CS Degrees vs. Coding Bootcamps

One of the most common questions that we get from prospective bootcamp students is this:

What's the difference between getting a CS degree and going through a coding bootcamp?

The fact is this: both CS degrees and coding bootcamps are viable ways to land a job as a programmer. Each has upsides and downsides.

Ultimately, the key to deciding the best option for you comes down to analyzing the pros and cons to each. Here's a chart to help you do exactly that.


That's the baseline comparison. But you're probably still wondering what people who have experience with each option think. If that's the case, here are some quotes we think are worth looking at:

Firehose Graduate

Risse Rigdon

CS graduate from Radford University

"After having spent three years studying traditional Computer Science and three months studying web development in a bootcamp setting, I would honestly personally - place the two experiences as equally beneficial."

Co-Founder of Firehose

Ken Mazaika

CS graduate from Northeastern University

"Throughout my career, I've worked with people who have gone through the traditional route of studying CS in school and people who were self-taught. Learning to program is really something you learn by doing. Some of the programmers I admire most don't have a CS degree from a university."

The bottom line is that everyone's situation is different. For some people, going the CS degree route could make sense. For others, the bootcamp option could be more logical. The key is understanding what works best for you. If you want to talk through some of the specific differences between CS degrees and coding bootcamps, send us an email using the form below.

Coder's CompassAlec Babala