The technology education space as we know it is changing rapidly, and bootcamps are feeling the pressure to keep up.
In addition to the surprising news of recent closures, we’ve also seen the emergence of university-bootcamp partnerships. Now, students can attend a bootcamp under the brand of a well-known university. For example, in California, UCI and UCLA have recently entered the coding bootcamp space, and many more are launching across the US. But, will these bootcamps offer a better curriculum or boost your chances of a job post-graduation? With little in the way of industry-standard reporting, it can be hard to know.
To help answer these questions, we spoke with Liliana Monge, co-founder of Sabio Bootcamp in LA.
Liliana points out that it’s important for students to look beyond branding and name recognition in order to choose a program that gets results. Here is Liliana’s take on the most important things to consider as you compare both university and independent bootcamps:
Last year, Sabio joined with a coalition of coding bootcamps to establish the Council on Integrity and Results in Reporting (cirr.org). The standards aim to prevent deceptive graduation and job placement claims and ensure a student can trust what a school advertises.
Now, an increasing number of coding bootcamps have released their CIRR-verified jobs reports, revealing information about bootcamp alumni demographics, post-bootcamp job stats, salaries, etc. For the partnered bootcamps, CIRR helps standardize the coding education system and encourages bootcamps to be truthful in their advertising. Plus, member schools commit to having their outcome claims audited by an independent CPA firm. From their launch in 2013, Sabio has tracked its job placement record and we’re very proud to have maintained a placement rate of over 90%.
So far, we have not seen as many university-partnered bootcamps committed to third-party verified reporting. Instead, these programs most often assert credibility through name recognition with a top-ranked university.
At Sabio, we believe that students need more than a well-known name: they need consistent job outcomes data that prove a school is living up to their end of the bargain. A coding bootcamp is the first step towards a new career, and it’s important to do all you can to ensure you get the best education at a program that offers a proven pathway to success.
When researching a bootcamp, always ask for a copy of the curriculum to review - and ask for a detailed summary of the instructors’ backgrounds. It’s important to have instructors that are veterans software developers, as they must be able to develop a curriculum and teaching style that is relevant to what employers need.
Do the instructors have industry experience solving problems? Have they taught bootcamps before? Does the curriculum provide you with hands-on exposure to industry technology? Will you be working on projects that allow you to solve problems and become a better developer?
These are tough questions, but you should know the answer before you commit. Sabio fellows work on real projects for clients who have a real need for the technology - so not only will you be able to showcase a working project to future employers in your portfolio, you will also be able to learn best practices for client needs.
Coding bootcamps are still relatively new, so one benefit to attending a bootcamp under the brand of a major university is the access to the “alumni network.” However, in technology, a bootcamp’s network may provide better connections for specific tech-related positions.
For example, Sabio focuses exclusively on technology and has worked to build community with continued-learning workshops, a commitment to its fellows for five years, and a job network where Sabio fellows can recommend and promote each other for positions in the local Los Angeles and Orange County tech community.
Want to learn more about CIRR and see if your school meets CIRR's standards for reporting on student outcomes? Check out their website here. Are you curious how a bootcamp can help you break into the LA tech scene? Contact Liliana directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, and check out their CIRR report on SwitchUp