Designlab vs General Assembly: Prices, topics, and details

Hi, I’m Elle! I work as a product designer at Getaround and as an industry mentor here at Pathrise. I help our fellows land great jobs in product design through technical workshops and 1-on-1s. Check out my article where I compare Designlab vs General Assembly.

Similarities and differences between Designlab and General Assembly

Designlab and General Assembly are both bootcamps that offer UX design and visual design courses. However, General Assembly also teaches courses in software engineering, data science, digital marketing, product management, and more tech topics.

Similarities

  • Students in both programs get 1-on-1 support from mentors and career coaches.
  • Both programs feature extensive career services, with students participating in portfolio reviews, interview workshops, and other job search training. 
  • Students in both UX bootcamps build design projects that they can add to their professional portfolios.
  • Their mentors and instructors give lots of personalized feedback. 
  • Online learners collaborate over Zoom and on Slack, with breakout sessions for extra practice, discussion, and even critiques.
  • Both offer part-time and full-time options.

Differences

  • Designlab is fully remote. General Assembly offers both online learning and in-person learning at 30+ campuses in major cities.
  • Designlab focuses on design topics. General Assembly teaches a wider variety of tech subjects including software engineering, digital marketing, data science, and product management.
  • General Assembly offers full-time, part-time, and self-paced programs, plus 60-hour and 1-day courses. Designlab offers one intensive flagship design bootcamp, with 3-month full-time and 6-month part-time options available. A few 4-8 week flexible courses are also available to supplement their flagship UX design course.
  • Students in General Assembly courses can finance their tuition with an income share agreement (ISA), so they pay with 10% of their income after they land a tech job. Designlab students pay upfront, through loans, or in monthly installments.
  • In addition, Designlab offers a job guarantee, so if grads don’t land a job after 6 months, they get their money back. Designlab students also continue to get job support up to 6 months after graduation, with most grads landing jobs in less than 2-4 month.

Courses offered by Designlab and General Assembly

Both Designlab and General Assembly offer courses in UX design and visual design.

However, General Assembly teaches a wider variety of courses, including: 

  • Software engineering
  • Digital marketing
  • Data science
  • Product management
  • Content strategy
  • Tableau 
  • Agile & Scrum
  • Python

Prices for Designlab and General Assembly

Before beginners can enroll in Designlab’s flagship bootcamp, they have to take the “UX Academy Foundations” introductory course to learn the ropes of design. This foundational course is self-paced, requiring a minimum of 10 hours of work per week for up to 8 weeks. Tuition is only $499, but students get a $500 credit towards the UX Academy’s flagship bootcamp, meaning this introductory course is essentially free.

Tuition for Designlab’s flagship UX Academy bootcamp is $6,249 upfront. Students can also pay 6 monthly installments of $1,041 for a total of $6,649. Financing is available through Climb Credit, allowing students to pay over 3-36 months with loans. Rates and repayment plans may depend on the student’s credit history. The flagship UX design course can be taken full-time for 15 weeks or taken part-time for 28 weeks at no extra cost. Not only do students continue to get support from career coaches for up to 6 months after graduation, but they are also eligible for a job guarantee. If grads don’t land a job in 6 months, they get their money back.

4 introductory courses are also available to teach beginners the ropes of design. These short courses—covering UI Design, UX User Research, Design 101, and UX Interaction Design—all cost $399 each. They only last 4 weeks and require about 10 to 15 hours of work per week.

General Assembly prices

General Assembly offers both part-time and full-time bootcamps with self-paced options, plus events and workshops. Students can learn online or take courses in-person at one of General Assembly’s 30+ campuses. While most of their events and workshops are free, some can cost up to $250. Part-time courses cost about $750 to $3,950, usually meeting in the evenings for about 10 weeks. Many part-time courses come with an accelerated option, allowing students to cram the entire course into just 6 days of intensive 8-hour classes at no extra cost. 

Their full-time bootcamps last 12 weeks and cost $13,500 to $15,950. Full-time students are eligible for an income share agreement (ISA), meaning they can pay with 10% of their salary after they land a job with a yearly salary above $40k. While both Designlab and General Assembly feature intensive career services, General Assembly can connect their students with 19,000+ hiring partners including top tech companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google.

Ratings and reviews of Designlab and General Assembly

Designlab has received mostly positive reviews. They hold a 4.78/5 star rating on Course Report, where grads raved about the digestible curriculum, 1-on-1 support, and job guarantee. A top review praised the comprehensive and accessible curriculum, satisfied that “after three months I was able to create a portfolio, develop my own apps and now I have a job as a UX/UI Designer.” However, she also warned that “the program can be very demanding.” She felt students should prepare to work outside of class on projects to fully benefit from the course. 

Their program holds the same 4.78/5 star rating on Switchup, where they are listed among SwitchUp’s best bootcamps of 2021. A recent 2021 student loved that all students are “matched with industry experienced mentors” and described the staff as “very friendly and approachable – happy to help you in any way they can!” Although the student actually appreciated the “challenging curriculum” for being engaging and fast-paced, they still felt “mentor sessions are key” to not falling behind. Another grad also commented that the 1-on-1 mentoring “really opened my eyes to how I needed to completely change my approach to design.” Overall, Designlab grads seem satisfied with the accessible curriculum and 1-on-1 support. 

General Assembly reviews

General Assembly has similarly positive reviews, holding a 4.28/5 star rating on Course Report. A UX design grad described the program as “empowering” with an “extremely supportive group of teachers” that kept students from falling behind. Another design grad also “loved the staff” and appreciated that even the part-time bootcamp was very “fast-paced.” Although one student felt there was “strong support from tutors”, they were disappointed by the career services and design connections, warning that job support can “feel a little stretched and there was not much support in the way of job vacancies.” 

The 1-on-1 mentoring was a big hit on Career Karma, where the instructors hold a perfect 100% score. Many students were impressed that the “instructors are available outside of class time” and eager to answer questions on just about anything. The program also has a 4.27/5 star rating on Switchup, where grads valued the project-based curriculum and extensive job support. While some students described the pacing as “intense” and “breakneck”, their supportive instructors and mentors kept students from feeling lost. On the whole, General Assembly grads seem impressed by the supportive instructors and project-based curriculum.

Alternatives to Designlab and General Assembly

If you decide not to enroll in General Assembly or Designlab, you might consider one of the alternatives listed below instead: 

  • The online tech bootcamp Thinkful offers both full-time and part-time courses in UX design, product management, and other tech topics. Like General Assembly, students can use an income sharing agreement (ISA) to defer payment until after they find a jobTheir program features 1-on-1 mentorship and lots of projects grads can add to their professional portfolios.
  • Another popular tech bootcamp is BrainStation, which has tracks in UX design, product management, web dev, data science, and marketing. Like General Assembly, BrainStation boasts a project-based curriculum and a high job placement rate above 90%.
  • Similarly, Avocademy and Perpetual Education are online bootcamps that helps students build up their portfolios.
  • Springboard is a flexible online learning program that teaches UX design, data science, machine learning, software engineering, and other tech subjects. Students in their career tracks meet weekly with experienced mentors. Like Designlab, their program is extremely hands-on and offers a 6-month job guarantee. Learn more about Springboard in our review.
  • Aspiring UX designers and software engineers seeking an intensive, full-time bootcamp can check out Kenzie Academy. Like Designlab, their part-time UX program is hands-on and offers a 6-month job guarantee. Read more about Kenzie Academy in our review.
  • The remote UX program DesignerUp offers both instructor-led and self-paced UX options. They host 70+ video lessons with quizzes, worksheets, portfolio building opportunities, and even portfolio reviews. Learn more about DesignerUp in our review.
  • Similarly, Bloc is another online web design and development bootcamp that features a hands-on curriculum and weekly mentoring meetings. 
More alternatives
  • Students looking for an online design resource can check out Gymnasium. They teach both free and paid UX courses. Their website also helps connect aspiring designers with design job postings to deliver real work experience. You can also check out Design Sprint School, which has a self-paced course.
  • People seeking fast-paced bootcamps can look into GrowthX Academy. Their 8+ week bootcamps cover UX design, digital marketing, and sales. Students in their courses participate in hands-on exercises, quizzes, and 1-on-1 mentoring sessions.
  • Udacity is an online learning platform with both free and paid courses on a wide variety of tech topics, including UX design, product management, software engineering, and data science. Like both Designlab and General Assembly, students in their nanodegree programs get 1-on-1 mentoring with both a career coach and a technical mentor. In addition to being hands-on and project-based, many of their courses come from big tech companies like IBM or Google. Read more about Udacity in our review.
  • The massive online learning platform Udemy hosts 100k+ courses on both tech and humanities subjects, including design. Courses are flexible and self-paced. Their curriculum mostly consists of video lectures and comes with lifetime access for students.
  • Students seeking online university courses can check out edX. Their platform offers 3,000+ courses from top schools like Harvard and MIT as well as big tech companies like Microsoft. Their courses are self-paced and flexible. Read more about edX in our review.
  • Similarly, Coursera hosts 3,900+ tech courses taught by professors from accredited universities, covering topics like UX design, product management, software engineering, data analytics, and more. 

How do Designlab and General Assembly compare to Pathrise?

Designlab and General Assembly are bootcamps that can help students launch a new career in design. However, General Assembly also teaches courses on software engineering, digital marketing, data science, product management, and specific software skills like Python. Both programs are meant for beginners. At Pathrise, fellows should already have at least some background in their chosen field to get the most out of our technical curriculum. We have tracks in product design, software engineering, data science, digital marketing, sales, and product, strategy & ops.

Pathrise is a full-service program that helps students and professionals land their dream job. Our experienced mentors work 1-on-1 with fellows on resume writing, crafting a LinkedIn profile, portfolio optimization, reverse recruiting and cold emailing, behavioral and technical interview prep, salary negotiation, and much more. Our program is flexible, with only 2-4 hours of group sessions per week and 1-on-1 sessions fellows can schedule as needed. With our technical training and mentorship, fellows in our program have seen their interview scores and their application responses triple, landing jobs much faster.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that optimizes the job search through 1-on-1 mentoring and technical training. Our experienced mentors have already helped 1,000+ people land great tech jobs. If you are interested in working with any of our mentors to land your dream job, become a Pathrise fellow. 

Apply today.

Elle Chun

Elle Chun is an experienced Design professional helping Pathrise fellows to ace their technical interviews and succeed in their next design role.

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