Code Schools 101


Computing jobs are the #1 source of new wages in the United States. These jobs are in every industry and every state, and they’re projected to grow at twice the rate of all other jobs.

In order to fulfill this demand for skilled labor a new sector of adult training programs referred to as code schools, skills academies, or “bootcamps” launched in 2012.

These programs teach valuable IT skills such as web development, data science, mobile app development and cyber security to adults seeking to “upskill” into sustainable, well-paying tech careers.

The U.S. tech economy is larger than ever, employing more than 11 million Americans and accounting for $1.6 trillion or roughly 10% of US GDP and $5 trillion globally.

Programs range from four months to two years in duration with average tuition around $20,000 and a keen focus on workforce preparedness.

Today there are more job openings in tech than job seekers, which has led to low levels of tech unemployment, relatively high tech wages and persistent tech wage inflation.

36,000 students are expected to enroll at code schools in 2019.

Most of these schools are not federally accredited and thus students are ineligible for federal student loans. As a result, coding academies have been early adopters of ISAs which students often prefer to private student loans.

The Value of a Computer Science Education

According to SwitchUp, coding bootcamp alumni on average saw a $19,485 (45.6%) salary increase in their first job after completing a program compared to the job they had pre-bootcamp.

In addition, 43.7% of respondents reported a substantial salary increase of $10,000 or more after finishing a bootcamp.


Bootcamps are increasing educational access and professional opportunities for demographic groups underrepresented in tech.

Those graduates identifying as female experience similar average salary growth and employment rates after finishing a bootcamp as those identifying as male.

According to SwitchUp, female graduates were employed at a slightly higher rate after finishing a bootcamp compared to their male counterparts (82.7% vs. 80.6%, respectively).

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