How coding bootcamps have impacted the job market (or the other way around?)

How coding bootcamps have impacted the job market

Until shockingly recently, the only way to educate yourself onto the tech job market was through a computer science degree. The problem with this is that it took at least three years to complete and the material you learned was often obsolete by the time you graduated. 

Companies are rapidly scrambling to up their tech game, and as such, they need talent fast. At the same time, the security of “traditional” jobs is fading away, pushing an increasing number of people to move into tech jobs. 

Out of this climate, coding academies like Ubiqum developed methodologies that could take people from zero knowledge of code to an employable level in a very short amount of time. Since then, the impact of coding bootcamps on the job market has been huge, as code academies can update their syllabuses much quicker than universities and fully prepare students for the constantly changing world of work.

Barcelona Digital Talent recently published a report (in Spanish), backed by the Mobile World Capital along with the Generalitat de Catalunya’s Department of Digital Policies, on the market impact that bootcamps have had in Spain. 

The 42-page report looks at the current state of tech academics and how they have affected the marketplace. This is interesting both for employers who want to find the best talent, as well as students who want to stand out from the crowd.

As one of the 28 contributors to the research, we at Ubiqum have compiled some of the most interesting takeaways so you can see the recent impact of coding bootcamps on the job market. 

Web Development is still the most widely offered bootcamp, but Data is catching up

A massive 89% of academies offer Web Development bootcamps, making it the most commonly taught program on the market. This shows that website and app creation is still the most popular course out there, and it’s no surprise as it is a creative area that attracts a lot of people.

A horizontal bar chart showing Web Development is the most commonly offered bootcamp in Spain. More than Data Science and Machine Learning, UI/UX Design, Cyber Security, Mobile Development, and Other

As a major player in web development, JavaScript tops the list of the most taught programming languages at 86% of centers. In Ubiqum’s Web Development programs, we cover HTML, CSS, and JavaScript in depth, so our graduates can move straight on to start building apps and websites. Web Development with JavaScript (MERN) is a three-month course aimed at people who want to get started right away — often entrepreneurs who want to create a minimum viable product. 

Web Development with Java covers everything its little brother does and more — delving into the complex world of Java. Graduates of this bootcamp can immediately move into their first role as a full-stack web developer.

The second most popular subject in the study, Data Science and Machine Learning, is offered by 50% of the participating coding bootcamps, but is projected to continue rising as new applications for this emerging field are discovered. 

Ubiqum has a wealth of experience in Data Analytics & Machine Learning as the first coding academy in Europe to offer the course. Recently, Santander Universidades placed their trust in our bootcamp as part of their scholarship system to reskill 50 lucky applicants in data analytics. 

The demand for analysts is exploding at the moment, as all kinds of companies turn to data to inform their business decision making. In the coming issues of this report, expect to see Data Analytics and Machine Learning close the gap on Web Development. 

Bootcamps are still on the rise — despite the pandemic

The popularity of bootcamps has not been affected by the pandemic. In fact, in 2020, more than 6200 students began a bootcamp in Spain, which was 36% more than in 2019. One of the reasons behind this could have been that so many people lost their jobs during lockdown. With no employment and an uncertainty over when, or if, “normality” would return, retraining in a more future-proof profession is a simple decision. 

This shows that while economies were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of coding bootcamps on the job market remained strong. Now, with so many companies changing their company cultures to be more technologically minded, it is highly unlikely that this trend will return to 2019 levels once the pandemic is over.

Most students are looking for a new career path — and find it

Coding bootcamps allowed students to quickly reskill and start new jobs in the tech industry. Around 80% of bootcamp students are over 25 years old and 25% are over 35. This means they are more likely to be changing their career path, rather than studying a bootcamp straight after school. 

Most students choose bootcamps as an individual change (82%), as opposed to corporate training programs (18%). However, with the demand for tech skills continually rising, we can expect to see corporate candidates steadily rise in the coming years. This will see students continuing in the same company as they worked before, but with a more tech-first focus, and probably a salary increase. 

The number of women at coding academies is growing

Bootcamps have a more encouraging gender representation than other forms of technology training. In 2020, women made up 36% of students at coding academies, and the Barcelona Digital Talent study expects that to rise to 40% throughout 2021. This is far above the number of women currently in tech jobs, which was 16.2% in 2018. 

This shows promising signs for the accessibility of the market, and will help to balance out the industry in the coming years. The more diversity in tech, the better for everybody, as the scope of projects out there is endless. With developers and analysts needed in all industries from healthcare and banking to environmental issues and city planning, bootcamps must be aware of their responsibility of providing a wider range of candidates for each job.

On-campus vs online bootcamps

On-campus bootcamps are still the most popular option, with only 4% of bootcamps offering 100% online courses. The main reason for this is that for beginners, the face-to-face teaching approach and the community of like-minded students is high on the priority list. 

However, there has obviously been an uptick in online options due to the pandemic. At Ubiqum, our online courses offer full flexibility, and are aimed at students who don’t live in our campus cities, or want to save money by studying from home. With so many companies working remotely, a working-from-home mindset is great preparation for your first job placement.

You may be working in your current job on a full-time basis with only 15 hours a week to devote to the program. On the other hand, you might be between jobs and can invest 8 hours per day to learn coding. If you find employment during your studies, you can easily switch to the part-time option and take things at a slower pace. Whatever your situation, you can plan a calendar with your Ubiqum mentor to get a bootcamp that works for you.

Studying at a bootcamp gets you a job fast

According to the study, on average, 55% of bootcamp students find a job within three months of completing their course and 77% within six months. However, with Ubiqum’s methodology, reputation, and the Boosting my Career program, 92% of our students find employment within two months of graduation.

Three donut charts showing that 55% of students at an average bootcamp find a job within three months, 77% find one in six months, but at Ubiqum, 92% find a job within two months.

Among the main recruiters of bootcamp graduates are startups, consulting firms, and large companies that have begun focusing on IT. Whereas previously, companies would have had to give students copious extra training in-house, with the impact of bootcamps on the job market has meant that students can seamlessly switch from studying to working with very little retraining.

A summary of the impact of bootcamps on the job market

Interestingly, it’s not true to say that the impact of bootcamps has been one-way traffic.

Coding academies began as a way to fill a digital talent gap which is still increasing in size, so in fact, the job market has had more of an effect on the evolution of bootcamps. 

However, where bootcamps like Ubiqum exist, that talent gap is getting filled with quality workers at a much faster rate than it would with university courses or massive open online courses (MOOCs) like Udemy. As the amount of talent is growing, companies can push their digital projects forward with much more confidence. 

And that talent pool shows no signs of stopping. Online competition, automation, and the pandemic have threatened the stability of jobs such as physical shop assistants, financial advisors, and hotel staff. Therefore, workers are having to reskill in a short amount of time to switch their career path to a more future-proof trajectory. 

As the best method for both employers and employees, it is up to coding academies like Ubiqum to make sure their graduates are joining the job market in the right numbers, diversity, and with the right skills to help the world of tech flourish.