As we near the end of 2018, we're rewinding and reflecting on the most interesting and impactful coding bootcamp news of the year. Come with us as we look at trends, digest thought pieces, break down the ~$175 million in new funding, and more. We’ll also look at our predictions for 2019 and our hopes for the future of coding bootcamps!
2018: Course Report in Numbers
- We added 89 new schools to our directory
- You (our readers) applied for 789 scholarships on Course Report and we gave away over $80,000 in exclusive Course Report Scholarships!
- We matched 22,000 readers with coding bootcamps via our matching tool
- We published ~170 new articles on our blog, 15 podcasts (including this one), and 15 YouTube videos!
- Imogen’s favorite pieces to work on were from our new video series where we asked real graduates from General Assembly, Hack Reactor, New York Code + Design Academy, Flatiron School, and Codesmith to answer a simple question: “Is coding bootcamp worth it?”
- Liz’s favorite pieces to work on were our 2018 industry reports: our 2018 Market Sizing Report found continued growth both in in-person and online bootcamps as well as corporate training partnerships with bootcamps; and our 2018 Alumni Outcomes & Demographics Report.
2018 Coding Bootcamp Trends:
- Income Sharing Agreements (ISAs): 13 schools (and counting) now offer ISAs and 8% of graduates reported using an ISA to cover their tuition.
- Consolidation: Several schools were acquired – WeWork and Adecco made the largest purchases of the year.
- Corporate Training: As we predicted last year, many bootcamps are now partnering with companies to provide training to their existing employees.
- University + Bootcamp partnerships: Trilogy Education is the most prolific of these companines, but other partnerships – like Yale + Flatiron School and Make School + Dominican College – made news this year.
January: $10M for Thinkful
- Online school Thinkful raised $9.6 million in funding from Owl Ventures & Tribeca Venture Partners, aiming to use the funds for expanding in-person communities around the U.S. They now have staff members in 21 cities around the US.
- WeWork announced a partnership with 2U, which paid $13 million to lease Flatiron School's Learn.co online learning platform. This was covered by publications including Inside Higher Ed, Bloomberg, EdSurge and Fast Company. In February, Flatiron School announced Access Labs, their new deferred tuition program for low-income New Yorkers at a new campus in Dumbo, Brooklyn.
February: All About Income Sharing Agreements
EdSurge and FastCompany reported that 30-week online bootcamp Lambda School raised $4 million to expand their income sharing options for students.
- In October 2018, EdSurge reported that Lambda School, has raised $14 million in a Series A round led by GV.
- We asked Lambda School’s VP of Finance Trevor McKendrick all about the income share agreement.
- In February, Quartz explored ISAs, looking at the history of income sharing agreements, how bootcamps and colleges are using them, and whether they are a good deal for students.
- In July, Lindsay Gellman of The Atlantic wrote a deep dive about Income Sharing Agreements, recognizing that ISAs have the potential to change the way educators relate to students, and pointing out that there’s little consensus around how much is fair to reap from program graduates, and for how long.
- At the end of 2018, there were 13 schools offering an ISA (and 8% of graduates use an ISA). For more about income sharing agreements, and deferred tuition options, we have a Guide to ISAs and Deferred tuition on our blog.
March: Diversity Shakeout
- Thinkful announced a $10 million fundraise from Leif – a fintech company which aimed to drive Thinkful’s Income Share Agreement (ISA) program.
- Rebecca Greenfield of Bloomberg looked at whether coding bootcamps have been successful in increasing diversity in tech and how some tech companies are trying to help the skills gap problem. This article was about a program called TalentPath where participating employers sponsor students to take 9-month coding courses with an apprenticeship guarantee at InVision, Nike, and MailChimp.
April: General Assembly Acquired for $413M
- Thinkful acquired another online bootcamp, Bloc, which was arguably their largest competitor. This was covered by EdSurge and ELearningInside. Financial details were not disclosed for this acquisition, but Thinkful said Bloc was not actually profitable when the deal was finalized. This was the third acquisition Thinkful had made since November 2017 when it acquired The Viking School and the Odin Project.
- EdSurge and TechCrunch reported that Holberton School raised $8.2 Million in funding to expand it’s San Francisco-based coding school. Series A Investors included daphni, Trinity Ventures, and Omidyar Network. Remember that Holberton also offers ISAs. Since that fundraise, Holberton announced they are opening new campuses in New Haven, Connecticut, and Bogota and Medellin in Colombia. Holberton also received celebrity endorsements from Ne-Yo and Priyanka Chopra who both invested in the school.
- General Assembly was acquired for $413 million by Adecco, the world’s largest recruitment and staffing firm, based in Zurich, Switzerland. Forbes interviewed CEO Jake Schwartz about the deal. Shirin Ghaffary of ReCode looked at how important corporate training was for General Assembly in their success and sale.
- CNBC’s Jim Cramer looked at how Home Depot is hiring 1000 technical professionals as part of an $11 billion strategic investment plan to protect its lead over Amazon, and how they also train existing employees in 12-week tech bootcamps.
May: Facebook Comes to Town
- WeWork acquired MissionU, a one-year coding bootcamp that teaches data analytics, and then closed it down. WeGrow, WeWork’s education reportedly purchased MissionU in a stock-only deal that was characterized in the press as an "acqui-hire," meaning an acquisition primarily of a person – Adam Braun, MissionU’s founder.
- Facebook announced the Community Boost initiative to give full scholarships to certain coding bootcamps. By the end of June, Facebook had announced partnerships with Deep Dive Coding Bootcamp, Carolina Code School, the Chicago Codes initiative, and GrandCircus bootcamp in Detroit.
- Canadian coding bootcamp Lighthouse Labs announced the launch of a 12-week Blockchain bootcamp, and Miami-based Wyncode talked about the huge demand for Blockchain developers.
June: $30M for Trilogy Education
- Trilogy Education, an organization which runs coding bootcamps inside universities, raised $50 million, after raising $30 million in 2017. Trilogy works with around 50 universities in the US, Mexico, and Canada to provide intensive skills-based programs on coding, data analytics, cyber security and UX Design. Forbes did some analysis on the success of Trilogy so far. In May: Inside Higher Ed and Education Dive profiled Trilogy Education, looking at how students felt “blindsided” when they realized the program instruction was outsourced, rather than being run by the host university, and mentioned that Trilogy bootcamps do not release their outcomes data
- EdSurge and Inside Higher Ed reported on the closure of Learners Guild, a 10-month software engineering program in Oakland, California. The company’s statement said they had to close because “we were unable to find a sustainable business model.”
- Israel’s Innovation Authority selected seven operators to run “coding boot camps” that aim to intensively train around 2,000 highly qualified computer programmers over the next five years.
July: Hack Reactor joins Galvanize
- Galvanize acquired Hack Reactor. The story was covered by Reuters, EdSurge, AmericanInno and more. Galvanize is a Denver-based bootcamp, with campuses around the US, and Hack Reactor has campuses around the country. Galvanize recently raised $32 million and used some of that to buy Hack Reactor. Then a month later in August, Galvanize raised $43.3 million in series D funding
- Indianapolis-based training and apprenticeship program, Kenzie Academy, raised $4.2 million in seed funding from Buckhill Capital, Gratitude Railroad, Rethink Education, and Learn Capital.
- An interesting new survey from Digital Ocean about developer trends, found that 15% of respondents had taken a coding bootcamp to provide them with better skills and 61% of respondents who had attended a bootcamp felt well-prepared for a job, but this was true for only 36% of college graduates.
- Forbes looked at the tech scene in Mexico city and how deportees from the US who were having serious trouble procuring employment are going to Hola Code bootcamp, an intensive 20 week course that trains them in tech and prepares them to be placed in high paying tech jobs.
August: College Degrees Not Required
- New York-based Flatiron School acquired Chicago UX Design bootcamp Designation! Designation will keep their name and UX Design Immersive in Chicago, but will open a UX Design Immersive under the Flatiron School name in New York starting in 2019.
- An article on CNBC listed 15 big companies which no longer require applicants to have college degrees, including tech companies Google, Apple and IBM. The article said that these companies will now consider candidates who have hands-on experience via coding bootcamp, or via an industry vocational class.
September: Unpacking Diversity in Tech
- An article in the Wall Street Journal looks at how the hiring of women in tech has only grown 1% since 2017, with women represented in 24% of technical roles. The article talks to a number of company leaders about what needs to be done to increase workplace diversity.
- CIO Dive published an update on Woz U. One year in, Woz U says adult education is their largest focus right now, and most students are 25 to 35 year olds, with almost two-thirds holding a degree and looking for a second career. In October 2018, WozU got some negative press from CBS News about student concerns with the quality of the curriculum and materials, and about pressuring sales tactics. In December 2018 a state oversight board dismissed the complaint against WozU.
- Slack announced that they would be partnering with Hack Reactor to offer apprenticeships to formerly incarcerated people. The Atlantic reports the apprenticeship is split into three parts over a year: four months at Hack Reactor coding bootcamp, four months of training, and then four months on the job at Slack, after which Slack may hire an apprentice, or help them get a job at another tech company.
October: Universities + Coding Bootcamps Partner
- Trilogy Education acquired online coding bootcamp Firehose Project, and JobTrack, a career services platform.
- Melissa Korn from the Wall Street Journal wrote about a trend in higher education where colleges and bootcamps have been teaming up. She gives the example of Trilogy education which partners with 30 colleges around the country, and a couple of others.
- New York City Economic Development Corporation announced that they chose Fullstack Academy, a coding bootcamp, and Laguardia Community college, to launch a Cyber Bootcamp to increase the number of cyber security professionals in NYC.
- The company which owns coding bootcamp The Software Guild, LearningHouse, was acquired by Wiley Publishing. A Wiley Educational Services spokesperson said they hoped the partnership would allow Wiley to expand their offerings to college undergrads. Software Guild already had college partnerships with Baker University and the University of Georgia, and in December 2018, The Software Guild announced a partnership with University of Delaware.
November: Flatiron Expands
- Flatiron School has been regularly announcing new campuses all year, all of which are in existing or new WeWork buildings. In September Geekwire reported that Flatiron School is expanding to Seattle – their first West Coast location. Then in November, they announced campuses in Chicago and Denver.
- EdSurge looked at how education providers, including coding bootcamps, in Washington DC and New York City, are responding to Amazon’s new headquarters announcement.
- According to Technically Philly, New York Code and Design Academy is closing down, with the last class graduating in March 2019.
December: Yale + Harvard + Coding Bootcamps
- Make School has now been accredited to offer a 2-year bachelors degree in a partnership with the Dominican University of California.
- Bootcamps have launched at both Harvard and Yale. Trilogy Education has partnered with Harvard Extension School to offer their 24-week part-time web development program. And Flatiron School is partnering with Yale to offer a web development bootcamp in summer 2019, which will carry two Yale College Credits.
- A free code school using a curriculum based on 42 code school is launching in Helsinki Finland. Supercell, a games company that builds mobile games like Clash of Clans, will fund the 1-year program, with the aim to combat a lack of skilled coders in the region.
2018 Regulatory News
- We did see the state of NY push back against ISAs, so a couple of schools (like App Academy) have switched to Deferred Tuition.
- The Forever GI Bill was signed in 2017, and we started seeing the effects in 2018, with more coding bootcamps able to accept GI Bill funding.
- In early 2018, a bill called the Prosper Act was approved by the House Education Committee and was on track for a vote in the House of Representatives. That hasn’t yet been voted upon; it received push back from universities and veterans groups. The Prosper Act would permit noninstitutional education providers like bootcamps to execute and teach 100 percent of a college’s program.
- The New Hampshire Business Review reports that U.S. Representative Annie Kuster has re-introduced The Coding Technology Improvement Act, legislation which would allow coding technology programs to receive funding through the department of education and apply for federal education grants. That also hasn’t passed.
- CIRR is still going strong – internally, bootcamps are still trying to regulate themselves – over 15 schools are members now.
Predictions for 2019
- The shakeout continues – we’ll see more consolidation in 2019. Overall, the industry continues to grow and graduates continue to report really strong outcomes.
- We’ll see more schools accept the GI Bill and more veterans start to take advantage of coding bootcamps to transition into civilian careers.
- More schools will start offering ISAs and Deferred Tuition; plus traditional lenders like SkillsFund & Climb will continue to become more popular.
- While many schools are putting effort into their B2B/corporate training arms, we hope that those partnerships will take on novel forms (and not just become corporate training companies).
Episode 38: February 2019 News Podcast
Read or listen to our February 2018 roundup of news and trends in the coding education industry!
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