Can you go to a coding bootcamp as rigorous as Hack Reactor without a college degree? Absolutely. While we care a great deal about who we bring into our program, we don’t look at resumes, transcripts or any other credentials, because we don’t want to privilege particular backgrounds or have to interpret another organization’s merit structure. Instead, all applicants are asked to pass the same introductory test and a technical interview. Do that and you’re in.
While coding bootcamps are often compared to other institutes of higher learning, such as law school, medical school or 4-year Bachelor’s degree programs, the comparison may obscure some large differences in the sorts of students each attracts. While the aforementioned programs typically bring in students immediately or shortly after completing their previous degree, coding bootcamps attract a more heterogenous set of career paths. We have had students who just graduated high school, or who joined the workforce without going to college before coming to Hack Reactor, and even students that come to Hack Reactor after decades in the workforce.
Our program is demanding: we require students to be physically and mentally present a minimum of 66 hours a week, building their knowledge and skills every step of the way. It’s not for everyone, and we don’t pretend it is. That said, we see no reason to limit who can join according to a narrow, prescribed path.
The fact of the matter is that the goal of Hack Reactor is quite different from many four-year programs. We strive to give students skills that give an immediate boost to their career opportunities and great long-term prospects. We actively measure our performance on this goal via the outcomes of every student that enrolls in our course. This is quite different from many other institutions, which might be more concerned with general cultivation, and only measure job outcomes through voluntary surveys, if they measure them at all. This is not to say we are better, just different. Some courses may require specific academic experience to succeed. Ours requires an excellent work ethic, a resilient attitude and beginner coding skills, but as long as you have those things, we aren’t concerned with how or where you acquired them.
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