General Assembly Review: Can This School Help You Switch Careers?

 March 11, 2020
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general assembly review

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If you’re hoping to land a higher-paying career, one of the fastest routes is to gain marketable skills at a school like General Assembly.

General Assembly classes are designed to train participants in areas such as coding, data, design and marketing in as little as weeks.

Unlike other General Assembly reviews, we’ll look at how the educational and career resource delivers on its promise to help users develop new skills, create portfolios and access a network of employers.

Choosing the right General Assembly bootcamp
General Assembly coding courses options
General Assembly admissions and application process
General Assembly cost: How much are classes?
General Assembly loans and other financing options
Is General Assembly worth it?

General Assembly review

General Assembly is a company that offers career training, continuing education, staffing services and career transition support. It’s best known for its intensive and flexible courses that can help attendees build skills needed for job growth or a career switch.

General Assembly bootcamp courses focus on digital and technology skills. They offer a flexible experience to meet different learning styles and schedules. There are even course options like part-time, full-time, online or in-person at one of 20 campuses worldwide.

In addition to training, General Assembly also works with employers seeking skilled workers. Its courses are tailored to give participants skills that companies like its partners are actively seeking.

General Assembly also uses these relationships as a support network to help its alumni find employment opportunities and network with businesses that are hiring.

Choosing the right General Assembly bootcamp

General Assembly offers a variety of course options. Make sure you look through them and compare them to your learning style, accessibility, current skill sets and desired skills.

Ultimately, you’ll want to choose a General Assembly bootcamp that will lead to the career advancements you’re hoping for. That’s what makes it a smart investment.

You’ll also want to decide how long and intensive of a course you need.

Do you want to add to your repertoire or completely overhaul your career? General Assembly offers a range of options that can help you do either. There are one-day classes or workshops as well as three-month intensive bootcamps.

They also provide free classes that will give you a feel for how these courses will get you closer to your career goals.

General Assembly coding courses options

Courses from General Assembly range from one week to 12, depending on the material covered. There are also options for part-time courses that allow for greater flexibility, or full-time courses for immersive learning.

Consider how you’ll best learn and stay committed to the course. If you prefer structured, in-person courses, General Assembly classes are offered at 21 campuses in the following U.S. cities:

  • Atlanta
  • Austin, Texas
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Detroit
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Minneapolis
  • New York City
  • Orlando, Fla.
  • Phoenix
  • Providence, R.I.
  • Raleigh, N.C.
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Stamford, Conn.
  • Washington, D.C.

Online courses are another option for those who need more flexibility or don’t live near a General Assembly campus.

You can work through the General Assembly bootcamp online from anywhere you have an internet connection. Online courses include access to course materials, career services and one-on-one mentoring.

Lastly, there are the topics of the classes themselves.

General Assembly’s most robust bootcamps are its coding courses for web development and design, as well as mobile app development for iOS and Android. Others teach skills that include marketing, design and user experience, data analytics and product management.

General Assembly admissions and application process

To enroll in a part- or full-time course, you’ll need to complete an application. It’s fairly simple, with questions that are similar to those you’d answer in a job interview. They cover your reasons for attending the course, your experience in the material covered by the course and your career plans after completion.

For immersive courses, General Assembly reviews your submitted assessment to confirm you’d be enrolling at the right level. Other courses are geared toward beginners, making them accessible to applicants from a wide range of backgrounds.

General Assembly cost: How much are classes?

What you’ll pay for when it comes to General Assembly tuition depends on which course you choose.

The good news is the company has transparent pricing that makes the costs of its course clear from the start. These General Assembly costs range from $750 for a five-week online course up to $15,950 for its priciest full-time, immersive course.

How much are General Assembly classes? Here are some examples…
Class Duration Cost
Learn Digital Marketing 5 weeks $750
Learn JavaScript Development 10 weeks $1,250
Learn Visual Design 8 weeks $2,800
Learn Data Science 10 weeks $3,950
Become an iOS Developer 12 weeks* $13,500
*Full-time course

As of Feb. 18, 2020

When considering your General Assembly costs, make sure to take your living costs into account, too. Especially if you’re attending a full-time bootcamp.

These in-person programs are designed to be completed during the day, which requires most participants to take a break from full-time work. In this case, you’ll need a plan to cover your living costs and other expenses without your typical income.

To secure a spot in a course, you’ll need to make an upfront down payment. After this, the remaining General Assembly tuition can be covered via a payment plan.

General Assembly reported that 45% of its students have had success getting an employer to cover their tuition costs. It’s worth checking if your employer offers tuition reimbursement or similar work benefits before paying your General Assembly tuition.

General Assembly loans and other financing options

Beyond a payment plan, General Assembly financial aid options include:

  • Scholarships: The school hands out $1,500 scholarships for low-income women who meet certain criteria and are pursuing an engineering or data science curriculum, plus gift aid to low-income and underrepresented students pursuing any field of study.
  • Income-share agreement: Repay your immersive course cost only after finding a job with a salary of at least $40,000. You would repay 10% of your income for 48 months or until you repay one and a half times the amount of your original cost of attendance.

General Assembly classes can also be paid for using private student loan companies Climb and Meritize. These lenders offer loans for coding courses with terms of 18 months to 10 years and interest rates starting at 4.95% APR (as of the date of publishing).

The school has also started offering no-interest loans — to be repaid over 18 months — to select students enrolled in part-time courses.

Some of these General Assembly loans include a deferment option, allowing you to delay payments until after completing the course.

As you compare General Assembly loans, make sure you’re paying attention to terms, fees and credit requirements. Each lender will have its own credit requirements and repayment structures.

Comparing these will help you secure the most low-cost and affordable loan that meets your borrowing needs.

Is General Assembly worth it?

At the end of a General Assembly bootcamp, you should have the skills needed to secure a job in your new career field and begin working.

General Assembly’s curriculum also includes weekly workshops on job-seeking skills from resume hacking to best-interviewing practices.

Participating in these career services pays off, according to a report published in 2018 that detailed General Assembly’s job placement rate.

About 94% of General Assembly graduates who took advantage of the school’s career services found full-time work in their field of study within 180 days of graduation.

If you decide to give General Assembly classes a try, just be sure you don’t borrow unnecessarily. This way, you’ll keep more of your increased future salary.

Andrew Pentis contributed to this article.

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Opploans currently operates in these states: . *Approval may take longer if additional verification documents are requested. Not all loan requests are approved. Approval and loan terms vary based on credit determination and state law. Applications processed and approved before 7:30 p.m. ET Monday-Friday are typically funded the next business day.

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Happy Money Disclosures

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Citizens Bank Disclosures

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LendingPoint Disclosures

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