A review of Path Unbound UX design bootcamp

Hi, I’m Elle! I work as a product designer at Getaround and as an industry mentor here at Pathrise. I help our fellows land great jobs in product design through technical workshops and 1-on-1s. Check out my review of Path Unbound.

What does Path Unbound do?

Path Unbound is an online resource that helps people launch a UX/UI design career. Their platform offers 2 programs: a self-paced course on fundamental design skills and another course that helps students build a strong UX design portfolio. While the self-paced content is free, both the portfolio building course and the mentoring sessions are paid add-ons.

Students in the self-paced visual design course meet for 8-10 weeks. The curriculum covers the fundamentals of UX/UI design with an emphasis on visual design. Students get access to 120 lessons, 50+ exercises, and 15+ optional mentoring sessions. The curriculum first covers visual design tools, design layout principles, wireframing, color, and typography. Next, students work on responsive design, prototyping, mobile UI design, interaction design, and core UX design skills. The final phase of the course covers practical business design skills like branding, logo design, imagery, photo editing, and even motion graphics. While all these self-paced lessons are free and come with lifetime access, each 1-hour mentoring session costs $120. Hour-long exercise review sessions are also available for $80 each.

The “portfolio school” course works with students on their portfolio over 6-12 weeks. Students spend about 2 hours per day on 10+ hours of learning material as they craft original projects for their design portfolio. First, students identify their personal brand as they learn to use Webflow, a no-code building tool like Bubble that allows anyone to build web pages without learning how to code. Starting at week 4, students focus on designing their portfolio website. Mentors meet with students 9 times as they further develop their portfolios. Grads leave the program with a portfolio website hosting 3 polished design projects to help them become a UX designer.

Who is Path Unbound for?

The two design courses are designed to teach total beginners the skills they need to land entry level design jobs. Their free self-paced course could be a great fit for students on a budget and people with a busy schedule. The portfolio course could be a good match for people who want to help with their portfolio before starting their job search.

What does Path Unbound cost? How much work is involved?

The visual design course is free. However, 1-hour mentoring sessions cost $120 each while the exercise review sessions cost $80 each. 

The standard 6-week portfolio building course costs $899 while the 12-week portfolio kickstart course costs $1,899. LGBTQIA+ students and students of color get 50% off of tuition. Current college students, high school students, and people with income below $70,000 are also eligible for 50% off of tuition.

Their free self-paced visual design course has no formal admissions process. However, the portfolio building course requires students to have at least some self-study experience via their own self-paced course or platforms like Udemy or Skillshare. Portfolio building students should have at least 2-3 finished portfolio pieces already so they can hit the ground running. Express program, you should have at least 2-3 portfolio pieces ready.

Ratings and reviews

Path Unbound is still a new program and does not have too many reviews. But so far, the reception has been extremely positive. They hold a perfect 5 star rating on both Course Report and Switchup based on the same 3 reviews. One grad loved that the courses “cover a wide range of design topics” in-depth. Although another grad warned that the course “was not easy”, she described the program as “simple to follow” with “superstar mentor[s].” Free tuition was also a big hit.

The program also holds a perfect 5 star rating on Facebook based on only 1 review. The student liked that the course “helps beginners build their skillset” with a comprehensive approach to the curriculum. She also found the free price tag refreshing. The bootcamp also holds positive testimonials on their own site.

Alternatives to Path Unbound

If you decide not to enroll in Path Unbound, there are a number of alternative bootcamps and resources that can help you launch a new career in design.

  • Students seeking online self-paced design courses can check out DesignerUp. Like at Path Unbound, students participate in 1-on-1 mentoring sessions as they build portfolio projects. Grads also get an accredited design certificate they can add to their LinkedIn profiles or resumes. Read more about DesignerUp in our review.
  • Aspiring designers can also look into Designlab. Their bootcamp features lots of 1-on-1 support as students work with an industry mentor and a career coach. Learn more about Designlab in our review.
  • People looking for a flexible online design program can check out Bloc. They teach both web design and web dev courses with a hands-on curriculum and weekly 1-on-1 mentoring. Students build projects they can add to their design portfolios.
  • Another remote program with lots of personalized support is Springboard. Students in their UX design program build polished portfolio projects while meeting 1-on-1 with a mentor. If students don’t land a tech job within 6 months of graduating, they get a refund. Find out if Springboard is right for your career goals in our review.
  • The popular online bootcamps Thinkful has tracks in UX/UI design, software engineering, and data science. Their program includes 1-on-1 mentorship and a project-based curriculum.
More alternatives
  • Another popular bootcamp is General Assembly. They offer full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on tech topics like UX design. Their program includes 1-on-1 mentoring, a massive alumni network, and 19,000+ hiring partners. Learn more about General Assembly in our review.
  • Aspiring UX designers and software engineers seeking a full-time bootcamp can look into Kenzie Academy. Although their program is even more intensive than Path Unbound, the curriculum features lots of hands-on learning and job support. Read more about Kenzie Academy in our program review.
  • People who want to build and design a tech product without learning to code can check out Bubble no-code bootcamps. Their drag-and-drop platform allows anyone to create software with no technical experience. Learn more about Bubble in our review.
  • Students seeking self-paced university courses can check out Coursera. They offer 3,900+ courses taught by professors at accredited universities. Like Path Unbound, their program is remote and self-paced. They offer both free and paid options. Currently, 100+ UX courses are available.
  • Similarly, edX is an online learning platform that hosts thousands of self-paced courses from top universities like Harvard and MIT, and even top tech companies like Microsoft. Find out if edX is right for your career goals in our review.
  • The self-paced learning platform Udacity teaches courses on UX design with both technical mentoring and career coaching. Their program is hands-on with opportunities to build design portfolios. Read more about Udacity in our review.

How does Path Unbound compare to Pathrise?

Path Unbound is an online resource for people who want to launch a new career in design. While the portfolio building course requires some past experience, the flagship visual design course is designed for people who have no design experience. Fellows in the Pathrise program should already have some background in their chosen field to get the most out of our technical curriculum.

While Path Unbound helps students build a portfolio, the standard mentoring package is limited to about 9 sessions and costs extra. Pathrise offers unlimited mentoring sessions until fellows in our program land a job. Our mentors have already helped 1,000+ people land tech jobs by helping with all phases of the job search, including resumes & portfolio optimization, reverse recruiting and cold emails, behavioral and technical interview preparation, salary negotiation, and more.

Like Path Unbound, the Pathrise program is flexible. There are just 2-4 hours of group sessions per week and fellows can schedule 1-on-1 sessions as needed. We have an income share agreement (ISA) so fellows only pay when they land a tech job. On average, fellows in our program land a job in just 3-5 months. We never require any upfront payments or deposits.

Pathrise optimizes the job search through 1-on-1 mentoring and technical training. Fellows in our program can see their interview scores double and their application responses triple. If you are interested in working with one of our experienced mentors to land your dream job faster, join Pathrise.

Apply today.

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