Coding bootcamps are achieving what few other educational models have seen: a high return on investment (64% salary lift, anyone?). But without clear reporting from individual schools around these outcomes, students and policymakers can't make informed decisions. In 2016, a coalition of bootcamps formed the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR), and started publishing student graduation and job placement data in a single, standardized framework. We want to give you the deets and - at a higher level - stress the importance of helping prospective students understand the potential return on their investment of time, money and effort in a bootcamp.
Why is standardized reporting critical today?
Even before CIRR, a handful of coding bootcamps released third-party verified jobs reports, revealing information about their student demographics, post-bootcamp job titles, salaries, etc. We’ve talked about those reports previously on our blog (with General Assembly, Flatiron School, etc). In Course Report’s opinion, more data available to students is a net-positive, and we will continue to publish all third-party verified outcomes data released by schools. However, separate methodologies mean that you can’t compare job placement rates apples-to-apples. For example, one school may count entrepreneurs as being “employed” while another would exclude them from the report altogether. Or one school may reveal average starting salaries, while others do not.
What is CIRR?
The Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR) is a non-profit whose members include both bootcamps and "stakeholder" organizations, who have developed a common framework for reporting on, documenting, and auditing student outcomes. CIRR schools must report their outcomes every six months,and their data must be backed up by documentation (meaning schools must collect written confirmation from students and employers or offer letters) and verified by a third-party.
“Before students invest their valuable time and money in education, they deserve to know if a school produces the results they seek. CIRR does just this, as it brings simplicity, clarity, and integrity to reported outcomes. Add in the truth in advertising component, and students of CIRR members schools are able to see data in all forms that can be tried, tested and trusted,” explains Dr. Joseph Kozusko, co-founder of Skills Fund, a student financing platform that facilitated the CIRR before it became an independent non-profit.
What can you find in CIRR Outcomes Summaries?
Students have access to the same data about every CIRR school, including:
- How many students graduated on time?
- How many accepted a full-time job in the field for which they trained within six months?
- How many secured part-time jobs?
- Did the school itself hire any graduates?
- How many students jobs are in fields outside of what they studied for?
- What are the salaries of grads who started jobs in their field of study?
How should prospective students use CIRR Outcomes Summaries?
- Get familiar with the CIRR Methodology, and ask prospective programs about their outcomes reporting processes.
- Find the numbers that are most important to you. If your goal is to get an in-field, full-time job, then you know exactly where to find that information.
- Check the Outcomes Summaries or other independently verified outcomes data on Course Report school pages, when available.
- Use your judgment when you see any ad that says “100% placement”, “Job Guarantee”, or contains any data not verified by an independent third-party. Read the fine print, and understand what students might not be included in those claims.
Who is involved with CIRR?
The founding CIRR member organizations are:
- Code Fellows
- Fullstack Academy
- Grand Circus
- Hackbright Academy
- Hack Reactor
- The Software Guild
- Turing School of Software & Design
- Course Report
- Skills Fund
For coding bootcamps that wish to join CIRR (this is encouraged), visit https://cirr.org/join. For an updated list of current members, visit http://cirr.org/about.
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