For tech pros, when it comes to the “bootcamp or college?” question, the answer is often binary: you go to one or the other. But as it turns out, a healthy mix of formal education and bootcamp experience may end up the golden ticket to a better salary in tech.
Coding Dojo has released results from a study on education and bootcamp programs. It found that some graduates of its program saw their income jump 117 percent.
“Learning to code can be transformative, and one of the most concrete measurements of that is the economic mobility that our graduates realize,” said Coding Dojo COO and CFO Jay Patel. The largest salary bump was found for students with a high school diploma or GED equivalent; this group comprised roughly 21 percent of Coding Dojo graduates (and largely powered the 117 percent salary increase).
Nine percent of Coding Dojo graduates had an associate degree, and saw their income boosted 53 percent after graduation. A bachelor’s degree earned Coding Dojo alums a 59 percent boost, while graduate and doctorate degree holders saw a 49 percent salary bump.
“I attended a coding bootcamp because I knew that a solid technical foundation combined with my medical background would be a unique combination of skills that would position me for roles in advancing medicine and healthcare over the next few decades,” said Coding Dojo graduate Kwame Johnson, who has an M.D. from Duke University School of Medicine and is currently a program manager at Microsoft. “A change from the medical to technology field made sense for me.”
Coding Dojo says its graduates who find jobs in tech have an average starting salary of $72,286.50.
This study comes with one big unknown: what were graduates doing before they entered bootcamp? We’d also note that, while a 117 percent boost in salary for high school graduates is awesome, it’s tantamount to finding your first real job as an adult. Still, any appreciable boost in salary is worth mention.
Other studies have shown that higher education degrees aren’t always worth the extra time in school. For example, SmartAsset found that a bachelor’s degree is the most lucrative in tech, and even more attractive if you’re in a major tech hub like Silicon Valley.
Some hiring managers overlook degrees entirely, preferring someone who can quickly prove their ability to get the job done. As Jon Brodsky, U.S. manager for Finder.com, told Dice late last year: “So long as they have a proven ability to do the work required, we don’t care where the skills came from—self-taught or college educated—more that they are the right team fit.”