By Kevin Juhasz for Hack Reactor
Finding the right bootcamp can be daunting at times. Some students are looking to advance their knowledge and many are abandoning old careers in favor of software engineering or data science.
Paying for a bootcamp may involve an income-sharing agreement, while others might be spending thousands of dollars of savings in the hope it will be worth it in the end. Fortunately, there are a few reputable review companies that can guide prospective students into the program that is best for them. These websites feature extensive information on immersive programs coupled with reviews by alumni that will provide an idea of what the educational provider does or doesn’t offer.
Career Karma also provides an extensive number of ratings of schools with dedicated pages that provide information on programs, financing, location, and more. Their ratings include criteria of Curriculum, Instructors, Job Assistance, and Overall Experience. Reviewers offer brief explanations of their experience at the bootcamp and the end of each review has Pros and Cons sections to help summarize the review.
Credit Karma gives visitors the option to get a Coach, who are students and alumni of bootcamps and can offer guidance on applying, enrolling, and preparing for a bootcamp. There is also a community of more than 150,000 people who can offer their input on bootcamps. Searches and rankings can be done by location, career track, courses, and even tags.
A site dedicated to helping tech students find the right bootcamp, Course Report features a variety of Top-Schools lists and ways to find a coding school. Going beyond a simple list of the best bootcamps, Course Report also features lists based on categories, such as Best Data Science Bootcamps, Best Coding Bootcamps, Best Cyber Security Bootcamps, and much more.
The site allows users to look at bootcamps based on region or career tracks. Anyone who might want to see what schools are ranked highest for full-stack development can just look at rankings of schools for that discipline. If finding a good school in a certain state and city is a priority, then Course Report can show ratings of all the schools down near that location. Additional filters include technology, type of classes, costs, and more. If a user is having trouble deciding where to begin, the site also offers a matching program that searches for bootcamps that best fit the entered criteria.
Once a user has narrowed their choices down, they can visit a page dedicated to a bootcamp, find information on locations and programs available, and see how they are rated. A bootcamp’s ranking is based upon reviews written by thousands of students. Reviewers rate the school based on Overall Experience, Instructors, Curriculum, and Job Assistance. Many of the reviews also have brief descriptions of the reviewer’s time at the bootcamp.
Besides reviews, Course Report also features extensive research and advice on bootcamps and finding a way to choose them.
Much like Course Report, Switchup offers users the option to view ratings of schools based on location and career track they’re seeking. School pages on the Switchup site make it easy to gather information and there is the option to compare a school to others. The site uses Overall Score, Curriculum, and Job Support for its ratings, and reviewers can leave information on their time at the bootcamp. In addition to the reviews left by students, Switchup’s blog also regularly features profiles of students that talk about their experience at the bootcamp they took. The blog also features education and career advice.
Switchup offers a matching program for prospective students who need some guidance, but don’t expect a full picture of schools when using this feature. Results only include schools that have an advertising relationship with Switchup and are rated above a 4.0.
Switchup also often conducts industry studies that compare bootcamps to traditional colleges and universities. For example, they recently conducted a study analyzing LinkedIn data to determine which coding bootcamps will help software engineers land a job in the Big Five — Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft. Hack Reactor and Galvanize were found to be #3 and #7 bootcamps for Big Five alumni employment.
According to the Switchup study, Hack Reactor stands with 5.16% of graduates working in the Big Five and Galvanize has 3.98%. These percentages are comparable to many prestigious, traditional colleges' computer science programs. For example, Pennsylvania State University has about 3.18% of their computer science students working in the Big Five. Considering that Hack Reactor and Galvanize offer education at a fraction of the cost of attending a traditional, four-year college, it is compelling to see that the outcomes are similar or better at bootcamps.
Bootcamp Rankings/Computer Science Hero
Like everything on the Internet, you have to be cautious when looking at reviews. Despite having completely different layouts and some different landing pages, Bootcamp Rankings and Computer Science Hero use the exact same ratings pages, different only in design with some similarities. There are similarities on the dedicated bootcamp pages, as well as the side-by-side comparisons the sites offer. In addition to school information, the sites also have advice and research for any student looking for a computer-related education. Like all heroes, CSH is not without its flaws. The sites’ low inventory of reviews can make it difficult to evaluate and some of the bootcamp information may be outdated.
Other sites for bootcamp ratings:
Trustpilot – Some contact information is available on each bootcamps, but the site’s school pages are dedicated primarily to ratings by alumni. Trustpilot is not a dedicated bootcamp site and offers reviews of numerous businesses and sites.
Thinkful – Offers a Bootcamp Finder matched with a school, the opportunity to compare schools, and a way to examine all the reviews of a specific school. The site also verifies that some of its reviewers attended the school they’re speaking about.
The Top Bootcamp’s Site – It will most likely be impossible to find a school that will post a bad review of itself, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it to visit the top bootcamp’s site. Some offer written reviews and video profiles of alumni, their experience, and their career after. Any student who is on the fence about attending a school might hear something that pushes them toward a selection.