Tech Boot Camps Linked to Higher Pay, STEM Jobs

technology students
Photo credit: Jacob Lund/Adobe Stock

Workforce development programs such as boot camps and career pathways training programs are designed to help workers quickly gain the in-demand skills and credentials they need to transition into high-demand, higher-wage jobs in specific sectors or grow within their current roles or companies.

But there is little research on how effective these types of programs are, specifically for people of color. In fact, a Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies analysis released just this year found less than a handful of evaluations of career pathway training programs report on trainee outcomes by race.

Drawing from interviews with 3,824 graduates of 2U-powered university boot camps, a new study by Gallup and educational technology company 2U looks at how effective tech boot camp programs are for graduates from various backgrounds, including populations traditionally underrepresented in technology jobs, such as people of color and women.

Salaries Rose After Graduation

Although it may not have been the main driver of why they enrolled in boot camps, all boot camp graduates surveyed reported making more money shortly after graduation than they were earning before -- regardless of their race or ethnicity, gender, age and whether they live in urban or rural areas.

One year after graduation, the median salary for all boot camp graduates surveyed was $11,000 higher than what they reported making the year they graduated. And the median income growth in the year following boot camp graduation was 17%. Median pay increased across all groups of boot camp graduates surveyed, regardless of race, gender, age and urbanicity, with growth ranging from 6% to 21%.

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