One of the most compelling reasons to attend a coding bootcamp is to gain skills employers want, making it easier to find a job. A lot of bootcamps claim incredibly high job placement rates, with many even saying they have a 99 percent placement rate. But how can you know if those numbers are true?

The Truth Behind the Numbers

In the case of the extremely high placement rates, unfortunately, they’re likely not true or at least not fully true. Those companies are likely manipulating their data to increase their placement percentage. Some of the ways the numbers can be manipulated include:

  1. They define what a “job-seeking graduate” is and remove students from their outcomes calculations based on that definition.
  2. They remove students who did not respond during their data collecting process. Although non-responsiveness is an expected part of data collection, removing these students means these schools can inflate their numbers by not following up with students who they think might not have done well in their job search.
  3. They use a broad definition of “job” to increase the number of students they can report as employed. For example, they lump part-time or contract positions in with full-time numbers. While there’s nothing wrong with non-permanent positions, which often are stepping-stones to full-time work, it’s misleading not to break out these numbers.
  4. They don’t have a time limit on their data collection. If a student finds a job two years after graduating, they’re included in the same percentage as a student who finds a job within a month.

Some of these practices are listed in fine print, either on the website or in a downloadable PDF. And some of these schools will have an auditor review their data for accuracy, so it seems like you should be able to trust the numbers. But as outlined above, there are a lot of ways to make the data look like it tells a better story than it is. Dig deeper to find out the truth behind the numbers.

The Benefits of CIRR

The good news is that there are ways to verify the information you see, at least for some schools. This year, The Software Guild joined the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR). CIRR is a standard developed by more than 30 coding schools that believe in giving prospective students the information they need to make informed decisions. In contrast to the practices described above, CIRR members like The Software Guild follow these higher standards:

  1. We report on every student who enrolls, even those who don’t graduate.
  2. We don’t remove any students from our calculations. We even disclose the percent of graduates we couldn’t contact.
  3. We differentiate among different types of jobs, including full time, internship and part time.
  4. We report outcomes at 90 days and 180 days after graduation.

As a potential student, you can trust that our numbers won’t mislead you as you decide if attending is the right choice for you.


Read the latest CIRR data for The Software Guild for yourself.