Two Bootcamps Just Earned Accreditation. Here’s Why It Matters.

For starters, enrollees are closer to receiving federal financial aid and Pell Grants.

November 23, 2021 · Updated on November 23, 2021

Two Bootcamps Just Earned Accreditation. Here’s Why It Matters.
Photo by Luis Alvarez / DigitalVision / Getty Images

  • Enrollment in coding bootcamps is booming, but they’ve largely gone unaccredited.
  • More bootcamps could potentially be accredited within the next year.
  • The two accredited institutions specialize in data science and software engineering.

Two coding bootcamps have for the first time earned nationally recognized accreditation, a significant step for the legitimacy of online bootcamps across the country.

Turing School of Software & Design in Denver and NYC Data Science Academy in New York are now both accredited bootcamps through the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).

ACCET is listed as a nationally recognized accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education. It evaluates vocational and avocational programs that may include short courses and programs offered at the certificate, diploma, and degree levels. It does not, however, accredit schools that offer anything longer than an associate degree.

Gaining nationally recognized accreditation is a key step in becoming eligible for Pell Grants and federal student loans.

It also establishes a blueprint for other bootcamps to follow, and several are now pursuing ACCET accreditation, according to a report from Open Campus Media.

ACCET's deputy executive director Kate Zulaski did not respond to BestCollege's requests for comment on the recent accreditation of Turing School and NYC Data Science Academy. According to the agency's FAQ, the accreditation process generally takes about 12 months.

Vivian Zhang, school director and chief technology officer at NYC Data Science Academy, celebrated the accreditation in a statement.

"ACCET accreditation signifies that we won the peer recognition by member institutions for the quality of our educational and training programs and services," she said. "We are delighted to receive the stamp of approval by the Accrediting Commission and will hold our quality standards high and seek continuous improvement as we serve our students and the Academy's data science community overall."

NYC Data Science Academy offers data analytics and data science bootcamps. Turing School has programs geared toward web development, including front-end and back-end software engineering bootcamps.

Turing School claims that 95% of its graduates are working in the tech industry, and that Turing graduates earned a median starting salary of $75,000 in their first technical job. Turing School provides student outcomes reports on its website. NYC Data Science Academy does not publish its student outcomes online.

According to a BestColleges analysis, there were over 125 bootcamps operating in the U.S. in 2021, and the average bootcamp cost $13,580.

An April 2020 market size study from Course Report estimated that there would be approximately 25,000 coding bootcamp graduates in 2020. The study also reported that the coding bootcamp market grew by 39% in 2020. Accreditation and the prospect of financial aid eligibility could help the industry grow even further.