Lighthouse Labs Review: A Former Student Reveals All

Thinking about attending a coding bootcamp at Lighthouse Labs? 

Maybe you want to switch careers, or maybe you are looking for a job with more freedom that pays well. 

I wanted to switch careers in 2018, so I decided to attend a Lighthouse Labs bootcamp. I didn’t have a tech background at all and had worked 11 years in the finance industry. 

Here’s my honest first-hand Lighthouse Labs review; the good, the bad and the ugly.

Our Verdict
Lighthouse Labs Review 2021
8/10Our Score

Lighthouse Labs

Coding Bootcamp

Lighthouse Labs is a coding bootcamp that trains web developers and data scientists for careers.


  • High job placements
  • High starting salaries
  • Short education period
  • Fantastic mentors and staff
  • Great support network of students


  • Difficult and stressful 12 weeks
  • All-consuming with no time for a life
  • Harder to land jobs at big tech firms compared to having a degree

What is Lighthouse Labs?

Lighthouse Labs was launched in 2013 by a team of software developers to reinvent the way tech education is given to Canadians. 

Today, Lighthouse Labs can be found all across Canada. The company has introduced over 20,000 Canadians to coding and helped over 1,000 graduates get their start in careers as professional coders.

Lighthouse Labs Programs

Lighthouse Labs Review infographic

Lighthouse Labs is constantly evolving its product offering. When I attended in 2018, there was a Swift (IoS) bootcamp that is now no longer available. Here are the current offerings:

Web Developer Bootcamp

Lighthouse Labs pride and joy is its web developer bootcamp. Here are some quick facts about the program:

  • Full-time 12-week program
  • Learn the fundamentals of becoming a web developer through classroom lectures
  • Hands-on learning by coding several real-life applications
  • Tech stack that you learn is keeping with industry trends, with Javascript being the core of the curriculum.
  • Demanding program, with little time for a social life during those 12 weeks. Expect 10-14 hour days of work, with a little less during the weekends.

Data Science

It’s hard to find a more in-demand field than data science, which is why I suspect Lighthouse Labs launched this bootcamp in 2019. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Full-time 12-week program
  • Learn the fundamentals of becoming a data scientist through classroom lectures.
  • Hands-on training by learning about how to manipulate and interpret data
  • The tech stack seems to be focused on Python and SQL
  • I didn’t attend, but I assume it’s also a demanding program with a similar workload to the web development bootcamp.

Part-Time Programs

Lighthouse Labs provides 6-week part-time programs with evening classes. Ideal for those looking to dip their toes into the program and learn a little more about coding.

If you’re not sure if you want to make a total career change and commit the time and money, consider these less intimidating options: 

  • Intro to Web Development
  • Intro to Front-End With Javascript
  • Intro to Data Analytics

Lighthouse Labs Cost

As of June 2022 the cost is:

Full-time program – $14,000

Is Going to Lighthouse Labs Worth it Financially?

Since this is a personal finance website, let’s talk about if it is a good financial investment to attend a Lighthouse Labs bootcamp.

Anytime you spend more than $10,000 on something, you better do a heck of a lot of research to make sure it’s worth it!

Lighthouse Labs Jobs Report

The 2019 Lighthouse Labs Student Outcomes report shows that 93% of graduates are hired within 120 days of bootcamp completion, at an average starting salary ranging between $45,000 – $52,000. 

I would say that the graduate hire rate is quite accurate. Unless you were absolutely terrible at bootcamp and had no social skills whatsoever, most people who wanted a job after bootcamp got a job. 

The salary range for fresh grads seems a little bit high and could be skewed a bit toward the upper outliers, but overall it’s pretty accurate. It’s a great starting wage for a new graduate and only 12 weeks of education. Be aware of the internship salary that lots of grads have to take, which only pays $600/week for the first three months. 

I would be cautious of these figures in the near future, though. With the current tech recession, it could prove to be much harder for bootcamp grads to get tech jobs.

Lighthouse Labs vs Traditional University Degree

Lighthouse Labs might cost a lot of money, but a traditional University degree will cost you much more. 

With an average cost of $6,463 per year of a Canadian University, a four-year undergrad degree will cost over $25,000 in tuition alone. 

On top of that, you have to add books and fees, which will easily push the total to over $30,000. If you need to pay for living expenses, that cost will be much higher, at least an extra $40,000 over the four years. 

You also must factor in the opportunity cost of going to four years of school. That’s four years that you could have been earning a salary. If you assume a low salary of only $50,000 per year over those four years, that’s another $200,000 in opportunity costs that you are giving up. 

Given that the average salary of a web developer is quite high and can easily reach $80,000 after a few years from boot camp, from a purely financial perspective, a coding bootcamp is an excellent alternative to going to a university. 

Lighthouse Labs Career Services

The Lighthouse Labs career services is awesome. The staff is extremely helpful and seem to genuinely care about getting good placements for students. 

There are networking events, speed dating with employers, and mock interviews. As far as reputation goes in Vancouver, LHL seemed to have the best business connections out of all the bootcamps. 

A quick search on LinkedIn shows lots of former Lighthouse grads in decent jobs, which is a good sign. 

Why I Took a Lighthouse Labs Bootcamp

Onto my story of why I joined Lighthouse Labs. As someone who worked in Finance for over 11 years with his CFA designation, why would I give it all up to start a new career from scratch? 

My main motivation was I wanted a job with more freedom. 

I felt that with a coding job, I would be able to travel around the world and work and not be stuck in a cubicle for the rest of my career. 

I also wanted to do something I was passionate about. I tried coding, and I did enjoy it. I no longer code today. Here’s how the entire process went, from start to finish:

Interview process

The interview was straightforward; they called me for an interview on my motivations and why I should be accepted. I actually hear the acceptance rate is quite low. 

I think what Lighthouse is looking for is passion, past experience, and whether or not you will be able to handle the bootcamp as it is very intense. 

Prep work

After I got accepted, I was given some prep work to do. It’s a bunch of coding challenges to do, and I enjoyed it. 

Attending the bootcamp

The size of my cohort was tiny, with only seven students. The first week wasn’t too hectic, but the second week gets much harder as you get to code your “real” first app. I was at the bootcamp for at least 12 hours a day.

And it doesn’t get much easier for the remainder of the bootcamp, with several more apps to code and group projects also. 

As someone with no coding background, the mid-term was the most stressful part for me. I felt frustrated and overwhelmed. Imposter syndrome is common for coders, which is how you feel like you don’t really know anything compared to those around you, and I felt it strongly. 

After that, it got more fun, and by the end, I was amazed at how much I had learned. I met so many great people through the boot camp, some of who are my close friends today. 

Lighthouse Labs Demo Day

Demo day was fun; you do a presentation in front of employers and friends and family. We coded a healthcare app and by the end of it, I was so relieved to be finished. 

Finding a job

I took a break after the bootcamp, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to still become a web developer, to be honest. But after my break, I decided that is what I wanted to do. 

Out of my small class of only seven students, six of them were hired. I have heard similar stories from other cohorts also, so the hiring percentage is accurate.


I landed an internship with a cybersecurity company making only $600/week for 3 months, then got hired on full-time for $50,000/Year. Although this was much lower than my previous salaries, I believed that it was my path to remote working so I was happy with that amount to start. 

Getting Laid Off

After only four months into my job, I was laid off due to a lack of funding for the company. I was stunned and disappointed, but I understood. At this point, I decided I didn’t want to work for someone else anymore, started my writing career, and never looked back. Today, I am travelling and working around the world with no boss to answer to. 


I always get asked if I regret spending all the money and time to go to a coding bootcamp at Lighthouse Labs. And I always tell them, no, I don’t regret it at all. Overall, I am happy I went. 

I learned tech and problem-solving skills, which I’ve used in other areas of my life such as building this website. 

I met so many wonderful people that I still stay in touch with today. I admire people in tech and believe them to be full of smart and interesting characters. 

And best of all, I was able to pinpoint exactly what I felt was missing from my career and pursue that instead. I was really looking for a way to work remotely from anywhere, doing something I liked. I found my passion by going back into the finance field as a writer this time.

Lighthouse Labs Vs CodeCore

A competitor of Lighthouse Labs is CodeCore. Although the program is cheaper and the instructors seemed legit also, I went with Lighthouse Labs because they seemed to have better business connections and a robust Student Outcomes report. 

Job data is so important, and LHL seems to recognize that. So in the case of CodeCore vs Lighthouse Labs, I chose LHL. 

Lighthouse Labs Locations and Address

Lighthouse Labs Toronto – Address: 662 King St W #101, Toronto, ON M5V 1M7

Lighthouse Labs Vancouver – Address: 401 W Georgia St #600, Vancouver, BC V6B 5A1

Lighthouse Labs Calgary – Address: 630 8 Ave SW #600, Calgary, AB T2P 1G6

Lighthouse Labs Montreal – Address: 5455 Gaspe Ave Suite 710, Montreal, Quebec H2T 3B3

Lighthouse Labs Victoria – Address: 2031 Store St, Victoria, BC V8T 5L9

You Should Go to Lighthouse Labs If:

  • You don’t want to spend too much time in education
  • You want a high-paying career
  • You want to travel and work (become a digital nomad!)
  • You want to be in a growth industry that will continue to be in high demand 

Don’t Go to Lighthouse Labs if:

  • You can’t afford the high tuition
  • You’re looking for an easy path (it’s not easy!)
  • You don’t like coding (try it out first on your own)


I hope that reading this first-hand review will make your decision to attend Lighthouse Labs a bit easier. 

Let me know if you’ll give Lighthouse Labs a try in the comments below!

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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4 thoughts on “Lighthouse Labs Review: A Former Student Reveals All”

  1. Hi Christopher,

    You wrote a pretty good article, but the title is misleading. This is a review based on 2018 LHL, not 2023. When I graduated LHL in 2022, of the roughly 50 people in my cohort, 10-15 have gotten jobs as developers within 6 months, and many still have not found a tech job. Some others have gotten jobs as customer service reps in a tech company, but that’s not the same as being a developer. As of May 2023, LHL says between 82-85% of their grads get jobs within the first 6 months. I feel that this is very inaccurate and misleading.

    The good:
    LHL provides a fantastic education for those who want to transition to being web developers. The instructors are very knowledgeable and full of help. The actual BootCamp is top-notch.

    The bad:
    That being said, the marketing is misleading and students must not expect to get a tech job within 6 months like they used to from 2013 – 2019. Another downfall of LHL is that their Career Services team post-BootCamp doesn’t do a very good job at helping alumni with landing a job, as they very clearly claim to do.

    • Hey Rob, you’re right it was mistakenly put as 2023, I guess a lot has changed in the last few years with the tech job market crash. It will be really interesting to see how AI affects things going forward as well for LHL.

      Nice work at by the way!

  2. Just received a call saying I’ve been accepted to LHLs data science bootcamp. Although I thought I’d be excited, the first emotion I felt was nervousness. I have zero coding experience, looking to change careers. Still pondering on whether to say yes. Your article was the first thing I read after the phone call. It helped instill in me some amount of confidence that I should go for it. Still thinking though..

    • Hey Ashwin congrats on getting accepted! I don’t know much about the data science program. What you might want to try is to find someone who did the program on LinkedIn or ask LHL to give you a contact of a successful grad who has a good job, and ask them some questions. That helped calm my fears when deciding to do the bootcamp or not.


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