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 end up confused. Today, a new coalition known as the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR), announced their commitment to publish 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?

Over the past year, a handful of coding bootcamps have 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 necessarily 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.

We will be watching CIRR and related efforts closely and will be sure to share all relevant information with you as they evolve.

What is CIRR?

The Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR) is a group of 17 bootcamps and member organizations who have spent the last year developing a common framework for reporting on, documenting, and auditing their student outcomes. In addition to developing the methodology itself, the CIRR participatory schools will soon report their 2016 data using the rubric. And all of that 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 efforts over the past year.

What can you find in CIRR Outcomes Summaries?

Students will 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.
  • Expect to see 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.

Who is involved with CIRR?

The CIRR member organizations are:

  • Code Fellows
  • Codeup
  • DevMountain
  • Epicodus
  • Fullstack Academy
  • Grand Circus
  • Hackbright Academy
  • Hack Reactor
  • Ironhack
  • RefactorU
  • Sabio
  • The Software Guild
  • Thinkful
  • Turing School of Software & Design
  • Wyncode
  • Course Report
  • Skills Fund

For coding bootcamps that wish to join CIRR (this in encouraged), contact info@cirr.org to take the first steps in joining CIRR.

Why is CIRR critical today?

Over the past year, a handful of coding bootcamps have released third-party verified jobs reports, revealing information about their student demographics, post-bootcamp job titles, salaries, etc. In Course Report’s opinion, more data available to students is usually a net-positive. However, each of these reports uses a separate methodology, which means that we 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.

Because the CIRR methodology is adopted by 15 schools, the burden is eased on future students to sift through multiple, long, methodologies for these schools.

“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 witness something unprecedented in higher education - 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 efforts over the past year.

In April 2017, Course Report will start to display Outcomes Summaries on the participatory schools’ pages.

Interested in reading the standards? Check them out at http://www.cirr.org.

Want to pressure test the reporting template? Go ahead and dive in at http://www.cirr.org/high-standards.

About The Author

Liz pic

Liz is the cofounder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students considering a coding bootcamp. She loves breakfast tacos and spending time getting to know bootcamp alumni and founders all over the world. Check out Liz & Course Report on Twitter, Quora, and YouTube

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