Want to study for an exciting new career in tech?

You’ve come to the right place! Today, we’ll break down the differences between two popular bootcamps — Practicum and Udacity.

Both of these bootcamps offer in-depth instruction so that you can make a successful career switch. But their programs aren’t identical.

Here’s what you need to know.

* Based on competitor landing pages.
** Switchup collects and analyzes thousands of reviews from bootcamp alumni and current students.

What courses do these bootcamps offer?

The first question is whether the platform has the course you’re looking for!

Practicum                       Udacity

- Web Developer                         More than 70 courses in artificial intelligence,
                                                         autonomous systems, business, cloud computing,  
- Data Analyst                              cybersecurity, data science, programming and development,
                                                         and project management. The full catalog is available here.
- Data Scientist                             


Udacity has more courses when compared to Practicum. But one major difference is that while Practicum courses are beginner level, many Udacity programs require prior knowledge.

Duration and course structure

Up next, how are the courses structured? You need to train in an environment that works for your schedule. How do the platforms compare?

Practicum

  • Duration: Courses are between seven to ten months.
  • Curriculum: Each course contains a series of two-week modules, called sprints
  • Study hours per week: Studying course materials and working on projects will take at least 20 hours per week.
  • Flexibility: You can study when and where you like. However, each two-week sprint has a project deadline that you’ll need to meet.
  • Application requirements: None. You can sign up for the first sprint for free to see if you like it.
  • Prerequisite knowledge: Not obligatory. Practicum courses are designed for beginners.
  • Format: 100% online.

Udacity

  • Duration: Most courses range from 3-6 months. Shorter foundation courses range from 1-3 months.
  • Curriculum: Courses include multiple modules.
  • Study hours per week: Udacity recommends spending 5-10 hours per week on each course.
  • Flexibility: You can come up with your own schedule. There are no deadlines, and if you need more time, you can extend the course with extra monthly payments.
  • Application requirements: There is no application process. Udacity accepts all students.
  • Prerequisite knowledge: Depends on the course. Students without prior experience will need to take multiple courses.
  • Format: 100% online.

There are two big differences in course structure between Practicum and Udacity. First, Udacity courses are less structured than those with Practicum, and the timeline for completion is more of a recommendation than a requirement.

Second, Practicum courses are all-in-one, while Udacity courses build upon each other. For example, someone with zero programming experience will learn all they need with Practicum’s Data Scientist course. But Udacity recommends beginners only start its Data Scientist course after taking Intro to Programming, Intro to Machine Learning, and AI Programming with Python courses.

Cost and tuition arrangements

Up next, how much does it cost? While you’ll almost certainly make more in your future career, you need to pick an option in line with your budget.

Practicum

  • Upfront cost: Practicum courses are between $3,000 and $11,000.
  • Payment options: We offer two options—one upfront payment or smaller monthly payments.

Udacity

  • Upfront cost: Smaller courses cost around $700 to $1,000, while more advanced courses cost between $1,000 and $1,400. Keep in mind that those without programming experience will need to take 3-5 courses, and you’ll pay additional monthly fees if you exceed the planned course duration.
  • Payment options: Udacity offers a one-time upfront payment, monthly payments, or financing through Affirm. 

For experienced programmers, Udacity courses are cheaper. For beginners who will need to take multiple Udacity courses, the prices of Udacity and Practicum courses are roughly the same.

How it’s taught

How does the course you’re considering match your learning style?

Practicum

  • Instruction: You’ll learn the principles behind your new career on Practicum’s interactive platform. For your projects, you’ll be paired with an expert who will review your code and provide detailed feedback.
  • Live sessions: We offer live webinars every two weeks.
  • Projects: You’ll put what you learn into practice with 6 to 15 real-world projects that give you an impressive portfolio.
  • Support: In addition to our world-class tutors and code reviewers, you’ll have access to our 24/7 support team on Slack, where we respond to all questions within 15 minutes.
  • Community: You can join our student community to ask questions, get help, or find encouragement.

Udacity

  • Instruction: You’ll learn on Udacity’s platform, then put what you’ve learned into practice with projects.
  • Live sessions: You can reach out to mentors for assistance as you study.
  • Projects: You’re paired with an experienced reviewer who gives you personalized feedback on all your coding work.
  • Support: You’ll have access to Udacity’s team of technical mentors, with a median response time of 51 minutes.
  • Community: You’ll join Udacity’s large and growing student community.

Practicum and Udacity use similar teaching methods, including projects, code reviews, live support, and student communities.

Career help

If you’re looking for a better career, then hard skills aren’t all you need. You’ll also need to pass a rigorous interview, and get your resume in shape. Here’s how Practicum and Udacity help you get hired.

Practicum

  • Career training: Practicum helps you with HR sessions, mock interviews, and personal assessments of your LinkedIn account and resume. You’ll also build an impressive portfolio from all your course projects.
  • Money-back guarantee: If you don’t get a new job or promotion within six months of graduating, Practicum will refund you 100% of course costs.
  • Post-graduation support: After graduating, you’ll be part of Practicum’s career acceleration program to help you with your job search. You’ll also be connected with our thriving alumni community.

Udacity

  • Career training: You’ll get help building your resume, LinkedIn profile, and Github portfolio.
  • Money-back guarantee: Udacity does not offer a guarantee.
  • Post-graduation support: You’ll get help with your resume, LinkedIn, and Github.

Practicum offers more detailed career support and a money-back guarantee if you don’t land a new job or promotion after graduating, but Udacity does help you refine your Github profile.

Third-party ratings

Finally, what do other students have to say about each bootcamp? Here are the ratings you’ll find on the top three course review sites:

Practicum                                           Udacity

SwitchUp rating: 4.92 stars                                SwitchUp rating: 4.56 stars

Course Report rating: 4.83 stars                      Course Report rating: 4.74 stars

Career Karma rating: 4.9 stars                          Career Karma rating: 4.9 stars


Practicum and Udacity both have high ratings on all three platforms, but Practicum just edges it.

Summary: Which should you choose?

Now that you’ve seen the differences between these two bootcamps, it’s time to make a decision. While Practicum and Udacity have a lot in common, there are also some key differences to keep in mind.

We’ve broken down the main advantages and disadvantages for each platform below.

Practicum pros                                                                         Udacity pros

- All-in-one course offerings                                                - “A la carte” courses

- More comprehensive career support                             - Broader course selection

- Money-back guarantee                                                       - No time limit or deadlines

- Faster support


Practicum cons                                                                        Udacity cons

- Less “pick-and-choose” course flexibility                    - Multiple courses needed for a new career

- Higher per-course investment                                         - No money-back guarantee

                                                                                                      - Limited career support


If you’re interested in starting a new career or landing a great promotion in data science, data analysis, or web development, Practicum could be the perfect choice for you.

You can sign up for an intro sprint right now and start studying today!

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