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, 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.
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.
Udemy is a San Francisco-based edtech company that hosts thousands of massive open online courses (MOOCs) across subjects ranging from how to use Adobe Illustrator to introductory music theory, mastering mindfulness, baking and pastry-making, hair, and make-up, and SQL for data science. The platform boasts more than 155,000 courses from 56,000 instructors around the world, some of whom are recognized industry experts while others are simply knowledgeable about the subject matter.
All of Udemy’s courses are 100% online and, like most MOOCs, take a hands-off approach to instruction, with courses consisting of video lectures, readings, and quizzes.
Udemy’s offerings are diverse and students can choose from different courses on the same subject—for example, a search for the term “data science” turns up more than 2,00-course results. Many of its courses are highly specific and focus on a facet of a subject, such as introducing students to the fundamentals of data science or teaching the basics of Python or SQL.
There are a few fundamental differences between Springboard and Udemy.
Both Springboard and Udemy are 100% online and deliver most of their educational materials through video lectures and readings. 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 Udemy course ranges from a few hours for a short course on a specific topic, to 50+ hours for a crash course in Python and R.
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 Udemy have emerged as significant players because their courses offer many benefits. But what works for one student may not work for another.
Download our guide to data science jobs
Packed with insight from industry experts, this updated 60-page guide will teach you what you need to know to start your data science career.
Ready to learn more?
Browse our Career Tracks and find the perfect fit