Will the Post 9/11 GI Bill® cover the costs of coding “bootcamps” or related non-degree seeking programs that involve learning how to code? This is a big question for those looking for a career change, including those who are currently serving but trying to plan their post-military education.
Before we can answer the question of how and/or when VA benefits might be used for such programs, let’s examine the kind of schools we’re discussing.
What Is A Coding Bootcamp?
According to a 2015 article at Crain’s Chicago Business, nearly 250 intensive, short-duration coding schools or boot camps appeared over a five-year period, and certainly more have come along since that time. A coding boot camp promises intensive, hands-on instruction in learning how to write code.
Some bootcamps may have professional relationships with tech companies, and push their students to take advantage of those connections. Others may operate completely independently of the workplace, leaving it up to the graduates to network and make connections on their own.
Will The VA Pay For Coding Bootcamps?
There’s no blanket answer for this question because it’s up to the coding school to meet the criteria required in order to be a VA-approved institution. Some coding bootcamps may be offered through established state or private universities, others may be start-up “for profit” institutions. Some coding schools may have certain programs that are eligible, but not others.
Fortunately, there’s a way to save time in your search for the right bootcamp – simply look up the coding school you’re interested in at the following link provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs Official Website. This link takes you to a map of the USA; click the state where your school is located and see if your coding bootcamp is on the official list of VA-approved institutions. We also maintain a growing list of GI Bill Eligible Coding Bootcamps.
What if you can’t find the school you want on the VA approved list? Don’t give up on the school too soon-a phone call or email to that institution might reveal that the school is working with the VA to meet the requirements and the list simply hasn’t been updated yet.
Also, the school you want may feature scholarships for veterans or other eligible GI Bill users-is it possible you may be able to attend the coding school at a reduced rate AND not dip into your VA benefits yet? Something to consider.
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News
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