Photo of a review of Thinkful as a tech education tool

A review of Thinkful as a tech bootcamp – 2021 update

Check out our review of the bootcamp Thinkful to learn more about their courses, prices, and student reviews.

Updated in 2021

What does Thinkful do?

Thinkful is a bootcamp with courses in software engineering, data science, data analytics, UX/UI design, digital marketing, product management, and technical project management. They offer full-time and part-time options for all of their courses except product management, which is only part-time. The full-time courses require 50-60 hours a week while the part-time options require 20-30 hours per week.

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.

Chegg acquired Thinkful in September 2019.

Who is Thinkful for?

People who are interested in a software engineering, data science, data analytics, UX/UI design, digital marketing, product management, or technical project management career could benefit from Thinkful. However, 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. In addition, each course has a different total price. As an overview, students can pay for the full-time courses in the following ways: upfront, month-to-month, deferred, loans, income share agreement (ISA), and an ISA with a living stipend. The part-time options are similar, except you cannot use an ISA for your part-time tuition payments.

Ratings and reviews

Photo of Thinkful review

Before the acquisition, the reviews of Thinkful were mixed/negative. 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.

Now, there are a fair more positive reviews on CourseReport from students who were impressed by the amount they learned in such a short time. In addition, students felt supported by their 1-on-1 relationships with their mentors.

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, Redwood Code Academy, Epicodus, and Hack Reactor are software engineering bootcamps with both on-campus and online courses.
  • The Tech Academy and Zip Code Wilmington are online and onsite bootcamps that help people learn the technical skills necessary to land a job as a (junior) software developer or data scientist.
  • Codesmith, Nucamp, Fullstack Academy, Tech Elevator, 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.
  • edX is one of the largest 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.
  • GrowthX AcademyallWomen Academy, GW Bootcamps, and One Month are online bootcamps with courses in growth marketing, UX design, and sales and business development.
  • 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, Divergence Academy, 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.
  • In the same vein, FourthBrain has part-time, online machine learning courses.
More resources
  • 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. Learn more about Codecademy in our review.
  • There is Coursera, which provides free and low-cost college courses from $29 all the way to $25,000.
  • Similarly, 365 Data Science is a low-cost and low commitment option to learn data fundamentals.
  • 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.
  • You can also check out Bubble no-code bootcamps to learn how to make products without coding. Learn more about Bubble in our review.
  • Or, consider Design Sprint School, which has self-paced UX design courses. Similarly, Avocademy is an online design bootcamp that helps students build up their portfolios.

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 software engineering. 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 professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. With our tips and guidance, we’ve seen our fellows interview scores double.

If you want to work with any of our mentors 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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