Coding Bootcamps Expected To Reap $59 Million In Tuition In 2014

Surveying 39 hack schools, Course Report says about 6,000 students will graduate from coding bootcamps in 2014, a 175% increase from the year prior.

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%
Other popular languages taught: JavaScript (13%), Objective-C (9%), Python (8%)

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.

[Image: Flickr user Tim Lucas]

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  • Great article Alice, it's great to see the coding bootcamp industry continue to mature. Of course not all programming bootcamps are equal and students should absolutely do their research to understand the outcomes, quality and culture associated with each program.

    Dev Bootcamp (where I work) is the longest running and most proven of these programs, with more graduates than any other program. Our 85% hiring rate (measured 3 months after graduation <- that's a really important point to clarify) has remained relatively consistent in 2012 and 2013.

    Our students change careers, start new careers and most importantly, find jobs that are meaningful and rewarding.

  • Nikhil Daftary

    What's interesting is how the $59 million has proven that people want to learn how to code outside of traditional CS paths. Whether that's through simple web development, software engineering, or even data science, immersive programs fill a need that's largely been unaddressed.

    At MakerSquare (full disclosure, I'm helping them with their SF expansion - we focus on software development & engineering (with ruby and javascript) vs. web development. While we've seen a lot of growth in the web development world, software engineering skills are what make graduates the most flexible in their careers. (The key difference between the two is WebDev is mostly about building websites whereas software development/engineering is about building applications that happen to use the web. )

    The top programs will have hiring rates at about 95-99%. Our's is about 96%. What thrills us though is helping our grads find careers that really excite them.

  • Anthony Phillips

    Thanks for this article and study. It's interesting that the goal was to differentiate between the students changing from one successful career to another vs. the students changing their earning potential more dramatically. At Hack Reactor (I'm a Cofounder) we have both types of students in our classes. We've had students with multiple advanced degrees who had tremendous earning potential prior to coding school, and we've also had students who were working in the service industry, but were disciplined and self taught when they applied--and ultimately saw tremendous increases in salary. A more universal quality of Hack Reactor students is a genuine interest in coding, building and being relevant and engaged in today's workplace. One correction for the data specific to Hack Reactor. Our current stats: average graduate hiring rate: 99.2% and average graduate salary $105,000.