Prime Digital Academy Review: Create Tomorrow

July 14, 2021
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Prime Digital Academy is an American tech school that trains its students in programming and user experience design and then helps them find a job in the industry. Courses are full-time commitments and last 20 weeks, and instruction is in-person. Students who enroll don't need to have any coding experience, but they do need a MacBook.

The school offers its students 3 payment plans and four scholarships but doesn't offer any refunds. The programs cost $16,000 and can be taken in person. Keep in mind that these courses are all full-time commitments.

Prime Digital Academy is a school that offers full-time and in-person courses for people located in Minneapolis and Kansas City that teaches skills that allow students to create a better future for themselves and their loved ones. The school offers two programs:

  • Full-Stack Engineering.
  • User Experience Design.

The school offers three payment plans in collaboration with Climb, Meritize and Ascent. It also offers four scholarships for students of colour, women, unemployed and veterans.

Who Is It For?

Prime Digital Academy helps non-coders interested in full-stack engineering and UX Design located in Minneapolis and Kansas City learn how to program or create a user experience design from scratch.  Students don’t need any prior experience to join the school. However, to enroll in any school's programs, you must have a MacBook and be a dedicated student.

Programs are a full-time commitment, which means you will have to make sure to clear out your schedule for the 60+ hours a week you will spend studying.

You should also keep in mind the costs of your tuition. Prime Digital Academy's Full-Stack and UX programs cost $16,000 each. If you are looking for a more accessible bootcamp, you can take a look at our NuCamp and Xccelerate reviews.

Features & Benefits

Here are a few of the most important features and benefits of Prime Digital Academy:

Well-Aligned Incentives

Prime Digital Academy offers some pretty great payment plans (in partnership with Climb, Meritize and Ascent) that seek to make your life a little bit easier while you study and even after you graduate. It aligns its goals with its students by making sure you don’t have to pay some or all of your tuition until you graduate.

The school also offers scholarships for students of colour, women in tech, unemployed students and veterans.

In-Person Instruction

Prime Digital Academy's in-person instruction creates an environment where students can concentrate better because there will be fewer distractions. This will grant them a better understanding and a higher chance of completing the course since they will also interact with instructors and peers.

The school's classrooms also grant the opportunity to access more information since the student will be in the same place as their instructor and peers, making it easier to make themselves heard. This also makes it easier to make friends, problem-solve and build a network with people of different backgrounds.

Personalized Mentorship

Sometimes, success after Prime Digital Academy can depend more on who you know than what you know. You will be introduced to smart, supportive professionals from the local tech community through the school's mentor program.

During your first week in the classroom, the school will pair you in small groups of students with a couple of working professionals (including one school alum who knows exactly the rigours and rewards of the education you're receiving). You’ll meet two times a week with your mentor group for insights and advice to help kick-start your new career.

Job Search Assistance

Prime Digital Academy works in surrounding you with people who will support you every step of the way and whose main focus is your success. The school partners you with professional mentors who prepare you in the following ways:

  • Resume and portfolio building.
  • Interview strategies coaching.
  • Feedback from industry recruiters.
  • Hiring managers that help with a mock interview day.

The following companies have hired Prime Digital Academy graduates:

MPRnewsFinance & CommerceStarTribuneMinnPost
Kare11Tech {dot} DownInc.Kansas City Business Journal
Starland NewsTwinCities Business

Fast Learning

Prime Digital Academy students can learn the content of its programs in only 18 or 20 weeks, depending on your course of choice. In a coding bootcamp, students are taught the abilities that can help them during their job search. Every single hour they spend learning is full of significant exercises designed to assist them with learning the most sought-after tech skills required by a huge number of organizations across the world.

Prime Digital Academy's Course List

Students who enroll in any of Prime Digital Academy's programs get more than 60 hours' worth of training a week in either programming or UX design. The school offers instruction from industry professionals who teach hard skills and soft skills. 

Prime Digital Academy offers 2 different programs:

  • Full-Stack Engineering.
  • User Experience Design.

In the following table, you'll find an overview of the basic features and cost of these 2 courses.

CourseCourse TypeCourse LengthTuition
Full Stack EngineeringFull Time
In-Person
20 Weeks
(60+ hours/week)
$15,500
User Experience DesignFull Time
In-Person
20 Weeks
(60+ hours/week)
$15,500

Here’s a breakdown of all of these programs:

Full Stack Engineering

LocationIn-person: Kansas City or Minneapolis
Class Size22
Start DatesRolling Start Date
Time CommitmentFull-time – 60+ hours per week.
Course Length20 Weeks
Cost of Tuition$15,500

Prime’s Full Stack Engineering curriculum helps its students launch rewarding careers in software engineering. The program’s immersive approach is designed to get students directly into the most relevant technologies and methods, rewiring their minds to take on the exciting challenge of a job in development.

The relationships created with fellow students, mentors, and guest speakers provide you with an invaluable network of tech allies that are passionate and diverse, people you will be able to count on throughout your career.

Skills You Will Learn

The Full Stack Engineering course focuses on the following skills:

  • Git, a free and open-source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.
  • Command Line, an interface that processes commands in a computer program in the form of lines of text.
  • JQuery, a free JavaScript library that simplifies HTML DOM tree traversal and manipulation, CSS animation, event handling and Ajax.
  • Node.js, also known as NodeJS, cross-platform, open-source, back-end JavaScript runtime environment capable of running on the V8 engine and executes JavaScript code outside a web browser.
  • React, a powerful Javascript library that is used to build more complicated web applications.
  • Redux, an open-source JavaScript library for managing application state.
  • Express.js, also known as Express, is a back-end web application framework for Node.js, designed to build web applications and APIs.

Coding Languages You Will Learn

The core coding languages you will learn in the Full Stack Engineering course are:

  • Hypertext Markup Language, also known as HTML, the standard markup language used in building applications and web pages.
  • Cascading Style Sheets, also known as CSS, is a style sheet language used for describing how a document written in a markup language will look.
  • JavaScript, also known as JS, the programming language for the Web. It is used to make web pages dynamic and interactive since it can update and change HTML and CSS.
  • SQL, a domain-specific programming language designed to manage data held in a relational database management system or stream processing in a relational data stream management system.

Modules You Will Go Through

This course is in-person, and there is a specific set of skills that students will be required to learn during the course. Here’s a schedule of the topics you will cover and when:

WeeksGoalsTime Commitment
1-6– Understand foundational web technologies
– Gain familiarity with developer tools (Text Editors, Command Line, Browser Debugging)
– Build an understanding of basic programming concepts (variables, looping, logic structures)
13-20 hours a week.
Flexible schedule, with weekly live web chats.
7-13– Understand the architecture of the modern web “stack.”
– Practice developing full-stack software
– Develop apprentice skills, including research and exploring new technologies
60+ hours a week.
M-F 8:30-5:00 plus weekend homework.
14-20– Demonstrate your ability to build fully functional applications
– Start your portfolio with two projects that show off your skills
– Practice the team skills you’ll use daily as a working developer
– Polish your resume and online profile in preparation for a job search
60+ hours a week.
M-F 8:30-5:00 plus team sessions as scheduled.

For the 7th to 13th week, there's also a classroom schedule. Here's what it looks like:

8:00 AMMorning Ramp-Up: students grab some coffee and get answers to questions they might have.
8:30 AMJob Skills: start the morning with a talk focused on job-seeking, networking and communication skills.
9:00 AMMorning Concept: the instructor introduces the morning’s key concept with a lecture. Instruction is highly interactive, relying heavily on class participation, impromptu Q&A, and live coding.
10:00 AMPair Challenge: tackle the morning's assignment paired with a classmate. Working together with classmates regularly, students apply the concepts they’ve just learned to a code challenge.
12:00 PM Lunch.
1:00 PMAfternoon Concept: raise the complexity bar. This requires more hands-on instruction, practice and patience, with the help of an instructor.
3:00 PMEvening Challenge: finish the day with a coding challenge covering the concepts learned. Talk through the problem as a group before breaking to conquer the task at hand.
5:00 PMDay's End: stick around and work with peers to finish up homework or head home and tackle it on your own.

User Experience Design

LocationIn-person: Kansas City or Minneapolis
Class Size22
Start DatesRolling Start Date
Time CommitmentFull-time – 60+ hours per week.
Course Length18 Weeks
Cost of Tuition$15,500

User experience designers (UX Designers) are responsible for building products that feel easy to use and that are made meaningfully. Simplicity and personalization are created from a complex balance of user research, design sensibility, active empathy and technological literacy.

Prime’s 18-week immersive UX Design program is designed to help people interested in design. Organization and technology build the basic skills to start a career in user experience. Prime Digital Academy works with industry employers to make sure graduates can take on the challenges of building complex and valuable experiences.

Skills You Will Learn

The User Experience Design course focuses on the following skills:

  • Design, plan for the construction of a system, resulting in the form of a prototype, product or process.
  • User Experience Design, also known as UX Design, the process design teams use to create meaningful and relevant experiences for users.
  • Iterative design, a design methodology based on a cyclic process that goes through prototyping, testing, analyzing, and refining a product or process.
  • Axure, a software for creating specifications and prototypes for websites and applications.

Coding Languages You Will Learn

The core coding languages you will learn in the User Experience Design course are:

  • HTML, a website coding language.
  • CSS, a programming language to edit a website's style and look.

Modules You Will Go Through

This course is in-person, and there is a specific set of skills that students will be required to learn during the course. Here’s a schedule of what topics will be covered and when:

WeeksGoalsTime Commitment
1-6– Understand the foundational principles of visual and interactive design
– Gain familiarity with visual design tools
– Gain familiarity with interactive design tools (HTML/CSS, Axure)
– Develop a model for understanding the UX design process and its complexities (UX process, design process)
13-20 hours a week.
Flexible schedule, with weekly live web chats.
7-12– Navigate the complexities of UX design
– Practice prototyping and presenting
– Gain familiarity with usability and UX research methods
60+ hours a week.
M-F 8:30-5:00 plus weekend homework.
13-18– Advance your design skills
– Practice usability and UX research methods
– Engage in an iterative design process
60+ hours a week.
M-F 8:30-5:00 plus team sessions as scheduled.

Job Placement & Career Support

Prime Digital Academy makes sure to surround you with people who will support students every step of the way and whose main focus is their success. The school connects its students with employers searching for new talents and to do so. They prepare them in the following ways:

  • Resume and portfolio building.
  • Interview strategies coaching.
  • Feedback from industry recruiters.
  • Hiring managers that help with a mock interview day.

The school's industry network team is also always connecting employee seekers and alumni to grant them fresh job opportunities.

At the end of the course, Prome Digital Academy has a career day, granting a remarkable opportunity to interview with multiple employers who are eager to speak with you. The school's huge network of employers means there are always companies ready to talk to students.

Not all students land their first breakthrough connections from the school's career day, but all graduates can benefit from shaking off their entry-level interviewing nervousness and gaining confidence in speaking about themselves, their resumes and their portfolios.

Success Rate

Prime Digital Academy success rate looks like this:

Full-Stack EngineeringUser Experience Design
Graduation rate94%95%
Employment Rate85%85%
Median Earnings$59,000$71,000

Here are the wage increase percentage for Prime Digital Academy graduates:

CourseAverage Wage Increase
Full-Stack Engineering77%
User Experience Design107%

Costs, Payment Plans & Scholarships

#1 Costs

All of Prime Digital Academy’s courses cost the same.

CourseUpfront CostPay-As-You-Go
Full-Stack Engineering$15,500$356+ per month.
Final cost: $16,000
User Experience Design$15,500$356+ per month.
Final cost: $16,000

#2 Payment Plans

You can get financing to join Prime Digital Academy through three third-party lenders:

#1 Climb

With Climb, you can borrow up to $14,500 for tuition and $5,000 for living expenses if you need to. You will be able to make low interest-only payments for the first 3-6 months and then pay the rest of the loan over the next 36 months. The loan's interest rate is determined after applying and is usually between ~7-12%.

#2 Meritize

With Meritize, you can borrow up to $16,000 for tuition if you need to. You will be able to make low interest-only payments for the first until you complete the course and then pay the rest of the loan over the next 18, 36, or 60 months. The loan's interest rate is determined after applying and is usually between ~5-17%.

#3 Ascent

Ascent's payment plans offer students taking any of the school's programs loans that range from $2,000 to full tuition, plus an optional $5,000 for living expenses.

  • Their full deferred payment plan allows the student to pay $542.94 monthly after graduation. Total: $19,546.
  • Their Interest-only Payments in School plan allows students to pay $91.00 monthly while in school and then $514.90 monthly after graduation. The total amount you'll pay is $19,265.
  • Their Payment in School plan allows students to pay a $514.90 monthly fee from the start of the course, allowing them to save on interest. The total amount you'll pay is $18,537.

All of these payments are split into 36 monthly installments, and depending on the plan you chose, the interest is higher. You can also request 60-month loans, in which case the installments are lower, but you end up paying much more in interest.

#3 Scholarships

Prime Digital Academy offers four scholarships:

#1 Prime Diversity Scholarship – $500

This scholarship is designed to encourage people of colour to start tech careers. The school offers a $500 scholarship to every person of colour accepted into the program.

#2 MSP Tech Hire – Up to 100% Tuition

In partnership with The Minneapolis St. Paul Tech Hire initiative, Prime Digital Academy works to bring its courses to Minneapolis and St. Paul residents who identify as female or a person of colour and would be otherwise unable to afford the program. Funds are available to only one student. Here are the characteristics to be eligible:

  • Minneapolis residents: identify as a female or person of colour and have an annual household income under $35k (can vary slightly).
  • St. Paul residents: identify as a female or person of colour and have an annual household income under $35k (can vary slightly).

#3 Applicants Experiencing Unemployment – $3000+

If you are receiving unemployment benefits, you’re likely eligible for partial tuition funding. Contact your local Employment Service Provider or Workforce Center to learn more.

#4 Veterans / GI Bill

Prime Digital Academy is a VetTec approved training provider and can help you with the process of getting support for your studies from the VA!

Meet The Team

These are a few of the people you will meet in the program:

Mark Hurlburt
PRESIDENT & FOUNDER
Emily Schumacher
DIRECTOR OF STUDENT AFFAIRS
Christy Larsen
DIRECTOR OF EMPLOYER ENGAGEMENT
Kris Szafranski
DIRECTOR OF FULL STACK SOFTWARE ENGINEERING
Mary Mosman
INSTRUCTOR & SOFTWARE ENGINEER
Edan Schwartz
INSTRUCTOR & SOFTWARE ENGINEER
Ange Wang
DIRECTOR OF USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN
Kyre Austin Sheahan
INSTRUCTOR & SR. UX DESIGNER
Rose Keimig
INSTRUCTOR & SR. UX DESIGNER

How To Apply to Prime Digital Academy

Step 1: Application form on their webpage

You can start your enrollment process by visiting Prime Digital Academy's website and filling out the application form. You can do so by clicking the button below.

Step 2: Placement Test

Prime Digital Academy does have a placement test to see how much knowledge an applicant has before starting the course. Still, even if they have a placement test, previous experience is not necessary. The real objective of this is to see how interested the applicant is in actually acquiring the skills taught by the school.

Step 3: Interview

Prime Digital School also interviews applicants to understand their background better, see if they understand technology, and make sure that both school and applicant are a good fit for each other.

How to Get Accepted

To get accepted into Prime Digital Academy, you will need:

  • A MacBook or Macbook pro from 2016 or newer.
  • Monday through Friday full-time availability.

Prime Digital Academy User Reviews

Here are just a handful of verified Prime Digital Academy reviews from a few of their members:

“…Prime Digital Academy isn't a school that just accepts your money and says “sure take a ride.” It's student focused and goes through a process to not only ensure your success (as long as you are willing to work for it), but sets you up with skills beyond “traditional” schooling.”Alex Calvillo.

“When I was looking for a coding boot camp, Prime's graduates told me it's worth every single dime which seemed hard to believe. Now that I went through the program, I find myself agreeing with them… This is definitely a well-rounded program and definitely recommend it!”Hyunsu Kim.

“…I highly recommend Prime to anyone looking for a new career. You do not need to be a “techie“; anyone can find their stride and succeed here.” — Dustin Fedie.

“…I cant recommend Prime enough and I look forward to working with them in the future through mentor ship and other community activities. Prime Digital Academy is life changing!”Dane Schmidt.

“They really equip you for success. Best bootcamp out there and gain more than just coding knowledge and skills coming out of it.”Iris Noh

“My experience at Prime was wonderful, challenging, gratifying. Everyone involved in the operation of Prime is invested in the positive outcomes of its students. The instructors, particularly my instructor Mary, are passionate, engaged, helpful, and empathetic. The assignments are, for the most part, well thought out, fun, and challenging.”Ben Ragsdale.

Alumni Stories

In case those reviews haven’t convinced you, here are a few quick stories about Prime Digital Academy members—the sort of people you’ll be rubbing shoulders with once you enter the program.

Before Prime Digital AcademyAfter Prime Digital AcademyDo They Recommend Prime Digital Academy?
Sarah was working as a senior consultant.Sarah is now a software developer at Minnesota Roller Derby.“Prime was one of the best decisions of my career… I would defiantly recommend this program to anyone who is willing to put their time and all energy into learning code.”
Jonny was a student.Jonny is now working as a User Experience Designer at Straight Line Theory.“Prime helped give me the foundation I needed to become a UX Designer in the industry as well as networking and mentor opportunities. If you put in the time and effort, you'll be rewarded.”
Carina was working as a photographer.Carina is now working as a User Experience Architect at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.“Prime gives you a blueprint, building tools and all the consultation you can ask for. It is up to you what to do with it… Undoubtedly worth it.”

How To Contact Prime Digital Academy

In the following table, you'll find the most important contact info so you can get in touch with Prime Digital Academy in order to learn more, ask any questions you may have or sign up.

Email[email protected]
Social Media
Apply Now button
Mailing Address301 4th Ave. S, Suite 577, Minneapolis, MN 55415
Novel Coworking – Kessler Building, 1301 Oak St. Kansas City, MO 64106

In Summary

Prime Digital Academy is an American tech school that trains its students in programming and user experience design and then helps them find a job in the industry. Students who enroll don't need to have any coding experience, but they do need a MacBook and a strong drive to learn.

The school also offers personalized mentorship with industry professionals who help and advise students with any soft skills needed. This will also help students create their own network within the tech industry, making it easier to find a job.

The school offers its students 3 payment plans and four scholarships but doesn't offer any refunds. The programs cost $16,000 and can be taken in person. Keep in mind that these courses are all full-time commitments.

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