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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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).
Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.