Data Bootcamps Provide A Knowledge To Be Data Scientist – In Silicon Valley

Together with the exponential rise in volume, variety, and velocity of data, the need for data scientists who’re expert in analyzing, visualizing, and interpreting that data has increased as well. Taking advantage of the huge potential of big data requires specialized skills that make data scientists stay in high demand across industries. However, demand has outpaced supply, leaving the tech world with an acute shortage of data scientists. Although lots of universities and schools are offering various degrees in data science, the paucity still continues. This lack of professionals has spawned the growth of a significant number of data bootcamps. These data camps are designed specifically to help students land plum jobs as data scientists. Given that traditional data science training providers still aren’t producing adequate talent to meet the requirements, data bootcamps are helpful for both organizations as well as participants.

If you want to get the 21st century’s hottest job i.e. become a data scientist, but cannot take the traditional route, joining a data bootcamp would probably be your best bet. Let’s have a look at why such bootcamps are favored so much.

1- Key reasons to join a data bootcamp to become a data scientist

data bootcamps

Before we delve deeper into the reasons for joining a data camp, you should clearly understand that you must put your best foot forward to make the most out of these programs. Though data bootcamps are mainly judged by their placement numbers, it actually comes down to participants. Individuals who lose out are usually the students who don’t do the program with due diligence. Let’s see why attending a data bootcamp is considered a high-reward investment.

1.1- Full immersion

When you’re attending a data camp, you eat, drink, walk, talk, sleep, and breathe subjects related to becoming a data scientist for months at a time. You become surrounded by a great learning environment and packed with curriculum while pushing all other distractions off the schedule. With this highly intensive focus, you get to do a lot more in less time and learn new tools and technologies at a rate impossible otherwise. This is one of the biggest reasons why data bootcamps are considered extremely valuable.

1.2- Networking

When you join a data bootcamp, you’re essentially surrounded by participants with the same goal as you – learn data science and become a data scientist. You immediately set foot into the network of like-minded people with somewhat similar skillsets. This is crucial for your professional career, as you get the chance to develop a professional network organically to leverage opportunities. Of course, networking needs constant maintenance and you’ll also have to extend your network outside of the program, but a data camp surely acts as a breeding ground for it.

1.3- Faster learning

One of the biggest benefits of attending a data bootcamp is accelerated learning through collaboration. From discussing concepts and understanding them from others to helping others understand them and discussing all things data – everything acts like a powerful tool.

Being able to pair with someone at the same level is a huge advantage, especially when it comes to learning something difficult like data science. The social learning environment offered by data camps is almost next to impossible to find somewhere else.

1.4- Cohesive curriculum

In a data bootcamp, learning is more structured than conventional programs. These programs are carefully planned out to help participants develop industry-relevant skills. This learning method gives a clear and bigger view of the field and helps candidates to progress forward at a pace difficult to replicate somewhere else. The key objective of a data camp is that virtually none of the participants’ study time is wasted by focusing on things they don’t need.

1.5- Hands-on learning

Another great advantage of attending a data camp is that you get to work with data from day one through hands-on learning. This learning approach is more useful for lots of learners compared to the traditional model of learning data science.

1.6- Career counseling

This is probably the biggest advantage that sets data bootcamps apart from traditional models. You’re most probably attending a data camp to accomplish one final goal – to become a data scientist.

Career counseling services offered by these bootcamps let you discuss one-on-one with a professional of the field and get to know his/her thoughts on your portfolio or resume or get advice on job applications, all of which prove to be extremely helpful when it comes to getting a job as a data scientist.

1.7- Relatively low cost

We aren’t trying to say that good data bootcamps are cheap. But when you compare the fee charged by a data camp to the cost of traditional four years of college study, you’ll the former to be much more affordable. The traditional method also has an additional cost element as a majority of students need to spend on transportation, books, accommodation, and more.

So, keeping in mind the above advantages it’s evident that attending a data bootcamp and putting your best foot forward for learning can greatly help you accomplish your ultimate goal of becoming a data scientist.

2- Key things to consider when finalizing a data camp

You should understand that all data bootcamps aren’t created equal and there’re some that often fail to live up to the expectations of their students. Here’re the things that you must consider before enrolling with a data bootcamp to find the right one.

2.1- The application process

Application processes vary from one data bootcamp to another. However, in general, these bootcamps tend to have more stringent application standards because it requires a good understanding of both mathematics/statistics and programming skills to become a data scientist.

Some participants may not be able to sail through this strictness of the application process but it’s extremely crucial in order to maintain the quality of the program as well as student experience. Usually, in programs with low-standards, the commitment levels of the participants vary widely. But if you truly want to be a data scientist, you should ensure that you’re learning in an environment consisting of like-minded participants with whom you can collaborate.

2.2- Transparency

Transparency matters a lot for data bootcamps because you’re investing a significant amount of time and thousands of dollars. In addition, you should also factor in the cost of your post-bootcamp job search time when you’ll not be working anywhere.

So, it surely pays off to ensure that you’re investing your time and money into the right program. Things you should focus on include the curriculum, the application process, who the instructors are, and certifications offered to the participants upon successful completion of the program, among others.

2.3- Proper guidance

When it comes to data bootcamp admission process, it shouldn’t feel pushy and salesy. An ideal process should feel like something you can trust, and the program should cater to your best interests. Additionally, the program instructors should be there to help you out during the program. In other words, the program should be capable of helping you in the best way possible to become a data scientist.

2.4- Career services

If you’re going to invest thousands of dollars for a data bootcamp, you must ensure that it offers you proper guidance with respect to post-program employment. Things to check out include if it offers mentoring programs, alumni networks, and peer networking, among others.

2.5- Job placement rates

Ideally, a good data bootcamp should be willing to share its job placement rates with you and specifics on the jobs participants tend to land after successful completion of the program. On the other hand, if the placement numbers don’t look good, the data camp may not be willing to share the details. So, you need to check this out religiously.

2.6- Do some research

Before you enroll in a data bootcamp, it’s always recommended to do your own research about it. Spend some time online and you should be able to know about the quality of instructors, student experience, general pros and cons etc. Try to go through reviews that are posted by participants who recently finished the program. As a whole, these reviews will shed a good amount of light on the program to help you make an informed decision.

3- Do Data Bootcamps Require A Big Amount Of Money?

Data bootcamps aren’t cheap. When you consider how these bootcamps deliver extremely targeted and effective information for fast-paced learning coupled with lots of hands-on experience, the cost they charge may seem fit.

In fact, if you consider the cost of a data bootcamp with the big amount of money that you’ll need to spend on an equivalent master’s degree, the former would be just a fraction of the latter. And when you consider two years of education for the latter and weigh it against the fast-paced data bootcamps that can take anywhere from 12 to 24 weeks (or a bit more depending on the curriculum), it may all seem worth your money as well as time and effort.

The key in determining whether you should invest money on a data bootcamp depends on a lot of factors. Unless you have considered them all, making a decision simply on the basis of the cost factor alone wouldn’t be prudent.

But before we talk about the key factors on which the cost of data bootcamps depend, it’s important to ask yourself why you would like to join such a bootcamp. It’s equally important to know why learning new data skills as well as enhancing what you already know makes sense in today’s data-driven world.

So, let’s take a look at some statistics to understand why data science has become such a hot topic today, and the reasons behind the paucity of qualified data scientists despite a rapidly rising market demand.

3.1- What makes data science an interesting field to enter?

According to a McKinsey Global Institute report, the demand for qualified data scientists was growing yearly at about 12%, which was far above the available supply. Since then, the situation hasn’t improved. According to a LinkedIn report (August 2018), almost every large city in the US faces a severe shortage of data science skills. The national shortage of people with data science skills stands at a staggering 1,51,717. The McKinsey report predicts the US to be reeling from a shortage of 250,000 data scientists by 2024. And such shortage would exist despite the field of data science paying extremely well, much more than its similar counterparts.

You can understand how well paid data science professionals are by considering a few statistics. In 2018, data scientists’ mean base salaries stood at $95,000 for those who had 1 to 3 years of experience (non-managers), while those with over 9 years of experience earned more ($165,000). Those working as managers earned more with their mean base salaries varying between $145,000 (for having 1 to 3 subordinates reporting to them) and $250,000 ((for having more than 10 subordinates reporting to them).

3.2- What triggers the paucity of data scientists?

You may be wondering – if the field pays so well, why is there a huge shortage of professionals having the requisite skills? The reasons are many. Many aspiring candidates take up full-time data science courses and enroll into data bootcamps driven by false and misleading promises, but discover midway through the program that they don’t like it, aren’t cut out for it, or simply can’t handle the tremendous stress as well as put in the desired efforts to finish it. As a result, they quit or drop out.

Then there are some others who finish their courses but aren’t job reedy, either because they haven’t got the hands-on experience, or lack the skills required to handle real-world problems. In such cases, they have to look for specialized courses or data bootcamps that will help them bridge this skill gap and make them employable.

The ability to adapt quickly to changing technology, methods, and tools is another important skill to excel in the field of data science, which is again found lacking in many professionals that make them fall behind the competition, and ultimately, bow out. So, what’s the answer?

3.3- Why you should seriously consider attending data bootcamps?

If you have a background in computer science, mathematics, or statistics, you can think of entering the field of data science. Having some programming knowledge, especially in Python and R would be an added advantage for sure, but even if you don’t have it, you can always learn provided you’re serious about improving your chances of being a successful data science professional. And if you’re searching for the fastest and most effective way of getting your brain up to speed and ready for a data science career, hardly anything else can match data bootcamps.

If the word “bootcamp” makes you think about a military-style training camp where you would be rousted out of bed early on in the morning and made to do a two-mile jog, take heart for this isn’t it. The word “bootcamp” signifies an intensive, short-paced, extremely targeted curriculum with the aim of drilling a lot of useful information in your mind, which can be extremely overwhelming and hectic, just like a military camp is.

Yet, you won’t find a more practical and effective way to learn about and use the tools and techniques that data scientists use every day. And as you gain knowledge of the field, you’ll also get to meet and collaborate with a lot of link-minded people, some of whom are already working in the field while others are hoping to enter it soon. You’ll also get to learn from industry experts, who give you useful insights into what works in the real world and what doesn’t. By networking with a varied group of people coming from diverse backgrounds, you can end up making some good connections, which in turn might help you further your own career aspirations.

Unlike two-year data science master’s degree courses or Ph.D. in data science that would take longer, you can learn and master the key concepts of data science much faster by enrolling into a bootcamp that focuses on the field. And the best thing is the lot of choices that you can take your pick from.

When bootcamps took off in the 2014, they were originally all-day long, short-term, and on-site courses. But the scenario has changed a lot since then. Now, as a data bootcamp participant, you have a variety of options – from weekend and evening data bootcamps to the ones that are conducted totally online. Even in terms of duration, you have several options – from short-term ones that run for 8 weeks to the long-term ones that could be 20 weeks or even more. You can even take your pick from full-time programs or their part-time counterparts, the latter being most suitable for those who’re employed and don’t want to quit their jobs while learning new skills or honing the skills they already have.

Irrespective of your skill level and experience, you can be sure of finding matching data bootcamps (provided you can tick the basic requirement checklist) that let you learn your desired techniques and tools of the trade. So, apart from helping you with fast-track, effective learning programs, data bootcamps also offer you the flexibility in term of program choices, duration, mode of learning etc. But what to do if you are concerned about the big amount of money that you need to invest into such data bootcamps?

3.4- Should the high cost of data bootcamps deter you?

The answer is a resounding “No”. If you’re thinking of attending data bootcamps, you should be already aware that they virtually always cost money, and often, a big amount of money that can go up to $16,000 (or even more) in case of some highly rated and extremely popular ones.

However, you may also find some others that are usually called “fellowships” and could be offered for free to the qualified candidates. But be ready to face a tough and intense competition as typically, some of the brightest minds compete to get an entry to such fellowship programs. You can also search online to find data bootcamps that may offer financing options for candidates who can’t afford to pay the total amount at one go.

And if you’re wondering whether paying a big amount of money for a reliable and reputed data bootcamp is really worth it, we would say it is indeed. After all, if you choose your bootcamp carefully, it would deliver you the results that are a few times more than the cost you pay to get it done.

Final takeaway

We hope that will all this information, you’ve a got better understanding of data bootcamps and are in a better position make a wise choice. The field of data science is booming and the appeal of positions like data scientists is eliciting a great level of interest, compelling people across disciplines to maneuver into the field. In this scenario, data bootcamps are surely a fantastic option for aspiring data scientists to take their career to the next level.

However, you should be extremely careful before joining a program and consider every aspect in terms of how it can help you accomplish your goal. Some data bootcamps tend to communicate that the program is a high-reward, low-risk one, which may not be exactly accurate. So, keep in mind the above factors and do some more research if you want to be sure of the probable outcome because the situation may not take long to become convoluted if something goes wrong.


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To learn more about data science, click here and read our another article.

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