Looking into a new career path? Found a new online course but not sure whether you will be able to find a job afterward? Here comes (or not) Springboard, an e-learning company that ensures their students are guaranteed to find a new job in the IT field after the completion of one of the courses. Is it true and what are the pitfalls of this deal? Let’s uncover this question within the following Springboard review.
What is Springboard about?
Briefly, it is a Bootcamp which enables you to gain new tech skills within 6 to 9 months. This requires your part-time involvement and having internet access as Springboard is an online company.
Springboard.com has three directions available, coding, data and design. Their most attractive feature is job guarantee which means that each student would be able to find a job in those fields after completion – and pay after being hired.
All in all, Springboard program is based on a flexible schedule and 1 to 1 learning with having a mentor who tracks your progress on a weekly basis. Also, the platform is built as a project-based learning tool.
Additionally, you get a career coach who helps with building your CV and LinkedIn profile.
To start, you need to fill out a form with all the details about your background and expectations. Based on that, the platform will match you with the best mentor for your educational needs.
Data Science Bootcamp
This course is, as Springboard claims, is built the way that you can easily find a new job in this field afterward. Each student gets a mentor who supports them throughout the learning path. This course includes 14 projects which are based on real cases so that you can better grasp the concepts and build your portfolio.
The curriculum includes such topics as Data Wrangling, The Data Story, and Statistics. Also, you will learn Python and generally the right approaches to Software Engineering for Data Science. This course also includes Machine Learning, from the Beginner level to Advanced concepts such as Deep Learning and NLP (Natural Language Processing).
The course duration is 6 months.
However, this Springboard Data Science program has some prerequisites. They include some experience (from half of a year) of programming on Python, Java, C++, R, or other general-purpose. As well, you are required to be familiar with descriptive statistics and probability theory.
If you don’t have the required knowledge and background, there is also a Data Science Prep Course to build such. This program lasts for about 4-6 weeks depending on your commitment.
Data Analytics Bootcamp
This course takes six months to complete and promises that a customer will find a job as a data or business analyst after graduation. The program is designed in partnership with Microsoft.
This Data Analytics track by Springboard includes such topics as building structured thinking by knowing problem-solving frameworks and practicing on real cases. It also provides you with tools to analyze business problems like Excel and operating with business metrics. Moreover, the course will show you how to analyze and structure the data with Python and SQL. Finally, you will learn how to present your data with Tableau, PowerBi, and PowerPoint.
A student will also have a number of projects to complete within the course. Those projects are sourced from Harvard Business School and Khan Academy.
As for the prerequisites, you need to be fluent in written and spoken English and should have about 2 years of professional work experience with programming or design tools.
If you feel like having a need for better preparation, there’s a free Intro to Business Analytics course to help you with that.
UI/UX Design Bootcamp
This Springboard program takes 9 months to complete and the curriculum includes 35 units. It envisages 4 projects. To complete the course, you need to spend about 15-20 hours per week.
As for the topics covered in this program, we are building a design-thinking approach and conducting user research before working on the design itself. It also includes UI design theoretical principles and practical exercises. Furthermore, this Springboard UI/UX Design course teaches you what is sketching, wireframing, and prototyping as well as what are style guides and design elements. It also guides you to design sprints and basics of working with developers and stakeholders.
No professional background or education is required to enroll in this program.
Software Engineering Bootcamp
All in all, this Software Engineering Springboard program takes about 9 months to complete, includes 800 hours of learning and practicing materials and requires you to study about 20 hours per week.
This course is also job-guaranteed.
Springboard offers also a number of free short courses on software engineering, marketing, cybersecurity among other; they can be found here.
The pricing for courses on springboard.com varies from $5500 to $8500 per course. Here is more detailed information on how much Springboard costs.
- Coding (Software Engineering) – $8500 / $1,150 per month – 9-month course
- Data Science and AI – $7500 / $1,490 per month – 6-month course
- Data Analytics – $5500 / $1,100 per month – 6-month course
- UX Design – $5900 / $1,199 per month – 6-month course
Prep courses (Data Science and Software Engineering) costs $490 per ~a month.
The company also offers scholarship opportunities for three groups of people. Particularly, it’s up to $300 for college students and up to $750 for women or veterans.
The reviews mostly are positive or neutral ones. However, there are also some complaints about the curriculum and the high fees. There is also an issue with the exercises and projects, many of each are taken from Datacamp or Harvard tutorials which are available online.
Also, graduates beware about that job guarantee is quite tricky but if you are self-disciplined and study hard, you will be able to find a decent trainee or even junior position.
Springboard vs Thinkful
Both online bootcamps have a similar offer of courses – Data Science, Data Analytics, Software Engineering, and UX/UI Design. However, Thinkful has a wider list of courses on Marketing, Product, and Technical Project Management. They both have a flexible schedule, a 1-1 mentor and a career coach as part of the package. As for goods, they both have a job guarantee – so that you don’t pay if you cannot find a job within 6 months after graduation.
As for differences, Thinkful has two schedule options – part-time (‘Flex’ programs) and full time (‘Immersion’) while Springboard has only one. Thinkful programs are shorter, 4-5 months at full-time programs, and 6 at the part-time.
Finally, Thinkful is a more pricey provider. For example, the Data Science full-time program by this provider costs $18,500 while a similar one by Springboard is $7500.
Springboard vs Udacity
Both providers have long-term programs related to data science and analytics as well as software engineering. However, Udacity has a bigger number of programs to choose from (like cloud computing or marketing). Meanwhile, Udacity doesn’t offer a job guarantee.
Comparing the duration and the price, Springboard has a bit longer programs (6-9 months while Udacity’s programs last for about 3-4 months with 10-15 hours per week) and Springboard is much more pricey (more than $1000 per month while Udacity costs $400 per month).
Is it worth it?
According to all the information gathered, this provider is a decent option but not among the favorites of the Self-Starters team. The reason behind this is that it is quite expensive considering that many assignments are available on different sources for free. Also, some of the competitors offer better-structured content.
It's okay but you can find better options.
- Job guarantee
- 1-1 mentorship and career coaching
- Being cheaper than a number of competitors
- Content can be better structured
- For some programs, you need first to complete a prep course for an additional fee
- Many projects and assignments are taken of freely accessible sources