What’s on the Horizon for Tech Bootcamps in 2023?

Liz Eggleston

Written By Liz Eggleston

Jess Feldman

Edited By Jess Feldman

Last updated on May 31, 2024

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What is on the horizon for tech bootcamps in 2023? In this Live Q&A, we covered the major trends that our experts from General AssemblySpringboard, Coding Temple, and Code Fellows are expecting in 2023.

Table of Contents

Jump to the questions that you're most interested in!

Meet Your Panelists

What was the most popular course/subject taught at your school last year; and what do you predict will be most popular in 2023?

Ryan: The Software Engineering Career Track bootcamp at Coding Temple has been the most popular career track for the last seven years and based on our data I don’t anticipate a change in that trajectory. However, after talking with our hiring partners and their pain points, the Software Engineering Career Track curriculum at Coding Temple will evolve to incorporate more of those mid-level pain points that exist in the software engineering space.

Lupe: The Software Engineering immersive at General Assembly is our largest program year by year, particularly popular with career changers. When coupled with one’s own soft skills and past experience, there are countless career paths one can pursue when you know how to code. But we also have immersive programs in UX Design and Data Science, and we just launched a Data Analytics immersive, which has already shown popular success!

John: 2022 was a record-breaking year for Code Fellows, as we had our highest enrollment since the 10 years we've been open! Due to the modularity of our curriculum, students start at the same levels then diverge at the advanced courses when they choose their own path. We’ve seen the biggest growth in our Cybersecurity bootcamp, which took off like a rocket ship as soon as we launched. Our Software Engineering programs are number one and will be for a while, but cyber is starting to accelerate and I think in the 2023 world is where jobs will start to shift. Cyber jobs will continue to be in high-demand as hacking will continue to happen and people need protection against it. 

Colt: I can attest that hiring partners are more interested in an “advanced entry-level role”, where we still work with complete beginners but take more time with them to deliver a more polished graduate. When I first started teaching bootcamps I did a lot of quick 10-12 week programs, but now we’re nurturing student’s growth in bootcamps over 5-6 months. I also teach courses that are not bootcamps, but affordable public-access courses, and I'm seeing a lot of interest in entry-level skills, where the commitment is much lower.In terms of curriculum, on the software side, React and TypeScript are the most popular. It’s not a new trend, rather a reinforced one.

John, will Web3 grow in the Code Fellows curriculum in 2023?

John: Web3 is gaining popular interest as it gets featured on the news and people are confused about what it is — they want to know what an NFT is, how to build it and live in that world, and they want to know about blockchain. We’re seeing a ton of new interest in our entry-level Web3 courses, which we just added this year. Web3 itself is volatile — the market for it is not yet sustainable, but there's a lot of interest there, and a lot of it is hiring partners who don't know what to do with it either. Companies want to utilize it but they don’t understand it. We’re seeing some light treading right now but I anticipate Web3 taking a foothold and become something we have to face and deal with in the near future. 

Are there any backgrounds that stand out in your students that translate to specific careers in tech?

Colt: I don't think there's an easy 1:1 formula for whether someone will have a good chance at doing well in engineering. Many people’s previous careers were not in fields they were interested in. A bigger indicator of an individual’s capacity to thrive as a software engineer is if they were good at their job, whatever it was. I do have a soft spot for teachers.

Anybody who has spent time as a teacher tends to be a pretty good student, and you have the empathy that is required to be a good software engineer.

Other careers require empathy but teaching is the most obvious. 

Keep in mind too that certain programs are more beginner-friendly than others. Data Science in particular will have more prerequisites and other skills that you'll have to know ahead of time, compared to web development. The admission staff at any bootcamp program will be the best people to talk to because they see where people go, how it's working out, and exactly what the requirements and curriculum entail for each particular program. UX is the easiest to break into without experience, followed by software engineering, depending on the program. Some software engineering bootcamps will require mid-high levels of previous coding experience, but there are also plenty of complete beginner-friendly bootcamps. It really depends on where you’re at and what you're looking for. 

Ryan: Don’t think you need to have your path figured out at the Admissions process. They are there to guide you by getting to know you, your strengths, and your background, but you won’t truly know what you want to do until you immerse yourself in the process. You may start down the Software Engineering track thinking you want to be a frontend developer and really fall in love with the backend. Let the decision happen organically and remember what got you into this in the first place. If you put too much weight on that decision in the beginning, it can become something that ultimately holds you back. 

John: What you're predisposed to be good at may not be what you want to do! People choose to change their lives because they're tired of doing what they were doing. Previous customer service experience may lead to a front end job, but they’re making this change because they want to think differently. Military vets are great at cussing out situations and following flow charts, and great at cyber, but maybe they want to think a little bit and have some fun. Don't lock yourself into a path too early. 

What are Employers Looking For in 2023?

Lupe – you talk to employers all the time. What is the #1 soft skill that you're hearing from employers right now?

Lupe: Hiring managers are looking for candidates who ask thoughtful questions about the company. Are you aligned with their mission? Are you asking thoughtful questions about the projects that they do? Are you asking for feedback about how you can improve your portfolio? Are you receiving feedback well in the technical interview? 

Same goes for a UX design challenge: Are you receiving feedback? Are you showcasing how you think? Are you asking your interviewer for analytics? How are you translating the data to non-technical stakeholders? How are you telling a story with the data that you have been doing this work on? 

Hiring managers are looking for more than just the ability to do the thing you got certified to do. They’re wondering if you can tell the story, if you can ask thoughtful questions and research. They also want to know how you have been getting creative with these skills. Can you show them how you think with those technical skills that you learned?

Colt, if a software engineer could add one tool to their toolbox in 2023 to be irreplaceable in their job, what would you suggest? 

Colt: JavaScript, React, and TypeScript are not going away. TypeScript continues to grow and is the one area that both students and companies are interested in. JavaScript is the standard first or second language that most people know. There’s a big opportunity for students to hone their skills in Typescript but I also caution against getting too fixated on learning the one technology or the ten technologies you should know in order to get hired. 

It’s fair to want to know the determined path to an exact destination. It’s good to broaden your skill set to some extent but I’ve seen it overdone, when someone tries to master three languages and frameworks at once. It’s better to be good at one thing to get hired, and learn what you need for the job as they need. Most companies will let you pick what language or framework you want to use to demonstrate, so don’t get too hung up on knowing everything. It's a human desire to want to feel like you're in control, that you've mastered everything, and that you're totally prepared, but I think it’s good to get really good at one thing and let it evolve from there. 

Ryan: Skills can be taught, but character cannot. When I am hiring, I'm looking for drive, motivation, character, and passion. Separate yourself as an individual because that’s ultimately what’s gonna make you stand out.

John: We call that the “it” factor at Code Fellows. Bootcamp life is hard and bootcamp grads are special people. To get through this type of learning, you gotta have “it” and you’ll have it by the end.

On the tech side, learning Git, Bash, and those process-driven pieces are key – TDD as a process, Agile as a process, Git, and CICD workflows.

If you can live in the world of a dev from day one, you’ll be valuable from the moment you walk in the door!

Code Fellows keeps track of job data for 401 bootcamps – which graduates are most employed and highest salaried?

John: The highest salaries now are regional. Code Fellows was a local Seattle-based coding school, but now we're worldwide! The job data shows our numbers are the same — a 93% hire rate and a 90% retention rate after a full year, but salaries vary based on location. Remote jobs are paying local wages, so someone who made $180k at Microsoft working out of Redmond might now make $67k after moving to Missoula. Students who are making great money out of the gate are those who go to the FAANG companies and cyber students, who start at $80-90k starting salaries. 

The thing that we're most excited about is the retention rates! Our students are staying employed and are able to live in the engineering world for a long time. Another aspect of that “it” factor is the ability to know how to learn, which is what bootcamps teach you, and will continue to carry you in your employment journey.

Code Fellows has 201 and 301 courses that get you through web development and MEAN stack and combined they're about 10 weeks. The 401 is another 10-12 weeks that focuses on one of four languages — Java, C#, Python, or JavaScript — which are the top four coding technologies to know to get hired today.

Nationwide there are 19,000 open Python jobs that average about $114,000 a year between junior and senior levels. JavaScript has over 30,000 jobs open right now. Even amidst a hiring freeze, there's ample room to place graduates with jobs.

We’re committed to tailoring our curriculum to what’s being hired for.

Lupe, how do you keep up with the job market?

Lupe: Especially after the last couple years, it’s hard to predict exactly where the market's going, but the best feedback we have is staying connected with our hiring communities, hearing from candidates, as well as alumni who have been going through and maybe now are hiring managers! We might not be able to predict where the skills and trends are going, but we can definitely make sure that we're agile enough to meet those needs. 

Will Remote Work Continue in 2023?

Ryan, what do you predict for remote learning and working in 2023? Are we headed back to in-person any time soon? 

Ryan: I’ll be the first to say that in 2020 when nobody knew what was going on, I was also freaking out. I am from an old mindset that in-person relationships are superior because it’s the best way to build rapport. But we have realized so many new benefits that we found as an industry to remote learning that in my opinion completely outweighs the in-person experience. 

As a company remote is better because expenses are lower without as much overhead, which keeps the tuition lower for students. We are also now open to a talent pool of employees that can be national, plus since we're no longer landlocked to our physical locations, we're open to more students.

The student advantage is that they are also not landlocked to the bootcamp that is physically next to them, which might not be the best fit for them! Now they have the advantage of exploring other opportunities, paying lower tuition, and learning in a remote space -- which they will most likely be hired for and have already proven that they can learn this way. They are also not landlocked to the companies hiring them that are physically near them. Put all of that together and I don't see a reason why the bootcamp industry as a whole would fully ever go back to an in-person learning method, only.

I'm not saying people aren't doing in-person learning nor that it’s not successful because it is. I'm saying the pandemic has pushed us on a path – employers, bootcamps, the global workforce outside of the bootcamps – to adopt a remote learning and remote hiring way. That's just the way it's going to be. If you cannot accept that, then it's gonna be very difficult to get great talent as a company, and I think companies are starting to understand that.

The bootcamp industry going remote is here to stay and will continue to evolve. Tools are improving, new companies are emerging that are helping people get hired, and we’re all adapting. It’s been great for students and I think the bootcamp industry has grown more in the last two years than it has since 2013. 

What are the benefits to live instruction vs asynchronous learning?

Ryan: To me that is a very cool next evolution of the bootcamp — going from the live model to the remote model, then from the remote model to async. Somewhere in the middle of remote learning and async is this beautiful synergy of the bootcamp experience and what it’s all about — accountability, community, 1:1 support, and Career Services. It’s cool to see bootcamps figuring out how to blend everything that is so desirable about a bootcamp into a hybrid async experience that has Career Support that can get you job ready. There are levels of accountability and individualized support that a bootcamp offers that is unmatched by a solo recorded course. 

Lupe: It’s also important to consider employers and trends in hiring — are they offering remote or in-person jobs? One point to consider is that you now have more freedom and flexibility to negotiate on your behalf based on what type of working style is gonna work for you, especially from a diversity perspective.

There is great, diverse talent in the bootcamp space and remote work is a benefit that supports diversity initiatives.

Maybe remote work is not for you but if it is, more candidates are feeling comfortable advocating for it because it helps the company reach those goals. Stay-at-home parents, caregivers, and folks who are differently abled are all candidates that are really important in the ecosystem. What this has done is forced hiring teams to ask themselves if they are accounting for the diversity that they really want, and how they can use remote work or in-person work as one of the many benefits that can support that talent.

Colt: I started doing exclusively live instruction and wanted to be a teacher way more than I ever wanted to be a developer. I started making courses online as a cheap way for people who had any interest to get in the door. There were TAs to answer questions, but there wasn’t a live factor at all — nobody looked at your work or helped with career support. In recent years with Springboard, I've merged those together by offering courses that are almost exclusively asynchronous with added live aspects and work checks to help hold you accountable. The most important aspect of a learning program is accountability. I think a hybrid model works really well for a lot of individuals. In order for someone to stay on track to complete a bootcamp and stay motivated is to have flexibility in their schedule and participate in a way that makes sense for their life, whether they have kids, a part-time job, or something else. Most people who are able to put in 8-10 hours a day of live instruction are in their young 20s and 30s without kids or a mortgage. Most people are busier than that. I think the hybrid model allows for the most number of students to attend and do it right with accountability, grading, community, and career support. Self-taught courses require a large level of self-discipline. 

John: The danger to me of being entirely asynchronous is that coding (and tech in general) is a shoulder-to-shoulder sport. We replicated that with some technology that allows students to work together on projects all day and offer that same sense of working side-by-side. Async takes that away and can make it difficult to work in the real world later on. I agree that a hybrid model is the way to go but I think it’s tough to figure out the best balance. I lean way more towards keeping people together in a team, screen sharing at the same time, having support, and being mentors to each other in real time, because that's what the industry needs and that's how you work in real life.

How can bootcampers expect to get a job in tech with the recent layoff trends? How do you think this news will really impact bootcampers?

Lupe: It's very scary to think about, especially if you are considering a career change on a job search – it's terrifying to consider different job prospects than you might have had in the past. At the same time, we've been through this. In 2020, we saw the craziest job market with so much volatility, and it was devastating to see people that I was coaching personally get hired and then laid off two weeks later in that Spring. We saw a lot of people struggle. Some of the lessons we learned during that time, which we're applying now, is to focus on what you can control and what industries are continuing to grow.

Not everything shuts down in a recession – there are different ebbs and flows in the industry. We encourage folks to focus on the industries where they're seeing growth.

I'll plug Course Report because staying on top of trends and reviews and what is really popular is not just a fun thing to do for people in this field, it's an essential — you have to be plugged into the trends when things are changing very quickly. 

In the current tech job market, should students expect a longer job placement process? Is this still a good time for a career change?

Lupe: Some things to do as a job seeker during a recession: 

  • Focus on skills, portfolio building, and networking. It's not enough to see what jobs are open, rather to talk to people to understand where their teams are hiring, the entry-level pathways in certain jobs, or if they're in a hiring freeze. Having those connections helps for when in three months they’re hiring and can reach out to you. 
  • Freelance, if possible, and lean on any support you get from your bootcamp. General Assembly has excellent career coaches and I know these programs with reps here have support in so many ways. If you've taken one of our programs, make sure you're using the resources that you have. 

Ryan: Do not let the noise freak you out or stop you from achieving your goals. You have to go out there and put in the work and push forward. Job searching isn't fun, even in a booming economy! Keep doing what you're doing and don’t let any of these headlines freak you out from starting to do what you love and pursue your dreams. This is the whole point – you're doing this to change your career, to change your life, and to better yourself, so my advice is to go after it. You may face a longer job hunting period, but at the same time, you'll be getting stronger, building relationships, building your LinkedIn, networking, and your personal brand. To go back to John’s earlier statement, the data shows that there is a demand for developers. Just because the economy is changing doesn’t mean all the jobs are going away. Stay focused, motivated and positive. 

John: Keep in mind that there are thousands of companies that have 20 employees or less that need web developers. There are tons of jobs out there. We read about the nightmare scenario and think it’s the end, but I'm old enough to have lived through 9/11 when I owned a software company that survived and bounced back. The 2008 recession was the same thing – we lost everything then built it back up again. The tech industry is not getting smaller. The news is highlighting FAANG companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook who are making layoffs based on unsuccessful projects or employees who were not being as productive from home. Bootcamp grads never fall into the trap of not working hard enough and will not be the folks to get laid off, because you’re going to put your time in and give a company a solid seven and a half from your house versus a solid three that others were putting in. Students who come to our programs are rock stars because of that “it” factor we talked about. Bring those soft skills to the table when you come into the workforce. Companies want workers, not watchers. 

Colt: The whole reason our industry exists is that every industry needs engineers, and that's not gonna change any time soon.

The majority of bootcamp graduates are going to tech roles at companies you might not even think about, like American Express, AT&T, and T-Mobile, that will be around for a long time and have to have engineers.

I'm not an economist, and I have no idea what will happen in the short term, but I can say just anecdotally, even some of my friends who are those high-level engineers who have been laid off from Facebook and even smaller companies like Airbnb, have rebounded just fine. It's not like there is no place for them to go; as Seniors they’re in high demand. This time of year often brings hiring freezes around the holidays. In my experience, it's easier to get hired after the new year anyway, where more companies have a new budget and they're starting to hire and look towards Q1 and figure out what's happening with the rest of the year. 

Choosing to change careers is not a one-year or six months commitment, it's something that you are choosing to do for the long haul. Generally, you're making an investment in yourself, and if the market is rough for a year or two, most people will still be able to ride it out and find a job anyway. The whole concept is that this is something you're going to do long-term. If you make a little bit less for the next year or two, but you end up making $150,000 or more for the rest of your life, you're on a path that you're trying to get on and it's not a window that closes after a year. It’s important to consider when you're investing all the money, time, and most importantly the work to reinvent yourself or start a new career, that is a long path. It’s easy to look at the super short term and get discouraged, but I don’t think it’s the end of the world. 

Lupe, what are some of your favorite recruiters and hiring companies?

Beyond agencies, I recommend folks look into different Slack communities for their respective fields because there are a lot of peers, mentors, opportunities, contract gigs, and recruiters in there. A lot of folks find contract roles through those Slack channels just by networking. 

Colt, how do you see bootcamps thinking about beginners in 2023? How experienced do you need to be in order to enroll at Springboard these days?

At Springboard, we are trying to make education more accessible, and more of a 0 to 100 process rather than something like 30 to 100, by enabling lower prerequisites while providing the support needed for similar robust outcomes

Future of Bootcamps Next Year

Will workforce development and strategic partnerships between employers and coding bootcamps continue to flourish in 2023?

Lupe: Rather than focusing on one element of what we anticipate coming in the next year, we want to highlight our strategic partnerships, which have taken us out of the box of how a bootcamp is supposed to interact with an employer and how we recommend someone to a job. We've been really agile. One of the directions we’re really excited to go into next year is how can we maybe form a partnership that hasn't been done before — How do we solve the needs of these diverse job-seekers with an employer who can help them out and vice versa? How can we help employers fill their diversity initiatives and get excited about hiring people from non-traditional backgrounds?

We're most excited to get out of a box of what has traditionally been done and ask instead: How can we do this based on skills, candidate feedback, what's popular with the workforce, and how can we advocate for that with employers?

One example of a strategic partnership is what we did in Buffalo where we were able to support folks from the local community with a few different employer partners to keep talent in the Buffalo area. They wanted to invest in local talent during a time where a lot of folks were going remote, so we were able to pull a lot of strings and network heavily in the community to get people trained as technical talent in the local area.

And will veterans education benefit programs like GI Bill and VET TEC continue to flourish in 2023?

John: Getting GI Bill Funds to trickle through during COVID was very difficult but we managed it. VET TEC is an amazing program. We've worked with Apprenti as well to support a number of cohorts that are full apprenticeship cohorts. We've got a couple of local businesses that will bring a whole group of folks through to level up an entire team. 

As far as predictions, I think bootcamps are getting more recognized. Where they used to be seen as lower-level talent, now bootcampers are cresting a mountain of respect in the tech field. Employers are seeing that a job changer has marketable skills and will bring previous life skills to the table. We’re all doing a great job leveling them up.

My prediction for 2023 and beyond is that bootcamp grads will be sought after, not settled for. That's what I'm seeing, and I've been at this now for a better part of six years.

Our company has been around for 10 years, and it's been a struggle. But I think the stigma is gone. Working with vets like we do, on top of the apprenticeship tie-ins that we have, is changing the conversation. How else can you meet a diversity goal at any company or in this industry if we don't become that agent for change? 

Colt: I also see the stigma decreasing from when I started teaching in 2013. We had a lot of backlash in the beginning for our students — they got hired and we had really good hiring stats back then when we only had to place 10 people every three months! But it's not exclusively a matter of hiring companies feeling more positively about bootcamp grads. I think bootcamps have gotten better. As competition for quality instruction increased, less qualified bootcamps have folded out, while others have improved their curriculum, outcomes, and every possible way to help eliminate some of that stigma. Outcomes are better so people feel better about it. As remote options increase, people can attend the best bootcamps and deliver better results to their employers. 

Ryan: The stigma is gone, it really truly is. John’s comment about “workers not watchers” is true. Bootcamp grads have been drinking from a firehose, they’ve learned how to adapt, they are hard-working, and are now sought after. Five years ago, I was begging to get into university partnerships and traditional academia laughed at us. We are now getting weekly calls and emails asking about these post-secondary graduates. The industry is completely different than it was 3-5 years ago, and the stigma around bootcamp grads is truly gone. 

This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with General Assembly, Springboard, Coding Temple, and Code Fellows. 

About The Author

Liz Eggleston

Liz Eggleston

Liz Eggleston is co-founder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students choosing a coding bootcamp. Liz has dedicated her career to empowering passionate career changers to break into tech, providing valuable insights and guidance in the rapidly evolving field of tech education.  At Course Report, Liz has built a trusted platform that helps thousands of students navigate the complex landscape of coding bootcamps.

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