Three Metrics to Assess a Coding Bootcamp
If you are thinking about getting into a coding bootcamp, three key metrics can help you decide which program offers you the best return on investment (ROI).
The most important one is the placement rate. This metric means how many bootcamp graduates get a job in tech after graduating from the program. This metric could be further divided into software engineering jobs and tech-adjacent jobs (product managers, growth hackers, recruiters, etc.). The breakdown into these roles helps assess whether the bootcamp can provide a job that meets your preferences.
The second most important metric is median starting salary. This metric is the annual income that graduates received for their first job after graduation. I prefer median and not average because this eliminates extreme salary data often used by coding bootcamps to bolster their outcomes.
The third most important metric is the median time-to-hire. This metric is the amount of time it takes a graduate to get their first job. The metric shows how strong are the program’s professional support, employee relations, and alumni network.
Other metrics are also used, such as median time-to-graduation, drop-out rates, and how many graduates are still working in the tech industry. However, given that most prospective bootcamp students are looking to get a salary increase and start a career in tech, I don’t find these as relevant in assessing employability after graduation.
Finally, you must be aware of how bootcamps report their outcomes. Many of them boast that 95% of their graduates get a $75k job in 90 days. Having worked in the industry for seven years, I would be suspicious about those claims. You should ask whether the outcomes have been independently verified by either an external auditor or through the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR).
Getting into a coding bootcamp is a significant investment in time and money. Most programs involve a dedication of 60+ hours per week and an investment from $10k to $20k. If you are ready to commit, asking for these metrics will allow you to get the best possible ROI.
You deserve it.