Nucamp's Rapid Growth Signals Change for Coding Bootcamps in 2022

By Chevas Balloun

Last Updated: May 19th 2024

Nucamp's Rapid Growth Signals Change for Coding Bootcamps in 2022

This post gives more context to the news about us released today in Business Wire.

Post-secondary education has traditionally been inaccessible for prospective students due to high costs and having to delay their careers in order to focus on learning. The cost of college continues to increase, outpacing inflation and family income over recent decades while at the same time, digital learning has been the fastest growing market in education, increasing 900% since 2000. With the effects of COVID-19 negatively impacting in-person learning rates, students should be asking if post secondary education is worth the risk and cost, and they are.

As coding bootcamps debuted several years ago, they promised an answer to the high barrier to entry, specifically for those interested in software development: a shorter period of learning and the promise of a high paying job once a student graduates—as long as students were willing to take on an Income Share Agreement (ISA) where they would trade approximately 15% of their income over three to five years in exchange for a coding bootcamp that normally would cost $15k-$30k. With these carrots being dangled in front of them, motivated students could shorten their education time and take on the high risk of debt believing that they would have a high-paying job on the other side.

As it turned out, this model hasn’t delivered the way it should. While there are some success stories, coding bootcamps have faced litigation for their lack of accountability regarding the fine print of their promises, the legal gray areas of ISAs, and many times job promises that never materialized. In the end, many students ended up with a bill that rivaled or exceeded a year’s college tuition. For those students who weren’t sure if coding was right for them without taking on huge risk, coding bootcamps still proved to be inaccessible.

Remaining True to Our Mission

Nucamp’s mission since 2017 has been to make coding education accessible to everyone, and we believe accessibility must first be addressed by offering affordable education. Nucamp’s offering range from $1,540 for a 16 & 17 week bootcamps, teaching either Front-End or Back-End coding, $1,940 for a 22 week Full Stack program, and $4,268 for our 11-month, Complete Software Engineering Bootcamp Path.

By modeling our coding bootcamps after the Flipped Classroom, where students watch lectures and study materials during the week on their own time, then on Saturdays complete live workshops with up to 11 other students and a dedicated instructor, Nucamp has eliminated the requirement for students to quit their jobs while they learn.

Our approach has been to prioritize people first, which has steered us clear of taking on large investments from venture capital or taking on an acquisition by a larger company, both of which often present competing values that shift the priority to profit over people. Other than a small amount of seed money to launch, Nucamp has self-funded its growth and continues to grow by remaining true to its mission: offering affordable, high-quality coding education that students want.

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The results of people over profits in 2021

In 2021, when looking at the key performance indicators of the marketplace:

  • Since 2019, Nucamp has registered over 10,000 unique students, 5,280 from 2021 alone
  • We have 299 active instructors who are teaching part time for Nucamp while working full time in the industry, which keeps them relevant to what’s happening in the workforce
  • The average instructor rating was 4.63 out of 5 starts, based on anonymous student surveys
  • In July of 2021, Nucamp became the #1 Coding bootcamp in the US according to Course Report and Career Karma’s ratings, achieving the most ratings and highest average rating in the US
  • Nucamp delivered 1,126 classes with a dedicated instructor and a maximum of 12 students per class

Outcomes Data that Makes sense

One topic of public scrutiny over coding bootcamps is how they have reported their student outcomes data, specifically job placement and graduation rates. The formulas were complex, only the best data was shown while other data was obscured, and only the best subsets of students were used in calculations. The results are a significant skewing of outcomes rates.

In 2021, we developed our own method for reporting outcomes, the Transparent and Realistic Outcome Norms (TRON), as a reliable alternative. The formulas are simple, the data is public and historical, every graduate survey is counted (not just the best), and we track Job Skills Rate instead of Job Placement: are students using the skills they learned in their paid work?

Many factors play a part in obtaining a new job in tech, most of which are solely out of a Coding Bootcamp’s control. Therefore, Nucamp does not promise jobs and we don’t believe anyone should be. Instead, Nucamp teaches coding skills that enable students to improve their careers, which enables them to pursue and land new jobs, work as a freelancer, or help start a company.

In 2021, when looking at the impact that learning has had on students:

  • 73% of enrolled students who completed the first module (four to five weeks) of a coding bootcamp graduated
  • 981 surveys were answered by graduates
  • 85% of those graduates reported applying their coding skills in their jobs after six months

New Offerings in 2021

With over 40,000 Back End with Python job openings in the United States at an average salary of $126,499, the need to fill these positions is evident. In May we announced our Backend with Python, SQL, and DevOps Bootcamp as a pertinent expansion to our catalogue and just graduated our first cohort in November.

In September we announced The Complete Software Engineering Bootcamp Path for career shifters and high school graduates as a serious alternative to getting a Computer Science degree. The Path takes everything Nucamp has developed over the past 4 years and combined it into an 11-month program with over 1,400+ hours of learning.

The final stretch of the Path includes Nucamp’s newly designed Job Hunting Bootcamp aimed at super-charging the hiring process for graduates with professional guidance on whiteboard interviewing, resume building, polishing LinkedIn and Github profiles, networking in select coding communities, and more.

The Future of Online Education

These metrics and our growth demonstrate that scalable online education that 1) includes an instructor and classmates and 2) passes cost savings to students meets their expectations as an accessible alternative to traditional education and it signals the future for post-secondary learning. Nucamp has positioned itself as a marketplace for digital learning to scale and we expect our growth in 2022 and our future catalogue of courses will continue to reflect this trend.


Chevas Balloun

Director of Marketing & Brand

Chevas has spent over 15 years inventing brands, designing interfaces, and driving engagement for companies like Microsoft. He is a practiced writer, a productivity app inventor, board game designer, and has a builder-mentality drives entrepreneurship.