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.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
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.
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 weekly 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.
DataCamp is a New York-based edtech company that hosts hundreds of massive open online courses (MOOCs) related to data science. The platform is unique among edtech platforms in that its career tracks and skills-based courses are geared solely towards data-related professions such as data analyst, data engineer, machine learning engineer, quantitative analyst, Python programmer, and R programmer.
All of DataCamp’s courses are 100% online and, like most MOOCs, take a hands-off approach to instruction, with courses consisting of video lectures and coding exercises.
Students can choose to approach DataCamp by career track, which involves taking a series of courses curated by DataCamp that, when strung together, amount to a technical education, or they can choose courses based on skill. For example, if a student enrolls in the data analyst career track, they would take a 77-hour course that covers the programming language R, data manipulation with dplyr, data visualization, importing data in R, cleaning data in R, and relational databases in SQL. If they choose to enroll by skill, they could choose from hundreds of hyper-specific courses, such as statistics fundamentals, text mining, and string manipulation.
There are a few fundamental differences between Springboard and DataCamp.
Both Springboard and DataCamp are 100% online and deliver most of their educational materials through video lectures and readings. DataCamp is also known for offering interactive coding challenges that students can do within their web browser.
Students go at their own pace, 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 DataCamp course ranges from 12 hours for a short course on a specific topic (E.g. Image Processing with Python), to 88 hours for the Data Science career track.
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.
One of the indicators of an effective bootcamp or online course is whether students land an industry job upon graduation.
In the saturated e-learning market, both Springboard and DataCamp have emerged as significant players because their courses offer many benefits. But what works for one student may not work for another.
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.
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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