Are Coding Bootcamps Worth it?
The Official SwitchUp Survey - 2014 to 2016
Nov 27, 2016
SwitchUp has completed a survey of more than 1,000 graduates about their experience at coding bootcamps. The survey results on this page will be continually updated every six months as more results come in. Our survey is live and ongoing.
Here are the 6 main take-aways we think you should consider before trying one yourself:
1. 63% of graduates reported increase in salary.
2. 80%+ of graduates were satisfied with their bootcamp education.
3. Average class size is 30 with a 1-to-3.8 student instructor ratio.
Coding bootcamps offer more intimate learning environments than one may find at traditional universities, with more opportunity for interaction with instructors and fellow students.
4. Coding bootcamps are a far cheaper, accelerated option than learning to code at a university.
5. Women are learning how to code and represent 43% of the bootcamp alum.
6. The bootcamp market is growing fast with a projected 100% growth rate.
While our study focused on U.S. Bootcamps grads, worldwide the bootcamp model is becoming increasingly favorable.
Positive signs such as student satisfaction, job placement outcomes, and the increased diversity of the student population — while it could always be improved — has led to an overall healthy and steadily growing market.
There is no doubt that 21st century technology education is trending towards transparent, outcome-driven metrics.
However, key questions remain: Can the type of salary increase seen from the data be sustained in the long-term? As the supply of developers increases to match the demand, will the job market to get tighter, or will the creation of tech jobs continue to outmatch the supply of developers over the next few years?
Whatever the outcome, SwitchUp will be there to contribute to this discussion, and continue our mission of adding transparency to this budding industry
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|Market Analysis||2014||2015||2016||2017 (projected)|
|Total Number of Offline Coding Bootcamps||43||69||95||~121|
|Average Tuition (USD)||10,100||11,200||12,800||~13100|
|Total Market Size (millions USD)||62.62||135.52||234.24||~344|
Note: Projections are based on regression analysis. Results are preliminary and will be finalized by Dec 1, 2016.
|% of women in coding bootcamps||41%||43%|
|% African Americans||6.6%||7.2%|
Bootcamp vs. University Costs
Coding courses can range anywhere from $2,000- 25,000, but the average price tag came in at $12,800, with an average length of was 10.8 weeks.
Scholarships and financial aid opportunities, which many bootcamps offer, help offset this cost. In addition, more than half of coding bootcamp grads report they are able to pay off most of their tuition within the year due to an increase in their salary.
In comparison, studying computer science at a private four-year college would cost $31,231 per year in tuition and fees on average.
Be reminded that the $8,000 figure is based on tuition, and not what students actually end up paying out of their own pocket. It’s also important to remember that cost may not always be indicative of the quality of the material, although a cheaper, shorter course might not be as in-depth as a costlier one.
Women and Diversity
One of the great things about the bootcamp industry is that women are participating in much higher percentages than in traditional computer science classrooms.
Although several high-profile companies have recently undergone scrutiny after disclosing workforce demographics that suggest employment gaps for women and minorities in the tech sector. Encouragingly, our survey reports 43% of bootcamp attendees are women.
Disparities remain in bootcamp attendance by minorities underrepresented in technology. The U.S. workforce average for African Americans and people of Hispanic descent stands at 12 and 16 percent, respectively.
Emphasis on diversity outreach programs has shown some success, and we expect these numbers to improve further as the industry gains more momentum and credibility.
In total, we have surveyed alumni from 76 qualifying coding bootcamps. We received 1095 responses from graduates, 826 of which met the criteria described below. The surveys were opt-in, optionally anonymous, and all figures are self-reported. If you're an alumni, complete our 5-min outcomes survey to be entered to win a $2,000 Amazon Gift Card!
Coding Bootcamp Criteria
Coding bootcamps are defined as full-time, in-person instruction of 30 or more hours of classroom time per week in a programming or software engineering field. A coding bootcamp must not offer accredited degrees. Information from the SwitchUp database was drawn for each of the participating schools. Market analysis was conducted using this information and extrapolated according to linear functions where data was missing.
Alumni Criteria and Outreach
To qualify for inclusion in the survey, individuals must have completed a course offered by a coding bootcamp (as defined above). Students who dropped out, failed to pass, or only applied to courses were not allowed to participate. The majority of alumni involved in the survey have also left reviews on SwitchUp and outreach was conducted via email with optional participation/distribution from schools. Participants in the survey was restricted to those over 18 years old. The survey was opt-in and optionally anonymous.
All analysis was conducted using SPSS, R, and Excel. Techniques used include post-stratification, two-tailed t-tests, regression analysis for projections, and basic statistical reporting. Professional statisticians were consulted for the survey (unpaid) and include researchers from UT Austin, SRI International, and Stanford University.
|Average Salary Before Bootcamp||$44,821||$42,401|
|Average Salary After Bootcamp||$62,922||$65,101|
|Average Increase 6 months after bootcamp (among those who reported an increase)||$18,101||$22,700|
|Average Increase 6 months after bootcamp (including all respondants)||$7,000||$14,000|
|% Students working in IT industry 6 months after program||61%||68%|
Note: A one-tailed paired-difference test showed that the increase in salary was statistically significant at the 95% level. Results are preliminary and will be finalized by Dec 1, 2016.
|Average Class Size||27||30|
|Average Length (wks)||9.6||10.8|
|Student to Instructor Ratio||3.5 to 1||3.8 to 1|
|% Satisfied/Very Satisfied After Bootcamp||86%||80%|
Note: The correlation between class size, instructor-ratio and satisfaction was not significant. Results are preliminary and will be finalized by Dec 1, 2016.
Around 60% of graduates reported an increase in salary after completing a coding bootcamp, with an average reported increase of $23,000. Only a small minority (15%) were dissatisfied.
While a majority of graduates received a salary bump, it's important to remember that almost 40% of student respondents did not. If you're a prospective student that's told your investment will pay for itself after graduation, be sure to verify the claim with past alumni and assess your own situation.
For an industry that's still relatively new, coding bootcamps show a very high level of consumer satisfaction. Over 80% of students reported being satisfied or very satisfied with their education. Only a small minority (7%) were dissatisfied.
Class Sizes and Teacher Ratios
While the class size can range from 5 to 60 students, the average class size is 30 students.
Plus, many bootcamps have more than one instructor per class. Our survey found that most bootcamps have of 3-4 instructors per class, and a 3.8:1 student-to-instructor ratio.
In comparison, the average ratio of students to teaching staff at American tertiary education institutions was 1 to 16 in 2012. And, although the jury is still out on just how much class size affects education quality, some studies indicate an increase in student engagement and achievement for smaller classes. Additionally, the National Survey of Student Engagement has noted that student-faculty interaction is an important predictor of success in college.
Alumni from the following coding bootcamps participated in this survey:
Eleven Fifty Coding Academy
The Guild of Software Architects
Turing School of Software and Design
The Firehose Project
Mobile Makers Edu
Tech Talent South
Ubiqum Code Academy
Viking Code School
Orange County Code School
Bitmaker General Assembly
Redwood Code Academy
The Iron Yard
The Tech Academy
Ada Developers Academy
Founders and Coders
The Software Guild
We Got Coders