If you’re interested in entering the tech industry as a software engineer, you’ll have to learn how to code first. And if you’re wondering how long that’ll take, you’re not the only one.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise — software development is a popular and lucrative career, and aspiring programmers want to know how long it’ll take to learn the necessary skills.
We’ll discuss the various ways you might go about learning to code and take a closer look at the factors that might impact the length of your journey. We’ll give you the information you need to answer the question, “How long does it take to learn to code?”
Why Learn Coding?
First of all, programmers and software engineers are in high demand, and that demand is only growing every year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the software engineering field is growing at a rate of 25%. By 2031, that growth will translate to tens of thousands of new software engineering jobs. If you invest in yourself now, you’ll have plenty of career opportunities for years to come.
Plus, the average salaries for U.S. software engineers are impressive. Entry-level software engineers earn upwards of $70,000, and top performers can make over $180,000.
The skills you learn as a software engineer can also enable you to work in any number of different spaces of specialties. You might consider building video games, working on mobile applications, or developing software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for large enterprises. Learning how to code can open up a lot of doors.
It Can Depend on the Coding Language
There are so many different coding languages, and each one is unique in terms of syntax, structure, and level of complexity. Some languages will seem nearly impossible to learn, while others might click with you naturally.
It Can Depend on the Way You Learn to Code
Even if you know exactly what language you want to learn, how long it might take you can still depend on the educational pathway you choose. Generally speaking, there are three main different ways you can learn to code:
- Attending a college or university program
- Enrolling in a coding bootcamp
- Teaching yourself via online resources
Let’s take a closer look at the timeline you can expect with each one of these options.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Coding in a College Program?
Learning coding in a college program is a relatively standardized process. When searching for institutions with computer science programs, you’ll most likely encounter both associate and bachelor’s degree options.
An associate degree will take somewhere between two and two and a half years, whereas a bachelor’s degree will take around four years to complete. If you decide to pursue a master’s degree after an undergraduate degree, that will be an additional two years to complete.
Earning your degree may help distinguish you as a candidate when you enter the workforce, and it may contribute to your personal growth and teach your complementary skills that will serve you in your professional career. However, degrees are a high level of commitment, and they can be incredibly expensive.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Coding in a Bootcamp?
A coding bootcamp is a sort of expedited way to learn to code. These fast-paced, focused programs teach you in-demand computer programming and software engineering skills that you can use as soon as you graduate.
How long a bootcamp will take depends on the format. For example, here at App Academy, we offer several different formats — in-person campus options, a full-time online option, and a part-time online option.
Our Campus Programs run for 16 weeks, while you can complete our full-time online coding course in 24 weeks. The part-time online coding program will take the longest at 48 weeks since there’s less class time each day.
It can be useful to compare coding bootcamps and computer science degrees side by side to see which one makes the most sense for you. The biggest difference here is the time commitment. Most degree programs will take two-four years, while you can finish even the most extended App Academy bootcamp in as little as six months. Coding bootcamps are also a more affordable option than many degree programs.
Plus, if you develop your skills at a coding bootcamp, you don’t have to be worried about missing out on the degree. Many employers are open to hiring bootcamp graduates since the skills are in high demand.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Coding if You Teach Yourself?
There are plenty of online resources you can use to learn coding skills, but the time it might take you will depend on your motivation, learning style, and self-discipline. If you don’t have a lot of time to devote to your independent studies, it may take several months to years before you develop marketable skills and the ability to demonstrate them in a usable programming portfolio.
On the other hand, if you consistently devote time to your efforts and find a coding language that’s easy for you to pick up, your learning time could be a lot shorter.
Teaching yourself to code is a way to explore the world of programming without paying tuition fees, and it enables you to learn at your own pace, understanding what does and doesn’t work for you. Self-teaching also provides a certain amount of flexibility, which could be important if you have a busy work schedule or you’re juggling various personal responsibilities.
At App Academy, we know that some people want to go the self-taught route, and that’s why we offer App Academy Open. This is the entire curriculum for our full-time online program, available to you for free. It might be just the thing to get you started.
Are You Ever Done Learning to Code?
No matter how you initially obtain your development skills, learning to code is an ongoing process. Long after you graduate from a university, bootcamp, or online course, you’ll still be exposed to new innovations and advancements in technology.
When you enter the field of coding, it’s important to hold onto your passion for learning. Being a lifelong learner can provide you with a number of opportunities as you progress through your career.
It can also maximize your earning potential. Companies often want to take advantage of the latest and greatest technologies to maximize their profits, and they’ll pay top dollar for specialists who can keep up with advancements in coding languages and technologies to put them to use.
Start Learning to Code Today with App Academy
There’s no better time to start learning popular, in-demand skills that can help you take your career to the next level. If you still have questions about how long it takes to learn to code, feel free to get in touch with one of our Admissions Specialists.
Our immersive programs can help provide you with a clear path forward as you acquire new skills and think about your career path. From day one, we provide you with the support and structure you need to succeed. Explore our curriculum or one of our programs to learn more today.
|NY & SF In-Person Campus Programs||In-Person Coding Bootcamp|
|Full-Time Online Coding Bootcamp||Full-Time Software Engineering Program|
|Part-Time Online Coding Bootcamp||Part-Time Software Engineering Program|