We get it: a bootcamp is a serious undertaking and one that will require a significant investment on your part. After all, it’s life changing and will open doors to lots of new opportunities. And that price tag can seem daunting but insurmountable, but here’s something important to keep in mind: there are tons of ways to finance your bootcamp, no matter where you live, what you want to study, or the price of your bootcamp. In fact, once you start diving into options, you’ll find that there are more ways to finance your bootcamp than you might think: between government funding, scholarships, loans, and income share agreements, you’ll have your bootcamp tuition covered in no time.
Before we dive into the nitty gritty of bootcamp funding, we have to mention one important detail: your financing options will depend heavily on your location and financial situation. So make sure you carefully review every option as it pertains to you and pick the best option.
Why are bootcamps so expensive?
This thought has almost definitely crossed your mind and don’t worry, we’re not offended! But we do have some answers:
Bootcamps are an investment in your future and just like any other worthwhile investment, they require a financial commitment.
They are cheaper than traditional learning methods like universities and they’re more useful. Yep, we said that. A significant problem facing the tech industry these days is the dizzying speed at which the sector moves; university graduates are well-versed in the technologies of three or four years ago, not the issues the industry is currently facing.
Bootcamps are led by industry experts who are up-to-date with what companies actually want in their employees; in a bootcamp, your tuition dollars are going straight to your education.
Considerations Before Choosing a Bootcamp
As most bootcamps require a considerable investment, ensuring you chose the right one is absolutely critical. To make that key decision, ask yourself these questions:
What job do I want to get after the bootcamp?
How much money can I afford to spend on a bootcamp?
If this number is low, take a look at possible scholarships or financing options
How much time can I dedicate to a bootcamp?
Will I still need to work/study while taking a bootcamp?
With these four questions answered, you’ll have a better idea of which bootcamp is right for you. Then you can check out bootcamps that offer part time options or scholarship opportunities; by only looking at bootcamps that actually meet your needs, you’ll save a lot of time–and effort!
Another key consideration is the financial undertaking that a bootcamp requires; unfortunately, it’s not just the tuition price that matters and understanding that there will be other implications is important. For example, if you’re planning on quitting your current job to attend a bootcamp, you will need to take into consideration your expenses and lack of income for the duration of the bootcamp, and, of course, the time it takes you to find a job. And even if you’re choosing a part-time course to continue working during your course, you need to take into consideration the added stress and hours that you’ll suddenly have; your free time will be completely gone and you’ll have to balance your job and lots of extra hours of studying.
Lastly, keep in mind that you might have a small pay cut later on; if you’re leaving a role that you’ve been in awhile and have a good salary and benefits, you might receive a lower salary in your first entry-level job in tech. After all, you’re starting over. But here’s the catch: even entry-level salaries in tech pay well and room for growth is incredible; you’ll be able to reach new heights quickly and move on to higher-paying jobs soon.
Financing Your Bootcamp
The actual decision of how to finance your bootcamp is the big one, right? It seems quite daunting, but there are lots of options out there that will help you pay. Let’s dive in:
Paying the full cost of your bootcamp upfront isn’t a reality for everyone and that’s totally understandable. You can take advantage of payment plans to spread the burden out over a few months and pay a bit every month. Most payment plans will require interest payments, but you can shop around until you find one that works for you. Before you decide on one, however, make sure you are clear on the following:
The length: will you be paying over 3, 6, or maybe 12 months?
Interest rates: most payment plans will require some sort of loan, but some out there are out to get you. Check out competitors and make sure you’re being offered a fair rate.
Any special considerations: is there a penalty for late payments? On what day are payments charged? What happens if you quit the bootcamp?
Income share agreements
Another popular financing option is income share agreements. These companies offer a program where, in simple terms, they cover the cost of your bootcamp with the understanding that you’ll pay a certain percentage of your income once you get a job. For those concerned about the investment without certainty of getting a job, this is a great option. However, make sure to check out any terms and conditions and shop around before committing to one.
Your bootcamp might offer scholarships, but that’s not the only place you can look. Lots of foundations or governments offer scholarships for bootcamps and higher education courses to help you further your career; this depends heavily on your personal situation and location, of course. Many organizations also offer special offers for minorities and women to encourage more diversity in tech.
Have we convinced you?! Bootcamps are a great investment in your future and there’s lots of things out there to help you out! Take the leap and start your research: you’ll find the best option for you, we’re sure of it.