If you’ve committed to coding boot camp, you’ve committed to an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to one goal: learning to become a coder. In an intense, short burst of time, you will learn the skills you need to get your foot in the door at a company. After you’ve finished boot camp, however, are you guaranteed to find a job? Melanie Pinola of LifeHacker sheds some light on the topic in a recent article.
Although the industry is not regulated much, if at all, and employers aren’t really too sure about the quality of coding boot camp graduates in many cases, Pinola reports that an average of 44 percent see an increase in their income after they attend boot camp, according to a Course Report survey, which surveyed 432 boot camp graduates. Just under 50 percent were employed full-time before they attended boot camp, and 63 percent were working full-time after they graduated.
That some employers are wary of boot camp graduates is to be expected. Boot camps are relatively new, and the industry isn’t regulated or standardized like universities are. In general, Pinola says, university graduates with four-year degrees in a field like computer science receive a broader education than boot camp graduates, and employers tend to favor them.
That isn’t to say, however, that you won’t be able to find a job if you go to coding boot camp instead of getting a degree in computer science or a related field. It’s important to select your boot camp carefully.
Look at each one’s career services offerings and its job placement rates. Pay attention to how their job placement rate is calculated. For example, Launch Academy stated in the LifeHacker post that their placement rate is figured as job seekers who get paid jobs with organizations within 90 days of graduation, and “job seekers” are graduates who were participating in their career services programs.
In general, you want to find a boot camp that has 85 percent or higher placement rates. Compare their after-graduation job counseling programs to see which offers the most extensive support system. You might also find a school that provides a job-offer guarantee. The guarantees usually go something like this: you will find a job within a certain time frame after graduation in a city that is a hub for tech (You have to move to those locations if you don’t already live there.) If you don’t, the school will refund your tuition. You may also get a partial tuition reimbursement should you get a job with one of the boot camp’s partner companies.
All that said, searching for a job after attending a coding boot camp may last longer than you initially thought it would. You may be turned down for a job because you don’t have the broad foundation a computer science degree holder does or because you don’t have enough work experience coding in a particular programming language. However, you may find that you have an in at a company with a boot camp partnership because the employer knows the boot camp provides a solid coding education.