Best Bootcamps for High School Students (2023)

In the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of coding camps for high school students in the United States. These bootcamps offer curricula that make coding as easy to understand as possible. The best bootcamps for high school students also promote interactive and collaborative learning, preparing students for the real-world technology industry.

This article is your complete guide to picking the best coding bootcamp for high school students. You will learn the definition of a coding bootcamp, the different types of coding bootcamps, and key reasons for attending a bootcamp while you are still in high school.

What Is a Coding Bootcamp?

A coding bootcamp is an accelerated educational institution that provides hands-on training to people who want to dive into the tech industry. Traditional coding bootcamps provide job-specific training and career services to adults at a more affordable rate than universities. The best coding bootcamps offer a range of flexible payment options that ease the cost of getting an education.

There are bootcamps for all the key tech fields, including data science, data analytics, web development, UX/UI design, cyber security, and other software development fields. There are also bootcamps for tech project management, digital marketing, and tech sales.

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Are Coding Bootcamps Good for Beginners?

Yes, coding bootcamps are great for beginners because they traditionally offer introductory modules first. So, if you don’t have any experience, you can start learning a high-demand skill from scratch. However, coding bootcamps require more dedication and hard work than traditional schools. This is primarily due to the intensity of the curriculum.

It is important to note that not all coding bootcamps are meant for beginners. There are also intensive bootcamps meant for people who already have experience with coding. If you’re just starting out, make sure that the bootcamp you join is an ideal option for beginners.

Why Attend a Coding Bootcamp in High School?

High school students with an interest in the tech industry might attend a coding bootcamp to get a lay of the land. These bootcamps allow them to gather real-world experience and essential skills for careers in the tech industry. It also helps them to determine if a tech career path is what they want to pursue in the future.

Most high school bootcamps are summer programs, so prior experience in coding may not be a requirement. Students can enroll in these programs just to explore different tech career options. Since some of these summer bootcamps are hosted by universities, high school students can gain some college experience during the coding programs.

Types of High School Coding Bootcamps

While every bootcamp covers one field or another, there are different bootcamps available specifically for high school students. The most common types of bootcamps for people below the age of 18 are listed below.

Summer Coding Bootcamps

A summer coding bootcamp is held during the summer holidays for students who want to combine fun summer activities with coding classes. The courses can cover anything from programming languages to artificial intelligence. Students may also learn the fundamentals of cyber security along with other high-tech topics. There are online summer programs that offer online courses.

These coding summer camps run for about two to three months. There is usually a follow-up brochure for students who want to keep exploring high-growth careers. Students who complete the bootcamp may opt for a more difficult summer bootcamp the following year.

Gap Year Coding Bootcamps

A gap year coding bootcamp is designed for high school seniors who want to take a 12-month sabbatical right after high school and just before college. So, while other students go straight to college, gap year students attend bootcamps and explore the possibility of starting a career in technology.

A gap year bootcamp doesn’t necessarily run for all 12 months. You can learn for six months and spend the rest of your gap year doing whatever you like, or you can join another bootcamp.

University Coding Bootcamps

A university coding bootcamp is run by a university but is available for anyone interested, whether or not they are enrolled in the school. Most universities in the United States host these bootcamps in partnership with Trilogy Education Services. They offer fast-paced training on the most in-demand technologies in the industry.

The enrollment requirements for university coding bootcamps aren’t as rigid as regular admission requirements. Also, students pay considerably less money attending a university coding bootcamp than attending a university degree program, but they still get a high-quality learning experience on a college campus.

Free Coding Bootcamps

These are non-profit organizations that provide free tech education to students from historically underrepresented communities. This includes free bootcamps that educate students from low-income homes and LGBTQ+ folks. There are also bootcamp scholarships for LGBTQ+ folks and other underserved communities, which can make their bootcamp education mostly free.

Most free coding bootcamps, however, are highly competitive. These institutions typically have limited resources so they only accept students who thrive academically and show a genuine interest in technology.

Coding Bootcamps for Kids

These are also bootcamps for middle school students and even younger children. They admit children as young as five years old and give them the knowledge and assistance they need to cultivate their interest in technology. The curricula in these bootcamps are as simple as possible, so children aren’t overwhelmed by what they are learning.

Coding bootcamps for kids may be hosted online, on the school premises, at a camp, or any campus designed by the provider. The online coding courses may run for a few weeks or months, but classes are limited to one to three hours a day, depending on the age of the children.

Best Coding Bootcamps for High School Students

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There are many different coding bootcamps available. However, the following is a list of some of the best coding bootcamps for high school students on the market today. These bootcamps offer a wide array of courses in coding and other technical skills.

Programming | Code Avengers

Location: Hamilton, New Zealand

Cost: $29 per month

Level: Beginner to advanced

While this bootcamp has its headquarters in New Zealand, online coding courses are offered for children between five and 18 years old. It is an interactive bootcamp for teaching kids programming, data representation, design, and computational thinking.

There are about seven free courses available to students who show interest in the program. With a subscription, students get unlimited access to all the courses, allowing them to explore different aspects of tech rather than just one.

Columbia Engineering High School Coding Academy | Columbia University

Location: New York City, NY

Cost: $1,896

Level: Beginner

This extension of Columbia University is designed for high school students. The school program covers beginner-level front end technologies for web development, which include JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. It does not come with any college credit but emphasizes a project-based approach to learning coding.

At the time of writing, there were two sections scheduled, one from June 28 to July 16 and one from July 19 to August 6. It is a summer and university bootcamp. Even though it follows a solid tech curriculum, your bootcamp performance won’t count toward your grades if you ever try to get admitted into the school.

Design Thinking and STEM | Design the Future

Location: San Francisco, California

Cost: $1,950

Level: Beginner

This is for high school students who want to use technology to help people living with disabilities. It is a tech design bootcamp that covers UX/UI and graphic design. Students need a natural flair for design thinking, technology, and problem-solving. Each cohort runs for just one week. Students work on real-world design projects and get hands-on experience.

All students between the 8th and 12th grades are welcome to the program. Everyone is free to contribute ideas about software and hardware devices that can make life easier for people with disabilities.

Google Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) | Google

Location: Online

Cost: Free

Level: Beginner

Popularly called CSSI, this four-week program is hosted by technology giant, Google. It is designed for fresh high school graduates who intend to eventually chase a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. The primary technology used during the program is JavaScript.

There are two options for students. One is the CSSI extension, which is offered in collaboration with certain high schools. The other option is CSSI online, which is available virtually. The program is available for students in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

JavaScript Coding with MIT Open Learning | iDTech

Location: Campbell, California

Cost: $1,599

Level: Intermediate to advanced

This JavaScript bootcamp is for teenagers who have already started to learn JavaScript. It runs for about 10 weeks and classes consist of one 90-minute lesson per week.

Students will learn how to use Chrome, GitHub, Visual Studio Code, and the command-line to their best advantage during development. The curriculum is designed by MIT’s world-renowned technology faculty. Students between the ages of 13 to 19 are the only ones who qualify.

Computer Science | Juni Learning

Location: San Francisco, California

Cost: $140 per month

Level: Beginner to advanced

This is a subscription-based bootcamp for students between eight and 18 years old. The computer science program offers courses on Python, Scratch, and Java, three popular programming languages in the tech industry.

Coding courses are grouped in levels based on difficulty, from beginner to advanced. Juni Learning follows a project-based curriculum that teaches students how to learn by doing. Student projects are published publicly, allowing them to showcase their skills to others.

Summer Program | Kode with Klossy

Location: New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, Detroit, Washington DC, Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, Seattle, Austin, Denver, Philadelphia, Boston

Cost: Free

Level: Beginner

This coding bootcamp is specifically for women and non-binary high school students between 13 and 18 years old. Students attend the online coding bootcamp from 9am to 3pm for two weeks. These sessions are instructor-led classes, which are easier for most students to follow.

Apart from coding, the bootcamp provides other non-curricular activities for students to help build their interpersonal skills and have fun while learning.

Summer Program for Machine Learning | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Location: New York, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi

Cost: $2,000

Level: Advanced

This is a virtual summer program for high school students with an interest in modern and disruptive technologies. The machine learning program teaches students to use machine learning and artificial intelligence to solve daily problems. Topics covered include linear regression, cross-validation, and neural networks.

Note that getting into this bootcamp requires a high school GPA of at least 3.0. Applicants also need to have an excellent grade in Algebra 2 and other STEM subjects. Some level of education in at least one coding language is also an important requirement.

Python Data Science Summer Course | NextGen Bootcamp

Location: New York

Cost: $1,999

Level: Beginner

NextGen Bootcamp offers a range of summer tech courses for high school students. However, this one is for students who want to learn about Python and data science. It covers data wrangling, Python fundamentals, data visualization, object oriented programming, machine learning, and algorithms.

While this program offers online classes, all classes are instructor-led. It contains about 45 hours’ worth of learning over three weeks. High school and college students are welcome to apply for this program. If you don’t pass the first time, you can try again for free within the next 12 months.

Art and Game Design with p5.js | Upperline Code

Location: New York City, New York

Cost: $1,395

Level: Beginner to intermediate

This program is for high school students who love gaming and would want to evolve from players to developers. All games are developed using p5.js, a JavaScript library for quick and accessible game development resources. The course is great for beginners and is full of interactive activities.

The course runs for about two weeks and covers object oriented programming, data structures, movement animation, and game design. It also teaches students collaboration in the tech industry thanks to the use of group projects.

Should You Apply for a Bootcamp in High School?

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Yes, you should apply for a coding bootcamp if you are a high school student with an interest in learning technical skills and developing your critical thinking skills. High school coding bootcamps provide different levels of tech education that help students decide if a career in tech is right for them. Also, the high school years are key formative years, so learning coding during this time may be easier and more interesting.

The best high school coding bootcamps are affordable and some are even free. They aren’t as competitive as traditional bootcamps and coding isn’t the only subject they cover. There are high school bootcamps for data science and other non-software engineering tech fields as well.

Bootcamps for High School Students FAQ

Do coding bootcamps look good on a resume?

Yes, coding bootcamps look good on resumes. While these bootcamps don’t offer degrees or certifications, most of them offer a certificate of participation or certificate of completion, which looks good on your resume. In addition, the portfolio of projects that you completed during the bootcamp can be used when searching for jobs or filling out college applications.

Do employers look down on bootcamps?

No, employers in the tech industry do not look down on bootcamps. This is because they pay more attention to what you can do rather than your credentials. So, if you can prove that you have the skills required to get the job done, they will give you an opportunity. A wide range of big tech companies hire coding bootcamp graduates. With a bootcamp education, you may be able to get a job at Facebook, Google, Amazon, or Netflix.

Are bootcamps worth the money?

Yes, bootcamps are worth the money because they offer postsecondary-level education. A high school student with bootcamp education can decide to dive directly into the tech industry without pursuing a college degree. However, it is important that the chosen bootcamp is reputable in the tech industry.

What is the most respected coding bootcamp?

Flatiron School, Fullstack Academy, Thinkful, Lambda School, General Assembly, Springboard, and Hack Reactor are among the industry leaders when it comes to bootcamps in the United States. App Academy, Nucamp, Kenzie Academy, CareerFoundry, and Ironhack also rise to the top of the list.

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