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A review of SV Academy as a sales bootcamp

Hi, I’m Irwin! I’ve been a software sales leader for startups like Okta as well as large corporations like BMC and Cisco. Now, I work as an industry mentor to help people land great jobs in sales through workshops and 1-on-1 mentorship. Check out my review of SV Academy.

What does SV Academy do?

SV Academy is a sales bootcamp for people who are interested in landing a job as a sales development representative (SDR) at a fast-growing tech startup. Students meet online via video conference during the 4-week classroom portion of the bootcamp. In addition, they must commit to working with one of SV Academy’s partner companies when they complete the program. These organizations are based in New York City, San Francisco, and elsewhere in Silicon Valley.  

Students can choose between full-time and part-time courses. The full-time program meets Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm for 4 weeks. Alternatively, the part-time courses meets for 10 hours a week (nights & weekends) for 12 weeks. So, students can continue working full-time while enrolled in the bootcamp. All students participate in live lectures and classroom discussions. They also do hands-on activities, interview preparation, and 1-on-1 sessions with career coaches and industry mentors. 

At the end of the online portion, students prepare to interview with SV Academy’s hiring partner companies. These are all profitable or VC-funded startups. Students can choose to interview in-person or remotely. Examples of hiring partner companies include SurveyMonkey, Intercom, Optimizely, and Persado. Graduates must commit to working at their partner company for 12 months. After the first year, some graduates continue working in sales, while others launch careers in related fields, such as marketing, customer success, and operations. All graduates have access to the SV Academy alumni network for life.

Who is SV Academy for?

If you are looking for an entry-level job as a sales development representative (SDR) at a tech company, SV Academy can help. Participants should be willing to relocate to New York City, San Francisco, or Silicon Valley after completing the online portion of the program.

What does SV Academy cost? How much work is involved?

SV Academy is free. To apply, candidates must create an account, fill out an online application, and speak with an admissions officer. However, all participants must commit to working with a hiring partner company for 12 months.

Ratings and reviews

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Online reviews of SV Academy are mixed.

On CourseReport, graduates benefited from the instruction and curriculum, as well as the career coaching and interview preparation. They also praised the programming for not charging tuition. As one reviewer said, “I got incredible coaching on my interviewing skills to prepare me for interviewing for jobs. The final two weeks I was actively interviewed with several different companies that my mentor knew would be a good fit and they definitely were”. However, the reviewer emphasized that the program was time consuming. They said, “be prepared to commit 8 hours per day to being in live online video classes, and be willing to put in more work and effort individually outside of these hours as well.”

But, some reviewers on Facebook felt that the job placement options were too limiting. In addition, they said that the program did not live up to their expectations. One person, who was suddenly “cut from the program,” said that SV Academy could not accommodate her job placement preferences. “They said my placements choices were too limited (I had 3 places picked for placement. Only 3 people in my cohort have been placed and it’s been 2 months”. Echoing this, another reviewer said, “They ask for 3 preferences of placement location wise you give them exactly what they ask for, and they drop you claiming it was too limited. They don’t even have the decency to let you know that they are dropping you from the program. They just lock you out of all your accounts.”

Alternatives to SV Academy 

If you decide not to enroll in SV Academy, there are a number of alternative bootcamps and online resources.

  • Flockjay is an online sales program that offers hands-on training. Students can choose to defer payment through their income share agreement (ISA). Learn more about Flockjay in our review.
  • Similarly, Prehired is a sales bootcamp that also offers an ISA option.
  • Students can also consider Uvaro, which has a 12-week sales bootcamp and internship opportunities.
  • Another option is Vendition. They provide online courses in sales for tech as well as job placement assistance. The focus is entry-level account executive positions at SaaS companies. 
  • A tech bootcamp with full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses in a variety of topics, General Assembly is a good option for people looking to learn the basics and get a great job. Learn more about General Assembly
  • Similarly, GrowthX Academy has sales courses as well as digital marketing and other topics. Read more about GrowthX Academy in our review of the program.
  • Younger people looking for a college alternative can consider Praxis. This is a bootcamp and internship program that helps people gain experience in sales, marketing, and ops.
  • edX is one of the most popular 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.
  • Coursera is an online learning platform with free and paid courses that teach inbound sales techniques, including researching prospective clients.
  • Similarly, Udemy offers a free “break into software sales” course, which prepares students for entry-level software sales interviews. 
  • An online resource, Skillshare has free and paid courses in tech entrepreneurship and sales.

How does SV Academy compare to Pathrise?

SV Academy is a program for people who are looking to develop the necessary skills to land a SDR role at a growing tech startup. Students work 1-on-1 with mentors and career coaches who help them prepare for interviews with SV Academy partner companies. 

Pathrise is a full service organization that helps people land the best job possible. While participants of SV Academy can only work within their partner network, fellows in the Pathrise program have no limitations to their job search. 

Our mentors have experience on both sides of the hiring table. We work 1-on-1 with fellows on each step of their job search, including resume & LinkedIn optimization, cold emailing, reverse recruiting, interview prep, and salary negotiation. Fellows learn lifelong skills, which can benefit them in their next job search and in future sales roles. 

Our program is flexible. There are only 4 hours of group sessions per week and fellows can schedule 1-on-1 sessions as needed. By working 1-on-1 with fellows, our mentors tailor the curriculum to meet each fellow’s specific needs, career goals, and learning objectives.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that helps people land their dream job in tech through 1-on-1 mentorship. If you are interested in working with any of our mentors to get help with your technical and behavioral interviews or any other aspect of the job search, join Pathrise. 

Apply today.

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