Is Code Fellows Better Than a Four-Year Degree?

Conventional wisdom points to the value of a college degree, and there are a lot of benefits, but is it worth it? The annual cost of a college education has increased by more than 59% since 2000, while wages for individuals with a Bachelor’s degree have increased by only 5% (3% for individuals with only a high school diploma). This is not sustainable.

For years now, there has been an increasing debate on the value of getting a 4-year degree. With the cost of education outpacing that of wages, we are forced to consider the impact and overall benefits.

As technology continues to change the world and how we work in it, education needs to change as well in order to ensure you are being taught relevant new skills that meet the needs of today’s workforce, not those of a bygone era.

When considering the need to learn technology skills to stay relevant in today’s workforce, it’s also important to note that the days of needing a Bachelor’s or Master's degree in computer science from a top-tier university in order to land a job in tech are long gone. Equally important to recognize is that for many, attending a 4-year college is not a financially viable option.

Over the last 10+ years, technology has evolved and changed at a rapid pace and universities have struggled to keep up with these changes. Inefficiencies of processes and procedures that were put into place at universities to control the curriculum being offered have resulted in lagging behind the industries they are trying to serve. Meanwhile, code schools, coding bootcamps, and tech academies entered the educational scene and are filling the void left in the market. Top schools like Code Fellows are leading the way in developing high-quality curriculum that can equip students with the skills they need in a matter of months not years.

While traditional computer science degrees still have a significant place in tech, most companies see the value of alternative education models with their ability to keep up with the ever-changing industry demands, tap into a diverse talent pool, and produce well-rounded professionals with grit and determination to excel. These results don’t come easy. It requires passionate believers who relentlessly strive for excellence.

Here are the key aspects that set Code Fellows apart from other educational institutions:

Curriculum Development

Our instructional team, led by Brook Riggio, Co-Founder and VP of Education, has been crafting technical curriculum since 2010, partnering with top tech companies, reviewing countless job postings, and seeking continuous feedback in order to craft a curriculum that is not just meeting employer expectations but exceeding them. Through continuous iteration, we build, refine, and adapt our curriculum to ensure we are keeping up with the demands of the industry and preparing our graduates for the rigorous expectations of a career in tech today and well into the future. We aren’t just looking to help you find your first job, we are working to ensure you leave with the skills you need to excel in your new career.

Instructor Quality

Our instructors go through rigorous ongoing education, certification and evaluation. In addition, if you are looking to take an advanced class with us you will be learning from experienced developers with industry credentials that have years of hands-on experience. Just as important, is that they stay relevant with industry changes so you can ensure you are learning from professionals teaching you the latest technologies that are in demand today.

Modular Curriculum

Our modular curriculum is designed to meet you where you are at while ensuring we are getting you the skills to exceed employer expectations. Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, we believe it is important to ensure you have the ability to test into the appropriate level and get you where you want to go as quickly as possible.

From beginner-level one-day workshops where you can test out if a career in tech is right for you, to advanced-level courses designed for experienced engineers, Code Fellows offers a range of courses where you can learn at the pace and skill level that is most appropriate for you.

Just as valuable is that Code Fellows advanced level courses pick up where most curriculum leaves off to take you even deeper into learning the professional skills it takes to land more senior roles.

Professional Development

Code Fellows is more than a tech academy, here you will learn the skills it takes to be a well-rounded professional. We incorporate our Professional Development Curriculum throughout your learning journey, ensuring you have the professional competencies to match your technical skills. You are trained in the skills of professional etiquette, professional pitch, creating and growing a network, job search readiness, targeted job search, professional development, and behavioral interview questions. This is in addition to learning the skills of collaboration, DEI, problem solving, agile methodology, and growth mindset.

We take pride and care to ensure we are supporting our students to reach the goals they have set for themselves. We know that it takes a lot of grit and determination to get where you want to go, which is why we want to ensure we are giving you the support you need to make your dreams a reality. Our grads have gone on to do some amazing things and we are honored to tell their stories.


At Code Fellows, we are passionate about helping individuals transform their lives through fast-paced career-focused technical education. This is why we are more than honored to announce that our recently audited employment results show that our alumni have achieved an outstanding 93% In-field Employment Rate.

In fact, in this recent study conducted by Switchup, Code Fellows was the number one ranked bootcamp for landing a job at a major tech company. The only school to match our success rate at Code Fellows was Stanford University, which is well-known for its prestigious computer science department and for being a top university for tech recruiting.

Is a Computer Science degree a better option than a code school?

This is a question that a lot of people are trying to answer. The truth is, which route you should choose completely depends on what you want the outcome to be. Some larger tech companies and advanced positions still require their programmers to have a Computer Science or related degree, while others are removing a college degree requirement entirely. Most computer programmers are self-taught, and the salaries for code school grads are on par with the salaries of graduates who achieved a Bachelor’s in Computer Science.

Salary by Education
Image Source: Stack Overflow

Choosing the Right Path

Is Code Fellows right for you? Like any career choice, it’s the balance between fulfilling your passion and picking a career that meets your financial goals. Picking a passion without cash is a hobby. Picking a career for compensation only makes you a mercenary—just a well-paid mercenary.

How can you test it out? At Code Fellows, we’ve made it easy with:

Code 101: Explore Software Development

In this one-day workshop, you'll learn what it looks like to be a software developer through a day-long immersive course for beginners that focuses on front-end web development technologies.

Get a taste of the Code Fellows learning experience, find out how websites are built, and code a webpage yourself using professional coding practices. Learn More »

Ops 101: Explore Ethical Hacking & Cybersecurity Careers

In this one-day workshop, you will get hands-on practice with the tools and techniques of penetration testers and ethical hackers. Get a taste of the Code Fellows cybersecurity program, learn how to find and exploit computer systems, and explore cybersecurity career pathways.

Ops 101 is about experiencing what cybersecurity is all about, through a day-long immersive course for beginners that focuses on hands-on usage of the tools and techniques of ethical hackers. The only technical skill required to take the course is basic computer use familiarity.

Get a taste of the all-new Code Fellows Cyber Ops program, learn how systems are exploited, so you know how to defend them. Learn More »

If you’d like some help discovering if Code Fellows and a career in tech is right for you, we're here to help! Signup for a Code Fellows Virtual Information Session with our admissions team today!

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