Coding Bootcamp vs. Computer Science Degree: 4 Key Differences

If computer science is your passion, you will join some essential academic programs. You can choose a coding bootcamp or a computer science degree. But if you must choose between the two, which should you choose?

It seems to be a difficult question. You have to compare them to answer. But both programs have their benefits. So, how are they different?

To help you answer, we’ll compare these two programs against each other on several metrics. Read this article carefully to determine your favorite one!

What is a Coding Bootcamp?

Coding Bootcamp is an intensive and short-term training program. It teaches students the skills needed to become software developers or programmers.

Bootcamps focus on practical learning. It features practices and offers a short curriculum. Besides, you will gain more knowledge about other related topics.

It is common to organize an on-site Coding Bootcamp. But many shows have moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, they can vary in length. Some only last a few weeks. Meanwhile, others last several months.

Besides, it can also provide career services. Examples include job placement assistance or mentoring programs. They are to help students find employment upon completion of the program.

In short, the Coding Bootcamp is suitable for those who want to learn to code quickly and efficiently.

Learning at a Bootcamp

Key Differences

Coding bootcamp and computer science begree both produce talent. But they have different characteristics and different requirements. So we will compare this program based on the Length, Cost, etc.

1. Length

Coding Bootcamps are usually short-term programs, from a few weeks to several months. In contrast, Computer Science degree programs are typically four-year programs.

But some other programs allow students to speed up their study time. As a result, you can complete the program faster. In short, Coding Bootcamps are shorter in duration than Computer Science degree programs.

2. Cost

The costs of these two programs can also differ significantly. Coding Bootcamps are often less expensive than traditional degree programs. Also, they have tuition ranging from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.

But exact costs may vary. They depend on the length of the program and the specific curriculum.

In contrast, a Computer Science degree program can be expensive. So you may have to spend tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. And the educational facility and quality of the program will affect this cost.

3. Learning Curve

The Coding Bootcamp will provide hands-on experience. So it usually has a condensed curriculum. And it focuses on the essential tools and programming languages. So the learning speed can be fast.

In contrast, a Computer Science program provides a comprehensive education:

  • Computer systems
  • Programming language
  • Algorithm
  • Software development

So, you can see the broader curriculum. It includes a combination of theory and practical skills. As a result, the learning rate is generally slower. But you will have more time to reflect and explore the material deeply.

Besides, the learning process for one Coding Bootcamp can be steeper and more challenging than the other. It is due to the fast-paced learning environment.

4. Job Opportunities

Coding Bootcamp graduates are often qualified for entry-level programming and software development roles. So they usually have a strong portfolio of projects. This benefit helps them stand out in the job market.

But graduates of this program may face more competition in the job market. Also, employers can place more value on a traditional four-year degree. This requirement is usually for senior or more specialized positions.

Meanwhile, you will have more job options with a Computer Science degree. Top institutions often appreciate this degree. So you can probably use it for many industries and job roles.

Comparison Table

Now, look at this table to summarize what we have just discussed:

Coding BootcampComputer Science Degree
Learning CurveSteeperMore comprehensive
Job OpportunitiesFewer optionsMore options

Pros and Cons

We have summarized the pros and cons of these two programs as follows:

Coding Bootcamp


  • Shorter duration: Students can quickly acquire new skills. So they can then enter the job market.
  • Practical skills: Focus on teaching practical skills. So students can apply them at work.
  • Lower cost: It is a more accessible option for those on a tight budget.
  • Flexibility: Online options are available. So it is for students who need to balance work and family duties.


  • Limited depth: Students may not have a deep understanding of CS concepts and theories.
  • Limited job prospects: Students may face more competition in the job market. So it will be harder for them to access senior or specialized positions.
  • Lack of recognition: This disadvantage can limit their credibility in some industries or with employers.
  • Fast-paced: Students will find it hard to keep up with the pace of learning.

Computer Science Degree


  • Comprehensive education: Covers the knowledge and skills of computer systems, programming languages, algorithms, and software development.
  • Wide range of job opportunities: Students have a wide range of options. As a result, they can choose from software development to data analytics, cybersecurity, and more.
  • High earning potential: Students have access to higher-paying jobs. As a result, they are more likely to advance in their career.
  • Reliability: Employers value this degree more.


  • Longer duration: A program typically takes four years to complete. Thus, it can be a significant investment of time.
  • Higher Cost: It can be expensive. You may pay tuition fees ranging from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Theoretical focus: Students may not have much hands-on, real-world experience.
  • Rigorous courses: It has challenging courses and high expectations for students.

Which Should You Choose?

This answer depends on your career goals and financial situation. Besides, consider your tastes.

Choose a Coding Bootcamp if:

  • You want to enter the job market quickly. You also want to gain skills.
  • You are on a tight budget.
  • You have previous coding experience, or you have a knack for writing good code. So, you can handle the fast-paced learning environment.
  • You want a flexible program. It allows you to balance work and family.

In contrast, choose a Computer Science degree if you care about:

  • A well-rounded education.
  • Many career opportunities.
  • A more prestigious degree.
  • You are willing to invest a lot of time and money.


Does our comparison above answer your question? Although they have different points, they all bring benefits to the learners.

So you must consider your interests and needs to choose the right training program. For more Computer Science knowledge, stay updated with our latest articles! Thank you for reading!