From Humble Beginnings
Way back in February, before we announced the DESIGNATION Amaranth Cohort, we didn’t quite know what to expect. Although bootcamps weren’t remotely new, no other programs had a curriculum as ambitious and wide-ranging as what we were envisioning.
So there were lots of open questions: Would anyone find us? How much interest would there be? And would a group of strangers really follow us into great unknown, and spend 10 high-intensity weeks chasing their dreams of a new design career?
If the answer had been no, the nature of this blog post would probably be very, very different. Fortunately for us, the results exceeded even our wildest hopes.
That’s why, in conjunction with a brand new website (and spiffy new launch video), we’re proud to announce the most ambitious version of our program to date.
A Diamond in the Rough
Starting September 15, the Diamond Cohort will represent the culmination of everything we’ve learned since our launch. We worked closely with every single one of our students to figure out what worked, what didn’t, and any tiny little way we could make the program better.
If we had to characterize their answers in a single word, it would be: more.
Students wanted more of basically everything. More prep work. More time. More opportunities. More face time with instructors. More live client projects. More exposure to an even wider swath of curriculum than we were already covering. In a word, they wanted more.
And we’re delivering. That’s why the Diamond Cohort will incorporate a few significant changes when it launches in September.
The first is that the new program will be 18 weeks long instead of 10. But if that sounds like a big increase, keep in mind that we always incorporated 4-6 weeks of prep work prior to the start of the first day of class. The problem we were having is that students weren’t coming in as prepared as we needed them to be, so we’re building out the prep work and making it all around more in-depth.
Now, the first 6 weeks of the program take place virtually via the internet, with their own unique set of deliverables, check-ins, and partner collaborations. This way, students are prepared before they ever set foot in the classroom.
One of our biggest insights from the first two cohorts was that you can’t have too many live client projects. They give students an opportunity to collaborate in teams specifically based on their collective interests and abilities, and in service of a live deliverable with actual, real world constraints. These are the kinds of projects that make for the best portfolio pieces, so we’ve decided to incorporate an additional two weeks into the program solely devoted to working on an additional large-format client project.
More projects mean stronger portfolios, and ultimately better job prospects.
We’re a portfolio program. Not only does DESIGNATION give designers the opportunity to learn new and important skills for the digital age, but it’s a place to develop portfolio pieces that will ultimately serve to get you a job. As such, it’s only natural that we would partner up with innovative tech and design companies to help place students directly into positions after the program is over.
Make no mistake: A job is not a guarantee. Life just doesn’t work that way. But what we can guarantee is that if you show commitment, passion, talent and dedication during your time here and put together a killer portfolio full of awesome work, we will work with you as long and hard as it takes to get you landed in a gig after the program’s over.
DESIGNATION Black is our new recruitment arm, and our Director of Business Development Aaron Fazulak works with every student individually to identify companies for which they’d be a good skill and cultural fit.
The last change we’re making was also the most difficult, which is to raise the tuition. As we said before, when we first launched, there were so many questions regarding the curriculum, the students and everything else. That’s why we made a conscious decision to run our initial cohorts at a loss; to give ourselves time to optimize and refine the program to make it the best it could be. This early influx of students at an artificially low price is what enabled us to launch and establish ourselves as a new destination for design education.
But that price point was never sustainable. It was always necessary to get our tuition to a place that it actually covers the costs we incur just by running the program.
That’s why, starting with the Diamond Cohort, tuition for DESIGNATION will be $6,000.
When you look at what other programs are out there and their respective tuitions, we still think that’s an incredible value. Of the half dozen or so other major bootcamp programs, tuition ranges from about $12,000 to $18,000. That still leaves DESIGNATION at less than half the cost of the competition.
We feel that given the quality and quantity of services we offer, we offer an incredible value unrivaled by any other program out there. We’d also like to extend a $500 discount for anyone enrolling before August 1st, lowering the tuition to $5,500 for a limited time only.
The future is bright, and we could not possibly be more excited or proud of the program we’ve built, and the students we’ve been fortunate enough to learn, grow and share this experience with.
If you’d like to join us in September for one of the most intense, rewarding and exciting experiences of your life, head on over and check out our programs, and apply today. You’ll get $500 if you do before August 1st.
Or just take the time to kick the tires on our brand new website.
But whatever you do, try spend every day making something you’re proud of, something that makes the world a little bit better designed.
After all, that’s what DESIGNATION’s all about.