You want to learn to code to make a living and you’ve only ever used your computer to browse the internet, use email, or watch Netflix. But you’re heard software development bootcamps can get you a great new career with a high salary. So you’re excited about possibly applying.
Before doing so, though, you realize the best of these schools cost money and they also require tests to get in, meaning you have to probably take an introductory prep course to catch-up. But after you think about it for a while, you realize you want to still do it.
Why? Because you decide the value propositions for these prep courses is worth the time and money. After all, if you study on your own, you wouldn’t have the proper motivation or structure to pass the tests. Additionally, the costs of any prep course is a fraction of the least-expensive full-time course. So you’re ready to go for it!
And yet… you still have very low funds on your bank account. What should you do to afford the prep program? We’ve come up with some ideas below that may help.
Find a job
Now, this is easier said than done, but if you aren’t already working, finding a job should be your first option. Working a job will prepare you for your future of working in tech where you will have regular hours and a regular schedule. And as many prep courses are only a few hours a day, you can work while you take a prep course.
Many of App Academy Bootcamp Prep graduates, and many more for the full-time bootcamp, took on a new job to make money. Julianne Costa, for example, worked as a manager at Warby Parker retail stores for a year so she could have enough money to pay for the coding courses.
Get your company to pay for it
Some companies have budget set aside to help their employees grow, and thus will pay for classes or programs that would help the employee become more successful and gain more skills. So if you’re already working, check with your manager or with the company’s corporate offices.
Use your car
Having a car grants you so many income opportunities. Ride-sharing businesses such as can Lyft or Uber have become good options to make money on the side and you can also set your own hours. You can get a quick delivery job through apps such as Roadie or you can also rent out your car with GetAround.
People young and old need tutoring on anything and everything, and if you are well versed in a particular subject, like Math or English, then you can always find work online or with a local school.
If you’re a young person with a strong background in fixing gadgets or an understanding of software, one of the best ways to make money is to offer your services to older people through Craigslist and Nextdoor. Go ahead, offer to make a Spotify playlist for your neighbor’s 80th birthday!
Become a house-sitter
People’s houses are their biggest investments and they want to protect them if they go on vacation. And what if they have a dog that can’t come with them on the trip? That’s where you step in and offer your services as a house-sitter or dog-sitter, and of course, there are online or app options for these. Many people, for example, have created a small business around personally managing Airbnb properties for other people.
Pick up odd-jobs
Sometimes people don’t have the time to do basic tasks, such as getting groceries, fixing a staircase, or washing clothes. Through TaskRabbit and Craigslist online services, you can pick up those jobs and earn some cash. Be careful with Craigslist, though, and make sure to follow the site’s safety tips.
Participate in study groups
Most companies want to make sure their products appeal to the general public before they start to offer them. So they often create in-house research or use research companies to see how the average consumer likes their new product or a variation on a current product. You can get paid for your opinions in these matters and also try products from big companies, such as Coca-Cola.
Sell your old stuff
Everybody has stuff they don’t need. From clothes to old tech, you can probably find something you own that you could sell and make some money on. This could be through Craigslist or Ebay, or some other website; you could be sitting on hundreds of dollars and have no clue without a little effort. OfferUp and letgo are other mobile-based sales applications you can use to sell stuff.
Many prep courses offer scholarships through partnerships with non-profit groups and larger for-profit corporations. Ask your potential bootcamp preparation company if they offer any.
Depending on the support of friends, family, and strangers is also an option. By asking a large amount of people each for a small amount of money, you can quickly get the enough to pay off your bootcamp prep tuition. This should also help push you as you move forward in your career to pay back the people who helped you.
Plenty of prep courses have partnerships with companies that will offer a loan to help you with your education. Be wary, loans come with interest, so you will have to pay more than your initial loan amount by the end of the process. Many of loan firms offer personal loans to help people with education goals. You can find a list of loan firms here.
Credit cards are a gamble since they are like loans but have a much higher interest rate. So I recommend this as a last resort, or something you can use in combination with the other methods mentioned here. It can be helpful to pay immediately and start the process but do make sure you have a way to pay the credit back.