What Makes Thinkful Unique?
Thinkful is an online education platform dedicated to getting its students new jobs and life-long careers. Since its founding in 2012, Thinkful bootcamp has continued to improve people’s technical skills in various disciplines. Following its vision statement, the school strives to make career-driven education accessible to all adult learners with innovation, empathy, and readiness in mind.
A quick review of Thinkful’s online courses shows a blend of ideals in its mission statement. The school’s admissions representatives ensure prospective students have a smooth admissions process. Its dedicated mentors take over once the student successfully gets admitted. These experts help guide students through their time at the bootcamp, providing advice on career and academic-related issues.
The support students receive does not end after they complete their programs. Instead, the school monitors alumni’s employment status for more than one year after graduation to ensure they land their dream jobs at reputable tech companies.
Aside from support, what other unique features does the school offer? That is the question this Thinkful review aims to answer. Read on as we look into Thinkful’s offerings and how they stand out in the tech industry.
Thinkful Bootcamp’s Unique Approach to Tech Education
Before the pandemic, coding bootcamps focused on in-person training. However, the Covid-19 pandemic sparked a revolution in the education industry. Many educators had to consider developing online programs to replace or complement the traditional brick-and-mortar system.
Now, some shared features we commonly see among coding bootcamps are:
- Online immersive programs
- Career support
- Part-time and full-time modes
- Live video instruction
- Flexible payment options
With over a hundred coding bootcamps country-wide, uniqueness is a crucial selling point. And Thinkful distinguishes themself through their approach to student support.
Dedicated Support Team
Everywhere in the world, quality support is an essential factor in generating brand loyalty. According to Microsoft, 90 percent of its customers believe so too.
In line with the school’s customer-first philosophy, Thinkful provides student support through its live chat feature on its website, with technical experts ready to assist six days a week. Also, via its admission managers, the school helps prospects choose the course and payment plan right for them.
The school’s support team has gained positive reviews. Sean Jun, a software engineering alumnus, says: “If I were to describe the Thinkful experience in one word, it would be ‘completeness.’ Thinkful provided an abundance of information with the support of one-on-one mentorship–which [I] loved–and career services support.”
Flexible Payment Plans
Thinkful provides several financing options to fit various financial needs. Each of its payment plans comes with unique conditions that accommodate the types and length of the program. For example, the living expenses loan, which covers a student’s monthly expenses, is only available to full-time students.
Thinkful’s tuition plans include:
- Upfront Payment
This upfront payment method requires you to pay the entire tuition in full before commencing each program. It is the most cost-effective payment option as it incurs no additional costs.
- Month-to-Month Installments
The month-to-month installments method spreads installments across the duration of a program. However, this method incurs an additional cost that factors in the program’s type and length.
For example, attending the school’s full-time Software Engineering course costs $16,000. With the installments plan in place, students pay $3,520 per month across five months. At the end of the program, that will total $17,600, showing an additional cost of $1,600.
- Deferred Tuition Plan
Thinkful’s deferred tuition plan allows you to learn first and pay when you get a qualifying position paying at least $40,000 per year within six months of graduation. In other words, if you’re not hired after six months of graduation, you will pay $0 in tuition costs.
Adding to that, full-time students who opt for the Living Expenses loan have access to a $1,500 monthly loan that covers living expenses. Opting for this plan increases the monthly payment levy and the overall cost. If a student isn’t hired within six months, they’ll still have to pay back the Living Expenses loan.
Learn at a Preferred Pace with Full-Time or Part-Time Courses
Thinkful founder Dan Friedman once said, “Careers have changed and schools must change with them.” The statement summarizes the value proposition of bootcamps, with Thinkful not left out.
The school provides curricula that equip students with the most in-demand skills, including digital marketing, software engineering, UX design, technical project management, data science, and data analytics. Thinkful’s teaching staff delivers courses covering these topics by offering flexible and full-time programs that fit any schedule.
- Full-time Format
The full-time courses at Thinkful typically involve intensive learning sessions. They thoroughly prepare students for a job in tech. Classes are live and instructor-led, held daily from Mondays to Fridays, 10am to 5pm (ET). In a week, the courses add up to around 50 to 60 hours of intensive learning.
With such a schedule, it may be challenging to work and study simultaneously. So, Thinkful allows students to take a two-week break whenever they wish. The Software Engineering, Data Analytics, and UI/UX Design courses are available in full-time formats.
- Part-time Format
Thinkful’s part-time courses are self-paced and have a typical duration of six months. Its design accommodates working students and helps them manage their lifestyles without hassle.
Generally, part-time programs are cheaper than their full-time alternative, and they are less intensive, requiring only 20 to 30 hours of study time per week. Students can also take advantage of the question-and-answer services, which allow them to receive help from a technical expert in the field.
Student Mentorship Programs
Thinkful has a network of over 250 mentors from across the United States. They coach students via one-on-one meetings and personal meetups. Their job is to provide career guidance to students by giving them insights into how the theories you learn in the classroom apply in real life.
For some, this feature, alongside the curriculum design, is a unique selling point.
Cody Berlin, a Thinkful alumnus who now works with Manhattan Mobile as a full stack developer, says his mentor’s one-on-one attention and the curriculum were essential factors that influenced his decision to choose Thinkful. And months after completing his program, Cody is still grateful for his experience at the school.
“My mentor made the program. When I got ahead, he would take me further. I stayed on for longer to learn,” he says of his mentor Juan.
Typically, mentors have vast professional experience in their respective fields and are enthusiastic about helping adults change careers.
Stories from Thinkful Alumni
Before attending classes at Thinkful, Sean Jun, a material scientist, had no background in programming or coding. According to Sean, its support team was a crucial factor in influencing his decision to choose Thinkful to learn to program.
Sean was on his career journey soon after graduation. He landed a job as a contract programmer for a large technology company. His life had changed within months.
“Because of Thinkful, I was able to buy my first home. I am much happier and more powerful as a human being. I have creative freedom and I work on large-scale, significant projects. In previous jobs, I’d have to ask for grants or help to make something happen, but now if I have an idea, I can make it real.”
Benjamin Johnson’s story is another example of how Thinkful aims to transform lives. He was a musician and freelancer. At one point, he needed to attend an online bootcamp that allowed flexibility and self-paced learning to work and study simultaneously. So, he opted for the school’s part-time program.
Months after completing his program, he says, “having the safety net of the career services helped me get into my current job, where I am very empowered to succeed.”
Join the Thinkful Community Today
Thinkful has produced thousands of professionals in various tech disciplines. On October 1, 2022, the bootcamp will celebrate its decade-long presence in the bootcamp industry. And its focus for the next year and beyond is to make tech education even more accessible to anyone motivated to launch a career.
Do you wish to launch your career path in the tech industry, or do you want to switch to a higher-paying job? Take Thinkful’s career quiz to find out what fits you best.