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A review of Miami Ad School as a tech bootcamp

Hi, I’m Polina! Formerly, I worked as a senior digital marketing manager and now I am the marketing mentor at Pathrise. I help job-seekers prepare for their future in digital marketing. Check out my review of Miami Ad School.

What does Miami Ad School do?

Miami Ad School is a tech bootcamp that helps people launch a new career in digital marketing, UX design, or another creative field. Students usually learn in-person at campuses in Miami, Atlanta, New York, San Francisco, and 10 other major cities all over the world. However, all courses are currently online due to Covid-19.

Their accredited school offers 3-month bootcamps, creative design portfolio courses, corporate training, and a handful of 10-week courses on more specific creative skills. They even partner with Florida International University and Furman University to offer formal master’s degree programs with dual university enrollment. In addition to universities, Miami Ad School partners with companies like Facebook, YouTube, and even Burger King to develop their curriculum, hire instructors, and place students into internships. Partner companies can also hire graduates through the career services program.


Their social media strategy bootcamp runs for 12 weeks. Students meet for both weekday and weekend classes, with guest lectures on Friday evenings plus weekend workshops on both Saturday and Sunday. Class schedules may change halfway through the bootcamp as the program ramps up. In the final week, students tour social media departments at local advertising agencies and companies and network with their employees. 

The curriculum is extremely hands-on and practical. Students work with a different mentor each week who all have different areas of expertise working for companies like Facebook, Google, and top ad agencies like Sapient. Instructors lead 3-day sessions covering concepts like content strategy, paid media, texting campaigns, working with data, and more. For the rest of the week, students partner with a real content creation team to develop a social media campaign through Facebook ads, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Grads can show off these polished campaigns to employers.

UX design

Students in the UX design bootcamp also meet for 12 weeks, with both weekday and weekend classes. Guest lecturers come on Fridays, while Saturdays and Sundays are reserved for workshops. Class schedules are subject to change halfway through the program. Throughout the bootcamp, students participate in lectures, working sessions, and lots of hands-on exercises and projects. The technical curriculum teaches students design fundamentals like prototyping, user research, and user personas as they build their own polished design projects. In Toolbox sessions, students learn soft skills like cognitive psychology, problem solving, and teamwork. For their final week, students explore real advertising and design companies and participate in both interviews and critique sessions with representatives. The program concludes with students presenting their design portfolios to executives.

Master’s programs

Miami Ad School partners with Florida International University and Furman University to offer master’s programs. Students in these programs earn an accredited master’s degree, getting a taste of both the university experience and Miami Ad School’s more practical environment. Classes are held both at the university and at Miami Ad School’s campus with the same amount of coursework as a traditional master’s degree program. However, Miami Ad School’s curriculum is especially hands-on. Their program emphasizes portfolio building, with lots of real-world projects and portfolio reviews. Students also get access to Miami Ad School’s career services, which can include internship opportunities.

Short courses

A handful of short individual courses are also available to teach more specific creative skills like Photoshop, social media marketing, content creation, typography, and design fundamentals. Classes meet live once a week for 10 weeks. In addition to mastering the technical curriculum through hands-on assignments, students get a formal diploma upon graduation that they can add to their Linkedin profiles.

Career services

Bootcamps and master’s degree programs include career services. Students work 1-on-1 with career coaches as they learn job search skills, optimize their job application materials, participate in portfolio reviews, and more. While still enrolled in a bootcamp or master’s program, students can intern with one of Miami Ad School’s dozens of partner agencies and companies. They usually run 820+ internships per year. Networking events also connect students with top hiring partners, where students take part in about a dozen interviews in just one day. In addition to graduating with a network of 100+ professionals, grads continue to get hundreds of job leads every year for the rest of their careers. Miami Ad School claims a job placement rate well over 90%, with 9,500+ of their grads employed in their chosen field.

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Who is Miami Ad School for?

People looking to break into digital marketing, UX design, or another creative field with little to no formal job experience could benefit from Miami Ad School. The program is especially helpful for people seeking an intense, hands-on experience with internship opportunities. Students seeking university-style graduate courses and people who want to learn in person at a major city campus to build a local network could also be a good fit for their program.

What does Miami Ad School cost? How much work is involved?

At their accredited US locations, the 12-week social media bootcamp costs $6,000 while tuition for the UX design bootcamp is $6,500. Their 12-week strategic thinking bootcamp costs $10,000. Tuition for any individual creative course is $1,190.

Their master’s program is as expensive as a traditional university master’s degree. Tuition is $39,850, paid to Florida International or Furman University in 5 semester installments of $7,970. All US locations offer need-based financial aid. US citizens can also pay with private loans as Miami Ad School is an accredited school.

The admissions process begins with a brief online form. Candidates are then asked to provide a copy of their official transcripts or diploma from the last school they attended. Next, candidates have an informal behavioral interview in-person or over video chat. Select candidates move on to a final creative exercise based on their chosen program. While no formal experience is technically required, exercises can include hands-on projects and somewhat technical essay questions. Many students start with university or work experience.

Master’s degree programs require candidates to apply to both Miami Ad School and their partner university individually. In addition to going through the standard Miami Ad School admissions process, candidates also complete a fairly extensive university application detailing their academic experiences, background, and motivations. 

Bootcamps have limited availability and can fill up fast. For example, their Miami master’s program only occurs twice a year while the social media bootcamp only runs once a year.

Ratings and reviews

While there are not too many online reviews of Miami Ad School, so far the reception has been positive. They hold a 4/5 star rating on Yelp where grads appreciated the practical, “creative”, and “unconventional approach” to teaching marketing. Although one grad described it as one of the “most intense experiences” of his life, he felt it was well “worth it” for their engaging, hands-on approach to learning. However, one grad was frustrated that she “had to pay the school while interning”.

The program holds a 4.5/5 star rating on Niche. One grad “enjoyed the atmosphere” and praised the course for its powerful network and engaging curriculum. The grad especially liked that “students learn by doing from instructors who are professionals in the industry” with years of practical experience under their belts. Another grad raved about the high level of support, impressed that instructors were so willing to give “constructive criticism.”

Although the program was popular on Reddit, one user warned that “it’s basically just paying for connections” and that the program is only worth it for students who “have the money” to spare. Another Redditor described the program as “fun but exhausting” and also felt it was a tad too “expensive.” Overall though, most grads were satisfied with Miami Ad School’s engaging curriculum, positive environment, and professional network.

Alternatives to Miami Ad School 

If you choose not to enroll in Miami Ad School, there are a number of alternative bootcamps and resources that can help you launch a career as a digital marketer or UX designer.

  • The popular bootcamp General Assembly offers full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on tech topics like UX design and digital marketing. Their program includes 1-on-1 mentoring, hands-on projects, 19,000+ hiring partners, and a 91.4% job placement rate. They offer an income share agreement (ISA) so students can pay after they land a job. Read more about General Assembly in our review.
  • Another well-known bootcamp with on-campus learning options is BrainStation. They have courses in digital marketing, UX/UI design, and other topics. Similarly, allWomen Academy has courses in those topics but it is only for women.
  • Students seeking a remote, self-paced bootcamp can check out GrowthX Academy. Their 8-week bootcamp covers digital marketing, business development, product management, and UX design. Or consider Pepperdine Graziadio Bootcamps, SDSU Bootcamp, GreenFig, Highway Education, Loyola University Digital Skills Bootcamp, and Kellogg Executive Education, which have part-time digital marketing courses.
  • Aspiring marketers on a budget can look into Copyblogger, QuickSprout, Facebook Blueprint, and SEMRush Academy. These online digital marketing courses are completely free.
  • People looking for accredited university courses can check out edX. Their huge online learning platform hosts thousands of marketing and UX design courses from top universities like Harvard and MIT as well as big tech companies like Microsoft. Learn more about edX in our review.
  • Similarly, Coursera has thousands of online courses in a huge variety of tech topics, including digital marketing and sales. Like Miami Ad School, they often collaborate with universities and top tech companies like Google to design their curriculum.
More alternatives
  • Another bootcamp with both design and digital marketing tracks is Noble Desktop. This instructor-led program has live classes and lots of opportunities for hands-on practice with real marketing tools. Grads can also get formal certificates to add to their Linkedin profiles.
  • Bloc, Design Sprint School, and Memorisely are remote programs that offer flexible courses in web design. Their hands-on programs include 1-on-1 mentoring and projects students can add to their portfolios.
  • Similarly, Avocademy is an online design bootcamp that helps students build up their portfolios.
  • The design resource Gymnasium also hosts courses and tutorials in UX design. Like Miami Ad School’s internship opportunities, Gymnasium’s program offers real work opportunities for UX students. Many of their courses are completely free. 
  • Aspiring UX designers seeking a full-time bootcamp can look into Kenzie Academy. Their program is also hands-on and comes with a 6-month job guarantee. Read more about Kenzie Academy in our review.
  • Students looking for remote self-paced or instructor-led product design courses can check out DesignerUp. Their paid master’s course includes 1-on-1 mentorship and an accredited design certificate for grads. Read more about DesignerUp in our review.
  • For people seeking a design program with mentoring, Designlab could be a good fit. Students in their hands-on bootcamp work with both an industry mentor and a career coach. Read more about Designlab in our review.
  • The massive online learning platform Udacity offers courses on a variety of tech subjects, including digital marketing and UX design. Students in Udacity’s nanodegree programs work 1-on-1 with mentors while building projects. Learn more about Udacity in our review.

How does Miami Ad School compare to Pathrise?

Miami Ad School is a bootcamp that helps people launch careers in UX design, digital marketing, or another creative field. While some students come from universities or design related careers, many students start with no formal experience. Fellows in the Pathrise program should already have a background in their chosen field so that they get the most out of our technical curriculum. 

Pathrise is a full service organization that helps students through all phases of the job search. Experienced mentors work 1-on-1 with fellows in our program to optimize their resumes and LinkedIn profiles, build their portfolios, prepare for technical and behavioral interviews, negotiate salaries, and much more. Our mentors have already helped 1,000+ students and professionals land great tech jobs. 

Miami Ad School usually follows a fairly rigid university “quarter” system schedule. The Pathrise program is flexible, with only 2-4 hours of group sessions per week and 1-on-1 sessions that are scheduled by the fellow when they want them. Our curriculum is tailored to fit each individual fellow’s needs. While Miami Ad School can sometimes offer needs-based financial aid, all Pathrise fellows get access to our income share agreement (ISA) so students only pay after they land a great tech job. We never require upfront payments or deposits.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that optimizes the job search through 1-on-1 mentoring. Fellows in our program have seen their interview scores double and their response rates triple, landing jobs in just 3-5 months on average. If you are interested in working with any one of our mentors to land your dream job, join Pathrise. 

Apply today.

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Alex MacPherson

Hi I'm Alex! Since graduating from UC Berkeley in 2019, I have worked on the growth team for Pathrise helping job seekers hone their skills to land their dream role through curated content on interview prep, resume building and more.

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