Coding bootcamp Nucamp will no longer publish placement metrics in its advertising materials, a move made by CEO Ludovic Fourrage to restore student confidence in the industry.
“Students must be responsible for finding the right job in industry, and too often job placement is easily used to justify increasing the cost of education without necessarily considering the quality of the type of education,” said he declared.
“Now that doesn’t mean we don’t care about placement; of course, we care and we measure it, but we would never want the student enrollment decision to be based on that promise, because right now that promise is highly contested in the industry.
The move is less about Nucamp saying it doesn’t market its placement rates, and more indicative of a larger problem: placement is the most in-demand outcome, but also one of the hardest to deliver. Edtech has always been in search of a magic metric, but measuring the success of the industry remains elusive.
Fourrage launched his startup bootstrap, a comprehensive coding bootcamp focused on affordable education, in 2017 – a year before Lambda School raised its first millions from venture capitalists.
“What we found out about [income-share agreements], what was very intriguing and surprising is how students are not able to understand the value of what they are buying,” said Fourrage. “[They were] very confused between the value of education, with the value of the result or the potential result. He believed consumers weren’t questioning Lambda’s high price because of the announced and promised outcome of the placement.
Fodder immediately saw Lambda, which was recently renamed Bloom Institute of Technology, as a direct competitor, even though the tuition at Lambda was almost double that charged by Nucamp. The brilliant Lambda, led by Austen Allred, sported a Y Combinator seal of approval and a tantalizing pitch in the revenue-sharing agreement: graduates only pay tuition out of future income.
“The challenge with this is that the promise very often doesn’t materialize, and so that’s the vicious circle that we want to break,” he said.