Best Free
Coding Bootcamps in 2021

Coding bootcamps cost less than traditional degrees, but can still be expensive. If you don’t want to pay for a coding bootcamp, or aren’t yet sure if it’s the right path for you, consider joining a free online coding bootcamp. Below we look at the best free coding bootcamps in 2021 to help you weigh your options.

Why Learn Coding?

Learning to code is essential for aspiring tech professionals. There is a high demand for tech professionals who know how to code, making it a worthwhile career investment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer programmers earn an average of $89,190.

Having coding skills opens up many career paths, beyond just those of a programmer or coder. As well as opening the door to any number of tech careers, it’s a well-respected skill across all industries. It shows you are able to understand complex technical concepts and solve problems.

What Are Coding Bootcamps?

A coding bootcamp is a short and intensive program that teaches students the coding skills required for roles such as programming and software development. The programs typically last between three months and 12 months.

Unlike coding courses at a university, bootcamps focus heavily on giving you practical skills, networking opportunities, and career support to help you in your career advancement. Bootcamps also adapt to changes in the tech industry with ease compared to other forms of education, due to the practical nature of the programs.

The Best Free Coding Bootcamps

Coding bootcamps typically cost between $7,500 and $20,000. However, you can find reputable programs created by industry experts that are free to attend. Below we’ve rounded up the best free coding bootcamps in 2021.

Length: 27 weeks

Ada Developers Academy is a non-profit program for women and gender-expansive adults seeking coding experience. The full-stack web development courses cover Python, SQL, Flask, HTML and CSS, JavaScript, and computer science fundamentals. Before enrolling in the bootcamp, students must first complete the Ada Build introductory course.

Highlights

  • Students create capstone projects at the end of each program.
  • Students participate in workshops on social justice and inclusivity.
  • The school partners with several companies to provide paid internship opportunities to students.

Length: 12-16 months

App Academy Open is a free online bootcamp created by the well-known App Academy bootcamp. Students can access over 1,500 hours of study materials and follow the same full stack software development curriculum as in-person students at their campuses in San Francisco and New York.

Highlights

  • App Academy Open provides an interactive coding environment for students. Once you register, you’ll be able to log into the online platform.
  • The school also has a community chat function where you can connect with other students.
  • Students can access lectures and video content for free.

Length: Self-paced

Code Platoon is a coding bootcamp designed to help veterans and veterans’ spouses transition into the civilian workforce effortlessly. In the full stack engineering program, students undergo training from experienced developers and founders. While the 14-week immersive program costs money, you can access the self-paced version free of cost.

Highlights

  • Beginners can take prep lessons to improve their skills before starting the bootcamp.
  • About 75% of students become full-time developers within six months of graduating.
  • The average graduate’s salary increases by $25,000 after completing the program

Length: A few weeks to 8 months

Flatiron School offers free introductory courses in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby, and API integration. You can take these courses for free before deciding whether to enroll in a paid bootcamp. It also offers scholarships. With branches across the country in locations like New York and San Francisco, students can choose to study in person or online.

Highlights

  • The school offers scholarships for underrepresented groups, such as the Women Take Tech award for female coders.
  • The school has a network of hiring partners to provide job opportunities and internships.
  • Graduates have gone on to work at top tech companies like Apple, Slack, and Google.

Length: 15 hours

Fullstack Academy offers free introductory online courses for complete beginners. The Fullstack Academy Prep Program covers the fundamentals of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Students have free access to video tutorials, challenges, and reading materials.

Highlights

  • The self-paced structure means you can learn at your own pace.
  • Students can go on to take a Fullstack Academy program in software engineering, data analytics, or cyber security.
  • Graduates of the full bootcamps have gone on to work at top companies like Google and Amazon.

Length: 12 weeks

Hack Reactor is a well-renowned bootcamp specializing in software engineering. The school offers a free software engineering prep course known as the Basic Prep program. The course equips students with the basic skills in JavaScript and software engineering they need to be ready to enroll in a more intensive, paid bootcamp.

Highlights

  • There are multiple branches across the country, including in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Denver, San Jose, and Boulder.
  • Its free courses specialize in preparing students for a software engineering path.
  • Students in its full bootcamps receive professional mentorship from well-versed industry experts to prepare them for the job market and the changing industry.

Length: 6-12 months

Kenzie Academy provides a series of free mini-courses known as Kenzie Free. It is an online learning platform that teaches students how to use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Kenzie Free is an ideal bootcamp for complete beginners who want to find out if they’re suited to a tech career.

Highlights

  • The courses have been designed by experts from top companies, including Google, LinkedIn, and Zillow.
  • The Kenzie Free online program prepares students for software engineering and UX design bootcamps.
  • Kenzie Academy hosts a job placement service that helps students with their job search. You will learn about different careers in tech and how to approach employers.
Khan Academy logo

Khan Academy

Length: 3 days to a week

Khan Academy is a non-profit bootcamp offering a variety of programs for free. Its computer programming bootcamp will give you an introduction to different types of coding languages that are worth learning, including JavaScript, SQL, HTML, and CSS. The course is created by experienced programmers.

Highlights

  • Students learn through video lessons and practical challenges.
  • The self-paced program means students can study at their own pace.
  • Khan Academy’s supporters include Bank of America, the College Board, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Length: 6 months

Lambda School offers a free mini bootcamp designed to equip students with basic programming skills. In these live interactive classes, you’ll learn by building real-world projects. You can choose to go on to join their paid data science, full stack web development, or backend development programs.

Highlights

  • The live classes mean you’ll get plenty of interaction with instructors and fellow students.
  • You can participate in live Q&As.
  • There is the option to begin the course with a few self-paced modules before joining the live classes.

Length: 4 months

In addition to their intensive bootcamps, Rithm School offers a series of free self-paced courses. Each course takes between 10 and 30 hours to complete. You can work through them all or just take one or two. The courses are in basic and advanced JavaScript, HTML and CSS, Flask, SQL, and Python.

Highlights

  • The self-paced learning style means you can easily fit it around other commitments.
  • Students learn through a mix of online tutorials, screencasts, and exercises.
  • According to Rithm School, over 80% of its full bootcamp graduates secure a job within the first six months.
Choosing the Right Coding Bootcamp

Choosing the Right Coding Bootcamp

There is an increasing number of coding bootcamps to choose from, as the demand for these skills continues to rise. But how do you decide which is the right coding bootcamp for you? Below we’ve rounded up a few of the most important factors to consider.

Coding Languages

Look at which programming language or languages each bootcamp focuses on. Different languages are used for different fields and functions. Consider your longer career goals and interests before committing to a particular language. If you want to become a developer, you’ll likely need to learn the basics of Python, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, or all of the above.

Time Commitment

As well as the cost, you should consider the time commitment. Coding bootcamps are designed to be quick and intensive, lasting from a few weeks to a few months. Choose a schedule that works with your availability. Many free coding bootcamps offer a self-paced program, allowing you to be in control of how and when you learn.

Job Placement

If you’re hoping to secure a job right after the program, look for a bootcamp with a job guarantee or a high job placement rate. Many bootcamps publish their job placement rates on their websites, along with the companies graduates go on to work for.

How Much Can You Earn After a Bootcamp?

You can earn an impressive salary after attending a bootcamp. Careers in tech are well paid. According to BLS, the average salary for professionals in computer and information technology is $91,250, which is twice the national average.

Bootcamps often publish figures on their graduates’ salaries. For example, Code Platoon graduates gain a $25,000 salary increase after completing the program. Ada Academy also reports a 160 percent salary increase for graduates of its full programs.

Top Free Coding Courses Online

Online coding courses can be a great option if you’re completely new to coding, want to brush up your technical skills, or are looking to develop your skills in a specialist area. Below are five of the free best coding courses online.

If you’re completely new to coding, this course is for you. Students complete 32 lessons in approximately eight hours. It covers the core concepts such as lines of code, standard data types, decomposing, and loops.

Accreditation determines if a school is officially licensed to teach students. It means the school’s curriculum meets the standards of the region. You need to check this factor before applying for any school. If you enroll in a program that is not recognized by employers or other schools, you may not also be able to transfer credits later on.

In this course, students learn essential Python skills for data science. It covers data types, structures, operators, conditionals, and loops. Students learn via a two-hour on-demand video that they can access on mobile or TV.

Created by the University of Adelaide, this course is designed for aspiring data scientists to be able to work with the Processing program and language to complete data science tasks. This is a self-paced course estimated to take around ten weeks to complete.

If you’re a complete beginner in Python, this is an ideal course to get you started. This course covers everything from installing Python and writing your first program to using variables and core programming tools.

What Can a Career in Coding Lead To?

A career in programming can lead to many exciting job opportunities in the tech industry. Once you learn to code, the career opportunities in tech are endless. You can work across any industry and in a wide variety of roles, from software engineering to UX design.

The job outlook for professionals with coding experience is extremely promising. BLS estimates eight percent employment growth for web developers and designers between 2019 and 2029. Over the same period, BLS projects that software developers will see a whopping growth of 22 percent.

Should I Learn to Code?

Yes, learning to code is one of the best career decisions you can make. If you want a career in tech, having coding skills is an essential requirement. Not only that, but it’s becoming a highly sought-after skill across a wide range of professions. Learning basic coding skills is likely to open up fantastic job opportunities and lead to a salary increase.

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