A review of University of Minnesota Bootcamps

Hi, I’m Brian, a former senior software engineer and now industry mentor at Pathrise. I have worked with hundreds of web developers and software engineers to help them land their dream jobs in tech. Check out my review of University of Minnesota Bootcamps.

What does University of Minnesota Bootcamps do?

University of Minnesota Bootcamps offers part-time and full-time courses to aspiring web developers, UX/UI designers, and data analysts. No prior experience is required, but all students complete self-paced pre-work before starting their bootcamp. Usually, students can choose between learning online or in-person at their St. Paul, MN campus. However, all courses are currently remote due to Covid-19. In addition to office hours, students get recordings of every class so they can review the material whenever they like.

Web development

Both the full-time and the part-time coding courses cover the same full-stack web development curriculum. However, the full-time class meets Monday through Friday from 10am to 2:30pm CT for 12 weeks. The part-time course runs for 24 weeks, with classes on two weekdays per week from 6:30pm to 9:30pm CT and on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm CT. Both courses require about 10 hours of homework and assignments outside of class. The coding curriculum includes live lectures, workshops, and projects. Students build polished web apps with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Node.js, and React.Js. The curriculum also touches on responsive design, Heroku, Git, MySQL, and MongoDB.

UX/UI design

Students in the 24-week part-time UX/UI design course meet two weekdays per week from 6:30pm to 9:30pm and on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm CT. The curriculum covers design principles, HTML, CSS, basic JavaScript, Adobe, Sketch, InVision, Bootstrap, Git, and more. Students prototype and iterate their very own designs to build user interfaces and user experience projects. Between projects and homework, UX/UI students should expect about 10 hours per week of work outside of class. The course culminates in a final group design project that students can add to their portfolios to help them become a UX designer.

Data science

The part-time data science course runs for 24 weeks. Students learn the fundamental skills they need to land entry level data science jobs, with a focus on data analytics. Class meets two weekdays per week from 6:30pm to 9:30pm CT and on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm CT with about 10 hours of weekly work outside of class. Students learn to analyze and visualize data using Excel, Python, JavaScript, Tableau, SQL databases, and other in-demand data tools. Throughout the course, students build projects based on real-world datasets and add them to their portfolios.

Career services and other benefits

All University of Minnesota’s bootcamps include career services. Students participate in portfolio reviews, mock interviews, virtual tech panels, profile optimization training, resume workshops, and technical interview training. Career coaches meet 1-on-1 with students to help them prepare for their job search. Every quarter, the bootcamp hosts a “demo day” where students present their final group projects to alumni, industry experts, and potential employers. Grads even get customizable tools and templates they can apply to the job search.

a photo of the listed benefits of the University of Minnesota Bootcamps

Who is University of Minnesota Bootcamps for?

People with little to no experience in web dev, UX/UI design, or data analytics could benefit from University of Minnesota’s bootcamps. The program is especially helpful for those based in Minnesota or students who want to break into the Minnesota job market where the university name may stand out. People seeking a hands-on course with lots of support and fairly extensive career services may also be a good fit.

What does University of Minnesota Bootcamps cost? How much work is involved?

Tuition for Minnesota’s full-time web development course is $11,995. The part-time web dev, data science, and UX/UI design courses all cost $10,995. Discounts are available to University of Minnesota alumni, students who register early, and people who pay upfront. Students who don’t pay upfront get access to a monthly payment plan.

The admissions process begins with a short application form or a call to the admissions office. Next, candidates move on to a behavioral phone interview. The final hurdle is a critical thinking and problem-solving assessment. No coding experience is required, but students must complete pre-work if accepted.

Ratings and reviews

University of Minnesota Bootcamps has received mixed to positive reviews. They hold a 4.42/5 star rating on Course Report, where grads praised the supportive environment and hands-on curriculum. Although one grad warned the bootcamp can be “challenging”, she felt well supported throughout the course by “knowledgeable” instructors who “made the learning process more fun and enjoyable.” Another student also described the bootcamp as “fast paced” and “challenging.” However, this student thought the hands-on curriculum and the “immediate feedback” made the struggle worth it. The student was more critical of the job support, warning that “career services isn’t what I thought it was when I signed up, but it has been satisfactory after I adjusted my expectations.” He encouraged prospective students to understand that the “Career Services is meant to get you ‘interview ready’ – not to help you find a job.”

Career Karma’s blog rated the program 9/10. They praised the “excellent instructors” and reasonable price, but warned that as a “new program” the bootcamp might not have an established employer network or reputation beyond the university name. Students on Reddit were more critical, frustrated that “I’m learning a lot, but I’m definitely not prepared to be a junior web developer.” The student was also disappointed with the bootcamp’s job support, annoyed that “the career services lady is not knowledgeable about programming jobs.” Overall, most grads seem satisfied with the bootcamp’s supportive instructor team and the hands-on curriculum, though some would have preferred a slower pace with more help finding a job.

Alternatives to University of Minnesota Bootcamps

If you decide not to enroll in University of Minnesota Bootcamps, there are a number of alternative bootcamps and resources that can help aspiring web developers, UX/UI designers, and data analysts.

  • Another university bootcamp, UC Berkeley Bootcamps offers courses managed by the same parent company as University of Minnesota Bootcamps. Their pace and curriculum are similar, with the same project-based learning and 1-on-1 coaching.
  • People seeking affordable university courses can also check out edX. Their platform hosts thousands of courses from top universities like Harvard and MIT, plus big tech companies like Microsoft. Students can choose to learn fundamentals or dive deeper into specific topics, like machine learning. Read more about edX in our review
  • Similarly, Coursera is an online learning platform that hosts both free and paid courses on topics like web development and UX/UI design taught by professors at accredited universities.
  • The full-time tech bootcamp Kenzie Academy offers in-person and online courses in 2 tracks: software engineering & UX design with front-end engineering. Like University of Minnesota Bootcamps, Kenzie Academy features a hands-on curriculum with mentoring. Learn more about Kenzie Academy in our review.
  • Aspiring web developers can check out CodeX Academy, a self-paced coding bootcamp with 1-on-1 mentorship opportunities. Learn more about CodeX Academy in our review.
  • One of the most popular bootcamps is General Assembly. They offer full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on a variety of topics like UX/UI design, data science, and software engineering. Read more about General Assembly in our review.
  • Similarly, the well-known tech bootcamp BrainStation has tracks in UX/UI design, data science, and more. Like University of Minnesota Bootcamps, BrainStation focuses on hands-on project learning.
  • Aspiring designers can look into Designlab, a tech bootcamp that teaches students all the skills needed to launch a career as a UX designer. Read more about Designlab in our review.
  • Students interested in taking online self-guided or instructor-led product design courses can check out DesignerUp. Learn more about DesignerUp in our review.
  • Another remote design program is Bloc. They host courses in UX design and web dev with hands-on projects that students can add to their portfolios.
  • Students looking for introductory data analytics courses can try Metis. Their data bootcamps feature a project-based curriculum with both on-site and remote options. Learn more about Metis in our review.
  • Aspiring data scientists can also look into Coding Dojo. Their data courses focus on the fundamentals skills needed to land an entry level data analyst role.
  • Students on a tight budget can check out Udemy, which hosts thousands of self-paced video courses on web dev, data analysis, UX/UI design, and much more. Classes only cost about $10.
  • Another budget option is Codecademy. This hugely popular learning platform hosts free self-paced courses on web dev, data science, and dozens of programming languages. Optional memberships range from $20 to $40 per month for expanded course offerings and extra support. Read more about Codecademy in our review.
  • People seeking affordable hands-on learning with 1-on-1 mentoring can look into Udacity. Students in their nanodegree program build polished projects for their portfolios and work closely with both technical and career mentors. Learn more about Udacity in our review.
  • Another remote program with tracks in coding, data science, and UX/UI design is Springboard. Their courses are hands-on, include lots of personalized support, and come with a 6-month job guarantee. Read more about Springboard in our review.

How does University of Minnesota Bootcamps compare to Pathrise?

University of Minnesota Bootcamps offers courses for people interested in starting a career as a web developer, UX/UI designer, or data analyst. While an interest in tech is recommended, most students in the program start with zero experience. Pathrise job-seekers should already have some background in their field to get the most out of the technical interview training.

While the bootcamp offers career services, their focus is on teaching students technical and professional skills for the job search, not helping students successfully navigate it. Pathrise helps with all phases of the job search including resume & portfolio building, cold emailing & reverse recruiting strategies, behavioral interview preparation, salary negotiation, and more. Our experienced mentors have already helped 1,000+ students and professionals land great tech jobs.

Even though they offer part-time programs, all their courses require work outside of class for projects and homework. Our flexible program features 2-4 hours of group sessions per week and 1-on-1 sessions that can be scheduled as needed. Like Minnesota’s bootcamps, all of our sessions are live and recorded, so fellows can review previous material and catch up whenever they want. However, we offer a 9% income share agreement (ISA) so fellows pay nothing until they land a great tech job. We never require upfront payments or deposits.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that optimizes the job search through 1-on-1 mentoring. Fellows in our program can see their interview scores double and their application response rate triple, usually landing a job in just 3-5 months. If you are interested in working with any of our mentors to land your dream job faster, join Pathrise.

Apply today.

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