Bootcamps continue to grow in popularity. But almost all bootcamps work without accreditation. Is it important for bootcamp students?
Accreditation signals academic quality for students and potential employers. Accredited colleges and universities must meet high standards to obtain and maintain their accreditation. While bootcamp providers may choose to pursue accreditation, very few do. In the United States, as of 2021, it appears that only one bootcamp coding can take advantage of a current accreditation.
However, accreditation offers only one measure for the evaluation of educational programs. Students can also consider state licensure, independent exams, and placement data. While the number of accredited online coding bootcamps may remain low, there are still many tools for prospective students to assess bootcamps.
What are bootcamps?
Coding Bootcamps provide short-term, accelerated training in coding and other technical skills. Unlike a degree, which takes at least two years, most bootcamps last less than six months.
Bootcamps quickly gained popularity after the first bootcamps open in the early 2010s. Today, bootcamps offer technology-focused training online or in person. They also offer full-time and part-time immersive options.
Students acquire skills through project-based homework and other forms of experiential learning. Independent businesses and colleges both offer bootcamps.
What is accreditation?
In higher education, accreditation marks quality institutions that meet high standards of educational excellence.
Independent accreditation agencies assess colleges and universities to grant accreditation. The rigorous process requires several years of reviewing course materials, student learning outcomes, and faculty qualifications. Accreditation agencies also assess the school’s academic mission and financial solvency.
Schools that exceed the minimum standards obtain accreditation. They must undergo regular examinations to maintain their status. Accredited schools are eligible for federal financial assistance. An accredited degree also meets the requirements for more professional licensing. As a result, students seeking a degree often benefit from choosing an accredited school.
Are coding bootcamps accredited?
Most coding bootcamps do not hold accreditation. The first bootcamps did not pursue accreditation, a process designed to assess colleges and universities.
Today, even bootcamps offered by accredited colleges generally do not hold accreditation. Instead, colleges categorize bootcamps as short-term vocational or continuing education programs.
Keep in mind that accreditation differs from state licensing for education providers. States Licence post-secondary institutions to operate in the state, including bootcamps. An unlicensed bootcamp may face fines or other disciplinary action.
Benefits of non-accreditation
Flexible program: Accredited schools must submit educational materials to accrediting agencies during their exams. Avoiding the curriculum review process allows bootcamps to quickly adjust their educational materials in response to the demand for new technologies and skills.
Cost savings: Investigation found that regionally accredited four-year schools spent up to $ 450,000 in direct and indirect costs to renew their accreditation. By denying accreditation, bootcamps save time and money – savings they can pass on to students.
Disadvantages of non-accreditation
No external quality measurement: Accredited coding bootcamps meet external standards that assess the quality of their teaching materials and teaching standards. Non-accredited programs do not need to pass quality reviews by independent third-party reviewers.
Not eligible for financial assistance: Only accredited programs meet federal financial aid requirements. As a result, most bootcamp programs offer limited financial aid options, such as private loans.
No mission or financial stability test: Accreditation agencies assess schools on their academic mission and financial stability. These tests ensure that institutions prioritize education and follow a solid financial model.
The Council on the Integrity of Results Reporting
Accreditation remains an important criterion for evaluating educational programs. But prospective students can also use other metrics to identify reliable programs.
The Advice on the integrity of results reporting (CIRR) evaluates coding bootcamps. A nonprofit, the CIRR surveys bootcamps and bootcamp students to track performance.
The CIRR collects measures on student performance, including the number of students who graduated on time, the number of students employed full-time in their field within six months, and the salaries of students working in their field. domain. The CIRR also reports on students working in other fields or in part-time roles.
Bootcamps report data to CIRR annually, and a third-party organization reviews these results reports for accuracy and transparency. The CIRR is not an accreditation body, but it provides future students with valuable information on choosing a bootcamp.
The future of bootcamps
The popularity of bootcamps continues to grow. So what could the future look like?
Some bootcamps may choose to pursue accreditation. In 2021, the Continuing Education Accreditation Commission national accreditation granted at the NYC Data Science Academy bootcamp as a professional institution. The bootcamp will have to renew its accreditation every three years.
The pursuit of accreditation requires significant financial resources. A recent poll determined that regionally accredited four-year schools spent up to $ 150,000 to renew accreditation, plus up to $ 300,000 in indirect costs. Bootcamps may deny accreditation due to cost and time requirements.
Changes at the federal or state level can also impact bootcamps. In 2019, then Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recommended extend federal financial assistance to unaccredited bootcamp programs.
State authorization may add additional requirements for bootcamps. For example, California only allows bootcamps that meet standards of “integrity, financial stability and quality of education”.
Whether or not the regulatory environment changes, bootcamps are here to stay. Today, the Big Five tech companies employ an equal number of graduates from bootcamps and degree programs.
Choosing a good bootcamp
Without accreditation, how do you choose a reputable bootcamp? Students need to do extra work to identify the right bootcamps and avoid scams. Look for the following quality indicators when choosing a bootcamp.
Membership of the CIRR: Bootcamps that hold CIRR members report data on their students’ performance, internships and average salaries. These results reports are subject to third party evaluation to confirm their accuracy. The CIRR card includes online and in-person coding bootcamps.
Student achievement data: Reputable bootcamps provide data on student performance. This includes information on the number of students who have found full-time employment in their field in six months. Many also disclose the average salaries of graduates. If a bootcamp does not provide data on student achievement, that is a major red flag.
Career service: Students enroll in coding bootcamps to advance their careers and increase their earning potential. The best bootcamps offer career services to place students in jobs related to their field. Many bootcamps build relationships with large companies that hire graduates.
Satisfied alumni: What do alumni think of the bootcamp? A good bootcamp will produce lots of satisfied alumni working in relevant fields. Rather than looking for testimonials from alumni on the bootcamp website, use sites like LinkedIn to learn more about alumni.
Can bootcamps be accredited?
Like many non-degree programs, most bootcamps do not hold accreditation. However, bootcamp providers may choose to pursue accreditation.
Are university bootcamps accredited?
Although universities hold accreditation, this accreditation does not extend to university bootcamp programs, which generally fall under continuing education or professional training.
Which coding bootcamp is accredited?
Currently, students have few options when it comes to accredited coding bootcamps. In the United States, since October 2021, only the NYC Data Science Academy holds an accreditation. In the future, more bootcamps may pursue accreditation.