student would pay to live in nearby New York. For a much smaller footprint.
  • A burgeoning food scene. Philadelphia’s food scene’s been steadily improving since the mid’00’s, but there’s a plethora of options to feed hungry tech talent searching for a meal. After a long day of coding, the city’s world-famous cheesesteaks are within reach, as well as its developing pizza scene. Nearby breweries and watering holes are plenty, so try not to lose the brain cells you need to learn a new programming language by trying some of the rising (and plentiful) craft breweries making their mark on the region.

    Unique to Philly, however, is the best of both worlds: the ability to enjoy the local fare and the proximity to culinary mainstays like New York and Washington D.C. What you save in rent (and perhaps in bootcamp tuition if you receive a grant), you might put toward a few beers.
  • A competitive arena - in sports and in the Philadelphia coding bootcamp. No one dare question the loyalty of the Eagles fan. In popular culture, the city often stands in for sports fanaticism. Up or down in the standings, the level of dedication to a sports team rivals that of what a student needs to build coding skill. Frequent a local bar in any neighborhood on game day and prepare for a more detailed history of the Phillies than you’ve ever cared to learn. The energy is contagious.
  • Philadelphia’s actively recruiting diverse tech talent. The city is putting its money where its mouth is. Similar to the trend in coding programs providing grants to help with bootcamp tuition, the city itself is investing in diverse startups – awarding half a million dollars to its Diverse Tech Hub initiative to build lasting roots in Philadelphia.

That’s a lot to like for a city within reach of a beach, rafting on the Delaware river, and with a bit of affordability. It’s true that the evenings of a bootcamp student are usually spent with code and city-goers are returning to bars, but there’s relief in knowing the escape is there if you want it.

Best Coding Bootcamps in Philadelphia

Philly’s home to well-known coding bootcamps that hold their own when facing the challenge of competing against the remote, established juggernauts like General Assembly and Flatiron School. There’s a renewed appreciation for an escape from the walls of the home, but as equal of an appreciation for never commuting again. Philadelphia bootcamps offer both models.

Here are some of the city’s best coding bootcamps:

  • Penn Boot Camps. In partnership with Trilogy and 2U, Penn Boot camps specialize in coding fundamentals, a cybersecurity boot camp, and data science courses. We like that they feature student testimonials on their website and clearly outline the course curriculum. Additionally, OPMs (online program managers) like Trilogy/2U often feature more instructors with real-world experience than in a traditional classroom environment.

    Our critiques for Penn Boot Camps are similar to other coding bootcamp programs run by 2U: We want to see more recent outcomes data, student reviews, and career services fleshed out on their website. Our future software engineering professionals (often not having computer science backgrounds in their undergraduate study or current job) are interested in specifically reading the median salaries of recently graduated students, the percentage of the student cohort that secured full-time jobs, and the percentage of that same cohort who work in full-time roles freshly out of their in-person or online coding bootcamp

    Without that data, we highly recommend you speak to their administrators prior to enrolling in the coding course.
  • Coding Dojo. Coding Dojo is a fully remote boot camp that bills itself as the world’s only “3 full stack curriculum” to build coding skills. If you decide the reasonable rents of Philadelphia and the larger living footprint is an attractive landing space, Coding Dojo could be a fantastic online coding bootcamp to complete. The reviews from students and instructors are solid, but we’re more impressed with the transparency. Coding Dojo features outcomes reports as recent as 2021, and give step-by-step admissions instructions to all students.

    With self-reported student outcomes, we always recommend you read between the lines. For example, Coding Dojo features a comparison chart between themselves and other leading boot camp courses. However, the term “relevant” job is amorphous, and we’d like to see more specificity from the boot camp around how they qualify as “industry” or industry-adjacent jobs.
  • Tech Elevator. Tech Elevator is a highly-rated coding bootcamp that has both a physical learning space in Philadelphia as well as remote bootcamp options.

One thing that surprised us: We were hoping to see more curriculums that included machine learning coursework, however, the option remains for students to pursue remote learning options should Philadelphia students wish to pursue that path. (General Assembly and Flatiron School both offer machine learning classes, but we’d like to see this discipline taught in detail.)

Conclusion: Philadelphia is a Hidden Gem for Coding Boot Camp Students

What does all this mean for the place Kobe Bryant, Will Smith, and Bob Saget called home? One thing: That the Birthplace of America is experiencing a rebirth. Your education could be part of that.

Philadelphia’s proven to be host to a growing tech scene, an accelerator for developer salaries during the pandemic, and a high-value destination relative to its far more expensive neighbors. (Ask a New Yorker how much they pay in rent and suddenly Amtrak isn’t looking so bad to them.)

In all seriousness, getting started in a Philadelphia coding bootcamp doesn’t require a background in computer science or web development. (Nor does it require rents of $5,000 to live in cities nearby.) It does require the same focus and fervor characterized by the average Philadelphia sports fan.

If you have that same internal fire for building your coding skill, get matched to a coding bootcamp in Philadelphia with our customized questionnaire. This is the only city in the country where (Spoiler alert!) “Yo Adrian, I did it,” can be said on the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps after you’ve graduated.