Code Schools Come Without Credentials
Because code schools do not, as a general rule, go through any sort of credentialing process, one curriculum can be dramatically different than the next. For a company to hire from a particular code school with any sort of confidence in the sort of programmer they'll be getting, that company has to invest time in learning about the school:
- What does the curriculum really cover?
- What type of projects do students complete?
- How effective are graduates in the real world?
There's very little data available from an employer trying to compare multiple code schools. Part of the issue is that such schools are so new, but the lack of credentialing also means that the only data available about any particular school is what that school chooses to release.
That lack of oversight is problematic from the student's perspective, as well. Code schools can, intentionally or not, charge students a great deal of money while offering little real education. In an article for Model View Culture, code school graduate Shawna Scott pointed out problems across the board:
- Instructors rarely have formal training as teachers, minimizing their effectiveness.
- Code school organizers cling to particular stacks or methodologies, even when they aren't effective teaching tools.
- Schools aren't licensed by the state, preventing students from accessing state-mandated solutions for grievances (such as arbitration or refunds).
These issues severely limit the value that a student can get out of a school, beyond the question of how effective an employee that student can become. It's not uncommon for a code school graduate to choose not to pursue a career as a programmer.
Some code schools deliver on their promises of an excellent education for far less than the cost of a college degree. But without hiring managers, as well as students, demanding that code schools go through the credentialing process that other educational institutes are expected to undergo, evaluating graduates will continue to be an issue.