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A review of Northwestern Bootcamps as a tech bootcamp

Hi, I’m Olga! I have years of experience in data science, most recently at eBay. Now I work as an industry mentor at Pathrise, helping data scientists land great jobs through technical workshops and 1-on-1s. Check out my review of Northwestern Bootcamps.

What does Northwestern Bootcamps do?

Northwestern Bootcamps is a bootcamp that teaches people the skills they need to land a job as a web developer, data analyst, cybersecurity analyst, or financial tech professional. Students can choose between part-time and full-time options in Chicago. Due to Covid-19, all courses are now online.

Before starting a bootcamp, students complete about 30 hours of self-paced pre-work. Students in the web development program study HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other coding fundamentals. Meanwhile, the data science pre-work teaches students the basics of data analysis, Excel, and statistics.

Web dev

The 12-week full-time web development bootcamp meets Monday-Friday from 10am to 2:30pm CST. Simiarly, the part-time 24-week web dev program meets 10am to 2pm on Saturdays and 6:30pm to 9pm Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students participate in lectures, discussions, speaker events, coding labs, and workshops. In addition, they build polished projects that they can showcase in their portfolios. Moreover, the program teaches students to build full stack web apps using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Java, jQuery, and Node.js. Plus, they also learn responsive design, Heroku, Git, React.js, MySQL, MongoDB, and more. Finally, the course culminates in a demo day, where students showcase their final projects and network with local professionals.

Data science

Students in the part-time data science program meet for 24 weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30pm to 9:30pm and Saturdays from 10am to 2pm. They participate in lectures, workshops, discussions, speaker events, and hands-on projects. In addition, the course teaches students to visualize and analyze data using Python, Excel, HTML, CSS, and Tableau. Plus, the curriculum also covers APIs, SQL, fundamental statistics, machine learning, R, Git, and more. For their final project, students work in groups to build a data visualization application that they present at demo day. Students graduate with a polished data science portfolio, helping them land a job as a data analyst.

Finally, the program includes career services. Therefore, students participate in portfolio reviews, resume workshops, networking events, technical & behavioral interview training, and 1-on-1 coaching.

Who are Northwestern Bootcamps for?

People with no experience in web development or data science who are looking to move into these careers could benefit from the bootcamps. Likewise, the program is especially helpful for people based in Chicago.

What do Northwestern Bootcamps cost? How much work is involved?

Tuition for any bootcamp is $11,995. Northwestern University alumni are eligible for a $500 discount. Monthly payment plans are also available. 

The admissions process begins with a brief written application. Next, candidates have a phone interview with an admissions advisor. Then, they do a critical thinking and problem-solving assessment. Based on their score, candidates are invited to a final behavioral interview. No prior experience is necessary.

Ratings and reviews

Photo of Northwestern Bootcamps

Northwestern Bootcamps have mixed reviews. They hold a 2.2/5 star rating on SwitchUp and are rated 4.1/5 stars on Course Report. Northwestern Bootcamps’ students were impressed by the course’s supportive instructors and project-based learning, but some graduates were disappointed by the curriculum and career services.

One of the top reviews on Course Report raves that “the instructor was wonderful, talented, kind, and empathetic.” However, the grad described the curriculum as “mindless” with “no interest in the conceptual or creative side of coding.” Similarly, another reviewer praised the course support, commenting that her instructor “motivated and pushed us to be the best versions of ourselves.” She felt the “level of support made the program worthwhile.” But, another top review was more critical, warning that the curriculum is dry and that career support is only “some lady in Texas who sends you postings.”

Northwestern’s bootcamps are included among Value College’s Top 25 University Bootcamps. However, many students were critical of the bootcamp’s parent company, Trilogy. On Reddit, a data science graduate described Trilogy’s curriculum as “all over the place.” Similarly, another graduate on Course Report commented, “This is Trilogy not Northwestern, no matter how much they try to sell you that this is all Northwestern.”

But, a reviewer on Switchup praised the course for a “great learning experience” and “name brand affiliation” with Northwestern University. On the other hand, another reviewer was frustrated by the course’s job support, remarking “The career advisors also had no real experience” and “the advice I received was very generic information you can find on the internet.” Overall, many grads were satisfied by the tech skills they gained from the program, but some would have liked a more organized curriculum with greater job support.

Alternatives to Northwestern Bootcamps

If you decide not to enroll in Northwestern Bootcamps, there are a number of alternative bootcamps and courses for aspiring web developers and data analysts.

  • One of the most well known bootcamps is General Assembly. They have full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on data science, software engineering, UX design, digital marketing, product management, and more. Read more about General Assembly in our review.
  • Another popular bootcamp is BrainStation, which offers programs in web development, web design, data science, marketing, and product management. Like Northwestern Bootcamps, BrainStation emphasizes project-based learning and collaboration with 1-on-1 support for students.
  • Similarly, Bloc offers online courses in web development and web design. The program emphasizes student support, with real-time instructor feedback and weekly 1-on-1 mentorship meetings.
  • The tech bootcamps Lambda School and Byte Academy have tracks in web dev, data science, and software engineering. They offer students an income share agreement (ISA), allowing them to pay for the program after they land a tech job.
  • Likewise, students seeking on 1-on-1 mentorship can also check out Thinkful, a bootcamp that teaches courses in data science, software engineering, and more. Like Northwestern Bootcamps, their program includes career coaching and group projects students add to their portfolios.
  • Like Northwestern Bootcamps, UC Berkeley BootcampsKU Bootcamps, and University of Denver Bootcamps teach web dev and data courses with both online and in-person options. They are all run by Trilogy.
  • Metis has introductory data science courses with both onsite & remote bootcamp options. Learn more about Metis in our review.
  • Aspiring data scientists can also look into Divergence Academy, an online bootcamp that offers full-time and part-time courses in data science and data analysis.
  • Similarly, the online learning programs Practicum and Data Science Dream Job offer hands-on data science courses. Like Divergence Academy, these programs include portfolio building and career assistance.
More alternatives
  • In the same vein, DataCamp is an online resource with over 300 courses on data science subjects. Courses last about 4 hours.
  • Aspiring software engineers and web developers can also consider CodeX Academy, a self-paced coding bootcamp with mentorship opportunities. Learn more about CodeX Academy in our review.
  • Flatiron School and QuickStart teach courses on data science, software engineering, UX design, and cybersecurity analytics.
  • Students on a budget can also check out Udemy, an online program hosting thousands of affordable self-paced video courses on web dev, cybersecurity, data analysis, and much more. Classes cost about $10 each.
  • Similarly, 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 per month for more course options and greater support. Learn more about Codecademy in our review.
  • Likewise, Coursera is an online learning platform that hosts thousands of videos in a wide range of tech subjects, including web dev, data science, and software engineering. Many of their courses come with certifications, often university branded, like Northwestern Bootcamps.
  • The online educational resources Udacity and Springboard offer courses in web dev, data analytics, and many other technical subjects. Learn more about Udacity and Springboard in our reviews.
  • Finally, edX is another popular online learning platform with university courses. Their self-paced courses come from top schools like Harvard and MIT, and even big tech companies like Microsoft. Students can choose to learn the fundamentals or dive deeper into specific topics, like data. Learn more about edX in our review.

How does Northwestern Bootcamps compare to Pathrise?

Northwestern Bootcamps are for people interested in learning the skills needed for a career as a web developer or data analyst. While an interest in tech is recommended, most Northwestern Bootcamps students start with no coding experience. However, Pathrise job-seekers should already have a background in their chosen field so they can get the most out of our technical curriculum. 

Pathrise optimizes the job search through 1-on-1 mentorship and personalized training. Our mentors have years of experience on both sides of the hiring table. They assist fellows with all phases of the job search including resume and portfolio optimization, cold emailing and reverse recruiting, technical and behavioral interviewing, and negotiation. 

Our program is flexible. In fact, there are only 4 hours of group sessions per week and fellows can schedule 1-on-1s as needed. The Pathrise income share agreement (ISA) is 9% of the first year’s salary and we never require upfront payments or deposits.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that helps people land their dream job in tech. With our training and guidance, fellows in our program see their interview scores double. If you are interested in working with one of our mentors to land your dream job faster, join Pathrise.

Apply today.

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