Coding Boot Camps Get the Boot: Why the Industry Is Shutting Down
A few years ago, coding bootcamps were everywhere. Now, they seem to be disappearing. Why and what are the implications for the field?
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According to the New York Times, the number of coding boot camps in the United States has tripled to more than 90 since 2013. While this growth may seem positive at first, it’s actually been rather strenuous for many leaders in the industry. In the past summer alone, two large coding boot camps (Dev Bootcamp and The Iron Yard) announced they are closing their doors nationwide. Combined, the two schools owned a total of 21 locations across the United States, creating quite a large dent in the industry after their respective closures.
Here is a map that provides a stronger visualization of this impact:
An Overcrowded Industry
In the shortest amount of words, coding boot camps were becoming an overcrowded industry. While there was a strong demand for coding education, students started to shift their interests to boot camps that had a good reputation and strong job placement rates after graduation. Even Dev Bootcamp’s president wrote: “We do think that as the boot camp industry continues on, it will be important to create stronger alignment with employers.” Coding boot camps that make it their business to not only provide education but guarantee a job after graduation have the best chances of surviving.
Are Coding Boot Camps Worth It?
It may be a challenge for the coding industry to keep this promise of job placement though. Last year, Bloomberg ran an article stating many students were still not prepared for the tech industry even after their extensive training. Even Maggie Johnson, Google’s director of education, has said, “Our experience has found that most graduates from these programs are not quite prepared for software engineering roles at Google without additional training or previous programming roles in the industry.”
It's More Than a Lack of Coding Experience
Coding boot camps aren’t cheap, ranging up to $26,000 and more. The great thing about the tech field is there are plenty of inexpensive alternatives to boot camps. Many languages, frameworks, open-source tools, and even online schools are free or affordable:
- Learn the basics of coding: Codeacademy, Udemy
- Learn interaction design: Interaction Design Foundation, Designlab
- Become a data scientist: Dataquest
- Learn DevOps culture: Udacity, DevOps.com
Of course, there are many faults to these methods of learning as well. Point being, if you do go into a coding boot camp, do your research and know what you’re getting into first. Find the ones that guarantee you a career, or at least connect you with a strong mentor after you’re finished. In this world, there is no time to be a starving artist or a hungry engineer for that matter.
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