Over the past two years, it has been a privilege to share our love of code with more than 350 students. Our graduates have trusted us with their futures—and we have not taken this responsibility lightly. When we first opened our doors in 2012, among the questions we hoped to answer was this:
“By leveraging the now free resources available from the best minds and institutions and working closely with the best companies to understand what they need from employees, can we do a better job of training people to join today’s workforce?”
Two years later, we couldn’t be more excited about the results so far. In order to provide transparency around student outcomes, we asked a third-party CPA to provide a detailed, independent examination and analysis of our student outcomes. Here are some of the highlights from that report:
98% of students who have enrolled in Flatiron School have successfully completed our programs. This compares to a 59% graduation rate for four-year degree candidates within six years of enrollment.
94% of job seeking students have found roles within four months of graduation from Flatiron School, 99% overall. The average salary for graduates who accepted full-time roles is $74,000
38% of Flatiron School graduates have been women, a trend that is increasing over time, with over 45% in the December 2014 class—54% specifically in the Web Development class.
The full report is available for download at flatironschool.com/jobs-report-2014
Going to college used to be the best investment someone could make, but it’s not anymore. What was once a guaranteed route to success is now a gamble. Students often graduate with a massive amount debt but lack skills relevant to today’s job market.
The worst part of this situation is that college is still the best option for most people. It’s still seen as the first step in a linear path to career success and financial stability. The only thing riskier than going to college today, is not going to college. Shouldn’t there be other options?
What has become clouded by the mindset that a college education is a prerequisite for success is a simple truth: anyone can be successful. This should be where education comes in. Education should bring out the best in students and introduce them to a paradigm for making their lives better on their own terms. It should help them get both immediately relevant skills and the foundational knowledge necessary to continue learning and growing.
The Flatiron School exists to give people an alternative to higher education—one that closes the gap between the skills schools teach and the ones that are actually used in the workforce. Our Jobs Report transparently and accurately communicates something important about our model for education—it works. We are helping people unlock their potential in a world that assumes it does not exist.
We are sharing our jobs placement statistics to help set a new standard for educational reporting. The goal of an educational institution should be nothing less than helping people live a better life. While this certainly includes opportunity for academic exploration, a study of the liberal arts, and interdisciplinary courses of study that are for the most part only possible at universities, these things shouldn’t come at the cost of helping people find a career that is both personally and financially rewarding.
In the two years since Flatiron School opened, a new industry of Accelerated Learning Programs (ALP’s), or “bootcamps” has emerged, with over 50 schools generating more than $70 million in revenue. This industry has seen explosive growth, largely due to each school’s ability to deliver where traditional degrees fail—setting students up for a career.
Traditional universities are beholden to third party ranking systems like the ones in U.S. News and World Report, Princeton Review, and Forbes. Not accounted for in these rankings are things like job placement statistics, student satisfaction, long-term career success, or student loan default rates. By raising the bar for transparency, we as educators can redefine education to be based on outcomes, rather than brand or third party rankings.
The promise of a better life is often left unfulfilled by colleges and universities. Even the country’s most respected ones fail to equip graduates to find jobs, let alone pay off student debt. As long as schools profit from their students’ dreams without offering value in return, there will be demand for new paths in education. As the people creating these paths, from MOOCs to ALPs, we need to hold ourselves accountable for our students’ futures.
Thank you to everyone who helped us get to this point, especially to the students who put their trust in us, the New York tech community who unwaveringly supported us, and the companies who have mentored, sponsored, and hired our graduates.
To download our independently examined jobs report, visit flatironschool.com/jobs-report-2014.