Computer programming schools have gained popularity in the past four years and offer unique advantages to students when it comes to attracting employers.
According to a 2016 study by Course Report, coding school graduates have increased from 2,178 students in 2013 to a projected 17,966 students in 2016 across 91 U.S. and Canadian full-time coding bootcamps.
Coding schools or bootcamps typically consist of a three-month long curriculum and cost around $11,000. However, a growing trend in the industry is for coding schools to allow students to pay a percentage of their tuition once they get a job post-graduation.
“Nothing can replace a four-year degree,” said BYU grad and DevMountain co-founder Tyler Richards. “But bootcamps offer people a way to jumpstart a lagging career or make a step into a new one at a much more affordable price, much less of a time commitment and at an even higher placement rate than what we have seen recently at a traditional university.”
Richards said the number of coding school graduates has increased drastically since DevMountain started in 2013 and the pressure for schools’ graduates to find jobs has increased as well.
Mo Reeder, co-founder of Utah coding bootcamp V School, said V School graduates find jobs an average of 29 days after graduation. He also said 100 percent of V School students who are looking for employment find tech jobs within 90 days after graduation.
“V School actually works backwards in the process, creating our curriculum with the leading tech companies in our (Utah’s) Silicon Slopes and Silicon Valley,” Reeder said. “Employers continue to be extremely satisfied because they are literally helping us craft the perfect junior developer for their companies.”
Reeder said V School offers its students a white glove experience. When students start classes with V School, they are picked up from the airport, checked into free student housing, and receive free bus, train, and gym passes, and a free bicycle.
“We take the pressure off of our students logistically, so that they can focus on writing beautiful code,” Reeder said.
DevMountain and some other coding schools offer similar student benefits.
Mikkel Davis, a BYU alum who also graduated from DevMountain, said coding school was “worth it” for him.
“I went to conventional college at BYU, and I wish BYU were more hands-on, or that guidance counselors had helped me find the hands-on tech experience I was looking for within the school,” Davis said.
Davis said employers are generally very positive when they look at his portfolio and his experience at DevMountain.
Richards said tech companies primarily care about ability when considering a candidate for hiring.
“Many employers don’t care if employees have acquired that skill set in a garage when they were 12 years old, at MIT’s C.S. program or at a coding bootcamp,” Richards said. “So if you can do it and perform, then you get the job.”