NYC coding bootcamp earning potential after graduation?
February 29, 2016 10:57 PM   Subscribe

How much can a new developer, fresh from bootcamp, expect to earn in the NYC market? What kind of earning potential does a developer have as they progress farther into the field?

I've been accepted into app/Academy for a fall cohort. I've done most of my homework, and I'm on-board, I think, but I would like to know exactly what I'm in for.

a/A touts a 90k average salary for their NYC grads, however the Flatiron School offers independently verified numbers that are in the 75k range. Flatiron's numbers may incorporate more graduates who leave NYC for areas with lower costs of living, while a/A requires its grads to seek employment in either the NYC or Bay Areas, where both salaries and COLs are a bit higher. I do suspect a/A is padding their numbers in some form, however.

If you or someone you know is an NYC bootcamp grad of any kind, or a programmer in the know, what is a typical starting salary for someone entering the field right now in NYC?

Further, as one progresses in their career, what is the typical (insofar as a typical career track exists) trajectory of a programmer's earnings? I suppose this is contingent on many factors, but I'd love to hear thoughts on the subject.
posted by Team of Scientists to Work & Money (11 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Also, feel free to MeMail me if you'd rather discuss this stuff more privately.
posted by Team of Scientists at 12:30 AM on March 1, 2016

Even in NYC, 90k sounds very high for a programmer with no real experience, which is how employers will look at your resume if you have a bootcamp certificate but no employment record. Here's an look at programmer-ish salaries in the area. Startup salaries might be higher, since they are not typically represented in indeed or glassdoor surveys, but I think you are right to be skeptical.

Here's a really nice article on code bootcamps from Lifehacker. Good luck.
posted by rachelpapers at 6:23 AM on March 1, 2016 [3 favorites]

a/A touts a 90k average salary for their NYC grads

Agree with rachelpapers. Average salary for their grads after what period of time? Immediately upon graduation? Or after some period of time has passed after graduation?
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 6:30 AM on March 1, 2016

I don't know bootcamps specifically, but I disagree with the above posters: at least for junior engineers with a CS degree right out of school, 90k is an eminently reasonable starting salary. It's a very different story outside of NY/the Bay, of course.

I can't speak for bootcamps specifically, and not having a CS degree might make a big difference. Personally, the only bootcamp grad I know made significantly more than 90k out of her bootcamp, but she had a math degree doing in and got a job at Google after the bootcamp, so her experience is far from typical. But I just wanted to chime in and say that for programmer starting salaries in general 80-90k is not unreasonable. Big tech companies and investment banks will pay significantly higher than that, but I don't think they do all that much bootcamp hiring.
posted by Itaxpica at 8:30 AM on March 1, 2016

This really depends on your other degrees and experience.
A humanities major going from boot camp trying to get into a tech startup as a jr dev could expect more along the lines of 60-75, maybe 80 on a good day.
A math/finance person going from bootcamp to a finance company's jr dev group can expect more like 100-115.
So it depends on who you were before bootcamp and how/if that applies to the field you are heading to.
As an engineer, you still have no experience, but as an employee your other education and work experience come into play and affect your salary and how interested companies will be in having you,
posted by rmless at 10:03 AM on March 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

at least for junior engineers with a CS degree right out of school, 90k is an eminently reasonable starting salary.

This is true, but a CS degree is vastly different than a bootcamp certificate in terms of how employers look at it. A brand new out of school software engineer with a CS degree will start in 6 figures at the major tech companies, but those companies will generally not hire a bootcamp graduate with no work experience into those roles so it's not an accurate benchmark.
posted by primethyme at 10:37 AM on March 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

My answer above was assuming no relevant degree, CS or otherwise, and no experience. Because the OP did not stipulate a related degree and is asking questions about being a newbie in the field.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 11:13 AM on March 1, 2016

I have colleagues at a major tech company whose degrees are in math or [non-computer] engineering. Companies will look at you differently if you have a humanities degree + bootcamp versus a physics degree + bootcamp.
posted by serelliya at 11:43 AM on March 1, 2016

I do have an engineering background. My professional experience isn't related to programming in any direct way, but I did study EE in undergrad, which included several programming classes.
posted by Team of Scientists at 12:00 PM on March 1, 2016

That'll put you much, much more on the higher end of things. EE degree + bootcamp means 90k would be totally reasonable, and you could probably swing low six figures, especially if you wind up at one of the big tech companies or in finance (both of which are plenty likely to hire you with that kind of background).
posted by Itaxpica at 12:32 PM on March 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I agree with Itaxpica, that does change matters. Though still keep in mind that the major tech company interviews are likely to include questions are data structures and algorithms that I don't think bootcamps are likely to cover. If you were able to make it through EE, you can probably self-study a bit on that stuff to supplement your bootcamp learnings and increase your chances of success.

My knowledge of several major tech companies is that CS newgrads start at above $100k salary plus equity and usually some bonus. Even if you can't get into one of those roles as your first job (I think it would be a stretch, but I've seen similar things happen for great self-taught programmers), I don't think it's an unreachable goal. An EE degree, solid chops in a couple of programming languages, and some study on CS fundamentals would make you pretty marketable. You'll make a lot more money that way than just positioning yourself as a bootcamp-trained Rails developer or similar. It's worth the effort, IMHO.
posted by primethyme at 1:25 PM on March 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

« Older I am me and he is me and we are me and me is all...   |   Eating and drinking with a bushy beard and... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.