A look inside Skillcrush and their Blueprints

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Looking for a learning platform dedicated solely to tech courses? Skillcrush just might be for you.

Those switching careers or just breaking into tech will be especially interested in their “career blueprint” options–which function as a step-by-step guide to learn the skills you need for the career you want (and build a portfolio of real projects along the way).

Below is an in-depth look at Skillcrush and the various kinds of programs they offer.

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What's Skillcrush all about?

Skillcrush founder Adda Birnir started Skillcrush after being laid off from a project manager position at a digital agency in 2009. Once she recognized that those had hard technical skills on their resume were more likely to keep their jobs, she began the digital learning journey. Since 2009, Birnir has created two companies, employed a dozen workers, and earned a successful reputation in the tech world.

At the time of writing, Skillcrush offers instruction on the following topics:

  1. Web design
  2. Web development
  3. Mobile web design
  4. WordPress development
  5. Ruby on Rails

Beyond technical know-how, Skillcrush spotlights career development, with a particular emphasis on freelancing.) Moreover, Skillcrush is geared towards women who wish to gain digital skills as (1) a way to earn more in their existing role, (2) transition into a full-time career in tech or (3) start freelancing.

Note, however, that Skillcrush is not for women only! Yes, most of their students are women, and the entire Skillcrush team are women (most of whom have taught themselves how to code), but the skills you’ll learn have nothing to do with your gender.

What is an average course like?

For each course you sign up for, daily emails from the instructor indicate your schedule for the day. You will follow a specific path through the material, watch videos, read articles, and then head over to MightyBell where you interact with fellow students and attempt to solve the challenges of the day.

Google hangouts are hosted twice a month that give students a time to interact with the instructor, ask questions, and receive more detail about various issues within the program.

What makes Skillcrush different from other online learning sites?

Aside from catering to women, the resources found on Skillcrush are extremely easy to understand. It’s written in a real-world, cocktail-party kind of manner.
Unlike other online learning platforms (think Treehouse, Lynda, Udemy, and Code School) Skillcrush has a select number of offerings: you won’t be overwhelmed with options, and you’ll get quality instruction during whatever program you select.

Their signature Blueprints last three or four months in duration. Each is made up of three (or four) courses. (By the way, you can take some courses on their own—without taking the entire Blueprint.)

Finally, Skillcrush has an awesome blog. (Full disclosure: I write for their blog sometimes.) An entire section could be dedicated to the Skillcrush blog. I talk to people all the time who rave about how much they learn from the blog alone—without even paying for a course.

The Free Skillcrush Bootcamp

Before enrolling in one of Skillcrush’s courses or Blueprints, you can work through their free 10-day bootcamp.

The goal of the 10-day bootcamp is to introduce novices to web terminologies, and get you started on building your first online portfolio. (I think anyone, in any career, can benefit from an online portfolio—even a simple one.)

Each day, there is a different lesson. It starts off simple with “The Internet vs. The Web” and then by day seven you're getting into programming languages.

There are some video components as well as interactive parts (like when you actually work on your website project), but the lessons are mostly reading. Luckily, they’re fairly short and are broken down in an easy-to-digest manner.

Without question, the Skillcrush 10-day bootcamp is perfect for someone who wants a simple introduction to the tech world (and you can’t beat free!).

Skillcrush Programs

Here’s a quick overview of your options:

Blueprints

  • Web Designer
  • Web Developer
  • Front End Developer
  • Mobile Web Designer
  • Freelance WordPress Developer
  • Ruby on Rails Developer

Blueprint programs last for 11 weeks. You can make three monthly payments of $149 or a one-time payment of $399 (saving about $50).

Individual courses

Rather than working through an entire Blueprint, you can also take individual courses.

  • UX & Web Design
  • HTML & CSS
  • JavaScript & jQuery
  • Ruby, Git & The Command Line

Class last 3-4 weeks and cost $175 each.

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Overall thoughts

In the end, Skillcrush is perfect for a beginner looking to learn web design, Ruby on Rails, or WordPress development. It is ideal for those who want more career-related guidance and insights, as well as a supportive community of students and instructors. You’ll learn skills, begin a portfolio, and make connections that could transform your life.