@HAWK not sure this is in the correct category, or if it should be added to one of the other school threads, but I know people have been wondering about "what happens next"....
I am pretty much finished with the course work at UX Academy. I have to say, I think it was really thorough, I learned a LOT of different techniques and was encouraged to use 'design thinking' throughout the course. I had long talk with Harish today about the program, and they are looking to add a review between phase 1, when you learn all the techniques, and phase 2, where you do the capstones. I think this is a great idea since it was so much information to absorb by the time I got to the capstone, I had to go back and remind myself what some of the early steps were. I took the full time course, which is 40 hours/week, and it pretty much really takes close to that amount of time. I personally wish I had done the part time course, so I could have taken it slower and spent more time really absorbing different elements, but that is a personal thing and may not apply to other students.
My mentor was excellent at the beginning of the course, he responded within 10=12 hours with lots of comments on the work I posted. However, when I got to the second capstone, he ran into some personal issues and wasn't as available. I know if I had asked Designlab, they would've given me another mentor, but I decided to push through.
When I created my resume and portfolio, my mentor wasn't as available as I would have liked, but Harish didn't leave me hanging! He is one of the owners of the company and he worked with me every day for 2 weeks to get my portfolio and resume up to speed.
In my opinion, UX Academy teaches a thorough overview of UX and gives you a lot of tools. The mentoring system can be a great asset depending on your mentor, but also, students need to be proactive and speak up if they need something.
I think the most compelling reason to take UX Academy is the ongoing contact they have with students even after graduation. Harish told me today that they are bringing on a career coach next week, and I will be further mentored through the job search process by the career coach. He also suggested I continue to work on and improve my UI skills, and he suggested I post things on the slack channel to get feedback. I mentioned that I would like to do another project, but I don't have the confidence to attack one on my own without a mentor or another team member, so he is going to look into matching me up with another student who is also looking to do a third capstone. Harish made some more suggestions on my portfolio which I will be working on next week.
The cool thing about UX Academy is that it feels like a community, I feel a connection with the mentors, owners of the company and other students. I think Designlab is doing a great job of encouraging that continued connection.
All in all, although I haven't taken any other courses, I would highly recommend UX Acdemy. If anyone has any other questions, let me know, I'm happy to respond!