career-foundry-versus-thinkful-guide

CareerFoundry and Thinkful offer online mentored courses in Web Development, Data Science, and UX Design. But should you choose to study at CareerFoundry or Thinkful? Whether your concern is cost, curriculum or job placement, this deep comparison will help you decide which online coding bootcamp is best for you.

 

Focus + Career Tracks

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 Engineering Immersion and Data Science Immersion. At CareerFoundry, there are tracks for developers and designers, the UX Design, UI Design, and Web Development courses.

Both schools also offer part-time courses. At Thinkful, those are Flex courses in Data Analytics and Product Design. At CareerFoundry, there are 3 unique specialization courses: UI for UX designers, Frontend Development and Voice User Interface with Amazon Alexa.

This comparison is focused on full-time courses that offer career services. Thinkful’s Engineering Immersion and Data Science Immersion​ and CareerFoundry’s UX Design, UI Design, and Web Development courses.


Cost of Thinkful vs CareerFoundry

CareerFoundry's 10-month UX Design course costs $6900 USD. CareerFoundry offers interest-free monthly installment plans for all courses and scholarships to support women in tech and for non-degree holders. You can get $500 off CareerFoundry with this Course Report scholarships. 

At Thinkful, the Engineering Immersion course costs $16,000 upfront and the Data Science Immersion course costs $18,500. While these upfront tuitions are clearly higher than CareerFoundry, Thinkful does offer an Income Share Agreement, a loan through SkillsFund, and scholarships for women and US military members.

If cost is your sole determining factor, CareerFoundry is clearly the least expensive option.


Time Commitment

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 4.5 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, check out the curriculum plan to get a better idea of how much is involved in learning each module.

Curriculum

Thinkful's Engineering Immersion 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.

Thinkful's Data Science Immersion curriculum covers Python, SQL, Machine Learning, Supervised Learning and Unsupervised Learning. 

The CareerFoundry curriculum teaches Ruby on Rails or UX Design, is project based and includes 60+ exercises that students complete throughout the course.

The CareerFoundry Web Development curriculum will take you through two journeys— Intro to Frontend and Full-Stack Immersion—for a total of 7 months of coursework (1 month in Intro to Frontend, and 6 months in Full-Stack Immersion). It is project-based and includes 57 exercises that students complete throughout the course.

CareerFoundry's UX curriculum covers UX Fundamentals, UX Immersion and one specialization in User Interface Design for UX Designers, Frontend Development for Designers or Voice User Interface Design. It is project-based and includes 70+ exercises that students complete throughout the course. 

Prior to signing up, students can view the 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 during the first two blocks (UX Fundamentals and UX Immersion). 

Students at CareerFoundry will benefit from a self-contained curriculum and build two full projects at the end of their course.

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 three full projects at the end of their course.

Teaching Approach

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. It is up to the students to organize feedback sessions. 

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 95-98% employment rates. While CareerFoundry doesn’t offer “job placement” services, they have a dedicated Career Specialist to assist with drafting CVs, mock interviews and providing job search resources and tips. The Career Specialist 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.

Pre-Work

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!

Application Process

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.

Students can enroll in CareerFoundry on any chosen start date (last-minute enrollments are accepted). Acceptance into the program is subject to availability of mentors in the student’s time zone, and CareerFoundry currently has mentor capacity in all time zones. 

Reviews

After scouring coding bootcamp reviews, we’ve noted a few common threads in student opinions.

CareerFoundry

Thinkful

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About The Author

Alex williams image

Alex is an educator turned programmer in training. Find out what she's up to at alexandriawilliams.com.