June 23, 2016

What’s Hot This Summer: Data Science Bootcamps

Alex Woodie

Summer is here and temperatures are rising. While some of us take vacations or cool off at the beach, prospective data scientists are heating up their job prospects by participating in one of a growing number of data science bootcamps.

Bootcamps of all types are growing quickly. According to Course Report, a website that tracks bootcamps, the number of graduates from the country’s 91 full-time coding bootcamps will grow by 60 percent this year, increasing to 17,966 graduates accounting for $199 million in revenues.

While Course Report didn’t break bootcamp growth down by topic, data science is clearly one of the most popular bootcamp topics. Thanks to the ongoing shortage of data scientists, a growing number of people are turning to the structured programs to bolster their analytic skills, either to jumpstart their job prospects or as part of an employer-sponsored training.

There are a range of bootcamp options available, including fully immersive bootcamps that typically last eight to 12 weeks, part-time bootcamps that meet on weekends or evenings, hybrid bootcamps that combine in-person and online training, and fellowships.

Here are some of the bootcamps providing data science training and education.

Fully Immersive Bootcamps

Among the firms offering full length, in-person bootcamps is the NYC Data Science Academy. The New York City-based company runs 12-week data science bootcamps, which train students how to explore and model data using tools like R and Python, as well as six-week data engineer bootcamps, which focus on implementing big data applications on platforms like Hadoop and Spark.

shutterstock_datascience_pathdoc

(Pathdoc/Shutterstock)

NYC Data Science Academy says it’s seen enrollment increase by 34% so far in 2016 compared to last year. The company, which claims that 95% of graduates are hired as a data scientist within six months, is starting its next 12-week bootcamp on July 5. Additional bootcamps, which cost $16,000 each, are slated to start August 15th and September 26th.

Metis is also seeing growth with its series of data science bootcamps, which run 12 weeks and cover topics such as exploratory data analysis using tools like iPython, data cleansing, machine learning, data presentation, natural language processing, and use of NoSQL databases. Like many other bootcamps, Metis combines classroom instruction with hands-on data science work and a capstone project

Last month, the company, which is owned by 79-year old educational company Kaplan, announced that it’s launching a new data science bootcamp in Chicago, Illinois. The first bootcamp in the Windy City starts this next year (the company had originally hoped to start it this September, but the state of Illinois is unlikely to grant a license by then). The company currently runs 12-week data science bootcamps in New York City and San Francisco. Cost: $15,500.

General Assembly is also getting good traction with its data science bootcamps, which focus on analyzing data using Python and related tools. The company’s next 12-week course is slated to start in Los Angeles on September 6, and costs $14,500.

Another Python-focused 12-week bootcamp can be found from Galvanize. The company, which recently acquired a San Francisco-based bootcamp provider called Zipfian Academy, focuses instruction on topics like machine learning, statistics, and development of big data apps as part of a capstone project. Galvanize is starting bootcamps in Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, and Austin this summer, all of which cost $16,000.

New York-based RSquare Edge offers an “immersive” data science course through its 12-week Certified Data Analytics Practitioner (CDAP) program. The company claims CDAP “fills the gaps” in your resume and make you “instantly attractive to hiring managers.” The cost of such training: $19,500. The next cohort starts July 22.

BitBootCamp, which is also based in New York City, offers a combination of eight- and four-week bootcamps. The next eight-week data science cohort, which starts July 25 and costs $6,000, covers a range of big data topics, including vector mathematics, R, machine learning, Kafka, and fuzzy matching. It also offers a range of part-time evening courses, which run four weeks and cost $4,500.

Part-Time Bootcamps

If you can’t free eight or 12 weeks of your schedule for a full time bootcamp, there are a range of other data science engagements with shorter time commitments.

Bootcamp-style data science programs, such as GalvanizeU and General Assembly, are very popular

“That data pipeline won’t build itself, private!”

For example, Data Science Dojo runs a series of five-day bootcamps designed to familiarize participants with basic data science concepts. The immersive and hands-on courses are conducted on-site (the next one, in Seattle, starts July 11), but participants receives some online training ahead of time to prepare them. The cost is around $3,000 before discounts.

General Assembly also offers 11-week courses that meet only twice per week, usually in the evenings. These courses cost about $4,000.

Northeastern University also offers a series of data science bootcamps through its Level venture. The company is now enrolling students for its analytics courses, which start September 19 in Boston, Charlotte, Seattle, and Silicon Valley. Students have the option of taking an immersive eight-week in-person courses or 20-week “hybrid: courses that is conducted mostly online with one in-class meeting per week. Tuition for each is about $8,000.

BitBootCamp also offers a two week data science bootcamp that includes 32 hours of instruction spread across two weekends. The class covers topics like machine learning, SQL for analysis, and text mining. This course, which is held the weekends of August 13 and August 20, is held in Cleveland, Ohio and costs $3,500.

Another option is available from Continuum Analytics, which develops the Python-focused Anaconda analytic tools. Earlier this year Continuum launched Anaconda Skills Accelerator Program (ASAP), a three to four-month “finishing school” for prospective data scientists. A master’s degree is required to be considered for the class. The class costs $5,000 but students will receive a stipend as the work on their capstone project, which makes it more of an internship.

Fellowships

If you have a graduate degree in a quantitative field and would like to become a data scientist, you might want to check out one of a number of fellowship programs, which are typically free because they work closely with companies that want to hire the graduates.

(Lightspring/Shutterstock)

Fellowships can offer a bridge to data science from academia (Lightspring/Shutterstock)

Insight offers an “intensive” seven-week post-doctoral training fellowship. There is no fee to participate, but the bar to be accepted is quite high. More than 400 people have gone through Insight’s fellowships in Silicon Valley and New York City, and all of them have been placed in data science jobs. Applications for the next sessions, which start September 6, are due by next Monday.

The Data Incubator, which is affiliated with Cornell University, offers a free eight-week fellowship for people with master’s degrees in math and scientific fields. The coursework includes topics on Python and Hadoop, among others. Sessions are held in New York, Washington D.C., and the San Francisco Bay Area. The next session starts September 6.

Data Science, the Los Angeles-based consultancy that owns the industry’s most valuable domain name, launched a data science residency earlier this year. Called DS12, the 12-week program focuses on training prospective data scientists how to use big data technologies, such as Spark and Scala, against real-world data to solve real-world problems. The program is free (it actually pays a stipend) and is open to anybody with coding skills; master’s degree not required. The first DS12 program started June 12.

Silicon Valley Data Academy also offers a free residency for those who qualify. The eight-week program aims to take people who are already skilled in programming and databases to the next level.

Finally, Microsoft Research runs an eight-week Data Science Summer School each year in New York City. It’s too late to sign up for this summer’s session, which stated June 13. But the good news is it costs nothing to attend and even comes with a $5,000 stipend.

Bootcamps aren’t the only way to get a data science education. You can also enroll in a post graduate program or take a massively online open courses (MOOCs). But with a balance of in-person training (which graduate programs can offer but which MOOCs can’t) and shorter timescales (which MOOCs can offer but which graduate programs can’t), many are finding that bootcamps offer the ideal approach for obtaining data science skills that are valued in the real world.

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