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Thinkful Review: Is It Worth The Price? Pros, Cons & More

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Thinkful Review

Thinkful is more than a typical MOOC provider. It provides six online bootcamps to train students and help them find employment after graduation.

Instructors

4.3/5

Courses

5/5

Experience

4.75/5

Total

4.7/5

At-a-glance:

  • Offers a 1-on-1 mentorship experience
  • Many payment options, including deferred tuition
  • Fees are expensive, starting at $4,500 and going up to $16,000+
  • 81% of graduates find employment within 180 days of graduation
  • Graduates receive an average increase of $17,000 on their salaries after their programs

So, is Thinkful worth it? 

In this Thinkful review, we delve deep into everything Thinkful-related. We’ll look at courses, costs, the experience, the tuition refund guarantee (that’s right!), and more. Read on to see this Thinkful overview and find out if one of its bootcamps is right for you!

What is Thinkful?

Thinkful is an online course provider with a limited library of six extremely high-quality bootcamps that can help even complete beginners find a job soon after graduation. 

Thinkful is a New York-based company established in 2012. Since then, it has provided education to students who want to start or advance their careers.

Is Thinkful Legit?

Absolutely! Thinkful graduates have even gone on to work in tech giants and major companies. The platform also has excellent ratings on third-party websites.

Is Thinkful Accredited?

Thinkful’s FAQ page states that it is not accredited by any regional or national agency recognized by the US Department of Education (see screenshot below).

However, the company collaborates with SNHU (Southern New Hampshire University) to help students receive transferrable college credits. For example, graduates of Thinkful’s Software Engineering, Data Science, or Data Analytics bootcamps can receive credits applicable to a bachelor’s or master’s degree — at SNHU.

Who Should Use Thinkful?

Anyone looking to advance or start a career in tech may benefit from Thinkful — especially since its career services focus on securing a job after graduation. However, if you are a hobbyist looking to learn something new, the price tags on some of its programs may feel unjustifiable.

How Does Thinkful Work?

Thinkful works quite simply. You choose a program, apply, and start learning once you are accepted and have decided on your payment method. When you finish, you can launch your career.

Thinkful provides varying learning methods depending on the schedule you choose. For example, full-time bootcamps have daily live lessons. Part-time lessons are often more self-paced.

At Thinkful, you also get a support network to help you succeed in your program and find employment ASAP after graduation. You have access to your mentor, a career coach, your peers, and your academic success manager.

How to Open a Thinkful Account

Unlike other course providers, you cannot create an account with Thinkful. Instead, you must apply (and get accepted) before you receive your account.

Applying doesn’t mean you must enroll or pay a dime once accepted. You can try some free intro courses before deciding if the platform is right for you.

The Pros and Cons of Thinkful

Considering the price of Thinkful’s programs, there’s no doubt that many feel pretty apprehensive about enrolling. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the platform to help you decide.

Pros

Cons

  • Thinkful’s 1-on-1 mentoring experience is a unique way to learn and can provide you with the guidance you need to succeed in your bootcamp.
  • Some reviews state that mentors’ quality could be better — some mentors are much better than others.
  • Enrolling in a Thinkful bootcamp gets you access to the platform’s Slack community, where you can ask or answer questions and share your experiences.
  • You must pass the prep courses for full-time programs, or you may not get accepted into the bootcamp.
  • Full-time programs come with prep courses.
  • You can only choose from six programs (although this is not always a dealbreaker for some).
  • Full-time programs have daily live workshops (which are mandatory) to help with the learning process.
  • Lacking some topics in tech — for example, there isn’t a program on cybersecurity.
  • Because there are only six programs, they are extremely high in quality — Thinkful has designed its bootcamps to help you find a job after graduating.
  • The programs are expensive!
  • Program landing pages are incredibly informative, and the website is easy to use.
  • Some reviews state that the platform/administration isn’t the best for customer support.
  • Thinkful provides many ways to pay for programs to make education more accessible to many.

How Much Are Thinkful Courses?

If you came here thinking you could learn affordably, we hate to be the bearer of bad news. Thinkful programs cost thousands — think a minimum of $4,500. On the top end, programs can cost as much as $16,500 — and this is just if you pay upfront.

Paying on a month-to-month or deferred payment basis means you pay interest, so you can pay as much as $30,000+ on some programs. Let’s take a quick look at Thinkful’s payment options:

Thinkful’s full-time schedule payment options

If you choose the full-time option, you can expect these payment methods:

  • Payment upfront, where you pay the entire tuition in one go and owe $0 after you graduate
  • Payment month to month, where you pay a set amount each month until the tuition is paid in full — payment terms usually last as long as the program
  • Deferred tuition, where you pay $0 upon enrollment but must pay a set amount each month after graduation (once you’ve found a qualifying job earning a minimum of $40,000)
  • Deferred tuition + living stipend, where you can get a monthly stipend of $1,500 of living expenses each month (loaned), which you can repay every month (+tuition) after graduation (upon finding a qualifying job earning a minimum of $40,000)

Part-time tuition payment methods are the same, except the deferred payment + stipend option is not available.

Does Thinkful Offer Free Courses?

The answer to this question is a resounding no. Unlike many other MOOC providers, Thinkful’s small, curated set of programs comes at a fee. Additionally, you can’t access any free trials. 

However, you can at least try out its student platform by signing up for some beginner-friendly practice exercises. 

Thinkful Tuition Refund Guarantee

As a company, Thinkful does seem to be aware that its prices might not inspire enrollment. This is precisely why Thinkful has made various accommodations. Besides providing different payment options, Thinkful also has its Tuition Refund Guarantee. Of course, Thinkful primarily offers this guarantee because it is confident in the quality of its bootcamps, knowing that if students put in the work, they can most likely land a job.

But what exactly is the guarantee?

Subject to the terms below, if you are not offered a “Qualifying Position” (as defined below) within 180 days of graduation from your Thinkful program (such 180-day period, the “Career Services Period”), Thinkful will refund 100% of the tuition that you or a third party paid on your behalf and cancel any remaining owed payments.

According to Thinkful, qualifying students can get a full refund and loan forgiveness if they do not find a qualifying position within the career services period of 180days

Easy enough — but what does it take to qualify for the refund?

Thinkful Tuition Refund Guarantee Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the tuition refund guarantee, you must:

  • Finish your program within the expected timeframe
  • Complete all course requirements and career services checkpoints
  • Be 21 years old by the time of graduation from the program
  • Either be a US citizen or have a green card (and are legally and permanently authorized to work (without sponsorship) in the US)
  • Be fluent/proficient in English (spoken + written)
  • Pass background checks for any jobs you apply to
  • Pay tuition:
    • Full tuition upfront
    • Month-to-month payments with interest
    • Full/partial tuition loan financing, whether traditional or deferred
  • Live in or at least within one-hour commuting distance of one of Thinkful’s approved cities
  • Inform Thinkful and receive approval during the admissions process if you intend to move from an approved city to another, and prove relocation within one month of enrollment
  • Complete career surveys in a complete and timely manner.

If you intend to study the data science bootcamp and want to be eligible for the tuition refund, you must have a BS or BA STEM degree. If your degree is not in STEM, you must have a BA/BS degree plus two or more years of technical experience in related roles (programmer, data analyst, etc).

For more information about Thinkful’s Tuition Refund Policy, eligibility requirements, post-graduation requirements, and reasons that may void your eligibility, read Thinkful’s page here.

What Kinds of Courses are Available on Thinkful?

One thing that sets Thinkful apart from other MOOCs is that it only has six programs available. That’s right — six. It appears Thinkful has fully committed to offering bootcamps rather than short online courses, so you’ll only see the six programs below available on their website:

There are only six choices on Thinkful’s website.

 

At Thinkful, you can sign up for one of six intensive bootcamps:

How to Make Sure a Thinkful Bootcamp Is Right for You

With only six bootcamps, choosing the right Thinkful course is easy. You just need to select the topic you want to learn about. Beyond that, we don’t have any additional tips on how to find the best Thinkful courses. 

But you might consider the following tips when assessing whether Thinkful (in general) is right for you: 

Take Your Time When Looking Through a Bootcamp’s Landing Page

Because of Thinkful’s small yet excellent selection of bootcamps, the company developed a unique and highly detailed landing page for each one. Take your time while browsing bootcamp landing pages because you can find pretty much everything you need to know about the program within them. In these landing pages, you’ll find information about:

  • Bootcamp length 
  • Scheduling options (part-time or full-time)
  • The program’s curriculum for both full-time and part-time study (where applicable)
  • Tuition costs and the available payment options
  • Career services (one of Thinkful’s biggest selling points)
  • Graduate outcomes and a handful of student reviews

You can also find frequently asked questions about the bootcamp on its respective landing page. However, if you have questions not listed in the FAQ section, you can always bring them up once you’ve booked a call with Admissions.

Look for Reviews Online

Thinkful’s bootcamps have produced quality graduates, and most students find full-time employment within 180 days of finishing their bootcamps. Those statistics alone can help you gauge the quality of Thinkful’s programs. You can take Thinkful’s word for it or look for a Thinkful bootcamp review or two on third-party platforms to help you decide.

For example, you can look at Career Karma, where Thinkful holds a 4.8/5 score overall through 875 reviews. Or you can look at a Thinkful coding bootcamp review on Course Report, where the platform holds a rating of 4.55/5 stars through a total of 911 reviews.

Remember to pay close attention to Thinkful reviews about specific bootcamps you’re considering.

Choose Your Workload/Learning Schedule

One thing to consider when deciding on a bootcamp is whether it offers the workload or learning schedule you prefer. Some of the bootcamps on the platform offer both part-time and full-time schedules. But some, such as the Data Science bootcamp, only offer a part-time option. It may not be wise to commit to a full-time bootcamp if you cannot dedicate that much time and energy to the course — you’d be wasting your money!

Consider Your Payment Options

As we’ve previously discussed, Thinkful is not cheap. Programs can cost anywhere from $4,500 to $16,000 when you pay upfront. Extended payment plans might feel more manageable, but you’ll pay more in the end. So, consider all payment options thoroughly before making a decision. 

Thinkful Coding Bootcamps: A Detailed View

Thinkful Software Engineering Bootcamp

Thinkful’s Software Engineering Bootcamp is a fabulous choice for an online coding bootcamp. It takes 5-6months to complete, but you can decide how intensive your studies are by choosing between full-time or part-time. If you choose the full-time option, you benefit from daily live online workshops, lectures, and a four-week preparation course. The four-week prep course is self-paced and required — your admission into the full-time program depends on succeeding in the prep course.

The Software Engineering Bootcamp teaches you various job skills needed to become a full-stack developer, such as React, Node, JavaScript, back-end development, and front-end development.

Pricing

Method

Full-Time

Part-Time

Pay Upfront

$16,000

$9,500

Month to Month

$3,520 per month until paid

 

$17,600 total

$2,000 per month until paid

 

$12,000 total

Deferred Tuition

$0 upfront, then

$515 - $553 per month until paid

 

$18,554 - $19,909 total

$0 upfront, then

$431 - $474 per month until paid

 

$15,571 - $17,065 total

Deferred Tuition + Living Expenses

Apply for a monthly $1,500 loan for living expenses during study, then

 

$890 - $980 per month until paid

 

$32,026 - $32,264 total

Not Applicable

For more information on Thinkful’s payment options, check out this blog post on their website.

Thinkful Data Science Review 

If you want to know more about this bootcamp, you may want to look at a Thinkful data science review.

Thinkful’s Data Science Bootcamp is a six-month-long program only available part-time. The program teaches you everything you need to become a data scientist, data architect, data & analytics manager, database engineer, machine learning engineer, and more. Besides math, statistics, and programming, you also learn about machine learning and data visualization.

If you’d like to enroll in this program and remain eligible for Thinkful’s tuition refund guarantee, you must have a BA or BS degree in a STEM field. Alternatively, you must have a BA or BS degree and at least two years of relevant technical experience in data science.

Pricing

Method

Full-Time

Part-Time

Pay Upfront

Not Applicable

$9,500

Month to Month

Not Applicable

$2,000 per month until paid

 

$12,000 total

Deferred Tuition

Not Applicable

$0 upfront, then

$431 - $474 per month until paid

 

$15,571 - $17,065 total

Deferred Tuition + Living Expenses

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

For more information on Thinkful’s payment options, check out this blog post on their website.

Thinkful Data Analytics Review

If you want to know more about this bootcamp, you may want to look at a Thinkful data science review.

Thinkful’s Data Analytics Bootcamp is a popular, highly rated program for aspiring data professionals. The bootcamp allows full-time or part-time study, where you can learn what you need to become a marketing analyst, data journalist, research analyst, business intelligence analyst, or financial analyst. You’ll learn skills like statistical analysis, advanced Microsoft Excel, SQL, Python, and Tableau.

Like the full-time software engineering bootcamp, this data analysis bootcamp also requires the successful completion of a four-week self-paced prep course. You may not get into the program if you do not finish the prep course successfully.

Pricing

Method

Full-Time

Part-Time

Pay Upfront

$12,250

$8,000

Month to Month

$3,400 per month until paid

 

$13,600 total

$1,666 per month until paid

 

$10,000 total

Deferred Tuition

$0 upfront, then

$407 - $437 per month until paid

 

$14,668 - $15,756 total

$0 upfront, then

$359 - $395 per month until paid

 

$12,931 - $14,221 total

Deferred Tuition + Living Expenses

Apply for a monthly $1,500 loan for living expenses during study, then

$24,826 - $27,354 total

Not Applicable

For more information on Thinkful’s payment options, check out this blog post on their website.

Thinkful UI/UX Design Bootcamp

Thinkful's UI/UX Design Bootcamp is available part-time or full-time, taking an estimated five to six months to complete. If you’re a creative person, you can enroll in this program to learn things like interactive design, wireframing, information architecture, user research, and user empathy. These skills will prepare you for jobs like UI/UX designer, web designer, UX researcher/designer, and even product designer.

This bootcamp also requires you to complete a four-week self-paced preparation course successfully for admission.

Pricing

Method

Full-Time

Part-Time

Pay Upfront

$12,150

$9,500

Month to Month

$2,700 per month until paid

 

$13,500 total

$2,000 per month

 

$12,000 total

Deferred Tuition

$0 upfront, then

$481 - $529 per month until paid

 

$17,311 - $19,053 total

$0 upfront, then

$431 - $474 per month until paid

 

$15,571 - $17,065 total

Deferred Tuition + Living Expenses

Apply for a monthly $1,500 loan for living expenses during study, then

 

$26,767 - $29,477 total

Not Applicable

For more information on Thinkful’s payment options, check out this blog post on their website.

Thinkful Digital Marketing Bootcamp

Although there are many ways to learn digital marketing on your own, a bootcamp is a great investment in changing or starting your career. Thinkful’s digital marketing bootcamp is a flexible three-month program you can finish within three months. It teaches you skills like content marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, social media marketing, and email marketing. At the end of the program, you can find a job as a digital marketer, SEO specialist, content strategist, marketing manager, and social media manager.

This program has self-paced lessons and will take an estimated 15-20 hours of your time each week.

Pricing

Method

Full-Time

Part-Time

Pay Upfront

Not Applicable

$4,900

Month to Month

Not Applicable

$2,066 per month until paid

 

$6,200 total

Deferred Tuition

Not Applicable

$0 upfront, then

$217 - $239 per month until paid

 

$7,817 - $8,617 total

Deferred Tuition + Living Expenses

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

For more information on Thinkful’s payment options, check out this blog post on their website.

Thinkful Technical Project Management Bootcamp

Do you excel keeping large projects organized and on track? You might enjoy Thinkful’s Technical Project Management Bootcamp. This program is one of the few of its kind! It is a part-time-only course taking an estimated five months to complete, and you’ll learn target analysis, project planning, forecasting, systems development, and IT management. With those skills, you can find employment as a project analyst, business analyst, technical project manager, process engineer, director of technology, and more.

Pricing

Method

Full-Time

Part-Time

Pay Upfront

Not Applicable

$6,500

Month to Month

Not Applicable

$1,600 per month until paid

 

$8,000 total

Deferred Tuition

Not Applicable

$0 upfront, then

$285 - $314 per month until paid

 

$10,259 - $11,291 total

Deferred Tuition + Living Expenses

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

For more information on Thinkful’s payment options, check out this blog post on their website.

Our Thinkful Review: In Summary

With how detailed this Thinkful overview has been, we can go over the following categories briefly:

  • User-friendliness: 5/5 - Thinkful’s website and UI/UX are simple and intuitive, even for the less tech-savvy.
  • Convenience: 4.5/5 - Although self-paced learning is available, the full-time option offers less scheduling flexibility.
  • Accessibility: 4/5 - Thinkful only seems to conduct its bootcamps in English, and it is doubtful that the live lectures have captions.
  • Affordability: 3.5/5 - Even though Thinkful provides many payment options, including a deferred payment setup, its prices are still on the high end. Some programs cost as much as a semester or a year in some colleges.
  • Certification: 5/5 - Thinkful doesn’t necessarily provide you a certificate like other online course providers might. However, upon completing their bootcamp successfully, you can find a job pretty quickly — especially with the guidance of Thinkful’s career services.
  • Catalog: 4/5 - Thinkful knows its strengths and sticks to them by limiting the number of programs they offer to six. We only wish they had more, especially on topics like cybersecurity.
  • Course quality: 5/5 - The graduate placement statistics speak for themselves.
  • User support: 3.5/5 - We like the 1-on-1 mentorship setup, but hear mixed reviews about customer support on the platform.
  • Payment methods: 5/5 - Thinkful tries to provide many payment options to compensate for the high cost of its programs.
  • Refund policy: 5/5 - Although you need to qualify for the tuition refund guarantee, we think it’s a pretty good policy regardless! However, if you simply want to cancel your account, fees are non-refundable.

Final Verdict and Rating

Thinkful provides excellent courses that, despite being incredibly expensive, can be worth it for students willing to put in the work. With the 1-on-1 mentoring, career guidance, and tuition refund guarantee, we believe that Thinkful helps to make education more accessible to those that need it.

With high ratings on third-party review websites and a general consensus of excellence, we happily give Thinkful a high rating. We’ve docked .3 of a star only because of complaints that mentors haven’t always been up to par. Additionally, we wish more programs were available, such as a cybersecurity bootcamp.

Our final rating: 4.7/5

Alternatives to Thinkful

Thinkful is expensive, even with its payment options, refund guarantee, and placement statistics. If you’re looking for some alternatives, you might consider:

  • Udacity offers single courses and programs called Nanodegrees where you can learn everything you need to know for specific roles. Its courses and programs are extremely high quality, and the certificates are widely recognized by employers worldwide.
  • Springboard is like Thinkful in providing online bootcamps lasting six to nine months. It offers a similar tuition refund guarantee and one-on-one mentorship. Graduates of Springboard have also gone on to work in major companies like Microsoft, Facebook (Meta), Zoom, and Google.

Conclusion

Thinkful is an online learning platform unlike many others since it provides bootcamps instead of your typical short online courses. Rather than providing hundreds of thousands of courses, Thinkful has only six available. However, these six bootcamps are extremely high quality, with unique landing pages to provide you with more information. The bootcamps are expensive, but Thinkful’s tuition refund guarantee and payment methods make learning more accessible.

Is Thinkful really worth it? That’s still a question only you can answer. However, the high ratings, one-on-one mentoring, and career services practically guaranteeing you a job after graduation all contribute to an answer of yes.

We hope that this Thinkful review helps you take a closer look at the platform and whether one of its bootcamps is suitable for you. 

Are you thinking about specializing in a data program? You might also consider some of Coursera’s reputable programs: 

Explore Coursera’s Data Programs

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Much Does Thinkful Cost?

Thinkful is not cheap. You can expect to spend thousands of dollars — even for the part-time courses. Because the courses at Thinkful are formatted more like bootcamps, they are priced similarly. You can expect to pay as “low” as $4,500 for some part-time programs and $16,000 on some full-time courses. Thinkful is positioned to cost about as much as (or even slightly more than) many coding bootcamps. Although the initial cost may make you want to run for the hills, Thinkful offers many ways to pay, including the deferred payment options where you pay no money upfront.

2. Is Thinkful Good for Beginners?

Yes! Even if you know nothing about the subject, you can still sign up for Thinkful courses. Thinkful’s programs begin with the basics, making them a great choice even for those with absolutely zero prior knowledge or experience.

3. Can You Get a Job after Thinkful?

Thinkful is so confident that you’ll get a job after finishing your program that they have a Tuition Refund Guarantee. With this guarantee, qualifying students can get their full tuition back if they cannot find full-time employment within a certain period. To help you secure a job after graduation, Thinkful has career services in place. The company reports that 81% of its graduates find employment within 180 days after graduating.

4. What Languages Does Thinkful Teach?

Thinkful teaches a variety of coding/programming languages depending on the program you sign up for. For example, in their Software Engineering Bootcamp, you can learn all the languages you need to become a full-stack developer, including C and C++, Java, and of course, JavaScript. Other languages you can learn from the platform are HTML, CSS, Python, R, and Ruby.

5. Is Thinkful Worth It?

The answer to this question is highly subjective, as only you can truly decide whether signing up for one of Thinkful’s bootcamps is worth it. You may find Thinkful programs worth the money if you’re serious about starting or advancing your career in development or tech. On the other hand, if you’re a hobbyist, you may struggle to justify the cost of Thinkful courses.

Jenna Inouye

Jenna Inouye

Jenna Inouye has been a full stack developer for two decades, specializing in web application design and development. For the last eight years, she has worked as a news and feature writer focusing on technology and finance, with bylines in Udemy, SVG, and The Gamer. View all posts by the Author

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