Springboard and Thinkful both offer a variety of courses designed to help students find a job in the tech industry. Both bootcamp providers pride themselves on their programs’ ultimate results in helping students kickstart a new career. However, there are a number of key differences between Springboard and Thinkful. Reviewing these differences can help you make an informed decision that best fits your needs and budget.
Read on to find out more about the differences between Thinkful and Springboard.
What Is Thinkful?
Thinkful is owned by Chegg, an edtech company with a large support system of educators and mentors across different companies and specialties.
Thinkful operates via both offline communities and online bootcamps in most major US metropolitan areas. Its programs cover software engineering, product management, UX/UI design, data science, and marketing.
Thinkful’s main selling point is its varied range of financing options. Thinkful offers upfront financing options, deferred payment options, and income share agreements (ISAs). The ISAs include a monthly stipend for students enrolled in a Thinkful bootcamp.
Springboard vs. Thinkful: What Are the Main Differences?
Springboard and Thinkful both provide students with different support options for learning remotely, as well as robust online communities and a mentorship-based model. However, there are some crucial differences about how these are offered.
Below is a quick breakdown of the main differences between Springboard and Thinkful.
|Only one in 12 mentors are selected from those that apply
||No publicly available prerequisites for mentor applications
|Only mentors with at least 3 years of technical/domain experience qualify
||Each mentor position has its own set of criteria that varies from role to role
|Mentors must be actively working in their field
|Hiring process for mentors includes a video interview
Want to find out how Springboard stacks up against other bootcamps? Check out our bootcamp comparison guide.
What's On the Curriculum?
Both Springboard and Thinkful offer a variety of bootcamps in software engineering, data science, data analytics, and UX/UI design. Thinkful also offers courses in digital marketing, product management and technical project management, while Springboard also offers a bootcamp in machine learning engineering.
||Technical Project Management
|Machine Learning Engineering
What's the Learning Format?
Maintaining a good work-life balance is key to having a successful learning experience. When it comes to learning style, what suits one student may not suit another. This is why the format of an online bootcamp is so important. Springboard and Thinkful bootcamps are formatted differently.
Here is a brief snapshot of the main differences between the two providers.
- A fully self-paced course schedule that’s 100% online
- Springboard’s curriculum is composed of a series of videos, reading materials, and interactive projects designed by industry experts to cater to a multitude of student learning styles
- Springboard’s software engineering bootcamp covers today’s most in-demand languages like Redux, Python, or React
- On average, Springboard’s bootcamps—called Career Tracks—are designed to take between six to nine months to complete with 15-20 hours of work per week.
- All Career Tracks offer at least one capstone project to be completed as part of the course curriculum in order to help students build out their portfolios
- Students can either choose to enroll in an “immersion” or a “flex” option, requiring either a full-time or a part-time commitment, respectively. These two options are available for all Thinkful programs except product management, which is only available as a flex option
- Thinkful’s immersion programs are designed to be completed within six weeks and require between 50-60 hours of learning on a full-time basis
- The flex programs are spread out over time and take about six months to complete
What Are the Mentorship and Human Support Options?
Human support is as vital to a great bootcamp experience as the strength of the curriculum. Students should consider how a bootcamp provider will help them maintain productivity and motivation all while having the resources they need to overcome roadblocks.
Below is a quick summary of the mentorship and human support options offered by Springboard and Thinkful.
- One-on-one mentorship
- Weekly mentor calls with specialized industry experts. Career Track students can book any number of additional mentor calls as needed
- Guided career coaching throughout students’ education and job application processes
- Student success manager who helps students develop study plans, answer logistical queries and helps them stay accountable to their goals
- One-on-one mentorship
- Career coaching designed to guide students through their job application process
- Engagement with other students via collaborative tasks and local events
- Partnership with an academic success manager who focuses on students’ online learning experience
What Are the Prerequisites and Prep Courses Offered?
Bootcamps usually require students to meet certain prerequisite skills and backgrounds. These vary depending on program requirements, and are designed to make sure the course is a great fit for the student based on their goals and previous experience.
Here are the main differences between Springboard and Thinkful prerequisites and prep courses.
- Springboard requires students to pass a free technical skills survey before enrolling in the program. On average, these surveys are structured to take under an hour to complete, and measure whether the course is a good fit for the student based on knowledge of both technical and soft skills
- Students are not required to go through a “fit interview” for programs other than software engineering
- Springboard offers prep courses for aspiring data science and software engineering students who feel they do not qualify for these technical programs right away
- Thinkful’s other programs have less technical admissions requirements, and instead require a “fit interview” and a financing evaluation in some cases
How Much Does It Cost?
A Springboard bootcamp is generally a lower financial commitment than a Thinkful bootcamp.
- Springboard Career Tracks cost between $5,500 and $9,000 for students who pay upfront
- Though Springboard does not offer ISAs for any of its courses, students who aren’t able to pay the Career Track tuition cost upfront have access to a deferred tuition financing option, where they pay a fixed amount only after getting a job
- Springboard provides students with a loan-based financing option through Climb Credit
- Springboard offers scholarship options for underserved communities
- Thinkful programs can cost anywhere between $9,000 and $18,000
- Thinkful offers upfront financing options, deferred payment options, and ISAs, which include a monthly stipend while enrolled in a Thinkful bootcamp
- Thinkful offers scholarship options for underserved communities
What's the Application Process?
Both Springboard and Thinkful have a straightforward application process. The key differences between the two bootcamp providers are outlined below.
- Students fill out an application form for their desired programs online and are screened for prerequisite requirements
- Some courses require students to take a technical skills survey. If a student is not able to pass the assessment, they can enroll in a prep course that will give them the necessary skills to complete the survey successfully
- Once all requirements are met, students are contacted by an admissions director, who helps facilitate enrollment, financing options, and mentor matching
- Across all bootcamps, students apply online, give a fit interview, and decide on a payment plan that works for them
- For less technical programs like UX/UI design, students can enroll and begin courses without a technical assessment
- Some of Thinkful’s more advanced tracks—such as software development—require a “prep phase” as well as a technical evaluation before enrollment
What Are the Outcomes?
A bootcamp succeeds when its students go on to find roles and careers they love that will enable them to do their best work. A successful bootcamp will have a stellar track record of placing students into new roles.
This is how Springboard’s and Thinkful’s outcomes stack up against each other.
- Springboard graduates report an average salary increase of $26,000 in their job offers (data from data science and UX programs). This means the average Springboard Career Track pays for itself in 3-5 months
- In addition, 85% of all Springboard students received an offer within four months, with 53% of students overall receiving a job offer prior to graduating
- Thinkful graduates report a median salary of $60,000 after graduation
- Thinkful reports its students will achieve a $20,000 average salary increase in their new roles, with an additional $20,000 reported to follow in the year after
- According to Thinkful, the majority of its students find placement into mid-level roles and over 65% report receiving a promotion within the first year of graduation
What's the Job Guarantee?
Both Springboard and Thinkful offer students a similar job guarantee.
- Springboard offers students a six-month runway to secure a role in their industry. If students don’t secure a position within six months, Springboard refunds 100% of tuition
- Students are given 180 days to land a full-time position in a relevant field. If students don’t secure a position within this time frame, Thinkful refunds 100% of tuition
What Are the Pros and Cons?
Need a more straightforward way to distinguish between Springboard vs. Thinkful? Below is a list of key pros and cons for each bootcamp provider.
- Job guarantee. If students don’t receive an offer for a role within six months of completing the program, their tuition is refunded
- Self-paced learning. Students can choose their own learning schedule that works best for their lifestyle and goals
- Lower price point. On average, Springboard courses cost between $3,300-$9,000
- 100% online learning. Springboard does not offer any in-person courses
- Higher accountability requirement. Since Springboard courses are self-paced, it’s up to students to manage their own learning schedule and stay on top of their work
- No instructor access. Springboard students receive one-on-one mentorship but no formalized instruction from tutors or professors
- Immersive learning format. Access to in-person learning sessions and networking opportunities
- Structured full-time coursework. Students who benefit from a more rigorous course schedule on a full-time basis can elect to complete the course in six weeks
- Multi-city communities. Students gain access to hubs across the country to connect with other members of their cohort
- Only two learning styles. These are: a full-time, six-week immersion or a six-month, part-time commitment
- Limited course offerings. No courses offered in machine learning engineering
- Higher price point. Thinkful courses can be more expensive than other bootcamps
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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