Tech Bootcamps re-skilled and up-skilled over 100,000 professionals globally in 2021, up from less than 20,000 in 2015. We expect this number to reach over 380,000 by 2025 representing over $3B of expenditure with significant upside as tech up-skilling models and modes overlap and converge. Governments, employers, universities and colleges everywhere are embracing rapid, high ROI training to build capacity in software, marketing, cyber and tech sales to drive their economies and growth.
Just over 10 years ago, the coding bootcamp model was born. Students paid around $15,000 USD to complete a full time, cohort based, in-person and instructor led 12 week immersive program in coding, then digital marketing and over time a broader range of digital skills. Cohorts were generally made up of novices, new to digital skills, many ‘career switchers’, some recently graduated from college or university, military veterans or other ‘trade’ focused workers looking for on on-ramp and pathway into tech. Bootcamp cohorts were almost guaranteed a job in tech and for most graduates, starting pay-checks were 50% higher than their prior job and these days with salaries averaging $70,000 USD. Whilst Bootcamp’s did not position themselves as an alternative to a degree, the ROI on time, cost and a 50% pay-rise in the booming tech sector was an incredibly compelling option.
10+ years on, Bootcamp’s are booming. Pre-Pandemic, General Assembly dominated the B2C category, Trilogy (now 2U) dominated University Partnerships and Lambda School (now Bloom) championed the ISA. Now, a much larger, increasingly global and more diverse cohort define the next-gen bootcamp landscape including players such as Coding Dojo, Digital House, Great Learning, Pathstream, ThriveDX, Simplilearn & Springboard to name but a few (examples only). Some would argue professional apprenticeship players such as Multiverse and OPM like platforms such as Emeritus are now firmly in the bootcamp category and represent the convergence of cohort based models with instructors, coaches or mentors towards clear labor market focused outcomes for the learner and/or employee.
The next-generation bootcamp is leveraging its original cohort model for multi-channel expansion and increasingly competing ‘on-demand’ with licensing models for structured curriculum to support 'accelerated' digital skills programs. The boundaries between bootcamp, OPM and on-demand course marketplace are blurring.
The first generation of Bootcamps scaled their B2C offering through physical campuses and over time developed online cohort models. Around 2015, Bootcamps started establishing partnerships with colleges and universities who benefited from the curriculum, practical and project-based learning and much stronger industry linkages. Bootcamp-University partnerships have been growing faster than OPM partnerships for the last few years and are now expanding into local, state and national government partnerships in somewhat similar circumstances.
At the same time as Bootcamp’s started experimenting with University partnerships, the sector expanded in to B2B Digital Skills programs with large employers who again valued cohort led, instructor driven training. Large employers were looking for curriculum consistency to help build internal standards and a common language within a capability and in many circumstances needed a delivery partner who would provide the training in-person and online to global workforces in both re-skilling and up-skilling contexts.
The next-generation Bootcamp is a truly multi-channel, multi-market and multi-model platform, extending it’s reach from traditional in-person or online B2C programs, through government, university and business partnerships and further towards curriculum and content licensing, franchise arrangements and on-demand content that will increasingly compete directly with on-demand digital skills marketplace and catalogue incumbents.
Just as the model is evolving and expanding, so too is the addressable market through a more comprehensive set of digital skills programs. As the core offerings of coding, digital marketing, UX/UI and product management through to data analytics and data science build momentum, new programs in cyber security, dev ops/system and network management and now tech sales and metaverse/web3 and other advanced technologies are growing rapidly.