So you’re keen to add a new skill to your existing set, or even change careers to join the tech world. You’ve been checking out online coding bootcamps, and thinking you could become a programmer, possibly a software engineer, full stack web developer, or data scientist. From an affordability perspective, an online coding bootcamp is a fantastic route to achieve these goals: an online coding bootcamp can cost as little as $4,000. In comparison, a face-to-face or on-site bootcamp costs anywhere between $7,800 to $21,000, with an average cost of $13,584. Traditional learning avenues will cost you even more, with a four-year computer science degree forcing you to fork out on average $157,760. But even with online bootcamps being the most affordable option, it can still be a challenge for the average person to simply save up extra cash (how often do we just have “extra cash” unused in our budgets?) and pay that amount all in one go. So how can you finance your bootcamp? Here are some ideas.
A lot of bootcamps – especially ours – make use of microfinancing options through trusted financial organisations to finance your bootcamp. One of these is mobicred, a simple credit facility that takes one easy application and has an approval period of just a single business day, so you can get learning as soon as possible.
Mobicred couldn’t be easier to apply for. All you need to do is apply online with your supporting documents, which are:
- A valid SA ID number.
- A current and valid email address and mobile number.
- A minimum monthly salary of R550.
- An existing and valid bank account in your name.
- The submission of three months of your most recent bank statements or payslips.
Once your application is approved, you can start learning online right away, as mobicred is integrated into our subscription platform. Best of all, the credit you receive is repayable over 12 monthly payments. If you’re interested in mobicred, we’ve written more about how it works with our online bootcamps here.
- Apply for a scholarship
Many coding bootcamps offer scholarships, particularly if you belong to an under-represented group, such as women or persons of colour, in the tech industry. These scholarships can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, and can even finance your bootcamp completely.
Here’s a list, from Course Report, of scholarships on offer for bootcamp. If you don’t see the bootcamp you’re thinking of attending on that list, take a chance and email them directly about their scholarship programs. There’s no harm in asking – the worst thing is that you’ll be met with a ‘no’.
The good news is that HyperionDev offers Merit-based scholarships for students from the US, UK and South Africa, making our bootcamps that much more accessible to those who would otherwise be left out.
Crowdfunding is another great way to raise money to finance your bootcamp. Your active social community can help to make your education goals a reality, and there are plenty of platforms that will make this funding drive a breeze. Digital Trends lists some of the best crowdfunding sites online including Indiegogo and GoFundMe.
Remember with crowdfunding, states Entrepreneur, you need to self-promote intensively, read the fine print for details and have a plan of action for rewarding your investors. For example, you can offer to spruce up the code on the back-end of their website after you finish your online coding bootcamp!
4. Think About a student loan
Perhaps the most traditional method of financing your bootcamp or studies is the much-maligned student loan. It’s not great to be indebted, but your earning potential post-bootcamp is likely to be much improved, meaning the overall value of the loan to your life greatly outweighs the interest. After surveying reports from 73 qualifying coding schools, Course Report found that the average salary increase after a bootcamp was 50,5%, which equated to $23,724 extra per annum.
Think about approaching your bank for a personal loan. It’s likely that they’ll want some commitment from you (in the form of collateral or security), so you should factor in a contribution of your own. Remember also to read the terms and conditions so that you understand the terms of the loan and its interest rate. With a loan that fits your current financial situation, you should consider the loan you’re taking as an investment in your future.
And if you can’t get a loan through your bank, many coding schools offer Income Sharing Agreements, where your tuition is paid for upfront, and you only pay the school back once you start working at your new tech job. ISA’s can be pretty complex, so be sure to read over the fine print of what they involve – and check out our separate blog post about whether or not an ISA is right for you.
5. Opt for different payment plans
Many bootcamps offer a variety of payment plans, from paying the full amount upfront (with an added discount), to paying a monthly fee, to paying your bootcamp fees in agreed installments. Make sure you speak with someone about all the options available, so you can make the best financial decision for you.
HyperionDev offers several payment plans, including a monthly option; plus we give students a significant discount if they choose to pay upfront.
6. Work sponsorships
If you’re planning on continuing your full-time employment, consider speaking to your employer. They may want to invest in the skillsets of their employees! Remember to show how your upskilling will be of direct benefit to the company. Factors you could mention include passing on new skills to the team, accepting greater responsibility and adding to your skill base to take the company in a new direction.
HyperionDev offers corporate training packages at a greatly discounted rate, so that groups of professionals can learn critical skills for the digital marketplace. You get to learn coding, and your business gets to future-proof its employees – it could be a win-win situation for everyone.
Often our goals might seem out of our reach, especially with tight budgets and increasingly uncertain times. However, there are a multitude of available paths to that goal. Keep looking, keep persevering, and your goals will be an inch closer every day.
If you want to learn coding to become a web developer, software engineer, or data scientist, and can’t figure out how you’ll be able to sign up, for any reason, contact one of our admissions consultants to discuss the options available to you.
Editor’s note: This was post was originally published on 16 April 2018 and has been updated on 17 June 2020.