Holberton School Overview and Guide

Holberton School is a tech institute dedicated to helping students develop a solid foundation of skills for successful tech careers. The school has campuses on four continents and caters to students worldwide. In this Holberton School review, you will learn how to navigate the bootcamp, from enrollment to your first job.

To learn more about how Holberton School prepares students to meet the greatest tech challenges of today, read on.

What You Need to Know About Holberton School

Holberton School was born in San Francisco in 2016. Its two-year program prioritizes practical rather than theoretical knowledge. Below is the most important information to know before enrolling.

  • Cost: United States: $85,000, Other Countries: Varies by location
  • Schedules: Full-Time
  • Courses Offered: Software Engineering Foundations, Machine Learning, AR/VR, Low Level & Algorithms, Full Stack Web Development, Front End Web Development, Backend Web Development
  • Upcoming Start Dates: Varies by course and location

Holberton School Curricula: What Can You Study?

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Holberton School has a different approach than other bootcamps. The program consists of two stages. In the first stage, every student takes a year-long Foundations course. In phase two, students choose one of six areas to specialize in. Each stage involves experiential learning, first in classrooms and then at real companies.

Below is an explanation of each year-long program.

Foundations of Software Engineering

In year one, you will learn full stack software engineering from the beginning. You do not need to have any coding skills to enroll in this course. Over nine months, you will learn the basics of programming and software design. To create your course projects, you will learn tools such as MySQL, JavaScript, and HTML.

If you decide to continue at Holberton School after your first year, you will have to complete a tech internship. This will prepare you for the specialization phase of the program.

Machine Learning

In the machine learning specialization, you will learn all about the automatic movements, decisions, and actions of computers. You will use the Pandas, NumPy, and Keras libraries to master Python’s machine learning capabilities. For nine months, you will create projects and get feedback from industry experts.


This specialization introduces students to C# and Unity programming. You will learn concepts such as image detection, augmented reality, and ShaderGraph programming. Possibilities for projects include standard games and cross-platform builds.

Low Level & Algorithms

This specialization is a state-of-the-art engineering program. You will apply your knowledge of C and Linux programming to build a blockchain. You will work with Huffman Coding, CPython, ELF files, and Strace.

Full Stack Web Development

If you choose the full stack specialization, you will learn about JavaScript, Redis, Node.js, SASS, MySQL, MongoDB, and React Redux. For your projects, you will create mobile and desktop versions of websites, CRM dashboards in React, authentication services, and more.

Front End Web Development

Shorter than most of the other options, this three-month specialization consists of an introduction to JavaScript ES6. You will use other common front end tools like HTML and CSS. You will also learn about data structures, algorithms, and all the React Redux functions.

Backend Web Development

If you prefer to study the backend, then you should choose this three-month program. You will learn Python, MySQL, Node.js functions, caching, GraphQL, and authentication services.

Holberton School Campuses: Where Can You Study?

Holberton School has campuses on four continents, as well as a virtual option for students in Peru, Ecuador, and parts of France. You can experience Holberton School in person at any of the cities listed below.

  • New Haven, CT
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Barranquilla, Colombia
  • Beirut, Lebanon
  • Bogota, Colombia
  • Cali, Colombia
  • Hauts-De-France, France
  • Medellin, Colombia
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Montevideo, Uruguay
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Tunis, Tunisia

Holberton School Schedules: When Can You Study?


For now, there are only full-time programs, which Holberton believes are ideal for time-intensive, project-based learning. Students are expected to spend 80 hours per week on coursework.

Holberton School Tuition

There are several options for paying Holberton School tuition, which varies by location. If you are interested in enrolling, you should know all the financing options available to you.

Holberton School Financing and Payment Options

  • Traditional method. If you have the money, you can make an initial deposit and then make payments at regular intervals until the full cost is covered.
  • Scholarships. If you belong to a corporate group associated with Holberton School, you can get a $1,500 scholarship. If you are Lebanese or from a Lebanese family, you can apply for a support scholarship at the Beirut campus.
  • ISAs. At Holberton School, you can complete the program and pay when you get a job, thanks to its income share agreement (ISA). Under an ISA, Holberton will start taking 17 percent out of your monthly paycheck as soon as you start earning $40,000 or more per year. The most you can owe is $85,000.

Holberton School Admissions: How to Get In

To enroll in Holberton School, you do not need experience in coding, data science, or software engineering. If you pass the admissions test and give a strong interview performance, you’ll get in.

Holberton School Application

  1. Register at Holberton School. The application process starts at the Holberton School website. You register, share your personal information, provide your contact details, and indicate your preferred course. Then a school manager will call you.
  2. Complete mini-challenges. The school manager will give you a series of coding challenges, which you’ll have about two hours to complete.
  3. Build a website. For one final practical challenge, you will be given two weeks to build a website using standard Linux knowledge.
  4. Participate in a Q&A session. Before getting into Holberton School, you must answer a round of questions related to software engineering. The questions are administered using artificial intelligence, and the results are processed automatically and efficiently.

If you do well, you will likely be admitted to Holberton School. Your last step will be to find a payment plan that works for you.

Holberton School Interview

During the question and answer period, you should describe your background, explain why you chose Holberton School, and articulate your goals for your tech career. Your answers are important since 10 percent of Holberton School students were admitted based on their interview performance.

Holberton School Admission Rate: What Are My Chances of Getting In?

Holberton School’s acceptance rate is 3 percent. The admission process is competitive due to the school’s unique program and worldwide prestige.

Holberton School Outcomes: Will I Find a Job?

Studying at Holberton School and finishing the programs gives you a clear path into the tech industry. If you complete the two-year program at Holberton School, you have a 99 percent chance of landing a job. Many two-year students end up raking in over $100,000 per year.

Students who complete only the Foundations phase of the program have a 78 percent chance of finding a job in six months, and the average starting salary for these folks is $97,000.

Job Placement Services at Holberton School

Holberton School graduates work for companies like Tesla, NASA, LinkedIn, Facebook, and many more.

During your time at Holberton, you will receive several forms of career support, including mock interviews and help with your job search. You will also be advised on employment agreements, salary discussions, project presentations, and much more.

Should You Apply to Holberton School?

If you think you can become a professional software engineer, Holberton School has everything you need. This school has an impressive track record, and the results speak for themselves. That being said, if you want to study at Holberton School, there are a few additional things to consider.

  • Limited online options. If you want to take classes online, you can only do so if you live in Peru, Ecuador, or France.
  • Collaborative classes. At Holberton, learning is a collaborative process. Everyone is encouraged to create solutions as part of a team. Holberton School does not believe in traditional teaching methods.
  • Practical knowledge. You will apply theoretical concepts to real and useful projects. Holberton prefers students to focus on building problem-solving skills on their own and with their peers. This way, students will be better prepared to adapt their skills to the ever-changing tech industry.
  • Flexible tuition. Although Holberton School is not cheap, its ISA allows students to study now and pay later. Also, if your time at Holberton School gets off to a rocky start, you can withdraw in the first 30 days and stop paying.

Holberton School has the support of many companies because of its high-quality program and its focus on hands-on training. For less than the cost of a bachelor’s degree in data science or computer science, Holberton equips students with the skills they need to launch successful careers in the tech industry.

If you want a job as a programmer, Holberton School is a great way to get your foot in the door.

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