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, 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 and at the student’s own pace.
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, the 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.
- Not ready to pick a bootcamp just yet? Head over to our bootcamp criteria guide.
- Want to find out how Springboard stacks up against other bootcamps? Check out our bootcamp comparison guide.
What Is CareerFoundry?
CareerFoundry is a Berlin-based ed-tech platform that offers three tiers of online bootcamps across data analytics, UI/UX design, and web development. Within each subject, students can choose from an introductory short course, which typically takes a month to complete; a comprehensive full course, which can take 5-10 months to complete depending on whether a student opts to study full-time or part-time; or an advanced course for those who already have a background in the subject area, which can be completed in two months.
CareerFoundry’s courses are 100% online and self-paced, with additional support in the form of mentorships, help from tutors, and career counseling. Similar to Springboard, CareerFoundry offers a job guarantee and assists graduates in their job search.
What Is General Assembly?
General Assembly is a New York-based private learning institution best known for hosting in-person courses across more than 30 physical campuses around the world on subjects such as data science, software engineering, UX design, and digital marketing. Around 20% of General Assembly’s students come via its corporate clients.
In addition to its in-person courses, which are offered on a full-time (12-weeks), part-time (10-weeks during evenings), and event-focused (a few hours) basis, General Assembly also offers remote learning for those who cannot attend one of its campuses. Its remote courses are conducted in real-time, with class meetings over Zoom, Miro, and Slack. There are also a limited number of “on-demand” courses where students can go at their own pace.
The real-time nature of most of General Assembly’s courses allows students to interact and collaborate with peers, have a traditional classroom experience with instructors and teaching assistants, and benefit from a sense of community.
CareerFoundry vs. General Assembly: What Are the Main Differences?
There are a few fundamental differences between CareerFoundry and General Assembly.
|Offers students a job guarantee||No job guarantee|
|Courses are asynchronous, 100% online, and self-paced||Courses are offered in-person with remote options available in certain markets. Most remote courses are synchronous and require participation over Zoom and Slack.|
|Only offers courses in data analytics, UI/UX design, and web development||Courses in software engineering, data analytics, UI/UX design, digital marketing, data science, product management, front-end programming, Python programming, React development, and Visual design|
|Individualized mentorship, help from tutors, and career counseling||Support from peers and instructors in a traditional classroom environment|
If you’re interested in a bootcamp that comes with a job guarantee and individualized mentorship, but also want more course options, Springboard offers comprehensive, mentor-supported bootcamps in data science, UI/UX design, software engineering, cybersecurity, machine learning engineering, and tech sales.
CareerFoundry vs. General Assembly: Learning Format
- CareerFoundry is 100% online and asynchronous. There are no live tutorials or webinars—and delivers all of its educational materials through video lectures, exercises, assignments, and readings. Students go at their own pace, with the average CareerFoundry bootcamp taking five months to complete full-time, or ten months to complete part-time. It also offers shorter introductory courses and advanced courses that are designed to advance a specific skill within a discipline. Students are matched with an industry mentor who offers project, coursework, and career guidance throughout the program. Dedicated career counselors also work with students to prepare them for the workforce.
- General Assembly offers a range of in-person, remote, and fully asynchronous courses. Although, specific course offerings are limited by market. Its in-person courses resemble a traditional school in which classes begin and end at specific times and attendance is expected at one of its campuses. Its remote courses mirror this, with the same curriculum and student engagement expected over Zoom and Slack. The average full-time immersive course takes three months to complete. The average asynchronous, on-demand course requires around 30-60 hours of work, although students have access to course content for up to 12 months.
CareerFoundry vs. General Assembly: What’s on the Curriculum?
Both CareerFoundry and General Assembly offer courses that prepare students for tech industry careers. CareerFoundry focuses on UI/UX design, data analytics, and web development, while General Assembly offers a greater range of courses.
|UI/UX design||UI/UX design|
|Data analytics||Data analytics|
|Web development||Data science|
|Front-end web development|
Interested in a tech career that isn’t offered by CareerFoundry or General Assembly? In addition to data analytics, UI/UX design, and software engineering, Springboard’s comprehensive bootcamps include cybersecurity, machine learning engineering, data science, data engineering, and tech sales.
CareerFoundry vs. General Assembly: 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 personalized support from instructors and mentors. Higher-cost courses can have a higher barrier to entry, but typically come with a comprehensive support system.
- CareerFoundry’s full courses cost around $6,555, while its shorter introductory courses cost around $690.
- General Assembly’s full-time immersive courses are around $15,950, with part-time courses costing around $3,950, and asynchronous courses around $950.
Looking for a more affordable but still rigorous introductory course to dip your toes into a subject before committing to a bootcamp? Springboard’s introductory courses start from $349 and come with both mentor and career coach support. Most introductory courses can be completed in four weeks, and the cost of an introductory course can be applied toward a full bootcamp at a later time.
CareerFoundry vs. General Assembly: Job Outcomes
One of the indicators of an effective bootcamp or online course is whether students land an industry job upon graduation.
- CareerFoundry offers a job guarantee—if graduates do not land a job in a related field within six months of graduation, their tuition is refunded.
- General Assembly reports that of the students who completed its full-time immersive courses in 2019, 90.5% of graduates received a job in a relevant field within six months of graduation.
CareerFoundry vs. General Assembly: Pros and Cons
In the saturated e-learning market, both CareerFoundry and General Assembly have emerged as significant players because their courses offer many benefits. But what works for one student may not work for another.
- Pros: The online and asynchronous nature of CareerFoundry’s courses means students are able to go at their own pace on their own time. Mentors, tutors, and careers coaches also support students through course projects, classwork, and job searches to best prepare graduates for job interviews and the workforce. CareerFoundry’s comprehensive programs and support network are similar to that of Springboard, although Springboard offers more courses and specializes in more career tracks.
- Cons: Despite the amount of mentor and career counselor support offered, CareerFoundry’s courses are not a silver bullet for preparing for a career change. As with other comprehensive bootcamps that come with a job guarantee, it ultimately falls on students to put in anywhere from 15-25 hours a week in study and practice to successfully complete a course and build a competitive portfolio that will help them stand out from the crowd.
- Pros: For students who prefer an in-person learning experience or need the additional accountability of face-to-face instruction, General Assembly is one of the few bootcamps with a physical campus. When it comes to remote learning, GA’s real-time virtual classes can be useful for students who want to replicate the classroom environment at home and collaborate with peers. GA’s part-time courses and weekend workshops are also suited to those who work during the day and want to continue upskilling in their spare time.
- Cons: General Assembly’s strength can also be its weakness because the real-time nature of its courses means it lacks flexibility. Students who want to learn asynchronously, on their own time and at their own pace, can only choose from a limited range of courses. Most courses require time spent on Zoom, Slack, and real-time participation.
Ready to Learn More?
Browse the Springboard Career Tracks to find the perfect fit for you.
Not ready to enroll just yet? Read more about the factors you should consider while picking a program in our bootcamp criteria guide.
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