A comprehensive study examining the outcomes of coding-school alumni found they, on average, boosted their salaries by 38%, or $18,000, after completing their programs.
In a report released today (Oct. 26), the Course Report, which tracks the learn-to-code industry, found participants on average paid $11,852 for tuition, with programs typically lasting three to four months. A third of them said their schools guaranteed jobs to students after completing their programs. But 21% of the 665 students who graduated between 2013 and 2015 reported being unemployed.
When the employment rates are broken out by graduation date though, 89% of students who were 120 days out of school found full-time jobs, Course Report cofounder Liz Eggleston tells Quartz.
While the makeup of students who attend coding schools still largely skews white and male, there are encouraging signs these so-called bootcamps are helping diversify the industry by encouraging people in their early- to mid-careers (on average, participants were 31 years old) to become programmers.
The survey found 36% of bootcamp grads were women, compared with the 14% of women who were awarded bachelor’s degrees in computer science in 2013-14. They also saw a bigger increase in salary following the completion of their programs, a lift of $25,283 compared with men’s $14,839, and reported higher salaries overall.
But the differences are less dramatic when it comes to ethnicity and race. In coding schools, as in college, the enrollment of white students is higher than people from other backgrounds. In fact, there is a higher representation of white students among coding-schools grads (63%) than students who obtained a bachelor’s in computer science (58%).
There is also a slight increase in percentage of black students, who make up 5% of coding-school grads compared to 3.2% of college grads completing a bachelor’s degree in computer science. According to Course Report, 20% of all respondents described themselves as being of Hispanic origin.
White students saw the biggest change in salary, up $21,139 after finishing their programs, followed by Asians ($18,238), who reported the highest post-grad salaries overall. Black students saw a rise of $15,555 to an average salary of $61,476 while those of Hispanic origin saw the slowest gain—an increase of $10,751 for an average salary of $64,062.
While most grads reported landing a job using their newly attained skills, one-third said they were not programming in their current roles. This might be partially explained by people, such as product managers or designers, enrolling in these programs not to become programmers but to expand their skill sets.
The vast majority of those who did became software engineers and developers, though a few continued training through internships. Some grads became teaching assistants, which often means they end up teaching programming students at their or another bootcamp.
Some technical skills are more prized by employers than others. Alumni who learned Python reported the highest salaries, an average of $80,368, followed by C# ($65,390) and Ruby ($60,333). Java, the language used to build Android apps, commanded the lowest compensation, at an average of $37,500.