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Career Development, Corporate Strategies

Unwrapping the Future: How Coding Bootcamps are Changing the Job Market

General Assembly
December 25, 2023
How Coding Bootcamps are Changing the Job Market

‘Tis the season of giving. And the tech job market is feeling the spirit, thanks to the rise of coding bootcamps. 

Tech bootcamps are spreading joy by expanding access to quality and up-to-date tech skill training. The results?

  • The power to produce tech talent no longer lies primarily within traditional college walls.
  • An increase in the number of individuals able to enter the tech industry.
  • Hiring managers get access to a more diverse diverse pool of tech talent.  

Let’s look at how these coding bootcamps transform the job market one gift-wrapped course at a time.

The Impact of Coding Bootcamps

The talent shortage has been increasing globally and reached a 17-year high in 2023, with more than 1 in 4 companies spending nine or more weeks recruiting and hiring for open positions. 

Bootcamps rose to fill the talent gap by offering intensive two- to three-month programs producing job-ready tech talent. And they’ve quickly grown in popularity. What used to be a $60 million industry in 2014 was valued at $1.36 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow to $3.66 billion in 2027.

Tech bootcamps don’t just help companies fill new roles with qualified talent.

They also provide a route to upskill current employees. The rapid rate of technological change means employers and employees must prioritize regular upskilling to remain relevant and competitive. And bootcamps provide a faster, cheaper, and more effective way to do this.  

Quantifying the Impact

Success stories abound. 

Such as those of General Assembly (GA) alums Jacqueline Elizandro, who’d worked as a supply chain coordinator for 17 years before switching careers and becoming a software developer at fintech giant Cash App after attending a coding bootcamp. 

Or Sara Laffin, who, after three seasons of managing conservation crews at AmeriCorps, joined General Assembly’s Software Engineering Bootcamp to launch her career in tech. 

Sara is now a software engineer at Citibank. 

But it’s not just students benefiting from coding bootcamps. Coding bootcamps have emerged as a reliable source for companies eager to hire talent and upskill their workforce. All while keeping pace with the latest technology. 

According to a Career Karma study, Amazon more than doubled its hires from bootcamps between 2019 and 2020. And it’s a trend that’s continued with the increasing talent shortage post-pandemic.

What’s the value of being a student at GA?

How Coding Bootcamps are Changing the Job Market for Hiring Managers

Tech talent without college degrees in computer science or related fields has always been around. However, the rise of coding bootcamps has hiring managers reconsidering their recruitment strategies.

To take advantage of this change in the tech talent pipeline, employers are using a skills-first hiring model that allows them to recruit from a larger, more diverse pool of bootcamp graduates.

In General Assembly’s 2023 State of Tech Talent Acquisition Report, 51% of employers say they partner with technical training programs to source candidates for their open software engineering, data analytics, data science, and UX design positions.

Hiring managers favor this shift, which enables them to employ job-ready, diverse talent for several reasons:

  • Rapid skill application: Due to the focused scope and practicality of their training, bootcamp graduates hit the ground running with practical skills and quickly contribute to project outcomes.
  • Diversity-driven innovation: Bootcamps are more accessible and likely to reel out a diverse talent pool. Hiring from such a pool injects fresh ideas into your business, fostering the creative and innovative culture essential for staying competitive in dynamic markets.
  • An agile and adaptable workforce: Bootcamp-trained hires demonstrate agility in learning, adapting quickly to evolving industry demands and technological advancements. This makes it easier for them to upskill and remain relevant. This sort of talent ensures your business maintains its competitive edge. 
  • Fosters skills-first hiring: Hiring bootcamp graduates fosters skills-first hiring by prioritizing practical proficiency over traditional credentials. This shift to skills-first hiring streamlines the recruitment process and allows companies to build teams with employees with the skills needed for the job.
  • Efficient hiring process: A skills-first approach also fosters a cost-efficient talent pipeline and hiring process by minimizing unnecessary expenses associated with traditional recruitment methods. Employers can hire for specific skills and, as such, avoid lengthy hiring processes and the costs of reskilling or replacing subpar talent.

How Coding Bootcamps are Changing the Job Market for Job Seekers

The willingness of recruiters to hire bootcamp graduates through a skills-first hiring model also benefits aspiring tech workers. Bootcamps have become viable channels for people to transition to tech or upskill, irrespective of their academic backgrounds.

Now aspiring tech workers, including career changers, can simply identify their areas of interest, enroll in a reputable tech bootcamp to acquire the requisite skills and leverage the bootcamp’s career service program to secure their first job. 

This opens up a whole new world of opportunity for these individuals, allowing them to easily swap unfulfilling and unrewarding roles for exciting, satisfying, and lucrative tech jobs.

Take Malika Johnson, a marketing company business manager, as an example. His job had become a drag, and he needed an escape route. GA’s Software Engineering Bootcamp provided it. His work week has become an exciting and rewarding experience with several learning opportunities.

After leaving the Navy, veteran Yohlanna C. struggled with losing her identity and felt uneasy working as an Amazon delivery driver. She turned to one of GA’s bootcamps and ultimately got a job as a software engineer at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Yohlanna refers to her decision to enroll in GA’s bootcamp as “one of the best decisions” she ever made. 

People already in the tech space looking to upgrade their skills and remain relevant in a rapidly evolving industry also benefit from bootcamps. They can choose to freshen their skills with tailored full-time programs or short courses to work into their existing schedules. 

The result regardless of approach? Employment sustainability — plus better-paying jobs. 

For instance, coding bootcamp graduates earn an average of $70,000, but this increases as they advance in their careers. At their second job post bootcamp, they earn $80,943, and $99,229 at their third job after bootcamp.

Why are bootcamps so effective in providing a direct pathway to employment for career changers or internal upward mobility for those already in a tech role?

  • Intensive, focused training: Bootcamps are short, intensive programs that provide targeted, hands-on training in specific tech skills, making them ideal for rapid career transitions. Such specialized tracks in various tech domains also allow participants to choose programs tailored to their career goals and interests, promoting targeted upskilling.
  • Industry-relevant curriculum: Tech bootcamps collaborate with industry experts to ensure the curriculum aligns with the latest trends and technologies in the field.
  • Practical, project-based learning: Few learning pathways beat learning by doing. Bootcamps emphasize real-world projects, allowing participants to build a portfolio showcasing practical applications of the skills learned. This enhances employability.
  • Job placement support: Many bootcamps provide job placement assistance, which helps participants transition successfully into the workforce. 99.7% of graduates of GA’s full-time programs that ended between January 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019, who participated in full-time career services secured a job in their field of study. And only 8.3% of them had to wait 180 days post-graduation.

Other bootcamp highlights include flexible learning formats, access to community and networking opportunities, and cost-effective education.

Unwrapping the Future: Receiving the Gifts of a Tech Bootcamp

One year after a GA bootcamp, 84% of GA bootcamp graduates were happier in their careers. 74% made more money. And five years after course completion, most bootcamp graduates more than doubled their income (106% increase, on average).

On the employer side, businesses benefit from a diverse pool of skilled talent and drive innovation and adaptability in the ever-changing tech space. 

Imagine the world that awaits on the other side of acquiring an in-demand tech skill or hiring the right bootcamp-trained talent. Think of it like unwrapping a present during the holiday season.

So, hiring managers and industry leaders, start unwrapping your perfect gift of agile, diverse talent forged in bootcamps. Contact us today to learn more. And for job seekers, celebrate the transformative power of tech education this holiday season.

Register for a free workshop to learn more.


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