If you’re looking into the best online coding bootcamps, it can be helpful to review graduation rates, coding bootcamp outcomes, and other statistics. It’s one thing to hear about all the good a coding bootcamp can do for you. It’s much more comforting to see hard data about the average online coding bootcamp employment rate and the average salaries of bootcamp grads.
Not only can these statistics help you make the right choice, but they can shed light on whether coding bootcamp outcomes actually match the product that online bootcamps claim to be selling. We’re going to dig into the numbers behind coding bootcamp graduation rates and employment outcomes so that you can pick the online bootcamp that’s right for you.
Before we get into specific online coding bootcamp graduation rates and job placement rates, let’s look at the demographics of bootcamp students, breaking them down by gender, age, race, citizenship status, educational background, prior programming experience, and reasons for attending. These coding bootcamp stats are an important context for understanding outcomes.
In Career Karma’s 2021 Bootcamp Preferences Survey, 46.6 percent of bootcamp applicants, students, and alumni identified as male, 46.5 percent identified as female, 2.2 percent identified as gender non-conforming, and 1.6 percent identified as transgender. Some bootcamps, like Ada Developers Academy, are 100 percent female or female-identifying. Of the 106 bootcamps included in the survey, many have online programs, including App Academy and Hack Reactor.
These coding bootcamp statistics may overstate the presence of women in online coding schools. While recent research suggests that women feel more comfortable in bootcamps than in traditional colleges, many bootcamp cohorts are still predominantly male. In Flatiron School’s latest survey of former students, for example, the gender breakdown was 51 percent men and 26 percent women, with 22 percent declining to respond.
About 48.8 percent of coding bootcamp graduates, students, and applicants are between 18 and 30 years old, while about 49.5 percent are 31 or older, according to Career Karma’s 2021 Bootcamp Preferences Survey. This even divide suggests that the median age of someone pursuing a bootcamp education is around 30 years old.
Other coding bootcamp stats back up the notion that students around the age of 30 are typical. General Assembly’s 2020 Student Outcomes Report found that 61.7 percent of students were between 25 and 34. That being said, the overall range is wide. In Career Karma’s survey, 1.3 percent of respondents were between the ages of 18 and 20 and 3.5 percent were 51 or older.
Although major tech companies and minor tech startups alike value diversity, coding bootcamps are still overwhelmingly White. Because General Assembly graduates more students than any other bootcamp, according to Statista, we can use the school’s latest survey data to assess the diversity situation in the bootcamp industry. In 2020, General Assembly was 45.4 percent White, 26.3 percent Asian, 8.0 percent Latinx, and 7.7 percent Black.
You do not have to be a US citizen to attend a coding bootcamp in the United States, which is one of the benefits of bootcamp education at online schools. According to data compiled from various sources by Soocial, nearly 15 percent of coding bootcamp grads are not US citizens. Another seven percent are non-native US citizens. The remaining 78 percent are US citizens.
One of the best things about coding bootcamps is that you don’t need to have a four-year degree to participate in a tech education program of this type. The coding bootcamp stats from Career Karma’s 2021 survey show that a full 25 percent of bootcamp enrollees have no degree at all, not even an associate degree.
The same Career Karma survey did find that 43.4 percent of bootcamp students enter their programs with a bachelor’s degree already in hand, and 24.2 percent have an advanced degree of some kind. That being said, most of these degrees are unrelated to computer science, which makes sense given that bootcamps are geared toward people transitioning to a career in tech.
Can you graduate from bootcamp with no prior coding experience? The coding bootcamp stats compiled by Soocial suggest that you can. About 47 percent of graduates have no programming skills at all, while only four percent identify as experienced programmers. About 49 percent of graduates had used online resources to teach themselves how to code before enrolling.
Reason for Attending
No matter your reason for seeking out in-person or online coding programs, you’re probably not alone in your reasoning. Career Karma’s 2021 survey revealed that the following are the most popular reasons for attending a coding bootcamp:
- To earn a higher annual salary (50% of respondents)
- To get a creative coding job (48% of respondents)
- To gain the technical skills needed to build software (43% of respondents)
- To ease concerns about a post-COVID economy (13% of respondents)
- To pursue an automation-proof tech career (12% of respondents)
The specificity of these reasons should not obscure the bottom line for most applicants. What potential students want most out of bootcamp classes are tech skills for careers in tech. In their pursuit of software development skills and a full-time job, applicants want to use their bootcamp experience to network, gain connections, and learn in a fast-paced environment.
Before we get to coding bootcamp graduation rates, let’s review some numbers that show the range of available programs. Note that the bootcamp space is ever-evolving, so it’s hard to get a complete picture. But coding bootcamp outcomes depend on factors like cost, class size, curriculum, delivery method, and location, and each of these factors deserves our attention.
Most would-be bootcamp attendees are on the lookout for affordable coding bootcamps. A research report published by RTI Press in 2019 found that the full-time programs at coding bootcamps charge an average tuition of $13,500, which is equivalent to what most traditional universities charge for two or three semesters of study.
More recent data suggest that tuition costs have gone down. Career Karma’s 2021 State of the Bootcamp Market Report estimated that the average cost in 2020 was $11,727. The data also shows that 45 percent of coding bootcamp graduates spent $10,000 or less, and 29 percent spent $15,000 or more. Bloom Tech, formerly Lambda School, is among the most expensive at $21,950.
Also, instead of traditional student loans, many bootcamps offer income share agreements (ISA), which allow students to make deferred tuition payments after they meet a minimum salary threshold, at which point they owe a fixed percentage of their monthly income. At the very least, most coding schools have job placement programs, which are designed to increase the coding bootcamp employment rate.
The smaller the class size, the more attention each student gets, which leads to higher coding bootcamp graduation rates. With this in mind, most coding schools aim to keep their class sizes under 30. For example, Tech Elevator limits itself to 15 to 18 students per cohort, and Turing School reviews suggest that its class sizes range from 16 to 32 students.
There is a wide variety of types of coding bootcamps, including programs for software engineering, full stack web development, mobile development, data science, data analysis, cyber security, user experience design, digital marketing, and tech sales. The bootcamp space is still dominated by software-oriented programs, but other types are becoming more common.
Bootcamps try to accommodate students of every learning style, with online options becoming more common during the COVID-19 pandemic. Statista estimates that there were over 7,000 online coding bootcamp graduates in 2020. Even so, the in-person bootcamp model is still more popular, with 43 percent of students favoring in-person learning, compared to just 20.4 percent who prefer to learn online, according to Career Karma’s latest bootcamp preferences survey.
There are coding bootcamps with in-person programs all over the world, but the rise of online bootcamps means you can join a bootcamp program from anywhere. Below are the ten metropolitan areas in the United States with the most bootcamps and most bootcamp graduates in 2020. The data comes from Career Karma’s 2021 State of the Bootcamp Market Report.
|Metropolitan Area||Number of Bootcamp Grads||Number of Bootcamps|
|New York City, New York||20,600||44|
|San Francisco, California||14,700||31|
|Los Angeles, California||6,400||30|
Other prominent US cities with coding bootcamps include Houston, Phoenix, Miami, and Salt Lake City. Students living in the US can also check out distance learning options in other countries, such as Canadian bootcamps in Toronto and Vancouver. London and Barcelona are just a few of the European markets that have given students access to coding bootcamps.
Coding Bootcamp Acceptance Rate
Coding bootcamp admission rates vary widely. As you begin your application process, keep in mind that a low acceptance rate is correlated with a high coding bootcamp employment rate. More competitive admissions criteria are designed to surface better students and generate more reliable outcomes, so don’t let low bootcamp admission rates deter you from applying.
Unfortunately, neither online nor in-person coding bootcamps are very forthcoming about their acceptance rates. There are some online bootcamps, such as Thinkful, that accept 100 percent of students who are at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, speak English, and can use a computer. The most competitive bootcamps have acceptance rates of around five percent. This is the number that some Flatiron School reviews mention, for instance.
Online Coding Bootcamp Graduation Rates
In terms of graduation rates, coding bootcamps don’t always get as many students through their programs as the best computer science departments do. They pack advanced computer science concepts and coding skills into a short period of time but a high number of hours per week. If you can’t handle the time commitment, you may not make it to your bootcamp graduation.
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It’s a smart idea to organize your school search around coding bootcamp graduation rates, and online programs often do just as well as their in-person counterparts. To take one example, Tech Elevator Cincinnati had an 89.7 percent graduation rate in 2021, whereas Tech Elevator’s online students graduated at a rate of 88.1 percent. These coding bootcamp success rates are typical of the most trusted code schools in the industry.
Now that we’ve reviewed some online coding bootcamp graduation rates, we should take an even closer look at some coding bootcamp outcomes. After all, a high graduation rate doesn’t mean anything unless a graduate can land a job in the tech industry. For this section, we rely heavily on bootcamp jobs reports because industry-wide data is hard to come by.
Major salary increases are quite common for coding bootcamp grads, at least among schools that publish their outcomes data. For example, employed Coding Temple alumni saw an average salary increase of $23,206 from their pre-bootcamp jobs, and Thinkful reports an average $17,000 increase for employed graduates of its data science, data analytics, and software engineering programs.
A salary bump is all well and good, but these numbers usually only refer to graduates who end up with jobs. That’s why the coding bootcamp employment rate is so important. When looking at these data, you should also compare bootcamps’ employment rates with their graduation rates. If a school reports a high dropout rate, coding bootcamp applicants should steer clear.
Once again, Coding Temple gives us some encouraging news. Of the 86 percent of its students who graduated, 97 percent found a relevant job. Other coding bootcamp employment rates tell a different story. For its web development program, Launch Academy reported just an 80 percent employment rate, and this number only applies to the 69.2 percent of students who graduated.
Obviously, positive coding bootcamp outcomes mean very little if it takes too long to find a job. Many bootcamps publish multiple employment rates, each referring to a different timeframe. The 80 percent job placement rate in the above Launch Academy example refers to 180 days after graduation. Within 90 days of graduation, only 52 percent of grads had been hired.
The coding bootcamp hire rates tend to be better at more established bootcamps. General Assembly, for example, graduates more than 84 percent of its students, according to its latest outcomes report. Of those who participated in General Assembly’s career services, 74.4 percent had a job within 180 days of graduation and 95.7 percent had a job within one year.
Gender and Employment Outcome
Where data is available, coding bootcamp outcomes tend to be similar for men and women. One of the only coding bootcamps that breaks down outcomes by gender is Flatiron School. About 85 percent of the male Flatiron School graduates who pursued employment accepted a job, compared to 86 percent of the female graduates. The women who took full-time jobs made $72,943 per year on average, while the men made $69,681 per year on average.
Education Level and Employment Outcome
Graduates of top coding bootcamps often end up with jobs and salaries that are comparable to what people with computer science degrees get. According to PayScale, a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science is worth $89,000 per year. Meanwhile, successful graduates of Hack Reactor’s Software Engineering Immersive program make $95,000 per year on average.
Salary data suggests that a master’s degree in a relevant field is more valuable than a bootcamp education. PayScale estimates that the average person with a Master’s Degree in Computer Science makes $100,000 per year, which is more than even Hack Reactor can boast. Coding bootcamp outcomes might still be better once we adjust for cost and time to graduation.
Curriculum and Employment Outcome
Coding Bootcamp Graduation Rates and Outcomes: A Note on Data Sources
Two main types of sources were used for the coding bootcamp stats cited in this article. The first type consists of reports conducted by coding bootcamps about their own students and alumni. The second type consists of broader surveys conducted by third-party research teams, whose survey data aims to capture a representative sample of the whole coding bootcamp industry.
Each type of source has its limitations. While the general surveys are more likely to yield the kind of accurate, high-level information that prospective students are looking for, they are conducted less frequently and so are often outdated. A bootcamp alumni report, while often more current and more focused, is not necessarily representative of the industry at large.
With these limitations in mind, we leaned on industry-wide surveys the most, and where data was incomplete or outdated, we turned to surveys of bootcamp alumni conducted by the schools themselves. When it comes to employment outcomes and graduation rates, coding bootcamp jobs reports were often the most reliable sources of information we could find.
We have one final note about data sources. Information about bootcamp programs that utilize remote learning is scarce, even nonexistent in some cases. Unless a particular statistic explicitly refers to online coding bootcamps, the reader should assume that it applies to bootcamps of all delivery methods, both online and in-person bootcamp programs.
Bootcamp Graduation Rates: Are Coding Bootcamps Worth it?
Yes, coding bootcamps are worth it, especially those with good career services, high graduation rates, and alumni who are satisfied with their coding bootcamp outcomes. You should be wary of any bootcamp that doesn’t publish its job placement rate or the average starting salary of its graduates, but for those that do, you’ll be able to predict your chances of landing a job in tech.
The prospect of enrolling in a coding bootcamp is much less intimidating when you know what you’re getting into. The industry as a whole is starting to prioritize transparency, led by entities such as the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR). As transparency improves, the bootcamps that are as good as or better than computer science degrees will rise to the top.
Until then, your best course is to follow the data, starting with the information in this article. When data about coding bootcamp graduation rates is unavailable or incomplete, you should read a bootcamp review or two and see what former students are saying about any school on your shortlist. By staying informed, you can find a bootcamp that’s worth it for you.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.