Photo of a review of Thinkful as a tech education tool

A review of Thinkful as a tech bootcamp

What does Thinkful do?

Thinkful is a bootcamp with courses in full stack engineering, data science, and product design. They offer 2 types of programs for software engineering and data science. The first is immersion, which is 50-60 hours a week. The second is flexible, which is 20-30 hours per week. For product design, there is only the flexible option.

Each course provides its participants with a written curriculum. Then, they meet with their program managers and mentor to discuss and work through the problems. They do not have informational videos or live lectures.

Who is Thinkful for?

People who are interested in a career in software engineering, data science, or product design could benefit from Thinkful. It has also been noted in reviews that visual and auditory learners might have trouble in the program because participants must learn by reading.

What does Thinkful cost? How much work is involved?

There are a lot of different payment options for Thinkful. The immersion programs offer an income share agreement of 15% of the participant’s income for 3 years. Participants can also choose to pay via loan. If they do this, the total is $19,795. They can also pay $3,250 monthly, to total $17,600. The data science immersion program is more expensive. It is $20,000 for month-to-month or $18,500 upfront.

The flexible program does not have an income share agreement option but the totals are less expensive. Participants in this program can pay $11,901 through the loan option, $12,000 through a deferred payment option where they pay $500 per month for 19 months, $10,000 total through payments of $1,667 a month, or $9,500 upfront. The data science flex program is similar for the loan and deferred options. But, the upfront total is $7,990. Product design is in between, costing $8,500 upfront.

Ratings and reviews

Photo of Thinkful review

The reviews of Thinkful are mixed. But, there are more on the negative side. A few people have had really unfortunate experiences on the administrative side, where they were falling behind and not told until they realized that they needed to pay for another month of the program because they couldn’t graduate on time. There have also been comments made about mentors who were disrespectful to women in the program.

In terms of the curriculum, participants have definitely been frustrated by the lack of videos and a lot of people mention that, in order to successfully learn what they are paying Thinkful to teach, they have had to find the content themselves, on YouTube or Lynda. Finally, in a few reviews people have mentioned that the code they are given as part of the curriculum (both in the software engineering and data science tracks) had errors. This made it more difficult to learn.

On the positive side, students reported that they had success working with the Thinkful career services team and found jobs fairly quickly after finishing the program.

Alternatives to Thinkful

As a bootcamp, there are a fair number of alternatives to Thinkful.

  • 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.
  • Lambda School and Coding Dojo are well known bootcamps where students can learn fundamentals of software engineering and data science.
  • 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.
  • App Academy and Hack Reactor are software engineering bootcamps with both on-campus and online courses.
  • The Tech Academy is an online and onsite bootcamp that helps people learn the technical skills necessary to land a job as a (junior) software developer or data scientist.
  • Codesmith, Nucamp, Fullstack Academy, and Actualize are software engineering bootcamps with online and on-campus options. Codesmith focuses on preparing people for mid-to-senior level software engineering roles.
More alternatives to Thinkful
  • Students interested in taking online self-guided or instructor-led product design courses can check out DesignerUp. Learn more about DesignerUp in our review.
  • 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.
  • You can check out Udacity and Springboard. They 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.
  • GrowthX Academy is an online bootcamp with courses in growth marketing, UX design, and sales and business development. Learn more about GrowthX Academy in our review of the program.
  • 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, and Data Science Dojo are also options for current and aspiring data scientists. They offer individual courses, as well as in-depth tracks.
  • Aspiring data scientists with graduate degrees in data-centric fields can check out The Data Incubator and Insight.
  • People who are more interested in software engineering can look to Codeacademy. They teach courses in computer science and coding for free and also offers membership that are around $20-$40 per month.
  • There is Coursera, which provides free and low-cost college courses from $29 all the way to $25,000.
  • Free online resources, SoloLearn and the Mode tutorials have tracks in SQL, as well as other programming languages.
  • Udemy, Treehouse, Interaction Design Foundation, and Pluralsight are online learning platforms with thousands of video courses in a wide variety of topics.

We created a list of the best resources to learn software engineering and data science, so you can decide what the best option is for you.

How does Thinkful compare to Pathrise?

Thinkful is a bootcamp, with courses for people who are interested in learning a completely new skill, like full-stack development. At Pathrise, our fellows should already have a background in the field they are interested in so that they can participate in and fully benefit from our technical workshops, where we provide a more specific curriculum based on what they will see in their interviews.

All of our workshops and sessions at Pathrise are live, as well as recorded, so that our fellows can review them afterwards and continue learning. We also provide personalized, 1-on-1 technical and behavioral interview sessions as well as resume and LinkedIn optimization, portfolio building and strengthening, cold email and reverse recruiting lessons, and negotiation templates and guidance. Pathrise fellows never pay anything upfront and only after they begin working at a job they love do they pay their income share agreement, which is 9% of their first year’s salary.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and young professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. With our tips and guidance, we’ve seen our fellows interview performance scores double.

If you want to work with any of our advisors 1-on-1 to get help with your technical and behavioral interviews or with any other aspect of the job search, become a Pathrise fellow. 

Apply today.

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