Data Science Bootcamp Spotlight

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by Christina Payne

Published March 7, 2022

Edited by Madison Hoehn
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Data science bootcamps offer in-depth classes with hands-on experience for professionals looking to advance their current data science careers or find their first jobs in the industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 25% growth for operations research analysts from 2020-2030, much faster than the national average.

This guide will explore a data science professional's experience attending a bootcamp. This piece falls within a series of interviews that feature bootcamp graduates with careers in tech. Readers can learn more about how a bootcamp can prepare graduates for real-world data science work and job hunting.

Who Is Our Data Science Bootcamp Graduate?

Alexandra Phelan is the lead product data scientist at Stash, a personal finance app. She holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Manhattan College and completed the data science bootcamp at Metis, graduating from the program in 2017. Phelan found her first data science career at Stash in 2018.

Through her position at Stash, Phelan leverages the power of data science and analytics to drive impact. Her work helps forward Stash's mission to simplify investing, helping everyday Americans build wealth and achieve their financial goals.

The Data Science Bootcamp Experience

Data science bootcamps help students build practical skills in coding, data analytics, and data visualization. These programs often employ teachers with real-world data science experience and create hands-on projects to cover fundamental material in this field.

Data science bootcamps are designed to help professionals find new careers or advance current careers in data science — often spending less time and money than for a traditional degree program. Bootcamps offer many learning options, including part-time and full-time courses and remote learning. Students will learn how to navigate data science principles individually and in a team.

Many of these bootcamps also provide students with access to career services, including resume review, interview prep, and career counseling.

The data science bootcamp at Metis provided invaluable career services to Phelan. "During the bootcamp, there were workshops on everything from resume writing, networking, salary negotiation, and mock interviews with alumni," she explained.

Phelan also benefited from Metis' alumni network and relationships with tech companies. The bootcamp maintained a job board and continued to offer career support services for all program graduates during their job searches.

Data Science Careers After Metis

The Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR) found that around 79% of bootcamp graduates are employed in their field 180 days after graduation, on average. The CIRR collected this data from 46 bootcamps between January and June 2019, using only verified data and statistics.

Graduates should take advantage of all career services offered by their bootcamp to find a job in their field. Bootcamps often have connections to tech companies and alumni networks that can help students find interview opportunities. Some bootcamps may also offer career advisors and interview prep courses to prepare graduates for their career search.

At Metis, Phelan used career services throughout her job search process. "[Metis] connected me with The Tech Ladies, whose job board was beyond helpful during my job search. I was able to land several great offers and was thrilled to join my top choice, Stash."

Phelan said that she relies on the skills she learned at Metis in her job. "The work I do is done via the technical skills I learned, such as coding with Python and SQL, data cleaning and analysis, and machine learning, as well as the soft skills learned, such as communicating data stories to stakeholders and maintaining a business mindset in … projects."

Advice From a Coding Bootcamp Graduate

Readers considering a career change into the tech industry or hoping to advance their current tech career should look into a coding bootcamp. Potential factors for readers to think about when choosing a bootcamp include:

Readers should also research what skills they hope to learn, as the skills developed in a bootcamp can directly impact their future careers. After her graduation from Metis, Phelan used the concepts she learned in the bootcamp directly in her tech career.

"I partner with teams across the organization to use these insights and data products to make impactful decisions, develop strategy, set objectives, and measure success," explained Phelan. "I am constantly leaning on and improving the skills I learned at the bootcamp."

Frequently Asked Questions About Cybersecurity Careers

Are coding bootcamps worth it?

Coding bootcamps are helpful for students looking to gain tech skills quickly. These programs typically take less time and cost less money than a college degree program. Many bootcamps also provide career services and networking opportunities to help students find a job in the tech industry after graduation.

To determine if a bootcamp is worth it, readers should assess what skills they want to learn and research different bootcamp programs to see what might work for them. As bootcamps become more common, more employers are accepting bootcamp graduates for tech positions.

How is data science different from data analytics?

Many bootcamps recognize the difference between data science and data analytics. Professionals in data science find the answers to problems by interpreting data and/or developing new ways to interpret data. Data scientists use mathematical skills like writing algorithms and building statistical models.

Data analytics is a more specialized field. These professionals identify, store, and interpret data — including making predictions from large data sets. Unlike data science, data analytics does not require as much programming or machine learning.

Do data science jobs pay well?

According to the BLS, computer and information research scientists earned a median annual salary of $126,830 in 2020. In the same year, operations research analysts earned a median annual salary of $86,200. By comparison, the median annual salary for all computer and information technology careers was $91,250 in 2020.

Bootcamps help aspiring data scientists earn the skills they need to enter the tech industry or advance their current position. Readers should research salary potential for bootcamp graduates as they explore bootcamp options in data science.

Feature Image: Trevor Williams / DigitalVision / Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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