Are coding bootcamps really irrelevant? Not in the OC

Orange County’s growing demand for tech labor has put these bootcamps back in the spotlight.

Aug 16, 2017, 5:16 PM

Go ahead and ignore some of the negative headlines.

Two recent high-profile coding bootcamps closings have left many wondering what’s next for the industry.

  • Is this the beginning of the end?
  • Can this business model ever be sustainable?

Despite the glass being half empty in some corners, these hot commodities aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, especially in certain locales.

According to Course Report, coding academies are expected to grow by 52% by year’s end—graduating nearly 23,000 more developers over that time.

Since their emergence back in 2012, these coding bootcamps have offered students a five-to-six week crash course in coding, often with curriculum that’s designed through a partnership with tech companies.

While they can cost upwards of $10,000 per student, they are still much cheaper than a traditional four year college experience and focus heavily on post-completion job placement.

In 2016, 73% of boot camp graduates landed a full-time developer job. And the intensity of the camps provides a real-life pace that many traditional colleges simply can’t match.

So what’s the issue driving all these scary headlines? Oversaturation. (And a lack of quality control.)

Simply put, there are now just too many schools—leading to consolidation—and too many graduates searching for jobs.

And with all these choices, finding a reputable boot camp isn’t always easy. Some have jumped on the for-profit train without formulating a real plan. That’s led to a less than quality education for students, and more boot camp skeptics in the process.

Fortunately, many tech companies providing the jobs aren't phased.

Take Orange County, for example. The OC’s growing tech scene continues to tap into this educated and skilled labor pool provided by coding bootcamps. Some bootcamps are even growing their footprints around major business hubs to provide even better access for students and increase exposure for the school.


Generally speaking, these boot camp graduates bring a good foundation of practical skills employers want and have the skills necessary for most junior level programming jobs. So maybe they aren’t the “next big thing” any longer, but they’re still doing the job to fill a regional talent pipeline that would otherwise run dry.

Research: Jared Dienstag | Editor: Michael Cronin