Our students are the lifeblood of Lambda School. Because our programs primarily focus on training students to work as web developers and data scientists at technology companies, we first compared our student demographics relative to the tech industry. The data makes clear that training programs like Lambda School can significantly diversify hiring pipelines in an industry that has systematically failed to make progress on diversity.
This is a big deal, since the lack of a candidate “pipeline”
is often used as an excuse to justify the lack of diversity in the tech sector. In a comprehensive 2015 study
,” the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found that compared to private industry as a whole, the tech sector employed a smaller percentage of Black/African American individuals (14.7% industry to 7.4% tech), Hispanic/LatinX individuals (13.8% industry to 8% tech), and women (48% industry to 36% tech). A recent report by Bloomberg confirms
that almost no progress has been made in the last five years since EEOC’s study.
Most of this data reflects the total employment of technology company staff, meaning that the statistics for technical roles (eg. product, engineering, design) are almost always lower when published in greater detail. Our strong belief is that Lambda School students can have a positive effect on the industry in many ways, including bringing high-quality, diverse talent to our hiring partners.
According to our findings, 33.7% of Lambda School students identify as Underrepresented Minorities (URM)*, with 12.7% identifying as Black or African American, and 11.9% identifying as Hispanic or LatinX. Female students at Lambda School are slightly underrepresented relative to the tech industry as a whole (25.1% of our students identify as cisgender female, and 4.4% identify as transgender, non-binary, or two or more gender identities; the industry benchmark for women at technology companies is closer to 36%). Given Lambda students end up in technical roles, this disparity may be overstated. Regardless, we plan to continue to improve upon these numbers over time.
Lambda’s student body also appears more diverse than other high-quality institutions that bring talent to the tech industry, including 4-year computer science programs. According to 2017 data by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System
(IPEDS), the percentage of Computer Science degrees awarded to African American/Black students was 3.1% while Hispanic/LatinX students was 6.9%. In addition, IPEDS estimates that ~22% of top CS program graduates are female.
Overall, one of the most important takeaways from the demographic data of our student body is that removing barriers to access for education and training naturally creates a more diverse student body in virtually every respect – one that begins to closely mirror the demographics of the United States.
For example, according to 2019 Census data
, Underrepresented Minorities comprise 36.2% of the United States population, and as we mentioned above, the percentage at Lambda is 33.7%. 7-8% of people nationwide are active military or veterans, which is close to Lambda’s 6.43%. Though the data is under-reported nationally, studies suggest that 4.5% of Americans identify as LGBTQ+
, and at Lambda School, that number is 18%.
Our other key conclusion from the student data is that the founding premise of Lambda School holds true – that making skills-focused training and education more widely accessible will create an engine for economic mobility.
Prior to entering Lambda, nearly 70% of our students were making less than $50,000 per year, and nearly one-third were making less than $25,000. In contrast, according to our most recent Outcomes Report
, 85% of students are now making more than $50,000, 20% are making more than $100,000, and the median salary is $70,000. This suggests that the structure of Lambda School’s model provides a tangible opportunity for economic mobility.
In addition, almost half of students (48.8%) had no college degree or professional accreditation before enrolling in Lambda School, and more than half (55.8%) were working jobs that paid hourly. The average age of a Lambda student is 32, signaling that, for many, Lambda School provides the opportunity to shift the trajectory of their career away from a low paying career and into a higher-paying industry.