Is the programming bootcamp model in danger?
In recent news, DevBootcamp and The Iron Yard announced that they are closing their doors. This is big news. DevBootcamp was the first programming bootcamp model and The Iron Yard is a national player with 15 campuses across the U.S. In both cases, the companies cited an unsustainable business model. Does that mean the boot-camp model is dead?
Bootcamps exist because traditional education models have failed to provide students job-ready skills for the 21st century. Students demand better employment options from their education. Employers demand skilled and job ready candidates. Big Education’s failure to meet those needs through traditional methods created the fertile ground for the new business model of the programming bootcamp.
Education giant Kaplan and Apollo Education Group (owner of University of Phoenix) bought their way into this new educational model when they purchased The Iron Yard and DevBootcamp. They purchased their competition with the intent to scale up the model. Unfortunately, Big Education is too habituated to coming up short for students. They bought the upstarts that challenged them, tried making changes to run those bootcamps in the “Big Education” way, and, sadly, they’ve closed the doors when they realized that scaling education is more challenging when student outcomes truly matter.
The bootcamp model is still new and there will be plenty consolidation, competition, and changes in the future. This model is based on actually being adaptive, innovative, and sustainable. And there’s always room for innovation.
What we’ve learned at Codeup…
- Education is challenging to scale.
- Prioritizing quality over growth pays off.
What we’re doing at Codeup…
- Higher standards in our application process are leading to better student outcomes.
- Our reputation and commitment to quality is opening new doors to previously uninterested/unreachable employers.
- In the beginning, the majority of Codeup graduates went to work with startups and small businesses. We’re now seeing a larger amount of our graduates place at medium to large sized businesses.
- Demand is growing and employers are learning that the results are in the graduates.
- Codeup’s model is sustainable, inclusive, and works.