Dataquest vs Springboard — which is the better choice for learning data science? We compare Springboard's data science bootcamp with Dataquest's data science learning platform.
We can't help but be a little biased, but we'll give it to you straight and help you decide which is the best choice for you. Let's start with a high-level comparison:
Learn Data Science Skills Online
Requires No Coding Experience
Build a portfolio of projects
(with strings attached)
Next, we'll look more closely at the difference between Dataquest and Springboard so you can better understand how the two compare:
Perhaps the biggest difference between Dataquest and Springboard is the price. While Springboard checks in at $1,490 per month, Dataquest is only $49 per month.
Springboard is a six-month course, so your cost will be capped at $8,940. If you finish the course inside of six months, you'll only pay for the months you used, so in theory, you could pay as little as $1,490 for access (although it would be hugely difficult to complete the entire course in that time period).
In contrast, Dataquest lets you learn at your own pace, so your cost isn’t capped in the same way. In a 2019 survey of student outcomes, most of our students said they met their initial learning goals within 2-6 months, so you can probably expect to spend a roughly the same amount of time on Dataquest or Springboard.
Even if you work more slowly, you could subscribe to Dataquest for 15 years and still not spend as much as you would for Springboard!
One upside to a more expensive course is that it helps with your motivation — with thousands on the line, you may be less likely to flake, since you’ve already invested so much money into your studies. While Dataquest is going to save you a lot of money, you'll have to provide that extra motivation and dedication yourself.
If you're planning on committing to Dataquest, you might consider our annual plan, which gives you over 40% discount by paying for 12 months upfront, which can help overcome the commitment obstacle.
Some online reviews have criticized Springboard's curriculum, as they partner with cheaper alternatives for some of their curriculum, and point their students towards free online resources for the rest.
That said, many Springboard students do report satisfaction with what they’ve learned at the end of the course, as evidenced by their 4.73/5 student review rating on independent review platform Switchup.
In contrast, 100% of Dataquest's curriculum is built by our team of in-house experts, so we can provide a carefully-designed learning experience that’s being constantly updated and optimized based on the data we collect as students progress through the courses. We offer learning paths for Data Analysis, Data Science, and Data Engineering in our interactive in-browser coding environment.
Our 4.9/5 student review rating on Switchup suggests that students are highly satisfied with the skills they’ve learned on Dataquest. Our own internal data collection also confirms this (96% of students in our survey said they’d recommend Dataquest.)
To get into Springboard's data science bootcamp, you need six months active coding experience and intermediate statistics knowledge. If you don't have these prerequisites, Springboard offers a $490 six week course to learn them. If you need this course, it raises the total cost of Springboard’s program to $9,430 (assuming you spend the full six months in the main program).
At Dataquest, we teach you how to code from scratch. We don't require any pre-requisite knowledge outside of high-school level math.
Springboard's curriculum is designed to be taken over a six month period. They advise that most students spend 15-20 hours per week learning. If you want, you can choose to learn at a faster pace which can save you some of your tuition costs. However, this would likely require committing 20+ hours per week to your studies, which may be difficult for some learners to schedule.
Dataquest lets you learn at your own pace. We find that an average student spends 5-10 hours a week on our platform, and can complete our Data Science curriculum in about 6 months.
Mentorship and Support
One of the key differences between Dataquest and Springboard is in Mentorship. Springboard assigns each student a dedicated mentor with whom they have weekly 1:1 video calls. If the student wants extra calls, these can be scheduled with other mentors.
Online reviews suggest that there can be variance in quality from mentor-to-mentor, and that your experience at Springboard really depends on whether you get assigned a quality mentor or not. (Unfortunately, students do not get to choose which mentor they are assigned).
Dataquest does not provide 1:1 mentorship. Instead, we have a vibrant online community where you can seek support and encouragement from your fellow students, data scientists, Dataquest community moderators, and the Dataquest success team.
Both Dataquest and Springboard offer resources to help you find a job, including resume reviews.
In addition, Springboard offers each of their students six 1:1 career coaching calls. Dataquest does not offer 1:1 career coaching, but career support is available through our Dataquest community and career-focused Community Moderators. We also have an exhaustive (and totally free) guide to data science job applications.
One attractive offering from Springboard is their job guarantee. If you don't get a job within six months of finishing their courses, they will refund your full tuition cost.
While this is a great offering, it's worth being aware of the fine print around the guarantee. You are ineligible if you don't already have a bachelor's degree, and you are ineligible if you're not seeking work in one of 10 specific US/Canadian metropolitan areas. There is also no minimum salary guaranteed.
Dataquest does not offer a job guarantee.
As mentioned above, both Dataquest and Springboard rate highly in Switchup's bootcamp ratings (despite Dataquest not technically being a bootcamp!). These ratings, which often come with written reviews, are submitted by students independently, and cannot be deleted or edited by the bootcamps.
Springboard's reviews give it a 4.73/5 average rating, while Dataquest’s reviews give it a higher 4.9/5 rating.
Dataquest vs Springboard: Summary
Springboard is massively more expensive than Dataquest — the average student can expect to pay somewhere between 15 to 25X more for Springboard than they would for Dataquest.
For the extra money, you do get regular one-on-one help from a mentor and a job guarantee (although there are some strings attached).
On the other hand, Dataquest provides a carefully-designed and constantly optimized curriculum and learning experience. There is no one-on-one support or job guarantee, but there are resources for help with your studies and with your career.
If you're motivated to learn, Dataquest can get you there at a fraction of the price.