Did you know that you can learn coding for free in Berlin?
And we’re not talking about Mass Open Online Courses (MOOCs), like Udemy. We’re talking about learning how to code for free in more structured and supportive environments, such as those you’d find in bootcamps and career-change programs.
We all know that these typically aren’t free. The closest you can come to costless learning is through income-sharing agreements (ISAs), where you pay the tuition fee after getting a job.
However, if you’re currently residing in Germany and have proof of residency, for example, via the Anmeldebestätigung (registration certificate), you’re eligible to take a coding bootcamp in Berlin for free with a voucher.
In this article, we explore how you can take a coding bootcamp for free in Berlin. We’ll look at eligibility criteria, some of the bootcamps available, as well as the Berlin tech landscape and how much coders can make there.
You can use the clickable menu to skip to a specific section.
- How to take a coding bootcamp in Berlin for free
- Why take a coding bootcamp in Berlin?
- A guide to coding bootcamps in Berlin
- Coding bootcamp Berlin FAQs
1. How to take a coding bootcamp in Berlin for free
There are only a few coding bootcamps in Berlin where you can learn programming for free, especially if you want to study in person.
Some tech communities also organize coding bootcamps, such as Europe Code Week. These community-led bootcamps are, however, short-term and last for only a couple of weeks. This probably isn’t enough time to learn how to code, especially if you’re a beginner.
A Bildungsgutschein is, therefore, your best bet if you’re looking to learn programming at no cost in Berlin.
This is because there are more bootcamps to choose from, and you access the same curriculum as paid students do.
What is a Bildungsgutschein?
A Bildungsgutschein is an education voucher that the Agentur für Arbeit, Germany’s federal employment agency can issue.
The voucher allows you to learn to code for free if:
- you’re unemployed, and additional schooling would help you gain employment or upskill and be qualified for better employment opportunities
- You need additional vocational training to avoid becoming unemployed
- You can make up for missing qualifications through supplemental education
- You want to pursue a degree
- Aspire to further your education as an employee with your current employer
In addition, the needs of the market are taken into consideration before a Bildungsgutschein is issued.
Remember: To be eligible to receive a Bildungsgutschein, you also need proof of German residency, for example, a registration certificate (Anmeldebestätigung).
The voucher defines the goal of the training, the region in which the teaching is taking place, and the amount of time required.
The voucher can only be redeemed at approved institutions after the Agentur gives the go-ahead and must be used within three months.
With your voucher, you can access an accredited bootcamp like CareerFoundry’s Full-Stack Web Development Program, and many of their other career-change programs.
You can take the fully online program full-time at 40 hours a week, for roughly six months.
The best part is that you get access to the same curriculum that the paid option offers, including access to a tutor, mentor, and career specialist. And you’re still eligible for unemployment benefits.
The programs are taught in English, not German, so you’ll need to be able to write and speak English at B1.2 or higher to be enrolled in CareerFoundry’s online coding bootcamp in Berlin.
How to apply for a Bildungsgutschein
Before you even begin the application process, you need to have a goal in mind and do your research.
For example, let’s say your goal is to become a software engineer. So, you’ll need to do research on the demand for programmers on the market in Berlin and Germany. This will be a determining factor in your application.
Do some research, too, on how your goal ties into your current job or industry.
Further steps to take in your Bildungsgutschein application process
1. Choose an accredited institution
As you create your list of probable institutions, check whether they’re approved by the Agentur.
2. Choose the training program you want to undertake
You need to choose the particular program you want to undertake, as you need to include the Maßnahmennummer (the course number) in your application.
3. Gather all the documents that you need for your application
Some documents you need include your ID card or passport, an Anmeldebescheinigung, an up-to-date resume, the application guide, and a personal course proposal from the institution you intend to undertake training under.
We have a full guide (in German and English) to help you ace your application.
4. Write a motivational letter stating your reasons for wanting to learn how to code
The letter can include your former role, why you’re looking to transition, or even how the bootcamp will increase your employability skills.
5. Book an appointment with your local Agentur
You can do this via email or phone.
To find your local agency you can either search on the Bundesagentur für Arbeit website, or just Google the word “agentur für arbeit” and your area. There are different offices for the various districts of Berlin.
Learn more about the Bildungsgutschein application process in our comprehensive guide.
2. Why take a coding bootcamp in Berlin?
There are many advantages to taking a coding bootcamp in Berlin, in addition to the fact that you can get a Bildungsgutschein to study.
First of all, depending on your circumstances, the Bildungsgutschein can cover more than just your tuition fee.
For example, it can pay for your commuting expenses, a monthly trip home, and accommodations. If you have a child, it could cater to child care as well.
Let’s briefly go through some of the major reasons:
What’s the software engineer salary in Berlin?
Naturally this figure could be higher or lower depending on other factors like the engineer’s experience, company size, stock options, and other benefits like a remote work stipend, transport, and meal allowances.
An entry-level engineer (zero to one year of experience) makes €54,000 on average per year. A junior engineer (with one to three years of experience) earns €60,000. A senior engineer (with seven to nine years of experience) makes €91,100 per year on average.
Silicon Allee: Berlin’s tech landscape
Innovation is undoubtedly one of the things that significantly contributes to the vibrant Berlin tech landscape.
According to the State of European Tech 22 report by Atomico, Berlin is ranked as one of the cities in Europe with some of the highest capital investments.
There are finally a lot of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts within the startup ecosystem too. Investors are increasingly funding startups with “founding teams from underrepresented ethnicities, genders, and sexualities,” according to the State of European Tech report.
Berlin is also a very diverse city to live and work in, with over 190 nationalities residing there.
Other aspects of the Berlin tech landscape include coworking spaces, which allow different start-up communities to thrive.
There are also many tech communities that meet often to learn more about specific languages or technologies that you can become part of.
Taking your coding bootcamp in Berlin, therefore, exposes you to a spirited tech ecosystem where you can grow and thrive in your career.
Other advantages of taking a coding bootcamp in Berlin:
Direct access to the German job market and Berlin start-up scene
Germany’s capital has been a hub of startups and innovative companies for well over a decade now.
In short, these companies need skilled coders to build new features and products, as well as to maintain and upgrade their existing tech infrastructure.
By learning to code in Berlin itself, you’re ideally located to jump on any job opportunities that come up after your bootcamp. Most companies host their own meetups and hackathons, allowing you a chance to get to find out more about them and how they work.
Access to these networking opportunities can be priceless for a coder looking to get a start.
On top of that, the Agentur itself has an online job board where you can find jobs after your bootcamp, in addition to sites such as Berlin Startup Jobs and LinkedIn.
Exposure to German work culture
A Berlin coding bootcamp will also expose you to the German work culture, especially if you’re from a different country. This may come in handy in your onboarding process when looking for work.
Ample time to study the German language
While you don’t need to know German to enroll in a Berlin coding bootcamp, enrolling in one will give you ample time to study and develop your German alongside your coursework.
As you interact with fellow learners, mentors, and other Germans, you can quickly pick up the language too.
Knowing the German language will help you better experience the culture. In addition, you’ll be qualified to work for companies that use German primarily in their everyday work.
3. Coding bootcamps in Berlin
There are several coding bootcamp options in Berlin. We categorize them into in-person or hybrid bootcamps and online bootcamps.
In-person and hybrid coding bootcamps in Berlin
Here are some in-person and hybrid bootcamps in Berlin:
Tuition fee: EUR 8,200 for the Web Development Track, EUR 11,800 for the Software Engineering Track
Duration: 8 weeks for the web track and 12 weeks for the software engineering track
Codeworks offers its coding training via two paths: the shorter and more basic web development track and the more in-depth and longer software engineering track.
Both full-time only, the routes have remote and in-person options. The Web Development Track is 8 weeks long and the Software Engineering Track is 12 weeks long.
There are several financing options available per track. You can pay upfront or get financing from a Codeworks partner under both tracks.
The Software Engineering Path, however, has a deferred payment option where you can pay after you get a job. This option is only available if you hold a valid work visa in the EU, Canada, the United States, or Australia.
The good news is that with a Bildungsgutschein, you’re eligible for any of the tracks offered by Codeworks.
Both routes also allow for financing via your veteran retraining grant (Dienstzeitende) if you’ve recently finished military service.
There’s an entry-level challenge that you need to complete before admission and an introductory course if you’re absolutely new to coding.
Tuition fee: EUR 10,500 (full-time, hybrid), EUR 9,900 (full-time, online), EUR 7,000 (part-time, online)
Duration: 15 weeks (full-time, hybrid), 15 weeks (full-time, online), 26 weeks (part-time, online)
The WBS Coding School full-stack web and app development course is offered both online and as a hybrid course.
If you take the hybrid and full-time path, it’ll take you 15 weeks to complete, with 2 weeks of in-person learning.
A fun fact is that WBS is a former hotel, so it has some very cool facilities on campus in Berlin.
The online, full-time path also takes 15 weeks to finish, with no in-person attendance.
If you go with the part-time online option, then it’ll take you 26 weeks to complete. You get to learn for three hours in the evenings and on Saturdays, with a two-week break.
Funding options range from paying upfront, paying in instalments, an income share agreement (pay after getting a job), a Bildungsgutschein for German residents, and government funding for Austrian residents.
There’s also mandatory introductory coursework to help everyone get on board, in spite of their coding skills.
Tuition fee: EUR 8500 (upfront, full-stack web development)
Duration: 12 weeks (hybrid)
Spiced Academy offers a 12-week hybrid full-stack web development course for their students, known as “spicedlings”.
There are a number of financing options available, with the upfront payment being the cheapest. You need to pay at least two weeks before the beginning of the course.
Other financing options include deferred payment plans and the Bildungsgutschein. You can take a loan from one of their partners and pay it back after you get a job.
You can also get partial financing and pay it back in 18 instalments.
Spiced Academy offers career support to help you get a job.
Remote coding bootcamps in Berlin
Here are some options if you’re looking for fully remote or remote-only coding bootcamps in the capital:
Tuition fee: EUR 7600 (upfront, full-time), EUR 537 per month (with 1,493 EUR upfront)
Duration: 16 weeks full-time, or 28 weeks part-time
CareerFoundry offers a full-stack web development program that you can complete in five months if you commit to 30 to 40 hours of weekly study.
There’s also a part-time option (not available for Bildungsgutschein students) that you can complete in less than 10 months with a minimum of 15 hours of study per week.
There’s a lot of support from mentors, tutors, and even program advisors who’ll help you determine whether web development is a great path for you.
In addition, CareerFoundry has a free web development short course that you can do in 15 minutes over a five-day period. It’s a good way to “dip your toes” into the web development path.
There are two main financing options with CareerFoundry. You can pay your tuition fee upfront and get a discount. You can also pay a partial fee upfront and spread the rest over 10 monthly instalments.
CareerFoundry also allows you to use your Bildungsgutschein to access their full-stack web development course.
Active U.S. military personnel and veterans can also receive a discount on their tuition fees.
There’s lots of career support too, including a dedicated career specialist and a job preparation course.
Tuition fee: Undisclosed
Duration: 14 months, full-time (12 months, 2 months internship)
The Digital Career Institute web development course only has a full-time option and lasts for 14 months, including two months of internship.
You get to build real-world projects, learn German and English, and attend hackathons.
You also have access to mentorship, coaching, and career support.
Though the Digital Career Institute doesn’t disclose its tuition fee, you can use your Bildungsgutschein to take your web development course.
Tuition fee: Undisclosed
Duration: 12 weeks full-time, or 24 weeks part-time
Code Labs Academy is headquartered in Berlin and offers its web development course online (though initially in-person).
You can take the course full-time for 12 weeks or part-time for 24 weeks.
Though Code Labs doesn’t disclose its tuition fees, they do have a couple of financing options and discounts.
Unfortunately, the Bildungsgutschein isn’t one of the financing options.
You’ll also learn crucial aspects like version control, databases, and APIs.
Code Labs Academy also offers career support for its students.
4. Coding bootcamp Berlin FAQs
Are there coding bootcamps in Germany?
Yes, there are coding bootcamps in Germany. They range from in-person to hybrid and all-remote bootcamps. You can study part-time or full-time, and most have a range of financing options. Some of the bootcamps accept the Bildungsgutschein as part of their financing options.
Are coding bootcamps worth it?
Coding bootcamps are a great way to get started with your tech career without having to go through a full degree. Most of them have relatively short time commitments—weeks or months.
You’re able to learn a lot in a very short period of time. Most of them tend to be highly practical, as you tend to build projects as you learn.
In addition, you get mentorship and career support to help you land your first job. The best part of it is that you don’t learn alone. You learn together with peers, which keeps you going.
We explore this further in our “Are coding bootcamps worth it?” guide.
Is Germany good for coding?
Germany is home to one of the most vibrant tech ecosystems—Berlin. There’s a reason it’s referred to as “Silicon Allee”. You not only get various coding boot camp options but also access to a job market that supports startups.
If you’re from another country or culture, then many startup’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts will impress you. In addition, Berlin is a diverse city with people from over 190 countries.
Lastly, Germany has thriving and enthusiastic tech communities that can get you up to speed.
You get to learn more about the specific languages and technologies you’re using and even participate in hackathons, bootcamps, and other community-organized events.
5. What’s next?
We’ve explored what it would take to take a coding bootcamp in Berlin for free. We’ve seen that the Bildungsgutschein is your best bet, so it would definitely be the first thing you need to get started on your journey to learning to code for free in Berlin.
We’ve also discussed some of the bootcamp options that you have, whether you’re looking for in-person, hybrid, or all-remote bootcamps.
In addition to your bootcamp studies, you can grow relatively quickly in your tech career by plugging into a vibrant tech ecosystem.
There are numerous tech communities in Berlin. You can attend workshops, meetups, and hackathons to become better at your craft and meet people who can connect you to opportunities for growth.
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