Web-Era Trade Schools, Feeding a Need for Code

Career College Central Summary:

  • A new educational institution, the coding boot camp, is quietly emerging as the vocational school for the digital age, devoted to creating software developers.
  • These boot camps reflect the start-up ethic: small for-profit enterprises that are fast (classes are two to four months), nimble (revising curriculum to meet industry needs) and unconcerned with SAT scores or diplomas.
  • Most are expensive, but some accept a share of the graduates’ first-year earnings or a finder’s fee from employers as payment.
  • Most important, at a time when so many young people are underemployed, most graduates, especially those from highly selective boot camps, quickly find well-paying jobs.
  • In a recent survey of 48 boot camps, Course Report, an online boot camp directory, found that three-quarters of graduates were employed, with raises averaging 44 percent from their pre-boot camp pay and an average salary of $76,000.
  • Enrolling 20 to 40 students at a time, many boot camps have venture capital backing; in May, Dev Bootcamp, which started here and expanded to New York and Chicago, was bought by Kaplan, the educational services company.
  • With trade schools out of fashion, for-profit colleges often dismissed as expensive dropout factories, and community college students failing to graduate a majority of their students, the rise of boot camps over the past two years is challenging assumptions about higher education, at least for some smart, highly motivated people.

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