Lower risk? You're paying up to $30k for 9 months of instruction and virtually no networking/industry experience, and the barest-bones "You might be able to get a job in a stack you're already familiar with" curriculum in the best case, but by all accounts Lambda's curriculum seems to lack any sense of coherence.
$30k is a degree (or at least a very good portion of a degree) from a decent state school that has gateways to internships, the chance to work in a group setting, exposure to many different programming languages, the opportunity to enter academia, and networking opportunities with your fellow students, bosses from summer internships, and your professors / TAs. Not to mention a grasp of the underlying concepts that make computers and the programming languages we use to interface with them actually work, and a cross-discipline credit requirements that can be used to bolster this knowledge with statistics, linear algebra, calculus, business classes, whatever you want.
Lambda school absolutely has less up-front investment, but I wouldn't consider it low-risk at all. They make the entry ramp tantalizing and dress it up with promises of a brighter future, but the actual value of this program is so dubious that any risk assessment pulled out to a longer scale makes me want to scream "BULLSHIT" at Allred and his empire of false promises.
I'd read an article with a more concrete list of grievances if this seems low-risk:
As a result, students fell behind. “Lambda is pushing students through who should not be continuing,” she says. “I would have teammates who could not code really basic things.”
The Verge had an outside engineering expert, Ben Sandofsky, review Lambda’s iOS curriculum and give feedback on the overall quality. Sandofsky, who has 16 years of programming experience and previously worked as a mobile engineer at Twitter before starting the popular iPhone camera app Halide, says the program doesn’t prepare people to pass even a first-round tech interview. “After looking through Lambda School’s curriculum, I’d say students are going to struggle with very basic questions you’ll get on first phone screens,” he explains.
Sandofsky also looked at Lambda student projects on GitHub and was shocked at the basic errors students were making. “Out of ten student projects available, five should have failed,” he says. “It appears that they all passed. I reached out to one of the students who made a mistake to ask if he ever received feedback, and he said he had not.”
It echoes the response that Lambda’s former head of career services, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, got when she tried to start a diversity initiative at the school. “I would hear that I was being a ‘bulldog’ and ‘feisty Latina.'”
Finally, when she was five months pregnant, Lambda told her that she hadn’t lived up to their expectations and they were going to fire her. “I was like, ‘you didn’t send me any documentation,’” she says. This ultimately got them to reverse the decision. Shortly afterward, she decided to quit anyway. “They’re only hurting people who are already basically exploited,” she says.