5 Must-Have Qualities Of An Online Data Science Bootcamp
As bootcamps transition virtually during this unprecedented time, many in-person only bootcamps are just beginning to adapt their programs to fit the online learning space. In contrast, other bootcamps, like NYC Data Science Academy (NYCDSA), have already operated premier virtual learning programs and are prepared now more than ever to teach students online.
With plenty of virtual programs to choose from, prospective students are challenged by deciding which bootcamp is the right for them. Here are five factors that all prospective students should explore in selecting an online bootcamp that best aligns with their goals.
1. Interaction with Fellow Online Students
Enhancing class communication is one of the key methods to ensuring that online students get the most out of their virtual learning experience. When bootcamps place the interactivity between students and their teaching resources at the forefront of their learning experience, the students are advantaged with a more active and engaging learning experience.
“The recurring meetings with my dedicated teaching assistant and fellow students were a crucial component for keeping me and my peers accountable and engaged throughout the bootcamp,” says Thomas Kassel, 2017 graduate and now a Senior Data Scientist at Carbon Lighthouse.
This constant communication is present in our online bootcamp through tools such as Slack and Zoom. We also embedded the ability for our students to post discussions and questions in our learning management system, enabling them to dive further into the materials along with their peers. Fostering engagement helps our students complete the often rigorous and stressful months of the online bootcamp.
2. Uncompromised Learning Experience
Learning may vary depending on which online bootcamp you join as we offer two options for prospective students, a full-time and a part-time track. We created both bootcamps with the same rigor and expertise as our in-person bootcamp to ensure that the quality of learning for our students is uncompromised. Our online bootcamps apply the same project-based approach and robust curriculum that teaches topics on both Python and R, two major programming languages that are widely used by data scientists in the field today. The students reinforce their learning by completing four hands-on projects tackling real-world challenges provided by our partner organizations. These projects enable our students to create a data science portfolio that demonstrates the knowledge and skills they have accumulated throughout the bootcamp.
“I decided to join the NYC Data Science Academy because it offered a very competitive curriculum that included Python, R, SQL, Spark, Hadoop, and Hive. The projects we did, which include R Shiny app, web scraping, machine learning, and a final capstone project, are a good portfolio that students can present to potential employers and those skills can be directly applied to work,” Jun Kui Chen, 2017 graduate says about his experience with our online bootcamp.
3. Assistance from Instructors and Mentors
While data science is an in-demand field, the challenging topics can often be tough to understand and digest for many students. Receiving reliable support from data science experts is crucial to complete the series of lectures, homework assignments, and projects.
Our online bootcamp students can benefit from our wide array of teaching resources, including access to our online instructors and subject matter-focused mentors who can discuss coursework, projects, and career advice. We created a dedicated online meeting portal where our students can find and book a time with a mentor who specializes in the topic that they want to get help with. These mentors are practicing data science professionals working at leading companies, including PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Unilever, Vanguard, and National Grid.
4. Individualized Job Placement Support
Similar to traditional, higher education programs, most online bootcamps provide job placement support to graduates of their programs. What differentiates our job placement support is the lifetime array of career assistance available to both in-person and online bootcamp alumni. This includes one-on-one resume reviews, interview prep, and exclusive access to our career workshops and networking events.
Students enroll in online bootcamps to create a path for themselves to transition their careers or advance in their current field. “I was suspicious if a bootcamp can make me transit into a data scientist when I looked for a data scientist bootcamp. However, I found a great job a month after I finished the bootcamp. This program is worth the hard work I put in,” shares Chung-Hsuan Huang, 2019 graduate and now a Data Scientist at Bayer.
The goal of our career services team is to help individuals like Chung-Hsuan connect with the right people in the field and to showcase his competencies to prospective employers. This goal is present in all facets of our job placement support and resources, which are readily available to all of our students.
5. Proven Track Record
The distinction between a well-planned online bootcamp and classroom-first bootcamp that was forced to adapt can be sizable. Many bootcamps are just starting to develop their online programs to adapt to the market need for virtual learning quickly. Our online bootcamp is one that is already proven as it is designed to be digital from its inception.
For two years in a row, Switchup has awarded our online bootcamp the Best Online Data Science Bootcamp as we have successfully combined the flexibility of online learning with the rigorous curriculum that is expected from our in-person bootcamp. This proven track record is based on student reviews that cover curriculum, job support, cost, job outcomes, and overall quality.
Once you have honed in on the bootcamp of your choice, we recommend that you get in touch with the right people who can help you navigate through the admissions process. Our admissions team is readily available to answer your questions and get you started on your data science journey.