Springboard vs. Simplilearn: Which Is a Better Online Learning Platform?
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Ready to kickstart a new career in tech but not sure which online learning platform is right for you? Learn more about the main differences between MOOCs and mentor-led online bootcamps in this guide.
As the cost of higher education continues to rise, online courses and bootcamps have in recent years become a viable alternative for those who want training in highly technical and well compensated fields—without the steep price tag or years-long time commitment.
Spurring the e-learning revolution is the growing demand across all industries for software engineers, UX designers, data scientists, and cybersecurity professionals, which has resulted in courses and bootcamps that promise to prepare students for those roles—often from the comfort of their home, at the student’s own pace, for a low cost.
The rise of online bootcamps has been a good thing, with The New York Times reporting that virtual learning has been a “great equalizer” for adults and has made training and upskilling more accessible. During the Covid-19 pandemic in particular, research found that e-learning has the potential to close a longstanding skills gap and democratize user engagement. Many courses, designed specifically with a bootcamp-to-workforce pipeline in mind, have also optimized their programs to focus on the skills students need in order to land the job they want, thus maximizing efficiency and giving graduates a competitive advantage.
What Is Springboard?
Springboard is a San Francisco-based edtech company that prepares students for some of today’s more competitive and coveted careers, all while offering a first-of-its kind job guarantee. Every student gets a six-month runway after graduating to secure a role in their industry—if they don’t, students receive a refund on 100% of their tuition.
Springboard offers bootcamps and short courses in UI/UX design, data science, data analytics, software engineering, machine learning, and cybersecurity. All Springboard bootcamps are 100% online, self-paced, and take six-nine months to complete. During each bootcamp, students are matched with an industry mentor who guides them throughout the program through regular one-on-one video calls. A Student Success Manager is also available to handle logistics queries, create study plans, and help students stay accountable to their learning goals.
Before and after graduation, Springboard’s career coaches support students in their job searches and networking, help prepare them for interviews, and facilitate their transition into the workforce.
What Is Simplilearn?
Simplilearn is a San Francisco-based edtech platform that offers hundreds of online courses across categories ranging from data science and business analytics to dev ops, AI and machine learning, software development, cybersecurity, and quality management. Some of its programs are developed in conjunction with organizations such as IBM, while its postgraduate programs are developed with universities such as Purdue, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Caltech. On graduation, students receive a course completion certificate.
All of Simplilearn’s courses are 100% online. Depending on the course, Simplilearn offers a self-paced learning option, which follows the model of massive open online courses (MOOCs) where there’s no limit to the number of students who can enroll; a bootcamp option, which grants students access to live virtual classes; and a corporate option, which is intended for organizations to enroll employees for the purpose of retraining and upskilling. Some of its advanced postgraduate courses cap enrollment numbers and require students to hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field before admission.
All of Simplilearn’s programs offer 24/7 customer support
Springboard vs. Simplilearn: What Are the Main Differences?
There are a few fundamental differences between Springboard and Simplilearn.
- Simplilearn offers both MOOCs and bootcamps, the former of which are optimized for the highest number of enrollments possible. This means that there’s no limit to the number of students who can enroll in a course and, as a result, restricts how involved instructors can be with student progress because it’s not possible for a single instructor to keep up with every person in the course.Students who upgrade to the online bootcamp version of a course are granted access to live, virtual classes taught by industry experts. Although some of these classes have an enrollment cap, former students have reported that some classes have ballooned to 90 students, which makes it difficult for the instructor to address every student’s question.
Simplilearn’s courses are also broken down by both skill and profession. For example, under the category of AI and Machine Learning, students have the option of enrolling in a 12-month course on artificial intelligence engineering; they also have the option of enrolling in a range of separate short courses ranging from an introduction to artificial intelligence to machine learning and deep learning with Keras and TensorFlow.
- Springboard follows a bootcamp model, which means all classes are capped to ensure a manageable instructor to student ratio and follow a structure that ensures that students understand the fundamentals of each profession before they advance to more challenging skills. Springboard’s bootcamps—which span the most in-demand tech professions such as software engineering, data science, machine learning engineering, cybersecurity, and UX design—also take a more holistic approach to education, combining a comprehensive curriculum with self-paced instruction, video lectures, readings, capstone projects, work sprints that mimic the real-world work experience of a profession, and one-on-one regular calls with an industry mentor.Instead of offering courses by profession and skill, which can be challenging for students to navigate, Springboard’s courses offer an end-to-end roadmap for each discipline. A student who enrolls in the Data Science Career Track will be taught everything they need to know to prepare them for the workforce; likewise, a student in the UI/UX Design Career Track will be equipped with all the hard and soft skills required to be competitive in the job market.
Springboard students are often looking to upskill or change careers, which is why every student is given access to a built-in support network of mentors and career coaches to keep them accountable during the course and to help them move into the workforce upon graduation.
Springboard vs. Simplilearn: Learning Format
Both Springboard and Simplilearn are 100% online and deliver most of their educational materials through video lectures and readings.
All Springboard students—regardless of course type or career track—are given regular one-on-one access to an industry mentor and receive the support of dedicated career counselors to help them get the most out of the course. This support network is also available to students upon graduation to assist them in making their next move. Simplilearn’s courses come with 24/7 customer support, résumé building support, and post-graduation job seeking assistance.
Students go at their own pace in both Springboard and Simplilearn courses, with the average Springboard bootcamp taking anywhere from six to nine months and requiring a time commitment of 15-25 hours a week to successfully complete the coursework, while the average Simplilearn course ranges from three hours for a short course on a specific topic (E.g. introduction to data analytics for beginners), to 12 months for its masterclass program in AI engineering.
Springboard vs. Simplilearn: How Much Does It Cost?
When it comes to online courses and bootcamps, the adage that you get what you pay for often rings true. Free or low-cost courses can be accessible, but often lack in-depth, personalized support from instructors and mentors. Higher-cost courses can have a higher barrier to entry, but typically come with a comprehensive support system.
- Simplilearn’s courses range from $399 for its introductory beginner courses to $4,200 for its postgraduate bootcamps.
- Springboard’s courses are around $10,000, with discounts and scholarships available if certain criteria are met. Springboard’s introductory courses, which give students a taste of a field at a fraction of the time commitment, start from $349.
Springboard vs. Simplilearn: Job Outcomes
One of the indicators of an effective bootcamp or online course is whether students land an industry job upon graduation.
- Simplilearn doesn’t publish data on how many of its graduates go on to secure jobs in a field related to their studies. However, it claims that 85% of its graduates reported a career benefit such as a promotion or new job.
- Springboard offers a first-of-its-kind job guarantee for all graduates, with all-encompassing courses that prepare students for the workforce. If a student does not secure a job related to their field of study within six months of graduation, Springboard will offer a full refund on tuition.
Springboard vs. Simplilearn: Pros and Cons
In the saturated e-learning market, both Springboard and Simplilearn have emerged as significant players because their courses offer many benefits. But what works for one student may not work for another.
- Pros: Simplilearn’s courses are relatively low cost, and its breakdown of courses by skill means that students who only need to fill a specific skills gap (E.g. Microsoft Azure fundamentals, SQL training, or data visualization) can find something to meet their needs without enrolling in a comprehensive career track.
- Cons: By offering courses based on skills and profession, Simplilearn can easily overwhelm newcomers with the sheer number of course options. Former students who have taken Simplilearn’s live, virtual classes have also found that lessons can move too slowly due to the number of students enrolled and the fact that everyone is at a different level. And although Simplilearn offers 24/7 customer support, its self-paced program faces the same issues as other MOOCs, which have an attrition and accountability problem—in an online data science course run by Johns Hopkins University, 1.76 million people signed up but only 71,589 got far enough into the course to receive verified certifications, and 917 students completed all nine courses and signed up for the capstone course. Research has found that many people who start MOOCs often don’t finish them, and even those who do find it hard to be consistent with their studies.
- Pros: Springboard’s courses are created by industry experts and are designed to meet the end-to-end needs of students, from introducing newcomers to the basics of a profession to offering a project-driven, comprehensive curriculum that teaches the skills students need to land the job they want. Mentors and careers coaches also support students through capstone projects, industry networking, and job searches, ensuring that every graduate is equipped with both the hard and soft skills required to get on a recruiter’s radar and ace the job interview. This approach is applied to all of Springboard’s courses.
- Cons: Springboard’s courses aren’t a silver bullet to a career change. Even with a holistic and mentor-supported approach to online education, it ultimately falls on students to put in anywhere from 15-25 hours a week in study and practice in order to successfully complete a course and build a competitive portfolio that will help them stand out from the crowd.
Not ready to enroll just yet? Read more about the factors you should consider while picking a program in our bootcamp criteria guide.
Disclaimer: We’ve worked hard to ensure the information in this comparison guide is accurate and up-to-date. However, mistakes happen. If you spot an error, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll correct it right away.
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