March 20, 2020

SwitchUp and CIRR: Keeping Bootcamps Honest


SwitchUp is a CIRR member organization! The Council on Integrity and Results Reporting (CIRR) is a coalition of 18 organizations- and counting- that aim to standardize how bootcamps report outcomes so that students have access to reliable, vetted data.

Here at SwitchUp we've seen tremendous growth in the bootcamp industry over the past several years, partly thanks to amazing outcomes. Our survey reports that 63% of bootcamp alumni enjoyed a salary increase six months after graduation, and 68% landed jobs in the tech industry.

The catch is that the bootcamp sector is still largely unregulated, and it can be difficult for students to understand how each school is tracking its outcomes data.

SwitchUp will work with CIRR to answer the #1 question we hear from students: how can I be sure that a bootcamp will give me the return on investment that I expect?

CIRR + Your Bootcamp Search

If you've ever compared bootcamp outcomes, you may have found yourself with more questions than answers. Many bootcamps use individual methodologies to crunch the numbers, meaning that data can be calculated in vastly different ways. For example, one bootcamp might include entrepreneurs or freelancers when they report the percentage of employed grads, while another school may only include alumni with paid, full-time jobs. It can be confusing and time consuming for students to sift through and compare multiple reports.

This is where CIRR comes in. The coalition of CIRR schools has agreed to the same set of advertising standards, documentation, and validation, so students will be able to compare schools "apples-to-apples". All reported numbers, such as employment and salary outcomes, show exactly which data is included and excluded. Everything is clear, easy to understand, and reported on a single page. Each CIRR report answers the following questions:

  • How many graduated on time?
  • How many 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?
  • How many students jobs are in fields outside of what they studied for?
  • What are the salaries of grads who started jobs in their field of study?

Comparing Bootcamp Outcomes on SwitchUp

We believe that students should have complete access to all verified, third party data, regardless of the methodology used. Because of this, SwitchUp is working to collect verified reports for all schools that provide them, including CIRR schools.

Starting in April 2017, students will be able to view a snapshot of CIRR outcomes numbers right in the Outcomes section of a school's SwitchUp page. You'll also see a short description of how outcomes are verified, and a link where you can download the complete report. Beginning with the release of 2017 graduate outcomes, each CIRR school's data will also be reviewed and verified by an independent third party.

The entire SwitchUp team is excited to take the next step in outcomes reporting for bootcamp students. The decision to attend a bootcamp is not easy, and it is essential for students to have access to clear, vetted information to help make the most informed decision possible. CIRR is a great start, and we'll be keeping a close eye on the initiative's progress!

To learn more about CIRR, visit cirr.org

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