Coding bootcamps are doing something today that’s not being done by traditional four-year computer science degrees: preparing a new generation of web developers with the skills they need for a new job in as little as six months. It’s an ambitious goal, but career statistics are showing that coding bootcamps are getting the job done, at a fraction of the cost of a university education.
However, with the rising success of coding bootcamps, more and more are popping up, which is making it increasingly harder for students to evaluate which one is best for them. Additionally, as bootcamps strive to compete for students, some are making new claims of offering money-back job guarantees. These bootcamps promise that their graduates will find new jobs after graduation, or their money back. It sounds like a generous offer…but looking at the fine print shows a different story.
Consider all the limitations coding bootcamps put on these guarantees, including:
– Demands On Number Of Applications: To even qualify for the guarantee, many bootcamps stipulate how many job applications students must complete week-over-week. Of course, it’s reasonable for bootcamps to want students to make a good faith effort to find a job. However, graduates looking for particular types of jobs, or seeking opportunities in smaller cities or towns, may find this quantity of weekly applications to be infeasible.
– Can’t Say “No” To A Job: Some bootcamps do not allow graduates to decline a job offer and still qualify for the guarantee. Yet there are so many reasonable scenarios why someone would decline an offer, everything from being offering a too-low salary and benefits to the role not aligning with a graduate’s interests. As a result, students may be forced to say “yes” to a role they aren’t interested in since they’d be disqualified from the guarantee otherwise.
– Equating An Internship With A Job: Some bootcamps classify getting an internship as the same as securing a job. However, the two are not the same! While internships offer valuable on-the-job training, they certainly don’t offer the same benefits as a job, usually offer only a paid stipend at best, and don’t guarantee long-term employment. Yet some bootcamps will consider them one in the same, making a student ineligible to pursue the guarantee.
– No Job Function Criteria: It’s natural to expect that you’ll secure a job in coding and tech after graduation. While it’s true that not all students expect this, it is certainly the norm. However, many bootcamps will consider roles completely outside of technology and coding as fulfilling the criteria. Some go as far as to create admin roles for graduates to publish high job success rates. True, it lets them make their guarantee, but it by no means aligns with student expectations.
For these and other reasons, bootcamp job guarantees are something to be skeptical of. Because there are so many exemptions and limitations, they really aren’t a strong reflection of a bootcamp’s ability to help students secure a job, let alone the right type of job, after graduation. They may appear as an incentive, but they can’t be fully trusted.