Can Boot Camps Really Land You a Job?


Over the past few years, coding boot camps have proliferated across the country. For those interested in a career in software, boot camps can prove an effective way of gaining the skills and knowledge necessary for landing a job; the pipeline of boot-camp graduates provides startups and established companies alike with fresh talent.

At least, that’s the theory. But how effective are boot camps at actually placing people in real jobs?

There are many different kinds of boot camps; some focus strictly on coding, while others take a more holistic approach to the technology industry, exploring methodologies and business concepts. Take the Wyncode Academy in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, for instance, which offers a nine-week program for people with no previous background in tech, and who want a “well rounded” experience.

Boot camps generally claim a high placement rate for jobs. Hack Reactor in San Francisco, for example, insists its placement rate is roughly 98-99 percent. Dev Bootcamp, Launch Academy, MakerSquare, and Hackbright likewise claim rates somewhere between 85 percent and 100 percent, depending on the school and program. (The tech industry’s historically low unemployment, and the desperate need for developers and other tech pros in cities such as San Francisco, doubtlessly helps with placement.)

But for best results, boot camps also demand commitment from those who participate in them; wanting to change careers and become a full-time developer is what will get you through the boot camp’s intense environment. Being able to afford the tuition and opportunity cost (i.e., you can spend weeks at a boot camp, or even move across the country to participate in one) is also essential. (If you’re interested in pursuing courses at a boot camp, Jeff Lee provides a comprehensive checklist for prospective students.)

Many boot-camp students are either starting out in their careers, or have decided to switch to a new career. Unlike universities or colleges, however, there’s no accreditation body that oversees boot camps; the next best thing is the New Economy Skills Training Association (NESTA), founded by a number of boot camps and coding schools around the country. NESTA has attempted to establish standards for the industry.

Although coding boot camps are still a relatively new phenomenon, students have plenty of choices. But the programs are not for everyone. In order for students to succeed, they must have the tenacity and personality to thrive in fast-paced environments.

5 Responses to “Can Boot Camps Really Land You a Job?”

  1. Hashim Warren

    “Many boot-camp students are either starting out in their careers, or have decided to switch to a new career”

    True, but…

    At Coder Foundry we’re also seeing experienced programmers who need to increase their skills, and in a hurry.

    Imagine getting hired at a company 5 yrs ago. The stack may have been cutting edge at the time, but could now be outdated.

    If the company goes under you’re left with skills that served you well but have calcified.

    That’s the third type of person who attends a coding bootcamp, like Coder Foundry.

  2. Somebody

    I generally enjoy reading these articles. However, this one left suspense and never answered the question posed. So I’ll answer based on my experience.

    I attended a bootcamp to supplement my university education and it was a complete waste of my time and money. Since there’s no accreditation body, it’s easy for bootcamps to make promises that they do not fulfill and there’s no recourse. I don’t think all bootcamps are bad but my experience has shown me that cheaper altenatives, sites like, Udacity,, sites where you can learn what you need to without spending over $10,000 for a few weeks, is the way to go. Honestly, if you can hold yourself accountable, you can learn what is being taught at these bootcamps. If you’re set on attending a bootcamp, then getting into a free one would be the way to go (they take a percentage of your first year or two of employment so they have vested interest in making sure you get work). I think it’s a good compromise.

    Most of the people I met at bootcamp were people trying to break into the field, many non-techies as well as college students getting a leg up. The biggest draw of bootcamps is job assistance/placement. I know that big name bootcamps like Hack Reactor and Dev Bootcamp have job assistance and are very successful at providing graduates employment opportunities within a month of graduating.

    It wasn’t a good experience for many people I know who graduated from bootcamps but there have been success stories with the big name bootcamps so I’d say it is possible. But it’s cheaper to 1) study on your own, 2) freelance/intern, 3) get a job.