Chicago’s local tech job and bootcamp markets may be more nascent than those of giants like Seattle and Silicon Valley, but the city is quickly catching up. Now is an excellent time to get in on the ground floor of Chicago’s job market. Chicago is home to companies large and small that are actively hiring tech talent—ranging from GrubHub and G2 to Showpad and MorningStar.
According to Hired.com’s regional Chicago report, Chicago’s technical job market is strong. Hired.com reports that between 2015 and 2017, the average paycheck for workers grew by 4.6%. They also noted that at the end of 2018, the average tech worker—such as a product designer, product manager, data scientist, and software engineer—was earning $114,000 per year. That’s almost twice the 2018 median household income!
In addition, the CBRE ranked Chicago third on its list of tech talent momentum markets, which looked at growth acceleration in tech talent labor pools in cities across the USA. According to the CBRE’s 2019 Scoring Tech Talent Report, Chicago’s tech talent labor force grew 8% faster between 2017 to 2018 than it did between 2015 and 2015.
Commenting on the report, Brad Serot, vice chairman of the CBRE, stated:
“Chicago is the top city for attracting talent from the Big 10 university system, which boasts two of the top 10 computer science schools in the nation and three of the top 10 engineering schools. Tech firms need to recruit the best and brightest and Chicago provides the dynamic employee base to sustain growth now, and in the future.”
It’s no wonder people are looking at Chicago as potentially the next big tech hub.
The sustained and continued growth in Chicago’s local technology market has created a demand for technical programs that can train workers in the skills they need to thrive in high-tech roles. That’s where coding bootcamps come in. Coding bootcamps—which educate thousands of students in Chicago every year—are short, employment-focused training programs that have emerged as a crucial talent funnel for local tech companies.
The BootcampsChicago team collected data from LinkedIn and Glassdoor to learn more about the state of Chicago’s local coding bootcamp and job markets. The data gathered for this report covers the number of bootcamp grads in Chicago, top employers of Chicago bootcamp grads, salaries for local tech workers, and more.
In our study, we analyzed 16 local coding bootcamps and national bootcamps that serve the city of Chicago and local surrounding areas. Here is a list of the bootcamps we studied for this report:
- Fullstack Academy
- Coding Temple
- Data Science Dojo
- Grace Hopper Program
- Code Platoon
- Evolve Security Academy
- Flatiron School
- General Assembly
- Coding Dojo
- Product School
If you’re looking to learn more about the Chicago local coding bootcamp market and job market, this is the report for you!
Chicago Coding Bootcamp Market Size
According to our analysis of 16 coding bootcamps serving the Chicago area, we found these schools educated 3,185 students in 2019. This number includes anyone who attended a Chicago-based coding bootcamp, irrespective of whether they graduated. Our study includes online coding bootcamps, in-person coding bootcamps, and enterprise training programs.
Chicago Coding Bootcamp Tuition
We conducted an analysis of tuition prices at Chicago area coding bootcamps using data from the 16 bootcamps listed above.
In 2019, Chicago area coding bootcamps charged between $1,500 (Code Platoon’s program for veterans) and $19,910 (Grace Hopper Program). The median tuition for Chicago area coding bootcamps in 2019 was $13,698.
Courses at Chicago area coding bootcamps lasted between 8 and 36 weeks in 2019. The median length of a Chicago area coding bootcamp in 2019 was 16 weeks.
We estimate that, based on the 3,185 students who attended coding bootcamp in 2019 in the Chicago area, revenue for the Chicago area’s coding bootcamp industry was $42,981,575 in 2019.
We calculated this number by multiplying the number of people who attended a coding bootcamp in 2019 by the median tuition for coding bootcamps in 2019. This estimate only accounts for the cost of time coding bootcamps in the Chicago area; it excludes scholarships and discounts. Our estimate does not distinguish “students” from “graduates”, as such data is not available.
Four coding bootcamps in the Chicago area offered income share agreements in 2019. These were: BrainStation, Thinkful, Flatiron School, and General Assembly. The most common payment options offered to bootcamp students are upfront payment, installments, and bootcamp student loans.
Top Chicago Employers of Bootcamp Graduates
The Chicago area is home to a large number of tech companies, from up-and-coming tech startups to major national tech companies. SpotHero, Narrative Science, Showpad, ActiveCampaign, MorningStar, and Braintree are just a few of the many large companies based in Chicago.
In addition, the Chicago area is home to a vast range of tech startups. Cameo, the startup that allows you to request video messages from celebrities, is based in the city. There’s also Forager, Livly, Actualize Therapy, Beaxy Exchange, BrokerX, Clearstep, among many others.
If that’s not enough, a number of national tech giants, such as Salesforce, Google, LinkedIn, and Lyft, have offices in the city, according to CompTIA’s Cyberstates 2019 report.
We used data from LinkedIn to identify the companies that have hired the most Chicago area coding bootcamp graduates. We filtered out the data to focus only on people who attended a Chicago area coding bootcamp in 2019, reported an employer, and were based in the Chicago area at the end of 2019. Here’s what we found:
- Konrad Group
- American Express
- JPMorgan Chase & Co.
We suspect many bootcamp graduates would jump at the chance to work for one of these companies.
Tech Job Market in Chicago
According to Hired.com, salaries for tech workers in Chicago have been on the rise for a number of years. While the cost of living in the city may be high, the salaries offered to local Chicago tech workers more than make up for it.
As more companies establish themselves in the city—and as existing players grow—the need for talent has increased, causing salaries to remain high. We collected data from Glassdoor on five tech jobs in demand in Chicago to give you an idea of the salaries commanded by local tech workers. Here is a list of the average annual salaries in Chicago for these positions, according to Glassdoor:
- Software engineer: $82,097
- Web developer: $68,490
- Data scientist: $102,543
- Android developer: $84,852
- UX designer: $79,157
Taking this into account, it’s clear that Chicago area technology workers command strong salaries.
Chicago Tech Job Sectors
Chicago tech companies are hiring talented workers in a wide range of fields. Whether you want to be a web developer, a UX designer, or something else, there are a number of positions open in tech.
Given the sustained growth of the city’s tech sector, there is an abundance of open jobs in the local labor market for tech workers. According to Glassdoor, here are the number of positions open for five Chicago tech jobs:
- Software engineer: 4,492 positions
- Web developer: 2,852 positions
- Data scientist: 1,020 positions
- Android developer: 440 positions
- UX designer: 308 positions
With this in mind, it is clear that Chicago’s tech market has a strong need for technical talent.
Chicago Bootcamp Student and Graduate Skills
Chicago area coding bootcamps educate students in a range of technical skills. That said, skills related to web development are the most common skills claimed by Chicago area bootcamp graduates.
BootcampsChicago used data listed on Chicago area coding bootcamp students and graduates’ profiles on LinkedIn to better understand the skills they acquired at coding bootcamp. We found that, by far, web development technologies are the most common technical skills that coding bootcamp students and graduates reported.
In addition, frameworks such as Node.js, React.js, and Express.js are common among Chicago coding bootcamp students and graduates. These skills are widely used in modern web development. The fact that Chicago area bootcamps teach these newer frameworks suggests that local bootcamps are responsive to industry trends.
Here are the ten skills that Chicago area coding bootcamp students and graduates most commonly claimed on their LinkedIn profiles:
|Skill Name||Students and Graduates|
|Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)||2,159|
After analyzing the data, it has become clear that Chicago coding bootcamps teach a wide range of skills that are in-demand.
There is no shortage of reasons why Chicago is a great place for aspiring technology workers to start their careers. Chicago’s tech industry has thousands of open positions for which qualified tech workers can apply. Also, the average salaries offered by technical fields are strong, even after accounting for the local cost of living.
That’s not all! Chicago is home to the Magnificent Mile, Millenium Park, Willis Tower, and a number of other attractions that make the city such a special place. And it’s not just the attractions; from summer festivals to the holiday spirit in the winter, Chicago is a great place to be all year round.
The Chicago area is also home to a number of top local and national coding bootcamps that serve the tech talent training needs of the area.