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Boot camps have been hailed by policy makers as a cost-effective and fast way to provide workers with new tech skills, but research published last week highlights how little is known about these providers.

A study of the boot-camp landscape by RTI International, a nonprofit research organization, classified just 50 percent of boot camps as comprehensive career-preparation programs. The study suggests access to these comprehensive programs may be limited for nontraditional students -- over half required tests and interviews to get in, the majority were only offered in person and the median cost was $13,500.

Over 1,000 programs from 198 boot-camp providers in the U.S. and Canada were identified in the study. General Assembly was identified as “by far the largest provider” with 115 programs as of June 2017.