Boot Camps Introducing More Women to Tech

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A new study from Course Report, a guide to tech boot camps, suggests that boot camps are introducing more women to the tech-employment pipeline.

Data for the study came from 769 graduates from 43 qualifying coding schools (a.k.a. boot camps).

Some 66 percent of those graduates reported landing a full-time job that hinged on skills learned at the boot camp. Although the typical “bootcamper” is 31 years old, with 7.6 years of work experience, relatively few had a job as a programmer before participating in a boot camp.

Perhaps the most interesting data-point from Course Report, though, is that 36 percent of “bootcampers” are women, compared to 14.1 percent coming into the tech industry via undergraduate programs.

Bringing more women and underrepresented groups into the tech industry is a stated goal of many companies. Over the past few years, these companies’ diversity reports have bemoaned how engineering and leadership teams skew overwhelmingly white and male. Proposed strategies for the issue include adjusting how companies recruit new workers; boot camps could also quickly deepen the pool of potential employees with the right skills.

The federal government has even explored the possibility of using boot camps to help alleviate a general need for tech talent. Earlier this year, the White House unveiled an ambitious plan (known as “TechHire”) to boost technology education and employment via coding boot camps and accelerated training programs. In theory, those intensive regimens would quickly render candidates technically proficient enough to land a job.

Some in the technology industry voiced skepticism over the White House’s plans. “Two months [of boot camp] doesn’t prepare you for identifying serious problems and overcoming them,” Jason Polancich, CEO of SurfWatch Labs, told the Wall Street Journal at the time.

If the data from Course Report is correct, however, boot camps really are pipelining more candidates into actual tech jobs, as well as earning employees better salaries and perks. That’s good for the tech industry, the economy, and—most of all—the tech pros themselves.

Image Credit: Course Report

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