Jorge Téllez graduated from gSchool0 in 2014, which later evolved into Turing School. After learning to program in gSchool’s intensive environment, he joined the Turing team full-time as the Director of Growth and Operations, where he combined his business knowledge with his new technical skills. As a result of Jorge’s work, Turing became a founding member of CIRR, the Council for Integrity in Results Reporting, which has 28 reporting members. We asked Jorge about the technical training landscape and Turing’s unique place in it.
Turing School: First off, tell us a little bit about CIRR. How should I read the CIRR report?
Jorge Téllez: There are three key metrics that you should pay attention to:
The first one is the percentage of students that graduated within 100% of published program length, the second one is the percentage of students employed in full time, paid field positions within 180 days of graduation, and the third one is the median annual base salary of graduates with paid, in-field jobs. If you’re interested in joining a bootcamp, ask them for their CIRR report. If they don’t have it, you can still ask for their outcomes and ask about their methodology. If they don’t have them, run away as fast as possible.
You can compare CIRR outcomes as you research bootcamps on SwitchUp! Look for the 'Job Outcomes' section on CIRR partner school pages.
Why do outcomes matter?
JT: For a long time, bootcamps had marketing claims that were not sustained on factual evidence. Students would see this and expect a certain outcome when they graduated based on these. When that didn’t happen, they felt frustrated, and rightly so. This mismatch hurt the credibility of our entire industry.
We believe that students have a right to ask for this data. After all, they will be making a huge investment in time and money, and they should know what their return on investment should be. Any bootcamp that feels confident about their results should be able to disclose them, unless their marketing claims are false.
What is Turing doing differently than other schools?
JT: Since the beginning, we have had an unrelenting focus on instructional quality and diversity. Our program is updated constantly in seven-week cycles to keep it closely aligned with industry needs. Also, we have former Teach For America and charter school members in our staff that understand not only how to teach and how to run a school, but also how to build a nurturing learning environment for our students.
In terms of diversity, we are very serious about it. While for other programs and companies it’s a marketing gimmick, we live by it. We have sessions on Fridays that discuss current social issues, diversity scholarships to help balance a bit the existing social asymmetries, and our leadership and instructional staff is very diverse, with people of different ethnicities, genders, gender identities, and social backgrounds.
TS: A few prominent bootcamps recently shut down. Where do you think the bootcamp industry is going?
JT: I think the bootcamp industry is consolidating. Unprofitable schools and programs that don’t have good outcomes will close down.
On the other hand, students and hiring companies are becoming more sophisticated. Most of them are asking for hard outcomes data before making decisions. This will benefit the programs who are doing a good job.
Also, early bootcamp grads are reaching mid-level and senior positions in various companies. This will make the hiring of bootcamp grads easier since they understand the challenges they faced when they joined the industry and are becoming advocates in diversifying the workforce.
TS: Why is a bootcamp a better choice than, say, a CS degree? Or an advanced degree?
JT: Going back to grad school will take you two years and anywhere between $100K to $200K in debt. That’s a great business for the school, but you won’t get a good return on investment.
By attending a high-quality bootcamp you will only spend three to seven months, investing only a fraction in time and money, and getting the same or better salary after graduation in a highly fulfilling, growing industry. What’s not to like?