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University Degree OR Bootcamp: Which one to choose?

Xccelerate HK
September 3, 2021
Last updated on
March 13, 2024

Are you at a crossroads between choosing a university degree or a bootcamp when it comes to gaining knowledge & skill set for the tech industry? We got you covered! In this blog we will be going over various considerations, comparing the advantages and disadvantages of each to ease your decision-making process. For the university degree, we will be focusing on bachelor’s degree and master's degree.

This blog focuses especially on working professionals who are looking for a career switch to the tech industry.

Here are 5 factors for you to consider:

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Cost is one of the deciding factors when it comes to university degree vs bootcamp and hands down bootcamps are cost-effective. A bootcamp would cost around HK$40,000 - HK$50,000 on average, whereas a CS bachelor’s degree would cost approximately HK$160,000+ and a CS master’s degree can cost anywhere between HK$140,000 - HK$200,000.

A bootcamp can save you from spending a fortune, taking up student loans and being stuck paying off student loans.

Entry Requirements

It’s a no-brainer that the entry requirements for university are higher compared to a bootcamp. For instance, students would need to give special public examinations such as DSE, IB, SATs, GREs, etc for university entrance. Whereas for bootcamps there are no such strict requirements. Due to having to keep up with the reputation as an educational institution, universities have stricter regulations and requirements. Bootcamps on the other hand, vary when it comes to reputation depending on different factors, hence, entry requirement is lenient.

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Many working professionals do not have the luxury of spending a long period of time to learn new skills for a career switch or even for upskilling themselves. A full-time bachelor’s degree can take up to 4 years to complete and a master’s degree can take around 1 - 2.5 years to complete. On the flip side, Hong Kong based bootcamp would at most take 4 months to complete and shortest could take 8-10 weeks.

So if time is a restriction then definitely bootcamp will aid in equipping you with the essential tech skills in a shorter time span.

Read Also:Can I make a Switch to Tech at a Later Stage in My Career?


Curriculum would be a factor that would differ quite a lot for university degree and a bootcamp. The university degree’s curriculum is meant to provide you with theoretical knowledge as well as practical knowledge. Hence, the duration is longer and the curriculum is more in-depth. In addition, the flexibility of a university degree’s curriculum is far lower as compared to a bootcamp.

The curriculum of a university is not easy to update as often as it would be for a bootcamp’s curriculum. It’s more thorough and comprehensive covering many specialization courses, hence, making it challenging for constant curriculum updates.

Bootcamps’ curriculum are business-focused, duration of bootcamps is shorter, therefore, can be updated as the tech industry evolves - making it more flexible.

If you’re looking to get a well-rounded theoretical understanding of Computer Science, a degree might be the way to go. But if you want to dive right into the practical side then bootcamp would be the right choice.

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Return on Investment

Education is as much of an investment as any other big purchase and calculating return on investment is necessary - it will benefit you in the long run. The ratio of university graduates securing a job is lower compared to bootcamp graduates securing a job. Usually, a bootcamp graduate is able to secure a job within 3 months of graduation due to a business-focused curriculum.

For bootcamps, the investment and risk is lower both financially and time-wise as opposed to university degree. The average starting salary of a bootcamp graduate with no prior experience can range from HK$18,000 - HK$21,000. While a university degree graduate’s starting salary would also be around the same range, there will be a lack of practical hands-on experience. In bootcamps, students are able to work on real client-based projects, use real datasets from various industries, build portfolios, giving a better return on investment.

So if you’re looking for higher return on investment, opting for a bootcamp wouldn’t cost a hole in your pocket.


If you are considering investing in a university degree or a bootcamp, the factors we’ve touched upon will be useful to you. Whichever option you decide to proceed with, ensure you thoroughly analyse both options as per the results you are looking for - the type of job you want to be working at, the skills required for that job, the career assistance you would want and make your decision based on that.

It is a big investment whether taking up a university degree or a bootcamp, it is essential for you to understand the differences between the two so you can invest better for your career needs.

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Tech Market in Hong Kong

For data science jobs market, currently there are about 4,676 data job listings in Hong Kong from which there are approximately 732 engineering jobs and around 1,521 data analyst jobs. The top desirable skills are; SQL, Machine Learning, Python and BI. As per the data, the hospitality and electronics industry offers the highest salaries for data science professionals.

For the Web Development jobs market, there are about 4,502 software engineering job listings in Hong Kong, from which around 1,008 are engineer jobs and 806 developer jobs. The top desirable skills for software engineers are; Javascript, HTML, React.js and Node.js. According to our data, the medical and IT industries provide the highest salaries for web developers.

For UI UX Design jobs market, there are about 2,081 UI/UX design job listings in Hong Kong, from which there are around 1,540 UI/UX Designer jobs and 448 senior UI/UX Designer jobs. The top desirable skills for UIUX designers are; Research, Writing, Prototyping and Wireframing. As per the data, the insurance and IT industries offer the highest salaries for UIUX Designers.

Xccelerate offers full-time tech training immersive bootcamps such as Data Science & Machine Learning, Full-stack Web Development and Full-stack UX Design. These bootcamps are 16-weeks long covering curriculum that is up-to-date and provides business-focused training. In addition, students build the industry desired skill set, portfolio, and other skills during the course of 16 weeks.

Read Also:Frequently Asked Questions about Xccelerate's Bootcamp

Related Full-time Tech Training Bootcamps in Hong Kong

Need more advice?

If you are not sure which option might be best suited for you and need someone to help you navigate the challenges. You can make an appointment to our complimentary 1-on-1 Career Consultation and receive personalised career advice.