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As companies have embraced data analytics over the past 20 years, demand for data science professionals has grown drastically. Many people assume that a traditional degree is the only way to get a data scientist job, but a data science bootcamp can be an excellent alternative.
As this article will discuss, data science bootcamps are one of the best ways to learn applicable skills in a short amount of time.
What Is a Data Science Bootcamp?
If you’re considering a data science bootcamp, you should first understand what to expect from one of these programs. Some professionals think bootcamps are similar to college, but that isn’t necessarily the case.
For instance, most data science bootcamps are only three to six months long and focus on project-based learning. Instead of multiple classes on theory and information, bootcamps focus on teaching students in-demand industry knowledge and skills that they can apply to their jobs on day one.
Data science bootcamps also emphasize flexibility. A variety of programs accommodate different learning styles and schedules. For example, bootcamp students might study full or part time. They might prefer either in-person or virtual learning as well. Depending on which option you choose, program length and costs may vary.
Bootcamp graduates can choose among 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 various backgrounds. Some currently work in the technology industry, and others are looking for their first job in the sector.
For this reason, many data science bootcamp programs teach the fundamentals first before diving into more complex skills. This equips all learners with the same foundational skills needed for success in a bootcamp.
How Much Does a Data Science Bootcamp Cost?
A traditional undergraduate degree in computer science could cost anywhere between $15,000 and $30,000 per year. In contrast, the average cost for a full bootcamp is $14,000.
For potential students who are hesitant about the cost of attending a data science bootcamp, most programs offer financing 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 qualifying students.
Talk to your prospective bootcamp’s admissions team to see whether you qualify for financial aid or financing offerings.
How to Enroll in a Data Science Bootcamp
Make sure to review several data science bootcamps before settling on one. Each bootcamp offers its own experiences, projects and lessons, so it’s important to choose a program that suits your needs. When considering bootcamp options, consider the following factors:
- Experience of instructors
- Portfolio work opportunities
- Post-graduation support
- Cohort makeup
Each of the above factors affects bootcamp outcomes. Ultimately, instructors are the most crucial part of any bootcamp. When comparing instructors, look for teachers who have worked in the industry and know what skills are necessary to succeed as a data science professional.
Are there Prerequisites that Need to be Met to Enroll in a Data Science Bootcamp?
Most data science bootcamps do not involve prerequisites. However, given how fast-paced and intensive these programs can be, it may be helpful to build a basic understanding of data science before beginning a bootcamp.
To prepare yourself for the first day of class, consider brushing up on basic statistics and intermediate mathematical computations.
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 familiarity with technologies that graduates will use daily.
The topics you learn and how you learn them depends on which 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 an excellent tool for data scientists to quickly organize and analyze large data sets.
Depending on your instructor, you may also learn additional Python programming tools such as Python libraries.
Machine learning is another focus area for many bootcamps. With machine learning, you’ll be able to set up computers to automatically perform tasks without programming. Data science students typically learn skills like regression analysis and logistic regressions to help perform machine learning tasks.
Data Science Fundamentals
Most individuals who start a data science bootcamp are excited to jump right 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 utilize probability theory and run A/B tests. These basic skills make it easier to tackle larger fundamental tasks later in the program.
Bootcamps focus on developing technical skills, but they may also teach certain soft skills. For instance, data scientists aim to solve problems using information. Data science bootcamp students complete projects that help build their problem-solving skills and allow them to develop their own strategies for addressing issues.
You might learn the following soft skills in a bootcamp as well:
- Written communication
- Verbal communication
- Networking skills
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Frequently Asked Questions About Data Science Bootcamps
Will a data science bootcamp help me land a job?
Employers hire many data science professionals with college degrees, but technology professionals who complete data science bootcamps instead of computer science degrees can still be competitive job candidates. A survey by Indeed.com found that out of 1,000 HR managers and technical recruiters, 84% believed bootcamp graduates were either just as likely or more likely to be high performers compared to candidates with computer science degrees.
Is a data science bootcamp worth it?
If you’re interested in a data science career, completing a bootcamp can be well worth it. Data science bootcamps typically cost less and take less time to complete than traditional college degrees. Bootcamps may offer more hands-on learning experiences as well.
What is data science used for?
Data science is constantly evolving and has become an important component 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 datasets. Data science can also be used to understand concepts like customer insights and company security.