CareerFoundry and Thinkful offer online mentored courses in Web Development and UX Design. Whether your concern is cost, curriculum or job placement, this deep comparison will help you decide which online coding bootcamp is best for you.
The big difference between CareerFoundry and Thinkful is the number of courses offered. Both schools offer full-time tracks for individuals seeking a career change. Thinkful offers the Web Development Career Path. At CareerFoundry, there are tracks for developers and designers, the Web Developer and UX Design courses.
CareerFoundry is in the process of adding additional full-time courses in iOS Development and UI Design.
This comparison is focused on full-time courses that offer career services. Thinkful’s Web Development Career Path and CareerFoundry’s Web Developer and UX Design courses
CareerFoundry courses are $1,899 and are completed in three to six months. Students can divide the course payment into six equal monthly installments, lowering the cost to ~$300 monthly. While CareerFoundry doesn’t offer scholarships, they do occasional giveaways like the Code & Surf Retreat which gave 3 students access to the course of their choice and a week at a California beach house.
At Thinkful, the full-time Frontend Career Path course is $1,400 per month (average student completes in 4.5 months, $7,000). Part-time courses are $300-500 a month (estimated at 10 hours weekly for 3 months; $900-$1500). Thinkful Workshops are $49 per month for unlimited access to the Workshop library and daily courses. A Thinkful scholarship is available on Course Report.
If cost is your sole determining factor, CareerFoundry is clearly the least expensive option.
At Thinkful, students should be prepared to dedicate 20 hours for the full-time career path course. Thinkful estimates students that dedicate 20-25 hours to working on the course will graduate in four to six months, though the average student completes the course in four and one-half months.
CareerFoundry students should be prepared to spend 10-15 hours per week throughout the duration of the course. Students who choose to focus on the program 40+hours per week will be able to complete the program in three months. Some students worked more than the suggested 10-15 hours.
Both Thinkful and CareerFoundy make an effort to accommodate their students with full-time jobs. We asked Darrel Silver, founder of Thinkful about their time commitment, and he told us that "we’re flexible in terms of time commitment, dollars and skills required at the beginning." CareerFoundry students noted that they were able to complete the curriculum while managing a full-time job, though it’s not easy.
CareerFoundry requires less of a weekly commitment at 10-15 hours per work vs. Thinkful’s 20-25 hours. If you have doubts, view the curriculum plan to get a better idea of how much is involved in learning each module.
Thinkful curriculum teaches the MEAN stack and is curated from online resources including CodeSchool and Codecademy. Thinkful students should be prepared to spend time searching online resources for solutions. Some students prefer finding solutions as it is preparation for real-life work as a developer, which involves working through problems alone. Thinkful’s syllabus includes links to sample projects that students will build.
The CareerFoundry curriculum teaches Ruby on Rails or UX Design, is project based and includes 60+ exercises that students complete throughout the course. Prior to signing up, students can view the Web Developer and UX Designer full curriculum plans. Though the CareerFoundry curriculum is project-based, students have less flexibility in choosing their assignments and will build predefined projects.
For students who don’t mind the extra effort searching outside resources when necessary, Thinkful’s curriculum produces a full portfolio of 15+projects. Students at CareerFoundry will benefit from a self-contained curriculum and build two full projects at the end of their course.
Both Thinkful and CareerFoundry employ mentor-based training model, but their greatest difference is in the frequency and type of meetings with mentors. Both schools take it upon themselves to match students with mentors, based on background and time zone.
Thinkful students meet with their mentor three times a week. The talks are largely unstructured and will vary based on what the students would like to discuss, whether a Thinkful assignment or personal project.
CareerFoundry students meet their mentors once weekly, but can ask unlimited questions via email and receive feedback on daily coursework. While CareerFoundry students have less video chats with mentors, they’ll benefit from feedback on every exercise.
If you’d prefer your mentor to help you with course assignments, choose CareerFoundry. If you would like unstructured chats with your mentor on general web developer topics, the Thinkful mentorship model is a better fit.
Job-Placement Rate + Assistance
Graduates of CareerFoundry’s Web Development and UX Design courses have an 80% and 86% employment rate respectively. While CareerFoundry doesn’t offer “job placement” services, they have a dedicated Career Success Manager to assist with drafting CVs, mock interviews and providing job search resources and tips. The Career Success Manager works with students before, during and after the course to set, work towards and ultimately achieve employment goals.
Thinkful’s Web Development Career Path offers career services and post graduate opportunities for graduates. The most recent data, shows the program boasts a 100% career placement rate. Similar to CareerFoundry, Thinkful staff provide job search assistance including resume review and mock interview practice.
For students seeking comprehensive career assistance and resources after their program, Thinkful fosters transition to employment and continued development for bootcamp graduates.
Because CareerFoundry courses are designed for complete beginners and students sign up about a week before their designated start date, there’s no pre-work. Curious aspiring UX designers can sign up for the free UX Design Course that is delivered by email over the course of seven days.
Thinkful offers pre-work in the form of mini-tutorials on their learn page. Students can learn through building small projects with HTML, CSS, jQuery and Python among other languages. Thinkful also has designated pre-work branded “Bootcamp Prep” for students applying to in-person bootcamps around the nation including App Academy and Makers Square.
Both CareerFoundry and Thinkful offer free pre-work and materials to anyone interested in learning code or design, and it’s a good idea to take advantage of their resources, regardless of what bootcamp you attend!
Thinkful encourages students to set up an introductory call with an advisor prior to enrolling in the course. Eager students can enroll directly via Thinkful’s website, though stealth applicants are not the norm.
CareerFoundry has designated start dates for each course, usually on Monday. Interested students can sign up to receive an alert when admission opens, and students will have one week to enroll. Acceptance into the program is subject to availability of mentors in the student’s time zone.
After scouring coding bootcamp reviews, we’ve noted a few common threads in student opinions.
- If you’re a designer, artist or creative and would like to level up, the UX course is a great choice to enhance your career and options.
- For complete beginners, CareerFoundry’s web development course offers an affordable, comprehensive option to front and back end development.
- If learning backend development is not a priority, students are very happy with Thinkful’s part-time Frontend course.
- Autodidacts (self-teachers) who spent time learning on their own before enrolling at Thinkful were more satisfied with their course overall.
- Interview with Darrell Silver, Cofounder of Thinkful
- Employee Spotlight: Grae Drake, Thinkful
- From Startup to Corporate: The Differing Roles of the UX Designer
- Take the Leap into Web Development with CareerFoundry