Are Coding Bootcamps Dead? (What's Next?)

The Next Ed-Tech Supercycle

Happy Tuesday and Welcome back to… THE JAILBREAK.
(along with 680+ readers 🗝️ )

THE JAILBREAK - Issue #43 - March 19th, 2024 - by Jack Ross

It’s no secret that the tech job market is in the gutter.

With fewer people able to find jobs and even fewer aspiring devs thinking that they can compete without industry experience…

Coding bootcamps are taking a massive hit.

In a Reddit post by the founder of a popular coding bootcamp, NuCamp, the founder talks about how bootcamps (across the board) are struggling financially and that people no longer trust bootcamps to help them land a job in tech.

He wonders if bootcamps are dead and hints that AI is the next thing they’re working on.

This got me thinking… 🤔 

Here is a Google Trends dashboard showing the search popularity for the terms “coding bootcamp”, “learn to code” and “AI bootcamp” over the last 5 years

You can see that for a long time, learning to code and coding bootcamp search terms were pretty strongly coupled and there was even a period where more people were searching for coding bootcamps.

But around the start of 2023, the coding bootcamp trend started to separate and slowly decline

Do I think coding bootcamps are dead? No.

Do I think coding bootcamps have to adapt and differentiate themselves? Yes!

(Yellow = AI Bootcamp, Red = Learn to Code, Blue = Coding Bootcamp)

You can see the small yellow trend at the bottom of the graph — This is the AI bootcamp search term and it’s starting to grow pretty rapidly.

If I was a betting man (I am) I would put money on AI bootcamps being the next supercycle in the Ed-Tech industry. But I think this is going to be make or break for a majority of bootcamps.

In the next few years, I predict we will see a massive influx of scammy, shitty, AI coding bootcamps that tell people they can become “AI engineers” in 6 weeks.

I think we might also see the next generation of coding “bootcamps” if that will even be what they call them. (Tbh “code school” even has a better ring to it)

I believe these scammy AI-bandwagoners will drive bootcamp trust even further into the ground but it sets the stage for someone to make something that cuts through the noise and genuinely helps people learn to code along with using AI tools to increase developer productivity.

When Blockbuster died I don’t think anyone thought watching movies would die out too.

It’s just time for something better to emerge that allows people to break into the tech industry in a non-traditional way.

I’ll be doing a full deep dive on the current state of coding bootcamps over on my YouTube channel so make sure to subscribe if you don’t want to miss it!

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- Jack Ross ✌️

Jack Ross (Data Engineer, Writer, Nomad)

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