The booming market to teach aspiring developers coding skills is expected to bring in $59 million in tuition, according to the Course Report, a resource that compares different coding schools for prospective students. That doesn't tell the whole revenue story though, as many of these schools charge partner companies a fee up to 20% of candidates' first-year salaries if their graduates end up placing there.
Course Report issued a report Wednesday looking at the coding bootcamp landscape after surveying 39 unaccredited U.S. programming schools offering 40 or more hours of instruction per week. The market itself is only about two years old, and most of the entrants have been in the field for about a year, according to founder Adam Lovallo. "In only their second year, there will be a number of schools doing seven figures in revenues," he told Fast Company. "If you were to assume the category continues to grow, a lot of these businesses could actually be pretty substantial in the not-too-distant future. And when you look at the fund raises by General Assembly and Flatiron, you can imagine there might even be acceleration of that growth rate."
Here's a look at coding schools by the numbers:
Number of graduates in 2014: 5,987
Number of graduates in 2013: 2,178 (175% increase year over year)
Tuition range: Free to $20,000
Average tuition: $9,920
Percentage of schools that charge more than $10,000: 43%
Course length: Typically nine to 12 weeks
Percentage of courses that focus on Ruby: 57%
Noticeably missing in the report are figures on job placement rates and starting salaries, but Lovallo said Course Report is working with a sociologist from Harvard on a student survey that will touch on those numbers. "The goal is to find whether these coding programs are just taking in people that are already employed and highly qualified and helping them change careers, or if they are taking in people and producing graduates that really substantially increase their earning potential," Lovallo said. Fast Company recently highlighted the various outcomes students have depending on the school. For example, San Francisco-based Hack Reactor, which seeks candidates who have some coding experience, touts a 98% job placement rate 90 days after graduating and a $110,000 average annual salary.