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A review of General Assembly as a tech educational tool – 2021 update

Check out our review of General Assembly to learn more about the program, costs, and student reviews.

Updated in 2021

What does General Assembly do?

General Assembly teaches technical skills for a variety of topics. Students can attend on campus or online. Their campuses are across the US, including tech hubs like San Francisco, New York City, Austin, and Seattle, as well as other large cities like Dallas, Los Angeles, D.C., Denver, Detroit, and Miami. There are also international campuses in London, Paris, Melbourne, Sydney, and Singapore. For all locations, see their page.

They offer part-time, full-time, and 1-day courses on software engineering, UX design, data science, digital marketing, and product management. In addition, they have more specific aspects of these topics, like front-end development, data analytics, Python programming, and more. Students can choose between full-time immersive or part-time online courses.

Students learn the skills needed to work in the industry. They also work on projects that they can add to their resumes and portfolios to help with their job applications. Those in the full-time immersive programs also have the opportunity to work with a career coach as they get closer to starting their job search.

Immersive programs run 9am-5pm Monday – Friday. Alternatively, part time programs run two days a week for 2-3 hours each class session.

Who is General Assembly for?

People with little to no background in software engineering, data science, product design, or product management could benefit from General Assembly. However, if you have no prior knowledge in the topics, you must do some studying on your own before applying.

What does General Assembly cost? How much work is involved?

General Assembly offers a few options on payment. The full-time courses costs $15,950 or $15,500 if students pay upfront. Students can also pay in up-to-4 installments or by taking out loans. In addition, students can choose to enroll in their income share agreement (ISA). If they do this, then they pay the tuition back after they begin working.

Part-time courses cost $3,950 and students can choose to pay this upfront (with a $250 discount) or with loans. The General Assembly ISA is not available as an option for part-time courses.

After submitting an application, prospective students connect with a General Assembly admissions rep. In this conversation, they determine whether or not the course is a fit for their experience and goals. Then, prospective students in the full-time immersive course have to complete an admissions assessment to ensure they are prepared. After they have been accepted, students must pay a downpayment to secure their spot in the program.

Ratings and reviews

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Like most bootcamps, the reviews online are mixed. But, they are on the SwitchUp list of best bootcamps in 2020. There are a lot of grads who have found success with General Assembly and are now working in roles directly related to what they learned in the course. You can see this on their outcomes report.

On CourseReport, students rated the school highly, but some students had issues with the speed of the curriculum as well as frustrations surrounding frequently changing and inexperienced instructors. The general consensus is that GA works best for self-starters who are motivated and willing to put in the work.

Alternatives to General Assembly

As an educational program, there are a fair number of alternatives to General Assembly.

  • Students can also consider Kenzie Academy. A full-time tech bootcamp, Kenzie offers in-person and online courses in 2 tracks: software engineering & UX design and front-end engineering. Learn more about Kenzie Academy in our review.
  • If you are interested in taking online self-guided or instructor-led product design courses, you can check out DesignerUp. Learn more about DesignerUp in our review.
  • Lambda School is another well known option. A full-time bootcamp, Lambda offers programs in full stack web dev and data science.
  • You can check out Udacity and Springboard. These are online educational platforms that students can use to brush up on the basics or advance their current tech skills. Read more about Udacity and Springboard in our reviews.
  • edX is one of the largest online learning platforms. They have courses from top universities like Harvard and MIT as well as big tech companies like Microsoft. Learn more about edX in our review.
  • Codecademy is one of the most popular coding programs online. They provide free courses on many different programming languages. They also offer membership options ranging from $20 to $40. Learn more about Codecademy in our review.
  • For people with an interest in data science, Metis has part-time introduction courses as well as onsite and online bootcamp options. Learn more about Metis in our review.
More alternatives
More resources

How does General Assembly compare to Pathrise?

General Assembly is a bootcamp with courses for people who are interested in learning a completely new skill, like UX design or software engineering. At Pathrise, job-seekers in our program should already have a background in the field they are interested in so that they can participate in and fully benefit from our technical workshops, where we provide a more specific curriculum based on what they will see in their interviews.

All of our sessions at Pathrise are live, as well as recorded, so that job-seekers in our program can review them afterwards and continue learning. Our program is flexible. There are only 2-4 hours of group sessions per week and fellows can schedule 1-on-1 sessions as needed. Our program is personalized to work on the specific skills that people struggle with the most.

Specifically, Pathrise focuses on technical and behavioral interviewing as well as resume and LinkedIn optimization, portfolio building and strengthening, cold email and reverse recruiting lessons, and negotiation templates and guidance. Job-seekers in Pathrise find a job, on average, within 3-5 months of joining the program. The Pathrise income share agreement is just 9% of their first year’s salary.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that 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 or with any other aspect of the job search, join Pathrise.

Apply today.

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