CIRR and Bootcamps
It's clear that coding bootcamps offer a streamlined, affordable way to launch a new career in the tech industry. However, the sheer volume of choices — which subject to study, in-person or online, short-term or long-term — can make choosing a bootcamp seem overwhelming. To top it all off, you want to select a bootcamp provider that you believe is going to get you where you want to go. They all claim to have great outcomes, but can you believe everything they say?
This very dilemma was the genesis of the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting, or CIRR. This nonprofit coalition of bootcamp providers and other stakeholders has developed a consistent framework for reporting current, verifiable, and actionable bootcamp data designed to help students make informed decisions. So, before you choose a coding bootcamp, be sure you understand how CIRR works and how you can use bootcamp data to make the best choice for you.
What Is CIRR?
CIRR began in 2016 as a project supported by Skills Fund, now called Ascent Funding. The founding members were motivated by a desire to create a consistent set of standards for all bootcamp schools to follow. Their objective was to provide transparent outcomes that would allow prospective students to make realistic comparisons and sound decisions about coding bootcamps.
Today, CIRR is a nonprofit organization supported by grants from the Charles Koch Foundation, an organization dedicated to removing barriers that may prevent people from reaching their full potential. CIRR is operated by a small board made up of senior leaders from a handful of the CIRR bootcamp schools.
There are currently 11 member schools and several additional stakeholder partners. Among the schools are Codeup, Code Platoon, Codesmith, Hacktiv8, Tech Elevator, and the Turing School of Software and Design.
To become a CIRR-verified bootcamp provider, a school's leadership must commit to meeting CIRR standards. In general, the standards require CIRR bootcamps to document and report student outcomes. Specifically, members must:
- Advertise with honesty and transparency.
- On the first day of a new bootcamp, collect data on students regarding their intent after graduating.
- Track graduation rates of enrolled students.
- Track and report students' job outcomes once every six months.
- Agree to have all data audited and verified.
Looking for a coding bootcamp designed to meet your needs? Discover our ranked listing of the best coding bootcamps.
Data-Based Bootcamp Outcomes
Every six months, CIRR members must present a report detailing bootcamp outcomes data that is then audited by an independent third party. Prospective students like you can freely access these CIRR reports, which are short and easy to understand. They also have a consistent format that makes it easier to locate the information that's important to you when comparing schools.
These reports include the following data for the previous six months:
- How many of the school's bootcamp students graduated on time?
- How many students accepted a full-time job in the field for which they trained within six months?
- How many secured part-time jobs?
- Did the school itself hire any graduates?
- What are the most common job titles among graduates?
- What are the salaries of grads who started jobs in their field of study?
Of course, CIRR outcomes reports only provide data for CIRR-verified bootcamps. However, you can use this data when you're researching other prospective schools, as well. Before you enroll in any coding bootcamp, ask the admissions team if they can provide similar data about their school. Just keep in mind that the way they present it may not align with the CIRR report format, so you may need to carefully read and interpret the information.
Are CIRR-Verified Coding Bootcamps Worth It?
Whether a CIRR-verified bootcamp is worth your investment of time and money depends largely on your career goals. However, in today's tech-oriented economy, the coding skills you acquire in a bootcamp are likely to make you a more competitive candidate for higher-paying jobs. CIRR verification helps you know exactly what you're investing in and what outcomes you can expect.
Can You Get a Coding Job Without a Degree?
Yes, it's possible for you to get a coding job without a degree. Employers looking for coders and other tech experts often search for people with demonstrable skills and the right mindset more than those with a college education.
Our data shows that some of the most prestigious organizations in the tech industry, such as Google, Apple, and Facebook, frequently hire coders who have developed valuable technical skills on their own or by completing a coding bootcamp, rather than a degree. There are, however, some employers who prefer to hire job candidates with a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field, especially for advanced or specialized positions.
Are Coding Jobs in Demand?
Yes, coding jobs are in demand. You may be wondering if coding is the right career path for you, but the job outlook for this field is strong. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting the number of jobs for all computer and information technology professionals to expand by about 377,500 openings every year through 2032. Within that broad category, demand for software developers is projected to grow by 25% and for data scientists by 35%. One way to prepare for these job opportunities is by completing a CIRR coding bootcamp.
Do People Get Hired After Coding Bootcamps?
Yes, graduates of CIRR bootcamps definitely get hired as software developers, web developers, data scientists, and more. Attending the right bootcamp is key, however. One of the benefits of considering a CIRR-verified bootcamp is that you'll have access to each CIRR member's bootcamp data regarding employment rates, graduates' salaries, and other pertinent information that may help you make a more informed decision.
No matter which bootcamp you select, if you want to find a job after graduating, you'll need to stay focused and commit to working hard. The coding skills you obtain may be the ideal foundation for a successful and lucrative career in tech.