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Coding bootcamp vs university degree – Everything you need to know

A Computer Science degree was once almost the only way to get into a software development career.

I know this as I did an honours degree in Computer Science about 30 years ago. Upon completion, I had three job offers – showing the demand for software developers then already.

With the fast and dynamic changes in the software development industry today, there is an incredibly high demand for developers, and the industry is more specialised than ever.

This increased the need for coding bootcamps – like the ones we offer at Code College.

When interviewing IT managers, we found that university graduates are often hired by HR departments who work according to company policy on academic requirements.

These graduates often lack practical skills, forcing IT teams to institute extra training to get them up to speed.

While these graduates develop the necessary skills, companies must often hire expensive freelancers to fill the gap in practical skills, too.

These challenges can be negated if businesses hire from coding bootcamps like Code College. Here’s why.


A coding bootcamp focuses on the most relevant practical skills required by software employers, whereas a degree covers a wide range of subjects – not necessarily very in-depth.

Additionally, degrees focus more on the understanding of the subject as a whole than on its practical implementation.

In contrast, a coding bootcamp can change dynamically.

If we find that a specific toolset is gaining popularity amongst employers, we include it in our curriculum as soon as possible so that our learners are prepared for the workplace.


Coding bootcamps cost much less than a Bachelor’s degree.

At a conservative estimate, using our Code College prices for a 12-month bootcamp, a university degree is at least three times more expensive – even at South Africa’s cheaper universities.

We also have study loans and income share agreements for qualifying students to help them afford our coding bootcamps.


We have two coding bootcamps: the Web Developer Bootcamp (3-6 months) and the Java Developer Bootcamp (6-12 months).

The twelve-month duration is still a third of that of a university degree – making bootcamps far more effective if you want to make a fast transition into the coding career path.

Career Support Services

We have an integrated IT recruitment consultancy, Compuways, in our group, which gives our students an advantage heading into the working world.

Compuways has been established for 30 years and helps us liaise with employers and groom students for their first coding job from the day they enrol with Code College.

Our goal is also the student’s goal: to ensure they are job-ready and get employed once they have completed their bootcamp.

Additionally, when one of our students fails an interview test, we re-assess with them and work out corrective steps; this forms part of our service.

In contrast, when doing a Computer Science degree, graduate support will be limited to a career day in the final year of study.

Return on investment

Warren Buffet, the most successful investor of all time, said that the best investment in the world is investing in improving yourself.

By acquiring in-demand skills, like coding skills, you are investing in yourself, and if you take the salaries earned by software developers worldwide, it supports this argument fully.

Here is the average salary of a software developer in the United States of America – multiply it by the exchange rate (R18 to $1 at the time of publishing) to get the value in South African Rands.

Why Code College?

Code College is deeply rooted in the IT industry in South Africa, as we are born out of Compuways IT Consulting and Recruitment.

Compuways started in 1990 as a consulting firm that placed freelancers at companies in the IT industry.

Freelancers then provided feedback about the most in-demand skills required by IT employers.

To ensure we could find new projects, we designed training courses to cross-train our freelancers in the latest technologies – and this became the feeding ground for Code College.

We started designing coding bootcamps in 2014 to train newcomers in the IT industry, and we now have many loyal clients employing our bootcamp graduates.

We are still growing our customer base by continuously placing our graduates with new clients.

With a placement rate of between 80% – 100%, we must be doing something right – click here to watch our testimonials.

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Coding bootcamp vs university degree – Everything you need to know