In previous articles, we’ve discussed the amazing support you’ll find at Thinkful, as well as the bootcamp’s great financing options and how they work to help you succeed. After reading the ways that Thinkful works to remove every barrier to student success, you may be wondering how to ensure you can claim your spot in the program.
We’ve spoken with one of Thinkful’s admissions representatives to bring you three certified steps that will almost guarantee your place in the next cohort of your choice. If you want to learn how to become the perfect candidate for admission, read on.
Is Thinkful Right for Me?
Thinkful is a good fit if you’d like to quickly join one of the hottest job markets today, and have amazing support while you do it.
Thinkful offers courses in some of the most popular tech fields today: software engineering, data science, data analytics, UX/UI design, product management, and technical project management.
These courses give you a chance to join some of the fastest-growing professions in the US. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the software development market to grow by 22 percent by 2029. This rate is much faster than the four percent growth rate expected in the rest of the job market.
The tech field is booming, and as companies hire entry-level employees with lucrative salaries, bootcamps like Thinkful are opening doors for people to make the switch. And they’re doing it in a shorter time than traditional higher education. The data analytics program at Thinkful, for example, is helping people transition to new jobs in as little as four to six months.
Thinkful designs its curriculum around the skills and tools that dominate its fields of study, and it changes its courses as the market changes. You’ll be trained in the best practices, and have a personal mentor that works with you to give you a sense of what you can expect in the industry. In addition to their industry guidance, these mentors can also provide guidance for any questions that you may have on your projects. This way, you’re learning how to do the job and navigate its difficulties before you graduate.
You’ll also get world-class career support at Thinkful. Students meet with alumni in their field to ask questions, work with a coach to build up their job hunt materials, and more. And if you opt in to the school’s Tuition Refund Guarantee, Thinkful will give you a 100 percent refund if you don’t find a qualifying job within 180 days of graduation.
Now that you’ve heard the benefits of learning at Thinkful, it’s time to learn how you can claim them for yourself.
How to Get Into Thinkful
We spoke to Vanessa Kessler, a Senior Admissions Representative at Thinkful. She’s given us a behind-the-scenes look at the admissions process and what it takes to become a strong candidate for admission.
Vanessa’s biggest advice to prospective students is to apply even if you’re not completely sure if you’re ready.
“For the most part, most students are going to be admitted,” Vanessa said. “Outside of the educational requirements, the only other time that we’ll have prospective students that aren’t admitted is when they’re very aggressive and unprofessional during the interview process.”
Those educational requirements are a necessity for any potential student. All Thinkful applicants must be at least 18 years old with proof of a high school diploma or GED. Students must be proficient in written and spoken English with at least basic computer knowledge. Lastly, students must be able to show they can manage their time in the program, communicate effectively, and accept constructive criticism.
If you fit these requirements, you’ve already passed the first hurdle to admissions. Now you’re ready to submit an application that will get you noticed. Thinkful isn’t looking for a great GPA or test scores. It’s looking for a drive to succeed, as well as a few other key qualities.
Thinkful’s Admissions Process
The admissions process can last just a few days for students that already know what they want to do, but some students choose to take more time to decide which program is the best fit for them. Thinkful isn’t interested in keeping students out, it wants to work with everyone to help them meet their goals in the tech field.
The first step towards admission depends on the student. Some students decide they want to start with the application. Thinkful looks at the application to get a sense of the program you want to attend, why you’re coming to Thinkful, and what you’re hoping to get out of the course. From there, you have a culture-fit interview over the phone. During this interview, the school gets a chance to learn more about you so they can assist you better.
“An application is absolutely not a commitment, people can immediately back out and it’ll be no problem,” Vanessa said. “So it’s really just an invitation to let us know that they’re interested, and to let us know a little more about them before we talk over the phone.”
Some students decide they’d rather talk to Thinkful before applying to get a sense of what the school offers. In these cases, applicants fill out their information online and during the interview, their admissions representative will fill out the application for them.
After Thinkful admits students, they have to secure financing if they aren’t paying upfront or on a monthly schedule, and they have to determine their start date. From there, Thinkful sends you an enrollment agreement that lists your class, start date, rights, responsibilities, and payment obligations. After that’s signed, you’re sent a link to join the program.
Thinkful’s admission process is streamlined to provide no pressure on applicants. But there are a few steps for students who may want to stand out from the pack.
Step 1: Do Your Research
Vanessa says that people usually apply to Thinkful with two different mindsets. Some people have researched everything about the field they’re interested in and the Thinkful course surrounding that field. Others may have vaguely heard about the field they’re thinking of entering and just want some more information.
“If anyone’s really interested, just doing their due diligence before they apply is great,” Vanessa said. “But if they don’t research, if they just want to learn more and have someone walk them through everything, that’s not going to mean they’re getting rejected.”
So before you apply, it’s good to do a bit of research on the field you want to enter, and the course you’re thinking of attending. It’s a good idea to learn about the day-to-day responsibilities of your dream job, the tools you’ll use to accomplish those responsibilities, and how Thinkful prepares you for success in that job.
This step will help you decide your best path into tech, and if Thinkful offers what you’re looking for. You’ll also find information on course curriculum, cost, and schedule on each Thinkful program’s site.
“When it’s very clear they understand what the role is, it’s a very good sign they can do well in the program. Because, in order for someone to do all of that to have all that knowledge, they have to put that work in,” Vanessa said. “So there’s a level of motivation and interest on their part for them to even get to that step where they’re doing that research. So that tells me they’re committed. Whether they come to Thinkful or not I can feel confident that they’re going to be successful because they have that vision.”
Vanessa also recommends that potential applicants hear from students and alumni to set their expectations in the program. You can read Thinkful reviews around the internet, like those here on Career Karma, to see what students and alumni are saying in a neutral environment. You can also reach out to Thinkful grads on sites like LinkedIn to talk with them.
Of course, there’s also nothing wrong with calling Thinkful before you have it all figured out. The school is more than happy to steer you in a direction that works for you, no matter how long it takes.
Step 2: Prepare for Your Course
So you’ve done your research or decided you want to apply to get some personal guidance from the Thinkful admissions team. If you’ve decided on your next step, you can get a jump on your course by taking prep courses.
Vanessa recommends that students who may be interested in starting a tech career take advantage of the many free resources around the web before committing to the program. Of course, you won’t lose any points during the Thinkful admissions process for not doing this step, but you will be able to test your passion without much of a commitment.
“It’s not uncommon for people to hear web development is really popular, and then they try to do some coding for the first time ever, and some love it but some hate it,” Vanessa said. “I’d much rather them do it in a free online course instead of committing to a full-time program or part-time program and going through financing.”
If you’re interested in attending the data science course at Thinkful, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field or a few years of technical on-the-job experience. If you do want to break into data science eventually, but you’re not interested in going back to school, the data analytics program at Thinkful can be a great stepping stone.
Step 3: Prepare for Your Call
Whether you’ve only filled in a contact form, or if you’ve already filled in an application, you’re going to get a call from the admissions staff at Thinkful. The admissions team isn’t interested in putting you through a rigorous and exclusive process. They just want to make sure you’ll have everything you need to succeed.
“In very few cases, a student may not be a good fit for us, but usually that’s because of a qualification piece or they just want to study something we don’t have,” Vanessa said. “When we talk to applicants, we aren’t looking to reject them. Our goal is to move forward with every person that we talk to, but only if it makes sense for them.”
At this point, you’ve learned about your field. You’ve learned what you’ll be doing, how you’ll be doing it, and how Thinkful can help you get there. You’ve done some preparatory courses to get a head start on what you’ll be learning in your course. All that’s left is to speak with the admissions team to get settled.
Just stay relaxed, be professional, and listen closely. As Vanessa said, the team is there to move people forward in their path to a dream career. So be ready to talk about yourself, why you’re ready to enter Thinkful, and how you plan to excel in the program. Because the most important thing to Thinkful is giving every student the boost that they’re trusting the school to provide.
“It’s important to us that the students who do end up enrolling in our programs are really excited about it,” Vanessa said. “It’s what they want, it’s going to be a good fit for them. Because they’re investing energy, time, and money into this, and we don’t want that to be a waste.”
The application process at Thinkful is geared to be student-friendly. After all, you’re preparing for a conversation with another human being who has hopes, dreams, and wants just like yourself. As long as you show up prepared and ready to learn, you can truly say you’re giving this opportunity your best shot.
Thinkful’s mission is to make high-paying careers accessible for motivated learners. It’s looking for people like you: those with a drive to succeed and the ability to commit to the course. So don’t worry about your past, just concentrate on making the strongest future you can.
Once you’re prepared for the journey ahead, take your first step by contacting an admissions representative.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.