Learn How to Get Your Coding Degree

Entry-level salaries for coding professionals start at approximately $36,000 and escalate into the low six-figures depending on candidate level of education and experience. Careers in a wide variety of computer-centric fields require coding knowledge from fundamental IT consultants to data scientists and engineers. Learning how to get your coding degree is the first step to obtaining the career you desire in a rapidly growing vocational field. Continue reading to learn how to get your coding degree and enter the workforce fast.

Understanding Coding Basics

It is necessary to possess a certain amount of computer skills in order to navigate modern lifestyles. Coding takes the concept well beyond the average fundamental skill-sets possessed by consumers. Coding, also referred to as programming, is the detailed process of writing instructions in multiple computer programming languages. Purposes for coding involve running business software, building websites and designing apps. Another way to look at coding is to think of it as a form of communication between human beings and computers. Finally, coding is also the way computer systems communicate with their internal software applications, programs and functions (from elementary to complex).

Coding instructions dictate how a computer, its functions and applications all process, respond to and transmit data. The internal hierarchy of a computer operating system and what processes are prioritized over others are the results of coding. Coding is essentially the foundation upon which the entirety of a computer system is built and acquires its functionality.

Benefits of a Career in Coding

As technology advances, so too does the importance of hiring coding professionals in a wide variety of computer-based career fields. This benefits people interested in coding careers in multiple ways. First, job security is stable for the foreseeable future due to increased demands within the coding fields. The median salary for coders (computer programmers) through 2020 was over $89,000 per year or $42.88 per hour. Therefore, salaries are good if you have the education and experience to qualify you for the right positions. Jobs are also flexible in many ways. For example, medical facilities around the U.S. and world need Telehealth services programmers. Schools from elementary through colleges need IT staff to run their online learning modules. Government and financial institutions both need cybersecurity coders to implement online security protocols and protect account data. The faster new technology is incorporated into daily business practices and society at large, the more coders are required to implement, install, monitor, run and maintain it.

What Types of Coding Jobs are Available?

The median salary for coders is slightly over $89,000 per year but entry-level and expert positions pay less and more respectively. A mobile developer might earn $50,000 per year, whereas an experienced production management or DevOps specialist can earn $96,000 through $100,000+ per year. The most popular type of coding job today involves website development, be it front-end, back-end or full-stack. A full-stack coder commonly earns more than a coder who only handles front or back-end programming. Additional type of coding jobs include:

  • IT consultant.
  • Systems administrator.
  • Assurance engineer (quality control).
  • Consumer experience designer.
  • Data scientist.
  • Data analyst.

Why a Coding Degree Is So Important for Your Career Success

Candidates are needed from entry-level to expert but those with bachelor’s degrees or higher are most likely to acquire jobs with more longevity and higher salaries. The technology creating such high demand for professional coders also creates the ability to outsource jobs to countries with lower wage scales. Therefore, to succeed in this competitive field it is often imperative to earn the highest degree plausible before entering the workforce.

Coding Certificate and Degree Programs – How Fast to Completion?

Bachelor’s degrees take four years to complete unless flexible accelerated scheduling is available. This is the minimum degree recommended to help assure you edge out other candidates to get the job and salary you seek. Faster options are available, however. Self-study courses are available online and require between six and twelve months to complete. Coding bootcamp certificate programs require approximately three to six months to complete. Bootcamps are popular because they are more affordable than participating in a bachelor’s degree program, offer similar course material and are the fastest option from your status as a student to a hired employee.

Certificate and Degree Costs (plus financial aid options)

The cost of an education in coding varies based on if you carry in-state or out-of-state status as a student and the type of certificate or degree you pursue. Costs also vary based on school policies and potential scholarship money deducted from your tuition. Online degree programs generally do not have lower tuition than in-person classes. An in-person education might additionally add commuting, relocation or room-and-board expenses to the total price.

Even without those variables the courses themselves also vary greatly in cost. Coursera facilitates completely free online coding classes. Various coding bootcamps might cost you between $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the one you select. For example, the Coding Dojo offers twelve to thirty-two-week programs ranging in price from free to $16,495. A computer science master’s degree might cost $100,00 in total. Average total costs essentially range between $5,000 and $70,000. When assessing the costs of a coding education it is vital to consider your career position and salary goals before making enrollment decisions. A higher degree might be more expensive to pay for but also might earn you a higher salary and better job security.

Financial aid is also available to help pay for some or all your coding education expenses. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to apply for Federal Pell Grants and other types of financial assistance. It is also possible to apply for multiple private educational grants or scholarships through your school of choice based on financial need and academic merit.

Best U.S. Coding Schools and Programs Today

The top online schools for a coding education offer a wide variety of certificates and degree programs in 2021. Are you looking for one of the top online degree programs for coding? The Bachelor of Science Software Development program through Western Governors University is one of the best online bachelor’s coding degree programs available today. The Flatiron School has scholarships specifically for qualified female applicants. General Assembly and Hack Reactor are two more bootcamps with active scholarship opportunities. Some more of the best U.S. coding schools and programs today include: