Coding bootcamps have exploded in recent years, with proponents touting the model as a way to fill the the tech talent gap and provide people with an entry point into a lucrative career. And employers are jumping on board, according to a new report from Indeed: 80% of US tech hiring managers and recruiters said they have hired a coding bootcamp graduate for a tech role—and 99.8% said they would do so again.
Of the 1,000 people surveyed, 72% said they consider bootcamp graduates to be just as prepared and likely to perform at a high level as computer science grads. And 12% said they think bootcamp grads are more prepared and more likely to succeed.
"We have a seemingly infinite demand for software engineers, and not enough computer science graduates to fill the needs of companies, which stretches far beyond traditional tech companies and startups," Raj Mukherjee, Indeed's senior vice president of product, told TechRepublic. "Nearly every company has demand for technical talent, and coding schools are a great way to retrain workforces for these types of jobs. Expanding the pool of available talent through coding schools should be welcomed by employers."
What's more, 42% of tech hiring managers and recruiters said they don't have a preference as to whether a job candidate has a computer science degree or is a bootcamp graduate. Still, 41% said they would prefer to hire someone with a computer science degree, because they are more qualified (73%), and more likely to be a top performer (55%), Indeed found.
However, 17% said they would prefer to hire a coding bootcamp graduate. The top reasons for this were that they are more likely to be at the beginning of their career and stay with the company longer (60%), these graduates are easier to hire and are just as likely to become top performers (48.4%), and these graduates do not require as high of a salary as degree holders (32%).
An estimated 17,966 students graduated from bootcamps in 2016, according to Course Report. In comparison, there were 61,408 undergraduate computer science graduates from accredited US universities in 2015.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts there will be 1.4 million more software jobs than applicants to fill them in 2020. That number of jobs cannot be filled alone with computer science graduates, said Mukherjee.
"The survey shows us while employers still prefer to hire people with computer science degrees, there are also a large number of employers, 42%, who don't have a preference," Mukherjee said. "So while I think there is a lot of opportunity to hire bootcamp grads in the future, I don't necessarily see the value of a bachelor's degree going away. I see coding schools being another way to help close the tech talent hiring gap which computer science graduates alone won't be able to close."
Some 98% of respondents agreed that coding bootcamps are a good way to close the tech talent gap and enable employers to find more qualified candidates for technical positions. However, 98% also said that they support increased regulation and a proposed accreditation program for coding bootcamps.
These graduates can also help companies diversify: 51% of respondents said coding bootcamps are a good way to help job seekers from underrepresented groups, such as women and minorities, find work in the tech industry.
"Coding school graduates can be a great way for companies to get the talent they need in an increasingly competitive job market," Mukherjee said. Indeed itself has hired interns from a coding school in Seattle, he added. "We are happy with the early results," Mukherjee said. "My takeaway is to be open minded about coding school graduates and how they can help your business succeed."
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
1. Some 80% of US tech hiring managers and recruiters said they have hired a coding bootcamp graduate for a tech role, and 99.8% said they would do so again, according to a new report from Indeed.
2. While 42% of respondents said they don't have a preference as to whether a job candidate has a computer science degree or is a bootcamp graduate, 41% said they would prefer to hire someone with a computer science degree, because they are more qualified and more likely to be a top performer.
3. The vast majority of respondents (98%) said they think coding schools can help close the tech talent gap, but that same percentage also said they support more regulation for these programs.
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Alison DeNisco Rayome has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.