A broad analysis of coding schools from LinkedIn’s Link Gan shows that the sector is indeed improving outcomes for students. His analysis of LinkedIn profiles shows that coding schools are surging in popularity, have graduates at every major tech company and are more gender-balanced than the tech industry as a whole. He also finds that coding bootcamp students do indeed improve their job prospects on graduating their programs:
“Our research revealed many career transition stories, similar to the waiter turned data scientist, the barista turned coding instructor, or the English major turned software engineer. How does this trend play out at scale? We located the last job a bootcamp attendee held before entering their bootcamp. Combining this data with bootcamp outcome, we can measure the degree to which bootcamps have managed to reshape careers.
2 out of every 3 graduates have new job functions. Out of the 17,000 bootcamp graduates with a job, 11,000~ of those graduates were hired into a function different from the one they held immediately prior to joining the bootcamp.
Not only are bootcamps helping people switch careers, they are helping people switch into a narrower set of higher paying tech jobs. For instance, Software Developers/Engineers, Web Developers/Designers, Graphic Designers, User Experience Designers, and Data Scientists collectively account for 14% of all pre-bootcamp occupations. Post bootcamp, they account for 40% of all placed graduates.”
Gan’s article provides a good overall analysis of how coding bootcamps are helping their students. In general, graduates get jobs and those jobs often involve a more advanced skill set than the jobs they had previously. Still, the same can be said about four-year colleges, but that doesn’t mean that they are equal across the board. Recently the Department of Education has begun to publish outcomes data on degree programs to give potential students a better idea of what they are getting into. More information is almost always a good thing, but it is important to remember that the schools that look the best in these analyses are often the ones that focus on high-income careers, such as engineering and business.
LinkedIn’s analysis showed the proliferation of coding schools. The largest dots have over 700 graduates, and the total number is expected to double from 2014 to 2015.
With coding bootcamps, however, schools tend to have the same basic goal of giving their students the skills that will help them succeed in the technology industry. This makes outcomes data easier to compare. The remaining challenge is to make sure that every school is reporting their data in the same way. That’s part of the reason we helped cofound the New Economy Skills Training Association or NESTA (which Gan mentions): to bring industry-wide standards to the coding school space.
Furthermore, Gan’s analysis only looks at first jobs after graduating--this makes sense, as the coding bootcamp field is still young, and many graduates are still at their first job. We look forward to an analysis that examines entire careers of coding school graduates, because we believe our program sets up graduates for long term success, and that our alumni program is a standard-bearer for the lifelong career support it provides.
Career outcomes has long been our most important metric and school-specific data across the industry will allow prospective students to compare schools by the return they provide within months, years and decades of graduating.