Coding Bootcamps and Higher Ed (4 of 4)

PART 4: INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

So, what does this all mean for the coding bootcamp industry?

The two high profile closures probably have little to do with the health of the bootcamp industry, but more to do with the political climate in for-profit Higher Education. With no need to shore up 90-10 ratios, for-profits that had been shaking in their boots under Obama can breathe easier under Trump, and no longer need cash revenues from bootcamps. It’s believed that neither Iron Yard (15 cities, 9 states) nor Dev Bootcamp (6 cities, 5 states) were profitable. Was this because of the increased cost associated with multiple regulatory bodies? Maybe. Either way, it’s apparent that the cost of carrying break even or losing investments as a hedge no longer outweighed the benefits.

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Brad Denenberg
Coding Bootcamps and Higher Ed (3 of 4)

PART 3: INTERSECTION OF BOOTCAMPS AND FOR-PROFIT COLLEGES

So now that you have a basic overview of how the coding bootcamp and for-profit college worlds operate from a regulatory and financial perspective, let’s examine where they intersect.

To recap, code schools began in 2011, were completely unregulated, and growth was significant. By 2014, bootcamps like General Assembly and Galvanize had raised serious venture capital ($60-$70 Million) and had expanded rapidly. Overall, the industry had grown to over 100 schools in more than 60 cities.

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Brad Denenberg
Coding Bootcamps and Higher Ed (2 of 4)

PART 2: HISTORY LESSONS: PARALLEL STORIES

To get the 30,000-foot view, we need to simultaneously follow the emerging coding bootcamp industry, as well as the broader, well-established, for-profit Higher Ed world. Sprinkle on some Obama vs Trump politics, and we’re in new territory altogether.

The concept of a coding bootcamp is pretty straightforward – students attend a very intensive, multi-monthlong course often designed to simulate a real-world work experience with very practical training. These courses teach enough software development skills for students to land a job as a junior developer. Some programs are offered on-line, others in person, or as a hybrid of both. No matter the course delivery method, the concept remains the same - tons of practical skills over a short period of time creates job-ready coders. The average in-person course costs around $12,000 and lasts 3 months, though some schools offer longer and more expensive programs.

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Brad Denenberg
Coding Bootcamps and Higher Ed (1 of 4)

Coding Bootcamps and Higher Ed? Friends or foes? Where do they intersect?

PART 1: A PRIMER

In the summer of 2017, Dev Bootcamp and Iron Yard, two of the more respected and thought-to-be successful coding bootcamp programs in the United States, both announced they were abruptly closing, citing financial models that were unsustainable. A flurry of speculation over the state of the industry ensued, including this post locally in Technically Philly questioning the landscape of coding programs across the Philadelphia region and the country.  Fast forward just one year to April 16th, 2018, and General Assembly, arguably the largest and most high profile bootcamp, is acquired for $413 Million by Swiss HR firm Adecco Group. GA’s press releases around the acquisition stated that the company was profitable with revenue of over $100 Million in 2017, adding to the confusion.

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Brad Denenberg