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The future of coding bootcamps

Almost two years ago, I wrote a couple of features on the potential of the coding bootcamp industry, including one published here on VentureBeat. I talked to founders and other stakeholders from more than a dozen bootcamp companies at that time and have been an armchair follower of the sector since then. But recently I did some research for a private equity investor in education, online learning, and edtech who has been looking at coding bootcamps, and I thought I would share some observations on what I rounded up about the current status of this market.

There isn’t enough independent information about bootcamps

The motivation for this investor’s inquiry was the perception on his part that there is so little serious reporting or research on bootcamps, which I think he’s right about.

Consider some of the questions I raised two years ago:

  • Does this model only work for the cream of the crop, or can it scale to less prepared or less motivated students who make up most of the market potential?
  • Is this model too labor intensive to scale? Can online versions be as effective?
  • What applications does this have in subjects beyond software engineering?
  • What happens to these newly trained employees in a few years when the technology and employment landscape changes? Are they job ready or career ready?
  • Does the need to market one product to two audiences — students and employers — drive up the cost and limit growth?
  • How real are the eye-popping placement rates that bootcamps boast abou
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