• Login
  • Apply
Back to Blog
Early Look: 2023 Outcomes and Analysis

Early Look: 2023 Outcomes and Analysis

2023 was a tumultuous year in tech hiring. There were ups, downs, some more downs, and then some ups that brought cautious optimism. Today, we are releasing some data to paint a picture of what our graduates saw in the 2023 market and provide early insights into what we expect to see in 2024.

Before we get to the data, a quick note on what we can release today and what will be released later this month. As a member of the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR), Codesmith produces audited reports of graduate outcome data. CIRR is currently in the process of updating its reporting standards, and Codesmith’s next round of data auditing and reporting should be completed by the time that process is finished. 

In the meantime, we want to provide as much insight as we can given where we are in the auditing process. That means that, while some data—including the percentage hired—cannot be shared yet due to the auditing procedures, we are sharing as much as we can, as early as we can.

We’ll note that everything we discuss below is based on approximately 500 offers. These are only first-time, accepted offers for Codesmith grads during the 2023 calendar year, analyzed across the following metrics:

  1. Days to accepted offer
  2. Number of interviews before accepting an offer
  3. Base salary for accepted offer 

With that, let’s jump into the data.

Days to Accepted Offer (DTO)

In 2022, the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile outcomes for days to offer were 54.5, 96.5, and 158 (i.e., 25% received an offer within 54.5 days, etc.). In 2023, the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile outcomes for days to offer were 74, 126, and 196.5. 

These changes reflect a longer recruitment process with the 25th percentile experiencing an increase of 19.5 days, equivalent to approximately 3 weeks, the 50th percentile witnessing a rise of 29.5 days, roughly 4 weeks, and the 75th percentile exhibiting an increment of 38.5 days, around 5.5 weeks. 

%ile 2022 DTO 2023 DTO Change in DTO
25th 54.5 (~8 weeks) 74 (~11 weeks) +19.5 (+~3 weeks)
50th 96.5 (~14 weeks) 126 (~18 weeks) +29.5 (+~4 weeks)
75th 158 (~23 weeks) 196.5 (~28 weeks) +38.5 (+~5.5 weeks)

This divergence we observed in our data for the 2023 reporting period has the largest impact on graduates' lives. We recognize that each day leading to a job offer may bring increasing financial strain and also have an emotional toll on job seekers. We are encouraged that the days to offer divergence wasn’t greater than what we observed. To accommodate graduates impacted by longer job searches, the team has put together additional support resources throughout 2023 and will continue to do so in the coming weeks and months.  

Number of Interviews (IVs) Before Accepting an Offer

As with the Days to Offer metric, we observed shifts in data on securing interviews before accepting an offer. There are multiple ways to interpret this data, which we discuss below.

In 2022, the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles for the number of interviews across all rounds completed before accepting an offer were 12, 23, and 34 (i.e., 25% had 12 or fewer interviews before accepting an offer). In 2023, the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile outcomes on the same metric were 6, 15, and 25.

This is inclusive of all interviews, including technical screeners, take-homes, and final rounds. 

%ile 2022 IVs to offer 2023 IVs to offer % Change Change in IVs
25th 12 6 -50.00% -6
50th 23 15 -34.78% -8
75th 34 25 -26.47% -9

There are two takes on this data trend, one of which we think is more consistent with what we saw on Days to Offer, and what we detail below on Base Salary. One way to spin it is that conversion rates are good (improving?) between each successive stage in the interview process.

The reality, we think, is that applicants are receiving fewer interviews at all stages of the process. That, plus longer days to offer, likely means that some applicants may feel more pressure to take the first offer they get instead of continuing to interview.1 The divergence between the bottom quartile and the rest is also noticeable, with the bottom quartile participating in half as many interviews as last year, while the top quartile took 27% fewer interviews compared to the previous year.

Base Salary (BS) for Accepted Offer

In addition to the above metrics—which track the process of getting an offer—we observed a divergence in outcomes for the bottom quartile for the salary associated with the accepted final offers.2 The median and seventy-fifth percentile salary outcomes experienced only a slight decline from 2022, decreasing by approximately $15k, representing a 10-12% change.

In contrast, the 25th percentile outcome saw a more significant decrease of $23k per year, reflecting a 20% reduction. In 2022, the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile outcomes for final offer base salaries were $114,500, $130,000, and $145,000 (i.e., 25% accepted a base salary of $114,500 or less). In 2023,  the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile outcomes for final, accepted offers were $91,000, $114,700, and $130,000.

%ile 2022 BS 2023 BS % Change Change in BS
25th $114,500 $91,000 -20.18% -$23,000
50th $130,000 $114,700 -11.77% -$15,300
75th $145,000 $130,000 -10.34% -$15,000

We think this is a relatively unsurprising result, given the days to offer divergence we noted above. Naturally, graduates in different life circumstances will have different financial obligations, and thus different timelines. If it takes more days for graduates to find a job, there is going to be more financial pressure to take the first offer and negotiate less.

We view this as unrelated to the underlying skill set the graduates take from Codesmith, since this change (along with the divergences noted above for Days to Offer and Interview to Offer conversion ratio) appears to be market-driven. For the Base Salary, there is also the divergence between the bottom quartile and the rest, with the top and middle quartiles seeing less of a decline in both percentage and total dollar terms.3

What Are Graduates Doing To Stand Out?

A brief detour from the hard data to a qualitative section: our career support engineers, after many conversations with graduates who are either still searching or have recently accepted an offer, noted a couple of trends worth mentioning here as they may be helpful to those finding this market tough to crack:

  • In reviewing offer data, 77% of applications were ‘quick apply’ but produced 17% of offers, and 23% were not ‘quick apply’ (including more strategic applications and inbound applications) but produced 83% of offers. This supports the claim that a wide variety of application methods yields the best success, with emphasis placed on strategic applications (including networking and referrals as well as personalized cover letters and outreach).
  • Many graduates are finding success in putting together presentations on technical topics in advance of non-algo-style technical interviews. The extra preparation, according to what our career support engineers are observing, facilitates a deeper conversation within the time constraints of an interview that allows the interviewer to obtain more “signal” about a candidate’s technical abilities, especially when it comes to more complex material. 
  • Graduates are also seeing success when going out of their way to demonstrate and highlight computer science fundamentals. Our take is that team and product needs change quickly in an uncertain business climate. One way to de-risk as a team leader is by hiring candidates who can easily be redeployed in other areas. So demonstrating resilience and the ability to adapt to changing requirements is key—one way to do this is to highlight computer science fundamentals that tend to be ubiquitously useful regardless of tech stack. Codesmith teaches capacities over skills— with a focus on problem-solving and technical communication, preparing grads to take on a variety of technical challenges an organization may face.

What Do We Anticipate for 2024?

The outcomes team has been on the ground in assisting graduates in the job search process and has observed qualitatively what is also backed up by the quantitative data—2023 has been a tough market. But the outcomes did not fall as far as some had expected, and the outcomes team is cautiously optimistic about the start of a rebound beginning to emerge in 2024.

That’s not the only outlook from within the Codesmith community—for an alternative viewpoint, you can look into a recent piece by Will Sentance analyzing some more macro trends that he views as being important for the way the job of software engineering might change in the medium-term. 

If you have made it this far—thanks for reading. The outcomes team knows how important it is to make data-driven decisions in your career, and that’s why we strive to improve our tracking abilities constantly. We’ll have more to disclose after the auditing and reporting procedures for CIRR, mentioned above, are complete. 

Until then, happy coding! 💻

1 Because the numbers discussed here reflect days and interviews before an accepted offer, not before getting an offer.

2 A quick note on salaries: this is an important metric for our graduates and future residents, but by no means the only metric. We have many graduates pursuing careers in education and the non-profit space, where salaries aren’t always as elevated as in some other industries. Similarly, we sometimes have graduates take a lower base salary at a company they believe gives them better long-term career opportunities over a higher salary in the near term, or at a company that offers more in terms of stock compensation vs. cash. This is not reflected in the data, which is only talking about base salary for the accepted offer. So while we know not everybody is trying to exclusively maximize base salary in the short term, it is a thing we want to make sure the community and potential future residents have access to for planning purposes.

3 The numbers here are not adjusted for inflation.