The Ultimate Guide to Coding Bootcamps With Accreditation
In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, the need for coding professionals has become paramount. Enter accredited coding bootcamps–intensive, immersive programs designed to equip people with the necessary coding skills to thrive in the tech industry. Accreditation ensures coding schools meet stringent quality standards and offer valuable educational experiences.
Whether you are looking to launch your career or seeking to upskill, understanding the value and advantages of accredited coding bootcamps is crucial. This article features several coding bootcamps with accreditation, information on accreditation bodies, and a comparison between non-accredited and accredited coding bootcamps. We will also look at what it means to be an ACCET- or CIRR-verified coding bootcamp and whether or not that is a factor to consider.
Are Coding Bootcamps Accredited?
Most coding bootcamps are not accredited. As of 2023, only a handful of coding bootcamps hold some form of accreditation from recognized organizations. Examples of accredited coding bootcamps include NYC Data Science Academy, Turing School of Software & Design, and Cybersecurity Institute at LabFour.
There are a lot of reasons why a majority of coding bootcamps may not hold an accreditation. Accreditation is a voluntary process, so some coding bootcamps may choose to skip an extensive process of evaluation and, instead, channel their limited resources into curriculum development, quality improvement, and staff recruitment.
Although most coding bootcamps are not accredited by the US Department of Education, some choose to report their outcomes through independent agencies. These reports are publicly available and they typically highlight key information like the number of students, graduation rate, and employment rate for specific programs. This ensures maximum transparency and accountability on their part.
What Is Accreditation?
Accreditation is a voluntary process through which coding bootcamps undergo evaluation by recognized accrediting bodies to ensure they meet certain standards of quality education. Accreditation can provide assurance of a bootcamp’s credibility, recognition by employers, eligibility for financial aid, and access to professional development opportunities.
In the US, the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) under the Department of Education holds a list of all accrediting bodies in the higher education space. These bodies have undergone a rigorous evaluation process to ensure they meet certain standards of quality and credibility. They act as independent authorities responsible for assessing and accrediting educational institutions including colleges, universities, and some coding bootcamps.
By receiving recognition from CHEA-approved accrediting agencies, accredited coding bootcamps can demonstrate their commitment to meeting established standards for educational quality, curriculum, and student outcomes. This recognition adds a level of credibility, assuring students and employers that the education provided meets recognized industry standards.
Does Coding Bootcamp Accreditation Matter?
The answer is both yes and no. Coding bootcamps emerged in recent years as a solution to bridge the talent gap in the tech industry. They are a relatively new form of training, offering a job-oriented curriculum that focuses on hands-on learning. As such, the traditional accreditation process may not align with the unique characteristics and objectives of coding bootcamps.
Additionally, many coding bootcamps place a strong emphasis on job placement rates, career outcomes, and industry partnerships. While coding bootcamps that are accredited can demonstrate that their quality matches industry standards, other bootcamps focus on establishing direct connections with employers and industry players to enhance their graduates’ employability.
It’s important to note that not all coding bootcamps seek accreditation. As mentioned, accreditation is a voluntary process and some bootcamps may choose not to pursue it for various reasons. They may still publish their outcomes through alternative bodies, which we will discuss in the section below.
Accreditation Bodies for Coding Bootcamps
Accreditation for coding bootcamps is still much less common than for college degrees or most vocational training programs. However, there are two main bodies in the coding bootcamp space that are often referred to as a benchmark of academic excellence.
This section discusses the main accrediting body under CHEA, which is the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the coalition of coding bootcamps called the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR).
ACCET is a nationally-recognized accrediting body that oversees career-related programs in the higher education space. At the time of writing, there are a total of 193 schools and programs that are ACCET-verified and only four of them offer tech-focused training. Accreditation may be granted for up to five years before expiration. Note that this varies depending on the Accrediting Commission’s decision.
According to the website, ACCET asks that applicants go through the following process in order to become verified:
- Submit an inquiry questionnaire and pay the processing fee
- Submit an application form
- Attend the ACCET Accreditation Workshop
- Submit the Analytic Self-Evaluation Report (ASER)
- Prepare for an onsite visit by the ACCET team
- Receive a report from the ACCET team
- Wait for a decision, which could take up to 12 months
CIRR is a nonprofit organization that seeks to offer a standardized system for measuring and reporting student outcomes. As the coding bootcamp space continues to grow, CIRR aims to be the go-to platform for prospective students to evaluate a school’s performance. There are 11 CIRR-verified coding bootcamps, all of which offer career-centric programs to help students break into tech. All outcomes reports are available on the CIRR website.
To ensure maximum transparency, all CIRR coding bootcamps are required to publish a clear and concise report that answers the following questions:
- How many students graduated on time?
- How many students accepted a full-time job in their relevant field within six months?
- How many graduates secured part-time jobs?
- Did the school itself hire any graduates?
- How many students accepted jobs outside of the field they studied for?
- What are the salaries of graduates who started jobs in their field of study?
ACCET-Verified Coding Bootcamps
Initial Accreditation: December 15, 2020
Turing School is an accredited coding bootcamp with a focus on software engineering. It is ideal for those looking to expand their front end or backend development skills. Its full-fledged programs are designed to be beginner-friendly and to fit learners of all backgrounds. Turing School also has a program dedicated to young professionals between the ages of 18 to 26, offering them crucial guidance as they make that initial step into the workforce.
Initial Accreditation: August 15, 2021
NYC Data Science Academy is an accredited coding bootcamp offering data science and data analytics programs. Its project-oriented curriculum is designed to help students learn in-demand data skills and prepare for a data-related role upon graduation. Students also receive lifelong career support, helping them navigate every stage of their careers.
CompTIA Tech Career Academy
Initial Accreditation: April 15, 2022
CompTIA Tech Career Academy is a great choice for students who are looking to explore a non-coding tech job. It offers a career training program that prepares them for the CompTIA A+ certification, an industry-recognized certification for IT support professionals. In just 16 weeks, students learn key topics, which include security, network, operating systems, and troubleshooting.
Cybersecurity Institute at Lab Four
Initial Accreditation: April 15, 2016
Cybersecurity Institute at Lab Four offers several accredited coding programs in areas like cloud computing, cyber security, data science, front end development, and project management. Most of the programs are also designed to prepare learners for the corresponding certifications. Cybersecurity Institute at Lab Four boasts positive outcomes, with 88 percent of its 2021 graduates finding a job in their chosen field.
Top 5 CIRR Member Coding Bootcamps
Latest CIRR Outcomes: 87.5% graduation rate; 76.2% employment rate within 180 days of graduation
Outcomes Details: Full Stack Web Development (Dallas campus) H1 2022
Codeup is a Texas-based CIRR coding bootcamp offering data science, cloud administration, and web development programs. The programs are designed to equip students with job-oriented skills and launch their careers in less than six months. Codeup graduates have found employment at companies like Oracle, Accenture, Booz Allen Hamilton, and CaptureRx.
Latest CIRR Outcomes: 94.2% graduation rate; 80.1% employment rate within 180 days of graduation
Outcomes Details: Full Stack Web Development (Full-Time Remote) H1 2022
Latest CIRR Outcomes: 86.7% graduation rate; 88.9% employment rate within 180 days of graduation
Outcomes Details: Front End Web Developer Boot Camp (Cincinnati Campus) H2 2021
The Tech Academy is a CIRR member coding bootcamp headquartered in Portland, OR. It offers a wide range of tech programs in the fields of cyber security, web development, data science, game development, and more. Each program is available in two formats: instructor-led or self-paced. This option allows students to enroll in a program that matches their financial and time capacity, career goals, and preferred learning method.
Latest CIRR Outcomes: 85.7% graduation rate; 94.4% employment rate within 180 days of graduation
Outcomes Details: Full Stack Software Development (Cincinnati Campus) H1 2022
Tech Elevator provides software engineering and coding training to career changers, upskillers, and all kinds of learners. Students can choose to learn at any of its 20 campuses across the US or opt for remote learning. Its full-time program runs for 14 weeks while the part-time program can be completed in 30 weeks. Tech Elevator graduates have successfully secured a job in tech, working for an array of companies including GE Aviation, PayPal, PNC Bank, and more.
Latest CIRR Outcomes: 59% graduation rate; 82.6% employment rate within 180 days of graduation
Outcomes Details: Fundamentals of Web Development (Boston Campus) H1 2022
Launch Academy is a Boston-based coding bootcamp that specializes in software engineering. This CIRR-verified coding bootcamp offers an 18-week immersive program encompassing the fundamentals of coding, project-based learning, and career advancement strategies. By the end of the program, students can expect to have a robust portfolio of projects that can demonstrate their skills to hiring managers.
Advantages of Attending Accredited Coding Bootcamps
Attending an accredited coding bootcamp offers several advantages that can greatly benefit individuals pursuing a career in the tech industry. Some of the key advantages include the following.
Assurance of quality education and curriculum
Accredited coding bootcamps go through a rigorous evaluation process to ensure they meet specific standards of academic excellence. Accreditation can validate that the bootcamp provides a high-quality education and up-to-date curriculum that aligns with industry best practices and standards.
Enhanced career prospects
Coding bootcamps that are accredited are often well-regarded by employers in the tech industry. Completing a program from an accredited bootcamp shows that you have received rigorous and immersive training from a recognized school. This can enhance your credibility and increase your chances of being considered for job opportunities.
Strong industry connections and partnerships
Unlike universities and other higher education programs, coding bootcamps’ primary goal is to help you get a job. To achieve this, they work to supplement your learning with robust career support. Most accredited coding bootcamps also partner with employers to better understand what they seek in new hires and gain access to exclusive opportunities within the company.
Alternatives to Accredited Coding Bootcamps
While coding bootcamps that are accredited offer several advantages, they may not be the right fit for everyone. Fortunately, there are alternative options available for individuals seeking to gain coding skills and enter the tech industry. Let’s discuss the alternatives below.
Traditional computer science degree programs
Pursuing a formal education in computer science through a university or college is another alternative to consider. Bachelor’s or associate degree programs in computer science offer a comprehensive curriculum that covers fundamental concepts, algorithms, data structures, and programming languages. These programs typically have accreditation and can provide a well-rounded education with a broader understanding of computer science principles.
Self-paced online coding courses
There are a variety of online platforms that can help you learn coding at your own pace. Platforms like Udemy, Coursera, and Codecademy offer comprehensive programming courses taught by industry experts, covering various languages and topics. These courses often provide flexibility and affordability, allowing learners to tailor their education to their specific needs. They are also great for beginners as they are typically affordable and short in duration.
It’s important to note that not all coding bootcamps seek accreditation. Non-accredited coding bootcamps can still provide quality education and valuable skill development opportunities. It is recommended that you research the reputation, curriculum, instructors, and outcomes of non-accredited bootcamps before enrolling. Reports like CIRR coding bootcamp outcomes can also offer some transparency behind select coding bootcamps’ performance.
Are Coding Bootcamps with Accreditation Worth It?
Accredited coding bootcamps can be worth it, depending on your specific goals, preferences, and circumstances. Coding bootcamps that are accredited undergo a rigorous evaluation process to ensure they meet the standards of quality education. Accreditation provides an extra validation of the bootcamp’s curriculum, instructors, and student outcomes. This can give you confidence that you’re receiving a high-quality education.
However, it’s important to note that accreditation is not the sole factor in determining the value of a coding bootcamp. Non-accredited bootcamps can also offer top-notch coding programs and valuable learning experiences. It’s crucial to do your research and evaluate factors such as curriculum, instructor qualifications, student reviews, alumni outcomes, and career support services when considering a coding bootcamp.
Accredited Coding Bootcamps FAQ
Yes, coding bootcamps can be credible and reputable sources of education and training for people looking to enter the tech industry. However, it’s important to note that not all coding bootcamps are created equal and their credibility can vary. Things you’d want to look for in a reputable coding bootcamp include a strong curriculum, robust career support, and experienced instructors.
Most coding bootcamps offer certificates upon completion of the program. These are different from certifications. A certificate serves as a formal recognition that you have completed training while a certification typically requires that you pass some form of examination or test. While certificates carry less weight than certifications, they can still be valuable additions to your resume and demonstrate your commitment to skill development.
While there are some accredited coding bootcamps in the market, most choose not to get accreditation for many reasons. Coding bootcamps are a new form of training so their structure doesn’t always align with existing accreditation standards. Next, accreditation can be a lengthy and expensive process so some schools would rather focus their resources on improving their services. Note that accreditation is optional and is not the sole indicator of academic excellence.
Yes, coding bootcamp graduates have found employment in many top companies including tech giants like Google, Meta, Amazon, and Microsoft. Coding bootcamps teach students in-demand skills through hands-on projects and exercises. By the end of the coding bootcamp, graduates should be able to produce robust portfolios of projects that can showcase their skills. This makes them attractive candidates for various tech jobs across industries.