Are you finding it hard to choose between Practicum and Thinkful?
Today, we’ll answer all your questions about these two online bootcamps. We’ll cover differences between the programs, tuition cost, support, career help, third-party reviews, and more.
Make a smart choice by discovering what works best for you!
What courses do these bootcamps offer?
When seeking out a new career, the first question is whether the school has the program you want. Here are the courses you’ll find at Practicum and Thinkful.
- Software Engineer - Software Engineering
- Data Analyst - Data Science
- Data Scientist - Data Analytics
- UX/UI Design
- Digital Marketing
- Technical Project Management
Overall, Thinkful offers more courses, while Practicum is more focused on tech professions in high demand.
Duration and course structure
The course you choose depends on your level of commitment and how busy you are. You should decide how many months you’re able to dedicate to learning a new career, plus how much time each week you can spend on studying and homework.
- Duration: Courses are from seven to ten months.
- Curriculum: Practicum courses are made up of two or three-week sprints.
- Study hours per week: There aren’t any mandatory study hours, but we recommend spending at least 20 hours per week to complete the coursework.
- Flexibility: You can study at your own pace and at any time, as long as you meet each sprint’s deadline.
- Application requirements: None—you can start the first sprint for free to see if you like it!
- Format: 100% online.
- Duration: Most courses are four to six months, with a few just three months.
- Curriculum: For a few courses, Thinkful has separate “full-time” and “part-time” tracks.
- Study hours per week: For part-time courses, Thinkful recommends 15-30 hours depending on the subject matter. For full-time courses, that number is 50-60 hours.
- Flexibility: Courses on the part-time track can be done in your own time, as long as you meet deadlines. In the full-time track, courses have scheduled classes, plus homework. Most classes are from Monday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm Eastern Time.
- Application requirements: You’ll need to speak to admissions before starting any track. To enter the full-time track, you’ll need to complete a four-week self-paced prep course.
- Format: 100% online.
Practicum’s courses are a bit longer, while Thinkful offers a more intensive full-time track.
Cost and tuition arrangements
There’s a good chance you’re here to learn a new career and start earning more. That makes learning a new skill one of the best investments you can make since it’ll pay for itself in no time. Still, you need to consider the best option for your budget.
- Upfront cost: Courses range from $8,500 to $11,000.
- Payment options: You can pay for the course in a single upfront payment or smaller monthly installments.
- Upfront cost: Part-time courses range from $5,000 to $8,000 and full-time courses range from $9,000 to $16,000.
- Payment options: Thinkful offers several payment options. You can pay the entire amount upfront or in smaller monthly installments. You can also finance the program with a loan through Ascent, including an option to only start repayment once you’re hired. Finally, you can pay with an income share agreement. With this arrangement, you pay Thinkful 15% of your income once you’re hired for a length of time based on your program.
Practicum is the clear winner on price here, with many courses costing a fraction of what you’d pay at Thinkful. But Thinkful offers more payment options.
How it’s taught
Before you sign up for a course, you need to understand whether or not it suits your learning style. Here are the methods used in each of these courses:
- Instruction: You’ll learn the course material with interactive projects, video recordings, and text descriptions on Practicum’s platform. An experienced professional will review all the code you write and provide detailed feedback.
- Live sessions: We host live webinars with mentors.
- Projects: You’ll have challenging, real-world projects with real data from real companies.
- Support: Students can access our 24/7 support team both on Slack and our platform, and we’re committed to answering every question within 15 minutes.
- Community: You will become a member of our student community on Slack for help and encouragement.
- Instruction: You’ll learn with video and text on the Thinkful platform and use that information to create interactive projects. Thinkful will pair you with a mentor to guide you.
- Live sessions: For the full-time track, you’ll need to be available during class hours. For the part-time track, you’ll have meetings with your mentor twice a week.
- Projects: You’ll have several projects to complete based on real-world examples.
- Support: In addition to twice-weekly sessions with your mentor, you can join the optional office hours for help if you get stuck.
- Community: When you join a course, you’ll become a member of Thinkful’s student community.
Both Practicum and Thinkful use digital teaching methods, but Practicum has a more robust support team, while Thinkful uses one-on-one mentors.
If you’re thinking about acquiring a new skill set, it’s probably because you’d like to switch careers. Thankfully, both Practicum and Thinkful offer career assistance and guarantees to help you find the job of your dreams.
- Career training: At Practicum, you’ll have HR sessions and mock interviews with experts to prepare you. You’ll also get personal help on your LinkedIn page and resume.
- Money-back guarantee: If you don’t land a new job or get a promotion within six months of graduating, Practicum will refund the entire course.
- Post-graduation support: After graduating, you’ll have access to Practicum’s career training as you continue your job search. You’ll also be able to join Practicum’s alumni community.
- Career training: You’ll get help with mock interviews, curated content, as well as live Q&As and workshops.
- Money-back guarantee: If you choose Thinkful’s income-sharing agreement, but don’t land a job paying the threshold amount, you don’t owe anything. If you choose another finance plan, but don’t land a job paying $40,000 or more per year within six months, Thinkful will refund the entire course.
- Post-graduation support: Thinkful offers post-graduation support for six months after graduation or until you land a job. You’ll also join Thinkful’s alumni community.
Both programs offer career support and money-back guarantees.
One of the best ways to know if you’ll like a program is by reading the reviews of former students. Here’s what students have to say on the three major course review sites.
Both courses are highly rated, but Practicum scores slightly better than Thinkful across all three third-party resources.
Summary: Which should you choose?
Both Practicum and Thinkful offer high-quality courses with expert instructors, challenging projects, and helpful career support.
Here are a few of the biggest pros and cons of each bootcamp:
Practicum pros Thinkful pros
- More affordable tuition price - “Full-time” track option
- 24/7 support team - More courses in different fields
- Better reviews and on “Best Bootcamp” lists - Personal mentor
on Switchup, Course Report, and Career Karma
- Projects using real-world data - More payment options
- Try the first sprint of any course for free
Practicum cons Thinkful cons
- Only flexible track available - More expensive overall
- Courses take slightly longer than Thinkful - Less hands-on career support
- Application required to start
Here at Practicum, we’re proud to offer what we believe is the best online bootcamp for anyone looking to start a new career.
Interested in studying with Practicum? You can sign up for the first sprint at no cost.
Choose a course today and let’s get started!