Breaking Down the CIRR Data

presented by Eric Wise, Founder of The Software Guild

The inaugural data from the coding bootcamps in the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR) was released on April 6 — a great day for the coding bootcamp industry. Since the launch of the initiative 15 additional members have gotten in line to join CIRR and publish their data going forward. I am pleased to see members of this industry put the consumer first and seek greater transparency in their results.

I am also geeking out! If you follow me on sites like Quora or Reddit, I have always had strong opinions about how data is reported by the industry, and I have spent significant time educating potential buyers about the questions they should ask and how to research bootcamps. The for-profit education space has had some bad actors in recent years and well-publicized shutdowns of schools, and it has long been at the back of my mind that I did not want the same behavior happening in a space I believe in. CIRR is a solid step in the right direction!

Of the 14 founding members of CIRR, nine were able to come up with the data to satisfy the reporting standards for January-June 2016. Note that this does not mean the other five are bad or suspect in any way. Since there were no reporting standards for the industry prior to CIRR, not everyone was collecting the amount or format of data that was required. I can personally attest that The Software Guild staff spent many extra hours reaching out to our alumni and collecting their self-reported data in the CIRR format. It was a lot of work! Going forward, it will be much easier since we now have processes in place to collect the data.

CIRR reports are quite detailed, which is great, but I have always wanted to do a cross-cutting view of the Guild versus the field. We have always believed we are one of the top bootcamps in the world, and now we can put that belief to the test for the first time ever! So without further ado, let’s look at the CIRR data with the schools in alphabetical order.

School Graduation Rate In-Field 90 Days In-Field 180 Days Hired By School
Code Fellows 83.96% 60% 80% 1%
Codeup 89.23% 47% 61% 2%
Epicodus 81.25% 49% 56% 0%
Hackbright Academy 100.00% 45% 71% 3.85%
Hack Reactor (SF) 92.53% 52% 83% 2%
Hack Reactor (TX) 97.14% 60% 87% 1%
Sabio (Culver) 92% 77% 84% 0%
Sabio (Newport) 93.75% 93% 93% 0%
Software Guild 91.76% 82% 87% 0%
Thinkful 100% 71% 79% 0%
Turing 91.55% 69% 80% 6%
Averages 92.13% 64.18% 78.36% 1.44%

Graduation Rates

Overall, the CIRR schools do an excellent job of admitting students who are capable of graduating. The industry average sits at 92 percent, which is much higher than the graduation rate for bachelor’s degree seekers — only 60 percent graduate within six years. Granted, a four- to six-year commitment for going to school and a three- to 12-month commitment are two entirely different things, but this is a solid showing all in all.

Calling out The Software Guild in particular, we continue to evolve our admissions process and have even introduced auditions in the last few months, which is greatly improving the preparedness of our students. The 91.76 percent graduation rate is pre-audition, so we’ll be interested to see how auditions impact our graduation rate. As it stands, we are right at the average for the industry.

In-Field Placements

This is where the rubber meets the road. It is the holy grail of the coding bootcamp — the outcome. Did you, after graduating from the program, actually get a coding-related job? This is where The Software Guild shines.

90-Day Placements

As we examine 90-day placements, we can see that Sabio’s Newport location and The Software Guild are the fastest in-field placement organizations in the industry, and it’s not all that close! The industry average is very good as a whole, with 64 percent of students reporting in-field placement within 90 days. With The Software Guild at 82 percent, we now know that we are placing our graduates significantly faster than the average.

Top 3 Schools, 90-Day Placements

School Graduation Rate In-Field 90 Days In-Field 180 Days Hired By School
Sabio (Newport) 93.75% 93% 93% 0%
Software Guild 91.76% 82% 87% 0%
Sabio (Culver) 92% 77% 84% 0%

180-Day Placements

A job search is a job in itself, and interviewing is a skill. Naturally, the more you work at it, the greater your chances of success are. So it’s no surprise that in-field placements increase over time across the board. What is interesting to me is that the majority of placements happen in the first 90 days. So it appears that if you lag behind your classmates the further out you get from graduation, the lower your chances of employment appear to be. As an industry, I think we should look closely at this trend.

Again, The Software Guild stacks up favorably with the field , finishing significantly above the overall average of 78 percent.

Top 3 Schools, 180-Day Placements

School Graduation Rate In-Field 90 Days In-Field 180 Days Hired By School
Sabio (Newport) 93.75% 93% 93% 0%
Software Guild 91.76% 82% 87% 0%
Hack Reactor (TX) 97.14% 60% 87% 1%

Hired by School

This has always been a point of contention for me. As schools reported placement rates prior to CIRR with no common standards, I felt like there was a conflict of interest for schools to hire their own students as teaching aides and give them internships to tide them over until they found work in the field. While there are legitimate reasons why you might want to hire the top students in your class, it simply felt to us like a slippery slope to be avoided. The Guild has always taken a stand that we only hire instructors with practical experience in the field.

Conclusion

I am thrilled that at long last we have a way to level the playing field and be transparent with our potential customers. The Guild has lived up to my expectations of being one of the top programs in the world, and as someone who grew up and lives in the Midwest, I’m pleased that you do not have to go to Silicon Valley to get a quality coding education.

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