Everything you need to know about data science bootcamps – Forbes Advisor
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As businesses have embraced data analytics over the past 20 years, the demand for data science professionals has increased dramatically. Many people assume that a traditional degree is the only way to get a job as a data scientist, but a data science bootcamp can be a great alternative.
As this article will discuss, data science bootcamps are one of the best ways to learn applicable skills in a short time.
What is a data science bootcamp?
If you are considering a data science bootcamp, you must first understand what to expect from one of these programs. Some professionals think bootcamps are similar to college, but that’s not necessarily the case.
For example, most data science bootcamps last only three to six months and focus on project-based learning. Instead of multiple theory and information courses, bootcamps focus on teaching students in-demand industry knowledge and skills that they can apply to their jobs from day one.
Data science bootcamps also emphasize flexibility. A variety of programs accommodate different learning styles and schedules. For example, bootcamp students can study full-time or part-time. They may also prefer in-person or virtual learning. Depending on the option you choose, program duration and costs may vary.
Bootcamp graduates can choose from many paths when looking for their first job in the industry. Common roles for data science bootcamp graduates include:
- Data Scientist
- Data Analyst
- business analyst
- Data Engineer
- Database administrator
Who should attend a data science bootcamp?
Bootcamp students come from a variety of backgrounds. Some are currently working in the tech industry, and others are looking for their first job in the sector.
For this reason, many data science bootcamp programs teach the basics first before diving into more complex skills. This gives all learners the same basic skills needed to succeed in a bootcamp.
How much does a data science bootcamp cost?
A traditional undergraduate computer science degree can cost between $15,000 and $30,000 per year. In contrast, the average cost of a full bootcamp is $14,000.
For prospective students who are hesitant about the cost of a data science bootcamp, most programs offer funding options to help offset the price. For example, BrainStation allows students to pay for the program in installments instead of a lump sum. BrainStation also offers several scholarship opportunities for eligible students.
Talk to the admissions team at your potential bootcamp to see if you qualify for financial aid or funding offers.
How to register for a data science bootcamp
Be sure to review several data science bootcamps before choosing one. Each bootcamp offers its own experiences, projects, and lessons, so it’s important to choose a program that fits your needs. When considering bootcamp options, consider the following factors:
- Instructor experience
- Portfolio work opportunities
- Post-graduation support
- Cohort makeup
Each of the above factors affects bootcamp results. Ultimately, instructors are the most crucial part of any bootcamp. When comparing instructors, look for teachers who have worked in the industry and know the skills needed to succeed as a data science professional.
Are there any prerequisites to enroll in a data science bootcamp?
Most data science bootcamps do not involve prerequisites. However, given the speed and intensity of these programs, it can be helpful to gain a basic understanding of data science before starting a bootcamp.
To prepare for the first day of class, consider reviewing basic statistics and intermediate math calculations.
What a data science bootcamp teaches you
Compared to a traditional college education, data science bootcamps don’t teach much theoretical knowledge. Instead, bootcamps focus on developing applicable skills and becoming familiar with technologies that graduates will use daily.
The topics you learn and how you learn them depends on the data science bootcamp you choose. Most data science bootcamp students will explore some variation of the ideas listed below.
Individual data science bootcamps may teach multiple languages such as Java or C++, but most programs focus on Python.
Python is a versatile programming language used for many tasks, including website development and machine learning. Python is also a great tool for data scientists to quickly organize and analyze large datasets.
Depending on your instructor, you may also learn other Python programming tools such as Python libraries.
Machine learning is another area of focus for many bootcamps. With machine learning, you will be able to configure computers to perform tasks automatically without programming. Data science students typically learn skills such as regression analysis and logistic regressions to help perform machine learning tasks.
Data Science Fundamentals
Most people who start a data science bootcamp are excited to jump straight into coding, machine learning, or “big data.” However, understanding the basic fundamentals is essential if you want to build a lasting career.
During the first week of a bootcamp, instructors often teach students how to use probability theory and run A/B tests. These foundational skills make it easier to complete more important foundational tasks later in the program.
Bootcamps focus on developing technical skills, but they can also teach some soft skills. For example, data scientists aim to solve problems using information. Data science bootcamp students complete projects that help them develop their problem-solving skills and allow them to develop their own strategies for solving problems.
You could also learn the following soft skills in a bootcamp:
- Written communication
- Verbal communication
- Networking skills
- Team work
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Data Science Bootcamp Frequently Asked Questions
Will a data science bootcamp help me land a job?
Employers hire many data science professionals with college degrees, but tech professionals who take data science bootcamps instead of computer science degrees can still be competitive candidates. A survey conducted by Indeed.com found that of 1,000 HR managers and tech recruiters, 84% believed that bootcamp graduates were just as likely or more likely to be high performers than candidates with an IT degree.
Is a data science bootcamp worth it?
If you’re interested in a career in data science, taking a bootcamp might be worth it. Data science bootcamps typically cost less and take less time than traditional college degrees. Bootcamps can also provide more hands-on learning experiences.
What is data science for?
Data science is constantly evolving and has become an important part of any successful business. In its simplest form, data science is used to establish a better understanding of behaviors and processes by building and structuring sets of data. Data science can also be used to understand concepts such as customer information and business security.