How can bootcamps create new jobs while fostering innovation?

74.5 million people aged 25 and under are currently unemployed, resulting in a 13% global youth unemployment rate. The trend is exacerbated by the rate of technological advancements which are rapidly replacing manual jobs, leaving millions of young people unprepared to participate in the 21st-century knowledge economy. Rapid tech skills development trainings, or “coding bootcamps,” are a relatively new and disruptive form of teaching digital skills that are increasingly required to stay competitive in today’s workforce. Teaching skills like computer programming, digital marketing or computer design in a fast-paced environment presents an opportunity to increase young people’s preparedness to compete for employment opportunities locally and globally.

The role of coding bootcamps in empowering youth with these new marketable skills in a matter of months instead of years is getting wide recognition, including from the World Bank. Hence, the World Bank is launching an initiative aimed at achieving two main objectives: to identify key success factors of coding bootcamps and to measure the impact of these bootcamps in terms of creating new employment opportunities in emerging markets. To that effect, the initiative will partner with coding bootcamp providers and research organizations in three different geographic locations: Beirut (Lebanon), Nairobi (Kenya), and Medellin (Colombia). The initiative also seeks to establish a framework of best practices for future fast-track technology upskilling initiatives in the developing world.

Why are rapid technology skills trainings (coding bootcamps) useful?

Coding bootcamps are intensive full-time programs designed to train participants in certain technical skills to subsequently make them employable in quality, entry-level roles in fields such as computer programming or data science. The program is building on best practices in fostering employment via tech upskilling initiatives such as those pioneered by General Assembly in New York. Coding bootcamps offer one of the fastest options to close the gap between employers’ requirements and potential employees’ skills, as well as to improve young people’s earning potential.

What is the implementation plan?

  1. Identifying key success factors of coding bootcamps and devising a toolkit for policymakers based on an overview of existing tools and best practices.

  2. In partnership with local coding bootcamp providers and research organizations in Beirut, Nairobi, and Medellin, implementing pilot bootcamps administered to a randomized selection of participants.

  3. Assessing and monitoring the impact of coding bootcamps on local start-up ecosystems and on employment patterns of bootcamp participants compared to those in a control group who have not received the training.

  4. Disseminating the results of the coding bootcamps program and developing a guide for policymakers in emerging markets on how to support the establishment, implementation, and growth of demand-driven rapid tech skills trainings for youth employment.

Who are the initiative’s partners?

Two types of local partners will support implementation of the last three components of this initiative. Coding bootcamp providers are responsible for running pilot trainings. Research organizations (e.g., universities, industry associations, business accelerators, innovation hubs, and community bodies) will help to design the protocol and collect data for impact evaluation, monitor progress and results, engage local communities, assist the bootcamp providers, and disseminate the results of this initiative.

Additional information

The bootcamp initiative would not have been possible without the award of a grant from the World Bank’s Jobs Umbrella Trust Fund, which is supported by the Department for International Development/UK AID, and the Governments of Norway, Germany, Austria, the Austrian Development Agency, and Swedish Development Agency (SIDA).

The methodological toolkit for designing a coding bootcamp will rely on case studies of mapping and diagnosing Urban Tech Innovation Ecosystems conducted by the World Bank ICT Innovation Team in 2015.




Research Partners