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Bootcamp Business Up 49% Year-over-Year

Number of coding bootcamp graduates over time

Number of coding bootcamp graduates over time. Source: "The Growth of Coding Bootcamps 2019," from Course Report.

This year coding bootcamps are expected to graduate more than 23,000 developers, an overall growth rate of 705 percent since 2013, according to a recent report by Course Report, and an increase of 49 percent over 2018. (As a point of reference, in 2018 there were about 93,000 undergraduate computer science majors graduating from American universities.)

Course Report, a coding bootcamp research company, queried 110 full-time coding bootcamps in the United States and Canada for its latest findings. This relatively new segment of training, otherwise known as "accelerated learning programs," will have generated tuition revenue of about $309 million in 2019.

The online versions of bootcamps are growing faster than face-to-face ones, the company stated — about 171 percent year-over-year. However, by sheer count, in-person graduates still dominate — 17,524 vs. 5,519 in 2019.

In other findings, the length of online programs has stretched out, from 15.4 weeks in 2018 to 24.3 weeks in 2019. The company attributed that rise in duration to the launch of six-month programs in the last year by online operators such as Lambda School and Thinkful. In-person coding bootcamps were also trending longer. The average length of an in-person bootcamp is now 15.1 weeks, a bump up from 14.4 weeks in 2018.

The average cost of both online and in-person programs is rising too. That was $12,898 in 2019 for online training, up from $11,100 in 2018. It was $13,584 for classroom-based instruction, up from $11,906 in 2018.

As length and costs rise, more coding bootcamps are offering income share agreements (ISA), Course Report noted. In this model, students pay tuition as a percentage of their salary once they've found a job. In 2018, 16 coding bootcamps (both online and in-person) offered an ISA or a deferred tuition payment plan; in 2019 that number grew to 23.

"As more coding bootcamps are advertising 'pay nothing until you're hired,' other bootcamps are jumping on the bandwagon to remain competitive in the market," said Course Report Co-founder Liz Eggleston, in a statement. "That said, income share agreements are a great way to allow students to get an education without paying for it until they actually change careers. Students just have to carefully evaluate the terms, conditions and repayment requirements before signing up."

The most common programming language being taught was full-stack JavaScript, part of the curriculum at 44 percent of coding bootcamps. However, noted Eggleston, many other schools "do still teach an object-oriented language alongside JavaScript, such as Python or Ruby." .NET was taught at 15 percent of respondent bootcamps; Ruby on Rails was taught at 14 percent; Java at 12 percent; and Python at 11 percent.

Another area of growth for bootcamps was in the corporate segment, which was expected to have 22,549 graduates through 995 corporate training partnerships for the latest year. That's a third higher (34 percent) than the count in 2018.

"These partnerships are nuanced and tailored to the needs of each team, but generally upskill workers in 21st century skills like machine learning, AI, data science and data analytics," Eggleston said.

The full report is available on the Course Report website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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