A review of Woz U as a tech bootcamp

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 Woz U.

What does Woz U do?

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak created Woz U to help people launch new careers in software engineering, data science, and cybersecurity. This online coding bootcamp is customizable, allowing students to pick and choose what specific tech topics they want in their curriculum. Although Woz U gave up their state license in 2020, they will continue to partner with universities and tech companies to design practical curriculums.

The program is flexible and completely remote. All courses run for 33 weeks with only 1-2 hours of live lectures per week. Students participate in hands-on exercises, mentoring sessions, demos, and assignments that are graded each week. Every course culminates in a final group project that students present to friends, family, and even potential employers. Students leave the program with both an accredited certificate and a professional portfolio that they can use in their job search.

Students in the software engineering bootcamp learn to create full-stack web applications using front-end, back-end, and database development. The curriculum also covers mobile app development, responsive design, web security, and even Agile project management. The full 33-week bootcamp is made up of 10 smaller courses, allowing students to customize their learning experience by picking and choosing among the shorter courses.

The data science bootcamp teaches students to analyze data sets and transform using Python, statistical programming in R, Tableau, and SQL. Students also use Python for machine learning algorithms as well as work with big data. The 33-week course is composed of 11 different short courses, allowing for students to customize the curriculum and only learn the skills they want.

All courses include job support. Career service coaches work with students to build their resumes, practice for interviews, and develop job search strategies. Students also create virtual profiles on Woz U’s networking platform where they can connect with alumni and employers. Alumni get lifetime access to this platform and the career services team.

 

 

Who is Woz U for?

People with no experience in software engineering or data science who are looking to move into these careers could benefit from the bootcamps. The program is especially helpful for people seeking a flexible, customizable curriculum without too much time spent on lectures. People who want a remote course they can take while working a full-time job may also be a good fit.

What does Woz U cost? How much work is involved?

Tuition for any Woz U bootcamp is $13,200. Financing options like loans are also available.

The application process begins with a brief form, which is reviewed by the admissions team. Then, candidates take a brief technical quiz. No formal tech experience is necessary, though.

Ratings and reviews

Woz U has received mixed to positive reviews. They hold a 3.6/5 star rating on Career Karma, where some grads praise the flexible yet hands-on curriculum. A recent grad liked that it was completely remote and accessible to beginners, appreciating that “no experience or technical background [is] required.” Although Course Report lists Woz U as closed, they list Woz U’s partner bootcamp Bethel Tech among their top coding programs. Woz U holds a 4/5 stars rating, where recent reviews are critical of the admin team and curriculum. However, some grads from older cohorts praised the program for its hands-on learning and supportive staff. One grad raved that their “workshops are awesome, the instructors are top-notch and the mentors make such a difference in your learning.”

However, a CBS News investigation raised serious concerns. In one interview, a frustrated grad described the bootcamp as “a $13,000 e-book.” They warned that the program is “broken, it’s not working in places, lots of times there’s just hyperlinks to Microsoft documents, to Wikipedia.” In a 2018 statement, both Steve Wozniak and the president of Woz U Chris Coleman acknowledged issues with the curriculum and promised a new, improved quality control system. Their statement assured readers that Steve Wozniak reviews the curriculum himself and that students are never pressured to enroll. Despite more lawsuits and failure to renew their license, Woz U continues to receive positive reviews, with many grads swearing by the hands-on and flexible curriculum.

The course is rated 4.08/5 stars Switchup, where it is listed among the best bootcamps of 2021. One student appreciated that the course was flexible but still supportive through the dedicated staff, satisfied that he was “guided by my instructors and mentors with direction and structure that I needed to develop new skills.” Although another felt “there are better options” out there for aspiring software engineers, he felt bootcamp students will “be learning the same content no matter where you go, more or less” and that Woz U’s supportive, hands-on experience made up for whatever could be lacking in their curriculum. The student liked that mentors and instructors “explain to you what you’re doing, instead of just telling you what to do.” However, he warned that “the Steve Wozniak endorsement is cheesy as hell, as he has no actual involvement in the company.” Another grad agreed that the support was top notch, raving that “mentors and instructors are always there to help.” The grad loved that she “learned and retained so much information in such a short span of time” and appreciated that “the courses are accelerated and don’t drag on forever.”

Although some students had doubts about the bootcamp’s curriculum administration, overall grads appreciated the supportive instructors, flexible pacing, and the tech skills they took away from the program. Steve Wozniak may not descend from a penthouse to install software knowledge directly into students’ brains, but grads were still generally satisfied by their experience.

 

Alternatives to Woz U

If you decide not to enroll in Woz U, there are a number of alternative bootcamps and courses for aspiring data scientists and software engineers.

  • The popular bootcamp BrainStation offers programs in web development, web design, data science, marketing, and product management. Like Woz U, BrainStation emphasizes project-based learning and collaboration with 1-on-1 feedback for students.
  • Online learners seeking flexible university-style courses can check out edX. Their popular online learning platform hosts university courses on data science from world-famous schools like Harvard, top companies like Microsoft, and local schools like Arizona State. Students can choose to learn the fundamentals or focus on specific topics, like front-end web development or data analytics. Learn more about edX in our review.
  • Another flexible remote program is Bloc, which offers online courses in web development and web design. Like Woz U, Bloc’s program emphasizes student support, with real-time instructor feedback and weekly 1-on-1 mentorship meetings.
  • The popular tech bootcamp General Assembly has full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on data science, software engineering, UX design, digital marketing, product management, and more. Their program features portfolio projects, 1-on-1 mentoring, 19,000+ hiring partners, and a 91.4% job placement rate. Learn more about General Assembly in our review.
  • Flatiron School is a well-known bootcamp that teaches courses on data science, software engineering, UX design, and cybersecurity analytics. Students can choose part-time or full-time options, both remote or on-campus. Their software engineering bootcamp features lots of projects, career coaching, and a job placement above 86%.
  • People who want to learn software engineering skills at a fast pace can look into Kenzie Academy. They offer full-time bootcamps in 2 tracks: software engineering & UX design with front-end engineering. Their curriculum is hands-on curriculum and includes mentoring. Read more about Kenzie Academy in our program review.
  • Students seeking a flexible online program with mentoring can check out Thinkful. They teach courses in software engineering, data science, and more. Their program includes mentoring, career services, and an income share agreement (ISA) so students only pay after they land a tech job.
  • Similarly, Springboard is a remote program with tracks in both software engineering data science. Students in their career track meet 1-on-1 with mentors, build 14+ portfolio projects, and graduate with formal certificates. If grads don’t land a job in 6 months, they get a full refund. Read more about Springboard in our review.
  • The tech bootcamps Lambda School, Holberton School, and Byte Academy have tracks in software engineering and data science. Students can pay with an income share agreement (ISA), allowing them to pay for the program after they land a tech job.
  • 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.
  • For those interested in self-paced learning, Data Science Dream Job is a flexible, remote data science course with a hands-on curriculum. The program includes job search skills like portfolio building and 1-on-1 mentoring is also available.
  • Similarly, DataCamp is an online tech resource with 300+ courses on data science subjects. Courses only last about 4 hours.
  • People seeking a collaborative project-based learning experience can look into Kaggle. This community-focused data science platform hosts 19,000 public datasets and 200,000 public notebooks for people who are looking to get started or join a data science project to build.
  • Although students are required to have basic statistics and algebra skills, Metis teaches introductory data courses with both onsite and remote bootcamp options. Learn more about Metis in our review.

Students on a budget can look into Codecademy. Their wildly popular learning platform hosts hands-on courses on web development, dozens of programming languages, and even data science. Full courses are free, with a $20-$40 a month membership option for increased course options and support. Learn more about Codeacademy in our review.

How does Woz U compare to Pathrise?

Woz U is a bootcamp for people interested in learning software engineering, data science, and cybersecurity skills from scratch. While a brief technical quiz is required, most Woz U students start without any tech experience. Pathrise fellows should already have a background in their chosen field to get the most out of our technical interview training.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that helps people land their dream job in tech. Our mentors work 1-on-1 with fellows on all phases of the job search including resume and portfolio optimization, cold emailing and reverse recruiting, technical and behavioral interviewing, and negotiation. Fellows in our program see their interview scores double and their application responses triple, helping them find their dream job faster. Our experienced mentors have already helped 800+ students and professionals land great tech jobs.

Woz U features a flexible curriculum with short 1-2 hour live lectures. Our program is also flexible, with only 2-4 hours of group sessions per week and 1-on-1s that can be scheduled as needed. Pathrise’s income share agreement (ISA) is 9% of the first year’s salary and we never require upfront payments. On average, fellows in our program land a job in just 3-5 months.

Pathrise optimizes the job search through 1-on-1 mentorship and personalized training. If you are interested in working with any one of our mentors to land your dream job, join Pathrise.

Apply today.

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