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With most of the major online course providers, variety is very much the focus. Providers seek to try and offer as many different course subjects as they possibly can, hoping to cast a wide net in the hopes of attracting as many students as possible.
Treehouse, however, have followed a far-less-common – but no less reputable – path with their online educational offering. The company have designed their online education courses to focus solely on a single industry with their courses: tech, with coding and development receiving the sole bulk of their attention. There’s no photography classes; no cookery classes – the platform is completely tech-focused. While there’s no denying this narrow focus is rather limiting in terms of attracting students – if you’re looking to study anything that doesn’t fall under the tech banner, then you will naturally need to look elsewhere – for those who do want to pursue coding or development, Treehouse is definitely an interesting proposition.
The goal of Treehouse is to make it simpler to earn the experience and qualifications required to enter the tech industry on a professional basis. The company was originally founded in 2011 by Ryan and Gillian Carson, with the former still acting as the company’s CEO to this day. After raising funding from a series of investors, including Kaplan, the company has grown from strength-to-strength, and now offers a huge range of courses and workshops to its students while enjoying a strong reputation for excellence within the tech industry.
Treehouse saw a further development in September 2019, when the company – along with partners include The Boys & Girls Clubs of America – started ‘Project: Unlock The American Dream’. The program is designed to help train 100,000 Americans from diverse backgrounds and train them towards high-paying tech careers, without the need for students to go into debt to achieve the training required.
Treehouse was founded in 2011 by Ryan Carson and Gillian Carson.
Treehouse’s courses focus on the tech industry, and especially coding and development.
Treehouse courses are accessed via a subscription model, with three different price points available after a seven-day free trial: Basic (£20/month), Pro (£40/month) and ‘Techdegree’ ($199/month).
Treehouse courses only appear to be accessible in English at this time.
Treehouse offers corporate learning via ‘Treehouse Organizations’.
Treehouse does not allow students to buy access to individual courses; instead, the company offers a subscription-based model. There are three different levels to choose from, all of which offer a seven-day free trial:
The first two levels are self-guided, as in you select the courses you wish to take. The first level is “Basic” and is designed to provide an introduction to coding, with practice sessions and access to videos and the online community. The second level is “Pro”, which as well as everything included for “Basic” subscribers, offers additional content and features. The third level is the most advanced and is referred to as a curated “coding bootcamp”, with a specific syllabus to follow; known as “Techdegree”, it includes everything found in the first two levels, project creation, portfolio building, and support from staff members of Treehouse.
As you would expect given the difference between each level, the prices vary significantly. “Basic” is available for £20 per month; “Pro” for £40 per month, and “Techdegree” for $199 – for some reason, this price is in dollars, despite everything else being shown in pounds. At the time of writing, $199 per month works out at around £153 per month.
All three levels should be of interest to anyone hoping to enter the tech industry. What’s more, given the impressive specialisation the courses offer and the prestige of Treehouse as an institution, they should realistically be considered capable of offering excellent value for money.
As we have discussed, Treehouse primarily focuses on tech – and particularly coding and development-related – courses, so the array of different options available on the platform all lie within this remit. However, even within this relatively narrow field, there are still multiple course topics to explore within your subscription, including – but not limited to – those that fall under the following categories:
An important consideration for anyone considering development as a career, the computer science category at Treehouse is undoubtedly relatively sparse but covers things you might reasonably expect from such a topic. There are three courses in total, all of which will be hugely beneficial: ‘Introduction to Algorithms’, ‘Algorithms: Sorting and Searching’, and finally, the comprehensive ‘Introduction To Data Structures’.
The courses in the “business” category are focused towards the world of work and especially finding employment within the tech industry; courses such as ‘Presentation Skills’, ‘Copyright Basics’ and ‘How To Freelance’ should all be useful in this regard. In addition, there is also a focus on opening a business with the likes of ‘How To Start A Business’ and ‘How To Run A Web Design Business’.
The design courses at Treehouse focus on the visual elements of websites, apps, and similar digital products. All aspects of design are covered across the available courses; there’s typography-related options, courses that look at the connection between design and usability, and much more besides, with the course length ranging from a few minutes to several hours.
Security is of paramount importance for anyone considering working within the tech industry, so Treehouse’s provision in this area is definitely appreciated. While this section of the platform is not particularly large, essential security-related information is covered in courses such as ‘Introduction To Data Security’ and ‘Introduction To Application Security’, with each lasting between one and two hours.
Treehouse is designed to be a platform that anyone, regardless of their level of experience, is able to use, so the inclusion of digital literacy courses is perhaps to be expected. These courses are designed to provide background information, with options such as ‘How The Web Works’, ‘How The Internet Works’, and ‘HTTP: Do You GET It?’ available in this section.
Overall, it is almost impossible to fault the course quality found at Treehouse. The topics covered are incredibly complex, but the information is provided in a way that is suitable for those with no prior experience. The one potential downside is that the course titles can be a little confusing to someone just starting with Treehouse, as they use very technical language, but this issue is naturally overcome as studies continue.
When considering an online course, the tutors who put the course together will always have a huge influence on the experience for students – and this is another area where Treehouse performs admirably well. The tutors of Treehouse are referred to as ‘teachers’, and though it is unlikely you will find any household names amongst the staff, Treehouse do highlight that they seek to hire experienced industry professionals – putting the importance of genuine education ahead of any appeal to star power.
As a result, the Treehouse teachers are all equipped with professional insights and understanding of the tech industry, as well as – as one would expect – complete mastery of their chosen subject. Given that Treehouse has developed such a strong reputation in the tech world, it seems that teachers such as Andrew Chalkley and Dave McFarland have definitely been able to cultivate an amazing learning experience for any student who chooses to study on the site. This speaks volumes for Treehouse’s ability to prioritise where it matters.
The courses at Treehouse could be described as “Goldilocks” courses – they are neither too long or too short, instead focusing simply on what needs to be said and ensuring it is understood, but going no further. As a result, the length of individual courses tends to vary depending on the topic and the level of difficulty of the course itself – while not always the case, the ‘Beginner’ courses tend to be shorter, while ‘Intermediate’ and ‘Advanced’ are longer.
However, whatever the length, you can be confident that the course is no shorter or longer than it has to be – everything that needs to be covered, will be, with nothing extraneous. Lastly, we just wanted to mention an additional benefit of the subscription model Treehouse uses: if a course is shorter than you would usually prefer, then you have the option to finish it and then immediately move onto the next.
Check out reviews on Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. and see what people are saying about the course provider. Don’t be too damning, but be honest — if the course provider has a reputation of being poor for a specific subject, say so. (300 words)
Unfortunately not; the platform offers a subscription model for between £20 to $199 per month.
Treehouse offers over 300 different courses and 278 workshops, and this number is constantly increasing.
At the present time, it appears that Treehouse only offer courses in English.