Are Data Science Bootcamps Worth It?

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A data science bootcamp is an intensive program that teaches you the skills you need to become a professional data scientist. If you’re thinking about a career in data science, a bootcamp is the quickest way to get the education and training you need so you can start your new career quickly. Some of what you will learn includes basics of Python, machine learning, coding, statistics, A/B testing, and linear regression, to name a few. 

Because this is such an intensive program — as little as 15 weeks — it’s not fit for everyone, but if you’re willing to work hard, the benefits are great. Plus, some bootcamps even offer flexible pacing options to fit any schedule, especially people who need to keep working a full-time job while completing a data science bootcamp.

What are the benefits of data science bootcamps?

Data science bootcamps have a lot of benefits. For starters, the program is more affordable and less time-consuming than a traditional bachelor’s program in a similar field. Bootcamps can also be completed either on a full-time or part-time basis allowing for more flexibility and adaptive learning. Additionally, these programs often offer career services that can be crucial in landing a job after graduating from the program.

The pros and cons of data science bootcamps

Pros of data science bootcamp

  • It gets you ready for a new career

  • Build your professional network

  • Gain skills that are in high demand

  • Affordable and can be done part-time

  • Many have career services and job search assistance

  • Ready-made professional network

Cons of data science bootcamp

  • Less focus on statistics than traditional college programs

  • Intense, long hours, for a few months, if going the full-time route

  • Lack of access to federal financial aid

  • Can be extremely fast-paced 

  • There are still a few HR managers who require or at least expect a computer science degree

How much will I make after completing a data science bootcamp?

According to Course Report, the data job market is growing. And the average salary for data science analysts is $80,000.

As a bootcamp graduate, you may start in an entry-level role with a lower starting salary than what is listed below. But if you’re considering a career in data science, this will give you an idea of the potential earning income. 

According to Course Report, the data job market is growing. And the average salary for data science analysts is $80,000

Average Data Scientist salary in...

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Will a data science bootcamp get you a job?

74%-90% of bootcamp graduates land a job within six months of graduation

Yes. In fact, 74% to 90% of bootcamp graduates land a job within six months of graduation. 

If you’re wondering what employers think of data science bootcamp grads, the answer is positive. According to Indeed, 72% of employers say bootcamp grads are just as prepared to succeed as computer science grads and are even just as likely to be high performers. In that same survey, 12% of respondents think bootcamp grads are more prepared.  

The bottom line is that many employers look at bootcamp grads very favorably. You can expect to be hired anywhere from a major company to a smaller startup. 

Another benefit of a bootcamp is that the curriculum is constantly refined to match industry demands, which makes bootcamp graduates quite marketable when looking for a job. 

Finally, many bootcamps offer career coaching services to assist during your job search.  

So is a data science bootcamp worth it?

A data science bootcamp is worth it if you want to start a career in data science in the shortest amount of time possible. As opposed to going to college for four years, a data science bootcamp will get you on the path to a new job much quicker. 

Most data science bootcamps require you to be at least 18 years old and have completed high school. So, if that’s not you, a data science bootcamp won’t be the right fit for you. But, if you’re willing to work hard, and have approximately 50 hours per week that you can dedicate to your bootcamp, it’s a great option. 

Either way, make sure you do your research to know if this is the best program for you and your goals. 

How to prepare for a data science bootcamp

Starting a new career is a big deal. So is choosing the right bootcamp to support your career goals. To make the most of this experience, find the program that interests you most based on curriculum, timeline, preferred specialty, and your own goals. 

Before you start the process, it helps to identify your goals and what specialty you want to focus on and, ultimately, what you want to achieve in your career. 

Once you’ve applied and have started your bootcamp, take advantage of all that is offered with tuition such as expert instructors, guest speakers, and collaborating with classmates during your time in the program. Feedback is key to learning and collaborating so you can master the hard skills in your program. 

Leading up to and upon completion, it is all about the job search. Put together a realistic timeline and work with your program’s career services to best figure out the next steps upon graduation. 

Ultimately, your data science bootcamp experience is what you make of it. You can cater it towards your lifestyle and time but most importantly be prepared to work hard and take advantage of the resources and technical experts available to you during the program. 

How do I choose the right bootcamp?

As mentioned above, bootcamps are worth it when you find one that is best to fit your needs. 

take a free lesson in Python, word cloud & frequency tables, or binomial distribution

Here are a few factors to keep in mind when choosing a bootcamp:

  • Make sure the curriculum is in line with your career goals and interests. You can also dabble in some free introductory workshops to get some experience and see if it is right for you.

  • Check to see if the program has an alumni network, student study groups, and general networking opportunities. 

  • Does the bootcamp offer part-time and full-time options? Some bootcamps even provide flexible pacing programs that you can easily work around your schedule. This is especially helpful if you need to maintain a job while you are also enrolled in a bootcamp. 

  • Finally, choose a bootcamp that provides career services. For most people, the goal of completing a bootcamp is to get placed into a full-time job following graduation. With the help of career services on campus or online, this process can become a lot less scary and cumbersome to navigate.

Overall, it is up to you to decide whether a data science bootcamp is right for you. If you want to change your career at the pace of your own life with no fluff in the course content, and you are a hustler and willing to put in the work, you are likely to succeed. And, of course, to choose the bootcamp that feels like the right fit for you. 

Check out the curriculum for the data science bootcamp at Flatiron School. Book a 10-minute chat with admissions to see if it’s a good fit for you. 

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Katie Gillen

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