A review of Claim Academy as a tech bootcamp

Hi, I’m Brian, a former senior software engineer and now industry mentor at Pathrise. I have worked with hundreds of web developers and software engineers to help them land their dream jobs in tech. Check out my review of Claim Academy.

What does Claim Academy do?

Claim Academy is a tech bootcamp that helps people learn the skills necessary to land a job as a web developer, software engineer, or cybersecurity professional. Students can choose between full-time and part-time options in St. Louis. They also offer an online option, allowing students to participate in live classes with 1-on-1 support from anywhere in the world.

Before starting a Claim Academy course, students must complete 1 month of pre-work online. The pre-work curriculum features recorded lectures, assistance from TAs, and quizzes.

The 12-week full-time Java, C#/.net, and front-end JavaScript bootcamps meet Monday-Friday from 10:00am to 7:00pm. Students in the 14-week full-time cybersecurity program also meet Monday-Friday from 10:00am to 7:00pm. The 20-week part-time programs meet 3 times a week and 1 weekend, from 4:00pm to 7:00pm. Students participate in lectures, workshops, programming challenges, group programming exercises, and other hands-on coding projects.

In addition to teaching students cybersecurity, front-end JavaScript, and full-stack web development, Claim Academy also offers career coaching. All programs include resume building, whiteboarding, project management drills, communication practice, and mock interviews.

Who is Claim Academy for?

People with no experience in full-stack Java, C#/.net, cybersecurity, or front-end JavaScript who are looking to move into these careers could benefit from the bootcamp. The program is especially helpful for people who are based in St. Louis and those who can commit up to 70 hours a week for a bootcamp.

What does Claim Academy cost? How much work is involved?

Tuition for Claim Academy depends on the course and the location. Students who enroll in the full-time, on-campus full-stack Java or full-stack C#/.net courses pay $13,998. The full-time, on-campus front-end JavaScript course costs $12,998. Tuition for the full-time, on-campus cybersecurity course is $14,998.

The online, full-time Java or full-stack C#/.net courses cost $12,998. Tuition for the online, part-time course Java or full-stack C#/.net is $13,998.

Students who enroll in the part-time, on-campus full-stack Java or full-stack C#/.net courses pay $14,998. Tuition for the part-time, on-campus cybersecurity course is $15,998. The part-time, on-campus front-end JavaScript course costs $13,998. 

Claim Academy offers an income share agreement (ISA) of 17% of the graduate’s income for two years plus $1,000 upfront. The ISA kicks in when the student earns $35,000 or more. If the student makes less, they owe $0.

Financing is also available through Climb Credit. Rates and repayment plans depend on an applicant’s credit history. Claim Academy offers a $1,000 scholarship for all women, recent high school graduates and GED recipients, and individuals from underrepresented groups in tech who are accepted into the program. Veterans receive an automatic $500 scholarship if accepted into the program.

Before applying to Claim Academy, candidates should familiarize themselves with the basics of their chosen technical field. The admission process begins with a written application. Candidates are then called for a behavioral interview with a Student Affairs Officer. Select applicants are then given pre-course work to finish before a final technical interview. During the technical interview, candidates both solve coding problems and explain their process for arriving at their answers. Candidates who successfully “defend” their technical challenge are accepted into the program.

Claim Academy’s full-time courses are considered “full-time-plus”, as classes require more than 50 hours a week.

Ratings and reviews

Claim Academy has fairly positive reviews. They have a 4.1/5 star rating on Career Karma and have been listed among CourseReport’s top 20 courses of 2019 and 2020. Claim Academy graduates praise the program for its commitment to hands-on learning and dedicated instructors, but some graduates have mixed feelings about job placement and career mentoring.

On Career Karma, graduates were impressed by Claim Academy’s curriculum and pace. One grad praised the hands-on learning style, describing Claim Academy as “actual programming experience instead of useless theory and time wasting filler classes.” However, another student was frustrated by the job placement and graduate support, warning “No mentors, no job support, no study materials provided, no communication for the administrators.”

A graduate on Yelp was impressed by the course’s rigor, describing it as a “Challenging but rewarding program for those looking to enter the software developer field. Excellent staff invested in your success!”

Course Report users rank the course 4.5/5 stars. The top reviewer was impressed by many of his instructors and reports being “very glad I did this.” However, he was bothered by a disorganized curriculum and a job placement he calls “very disappointing.”

Claim Academy is rated 4.54/5 stars on SwitchUp, where students praise the course for its intense, practical curriculum. While the full-time courses are described as demanding, reviewers were satisfied by the skills they took away from the program.

Alternatives to Claim Academy

If you decide not to enroll in Claim Academy, there are a number of alternative bootcamps and courses that can help aspiring web developers, cybersecurity professionals, and software engineers land a job in tech.

  • The popular Fullstack Academy bootcamp offers part-time and full-time software programs for aspiring software engineers and cybersecurity professionals. Like Claim Academy, Fullstack Academy is known for its practical, hands-on approach.
  • Another full-time tech bootcamp, Kenzie Academy offers remote and in-person software engineering, UX design, and front-end engineering courses. Learn more about Kenzie Academy in our review.
  • The Colorado-based bootcamp Turing offers courses on front-end and back-end software development. Like Claim, Turing is known for being “full-time-plus”, requiring a commitment of more than 50 hours a week.
  • The well-known bootcamp General Assembly offers full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on software engineering, data science, UX design, digital marketing, product management, and much more. Read more about General Assembly in our review.
  • For those interested in pursuing C#, the massive online open course edX has partnered with Microsoft to offer two free introductions to C# courses.
  • Flatiron School teaches courses on software engineering, cybersecurity, and much more. Students can choose part-time or full-time options, both on-campus or online.
  • The bootcamp Lambda School offers a 9-month program where students can learn the fundamentals of software engineering, UX design, data science, and iOS development. Like Claim Academy, Lambda School offers deferred payment through an ISA. 
  • Similarly, Holberton School and Byte Academy are tech bootcamps with courses in software engineering, web dev, and data science that offer ISA options. Rithm School also provides ISA financing, with a reputation for low student-to-teacher ratios, meaning extra personalized attention.
  • Codecademy offers lessons in C#/.net, Java, Javascript, and many other tech subjects. They also have membership options ranging from $20 to $40 per month for greater course options and support.
  • The online learning Coursera has thousands of online videos in a wide range of tech subjects, including software engineering.
  • Aspiring software engineers can check out Udacity and Springboard, which are online educational platforms students can use to brush up on the basics or advance their current tech skills. Read more about Udacity and Springboard in our reviews.

How does Claim Academy compare to Pathrise?

Claim Academy is a bootcamp for people interested in learning the skills needed for a career as a software developer, cybersecurity professional, or software engineer. While an interest in tech is recommended, most Claim Academy students start with no prior experience. Pathrise program fellows should already have a background in their chosen field to benefit from the technical curriculum. 

Pathrise’s flexible program is tailored to each fellow’s needs With only 4 hours of workshops and 1-on-1 mentoring sessions that can be scheduled whenever is most convenient, Pathrise lets our fellows make their own schedule. 

Our program assists with all stages of the job search by focusing on technical and behavioral interviewing as well as resume and LinkedIn optimization, portfolio building and strengthening, cold email and reverse recruiting lessons, and negotiations. The Pathrise income share agreement is 9% of their first year’s salary and requires no upfront payments. On average, program fellows find a job after only 3-5 months of joining the program.

Pathrise  works with students and professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. If you want to work with any of our mentors to get help with your technical and behavioral interviews and optimize your job search, join Pathrise.

Apply today.

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