A review of Lambda School as a tech educational tool – 2023 update

Check out our review of Lambda School to learn more about their program!

Updated in 2023

What does Lambda School do?

Lambda School is an online bootcamp that helps people learn the technical skills necessary to land a job in web development or data science. Students participate in projects with their classmates, which they can add to their portfolios and resume as they search for jobs.

The full-time data science and full stack web dev programs have class from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday for 6 months. They used to offer part-time programs that lasted 18 months, but it seems they have stopped this offering.

In the data science course, students learn Python, SQL, visualization, and predictive modeling. In addition, they cover linear algebra, databases, statistics, and NLP. Students in the web dev course learn JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Node, React, Python, Redux, and SQL.

Who is Lambda School for?

People with no background in web dev or data science can benefit from Lambda School. They provide an income share agreement (ISA) option, which can be helpful for people who need to defer payment. The program is fairly long, so it might not be a good option for people who need a job quickly.

What does Lambda School cost? How much work is involved?

Lambda School students can choose to pay upfront or through an income share agreement. The upfront option is $30k. For American citizens, the income share is 17% of their salary for 2 years with a maximum payment of $30k. They used to offer an ISA for international students, but that is not the case any longer. Instead, international students can only pay upfront.

In order to apply for the program, students need to make an account on the Lambda School website. Then, students fill out a brief application for the program. Then, if they are selected to continue, data science students have to successfully answer 11 out of 15 questions in a timed challenge or they are required to complete pre-coursework, which is described as intense. However, web dev students don’t need to do a challenge.

Ratings and reviews

The reviews of Lambda School are mixed. Recently, they have seen rapid growth in the number of students in their program. This has resulted in the student success team being slow to respond, using cookie-cutter answers, and withdrawing people without proper notice.

In this 157 comment Reddit thread about students’ experiences with Lambda School, both negative and positive (often from affiliates or employees), students mention that they felt they could have found a lot of the information online. Not only that, but Lambda has a motto of “teaching their students how to learn”. This means that students should Google anything they don’t understand, rather than ask questions.

On the positive side, students are extremely grateful for the opportunity to learn a new skill that will hopefully lead to a lucrative career. A lot of people in their program are struggling and they find support and guidance with Lambda School. After doing the program, a lot of students find jobs at tech companies like Uber, Stripe, and eBay

Alternatives to Lambda School

As an educational program, there are a fair number of alternatives to Lambda School.

  • One of the most well known bootcamps is General Assembly. They offer full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on a variety of topics like software engineering, data science, UX design, digital marketing, product management, and more. Read more about General Assembly in our review.
  • 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.
  • Similarly, App Academy, Flatiron School, and Coding Dojo are also bootcamps with online and on-campus courses.
  • Like Lambda School, Holberton School and Rithm School both offer income share agreements (ISAs) to finance the tuition of the bootcamp.
  • The Tech Academy and Galvanize are online and onsite bootcamps that help people learn the technical skills necessary to land a job as a (junior) software developer or data scientist.
  • Or, consider Kal Academy, which works with women and underrepresented groups on software engineering, web dev, and data.
  • Codesmith and Actualize have online and on-campus options, as well, but Codesmith is focused on students becoming mid-to-senior level software engineers.
  • 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.
  • DataCamp, Dataquest, Promotable, K2 Data Science, Principal Analytics Prep, and Data Science Dojo are also options for current and aspiring data scientists.
  • Aspiring data scientists with graduate degrees in data-centric fields can check out The Data Incubator and Insight.
  • If you are starting from scratch, you can consider the self-paced course at Data Science Dream Job. Or, check out the part-time and full-time courses offered by Divergence Academy.
More alternatives
  • 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.
  • Similarly, Codecademy is one of the most popular coding programs online. They provide free courses on many different programming languages. Learn more about Codecademy in our review.
  • Students interested in taking online self-guided or instructor-led product design courses can check out DesignerUp. Learn more about DesignerUp in our review.
  • They can also check out Hack Reactor, which is a software engineering bootcamp, which has online and onsite options.
  • Offering a variety of diploma programs, certificate courses, and other training, BrainStation is for students who are looking to pivot into a new career in data science, UX/UI design, development, and product management.
  • Coding Temple and RMOTR are Python data science and web development bootcamps, focusing on the fundamentals. Similarly, QuickStart has courses in web dev and data.
  • Aspiring designers can consider Designlab. This online bootcamp that teaches the necessary skills to land a job as a UX designer. Read more about Designlab in our review.
  • Similarly, Bloc, Skillcrush, OpenClassrooms, allWomen Academy, InternStreet. Treehouse, University of Arizona Bootcamps, and Pluralsight are online bootcamps and resources with tracks in web development and design.
  • Free online resources, SoloLearn and the Mode tutorials have tracks in SQL, as well as other programming languages.
  • Students located in the Bay Area or looking to work in Silicon Valley can check out Tradecraft, which has tracks in product design, growth marketing, engineering, and sales.

How does Lambda School compare to Pathrise?

Lambda School is a full-time bootcamp, with courses for people who are interested in learning a completely new skill. At Pathrise, job-seekers in our program should already have a background in the field they are interested in. This is so they can participate in and fully benefit from our technical workshops, which are focused on interview prep.

All of our workshops and sessions at Pathrise are live, as well as recorded. This helps our fellows 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 (ISA) means that fellows don’t pay anything until they land a job they love and start working.

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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