Our CurriculumLambda School is a remote, interactive experience, with two intensive program schedules students can choose from:
full-time, 40+ hours per week with approximately six months of coursework; and part-time, 15+ hours per week for approximately 12 months. As a part of our mission to make great education available to anyone we designed our programs to be accessible regardless of location, family responsibilities, or access to transportation. NOTE: Lambda School's part-time courses are currently paused. Explore full-time Lambda School courses
. Our program curriculum is designed with input from real hiring managers.
We asked dozens of employers what specific skills they look for in candidates, and then designed our programs with learning activities that help students master these skills, including labs where students have the opportunity to build and ship real products. Experienced software engineers and data scientists lead our curriculum development and class instruction.
When hiring instructors, we look for the right mix of technical acumen, teaching ability, and real-world experience to ensure that our students get the mentorship they need to succeed in tech. Our curriculum includes project-based work to give students real-world experience.
Every fourth “sprint” (one week for full-time students, two weeks for part-time) in units 2-4 is a “build sprint,” in which students hone their technical skills and develop critical team skills. In addition, at the end of the program, students participate in Lambda Labs, an in-house apprenticeship program where students gain practical, real-world work experience. Students have access to on-demand support from their career coach, instructors, industry mentors, and other students
throughout their Lambda School experience, in addition to free mental health services from our health partners. Every student has the opportunity to give and receive mentorship throughout the program.
Through the new Lambda Leadership program, we’re building a culture of mentorship that gives every student the opportunity to give and receive feedback, build leadership skills, and learn to explain technical concepts in simple terms, which are vital skills for success in the workplace.
Community, Support & Services:
Students have access to support and services throughout their Lambda School experience, including free mental health support from our health partners. Our mentoring and alumni programs, as well as special-interest Slack channels and virtual meetups, keep our Lambda community connected.
Starting in unit 1, every student is introduced to our career preparation curriculum and has access to online office hours hosted by Lambda’s expert career coaches, whom they’ll work with until they are placed in their first job. Students also complete assignments to help prepare them for the job search, including resume building, networking prep, and mock interviews. In addition, we offer an industry mentorship program in which each student is paired with a professional in their field, who can provide career guidance and networking opportunities.
When it comes time to place students in jobs, we work with companies who need fresh talent across the country to create pipelines for our graduates to get hired. Our career placement experts are in continual discussions with employers to understand their talent needs and share how our students have the hands-on practice, theory, and personal determination to make them prepared, skilled, and tenacious employees. Incentive-Aligned Education
We started Lambda School with one overarching goal: to align the incentives of Lambda School with the incentives of the student. We want to share the risk of completing a program and searching for a job with our students. We believe all students deserve the downside protection that incentive-aligned education brings. To this end, Lambda School currently offers ISAs, so our students only repay tuition when they land a job making at least the monthly equivalent of earning $50,000 per year. This means the company can succeed only if our students succeed.
Students who choose the ISA payment option agree to pay 17% of their post-Lambda School salary for 24 months. We’ve built several protections for students into our ISA. For example, students only begin making payments if they’re earning at least the monthly equivalent of earning $50,000 per year (payments are calculated monthly). The ISA is also capped at a maximum repayment amount of $30,000.
Crucially, if a student’s income in a given month drops below the monthly equivalent of earning $50,000 per year, payments are paused. Once a student has reached 5 years’ worth of paused payments, the ISA is then cancelled, regardless of how much the student has paid to date. This downside protection is automatically built into our ISAs, unlike the student loans from typical universities.
Tuition financing options, including ISAs, that align the incentives of the school with the incentives of the student are not only fair, they also have the potential for a measurable impact on a student’s net worth over their lifetime.
Per the Summer 2019 NACE Salary Survey the average income of a recent college graduate after four or more years earning a bachelor's degree in 2019 was $50,944. Per The Institute for College Access & Success the average student debt of recent college graduates regardless of their starting salaries in the same year was $28,950.
As an example, if you make the following assumptions:
• A university student takes 4 years to graduate
• A Lambda graduate earns our median annualized salary from this report ($65,000) upon graduation
• A Lambda graduate makes their ISA payments successfully to term (i.e. 24 months)
… then by the time that university student graduated, the Lambda student would have earned $65,000 annually during three of those years, and already have paid off their ISA.
At Lambda School we take on part of the financial risk of education for our students. Since our students come to us in order to get a better job, they only pay us once they have that job. Our students who don’t get jobs making at least the monthly equivalent of earning $50,000 per year never pay us anything. Regardless of all other outcomes, our students pay us only when they have a job.
We designed Lambda School to accommodate multiple pathways to graduation, rather than taking a “one-size-fits-all” approach – and that means that the length of time a student spends in the program can vary considerably, although the total coursework and tuition will, of course, remain the same for every student that is enrolled.
There are four aspects of our program that result in variable program lengths (within the same program) for our students: Flexible:
Mastery-based progression means that a student’s progress is based on their individual needs and pace. If someone needs to repeat a section to demonstrate mastery, they will do so. It’s not about checking boxes; it’s about making sure students master the skills they need to land and succeed in a job. Team Lead Program:
During H2 2019, we encouraged many of our students to apply to our Team Lead (TL) Program during their time at Lambda School. The TL Program was an optional, paid student leadership experience that gave students an opportunity to further their technical learning while gaining valuable leadership skills they’ll need throughout their career. Some students who were accepted as Team Leads chose to proceed with their Lambda School program concurrently, while others chose to pause their coursework to focus on their Team Lead responsibilities for a period of time. This program is currently being phased out, but was still part of our programs during H2 2019, which is why we’re mentioning it.Hiatus Option:
Lambda is designed to accommodate the “life happens” pause that some students may need, and we do allow students to go on “hiatus” on a case-by-case basis. These students’ ISA terms remain the same – they don’t make any payments until they get a job making at least the monthly equivalent of earning $50,000 per year.Switching Between Full-Time and Part-Time:
At times, we have students who request to switch from a full-time program to a part-time program. We often grant these change requests when they arise, as we understand that some students may need to maintain a job for financial stability while in school. On occasion, we also have students who are hired before
their original anticipated graduation date, but who would like to finish the course material in our part-time program while engaged in their new jobs.
If a student falls under any of the above four possibilities, their actual graduation date will be later than their original anticipated graduation date when they started school.
We purposefully designed our model to allow this type of flexibility, as we understand that each student will have different needs over the course of their educational experience.