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.
Thomas Kassel, 2017 NYC Data Science Academy graduate and now Senior Data Scientist at Carbon Lighthouse, shared; “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.”.
At NYC Data Science Academy, this constant communication is present through tools such as Slack and Zoom. They also embedded the ability for students to post discussions and questions in a learning management system, enabling them to dive further into the materials along with their peers. Fostering engagement helps 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. For example, NYC Data Science Academy offers two options for prospective students, a full-time and a part-time track. They created both bootcamps with the same rigor and expertise as their in-person bootcamp to ensure that the quality of learning for students is uncompromised. The 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 NYCDSA’s partner organizations. These projects enable students to create a data science portfolio that demonstrates the knowledge and skills they have accumulated throughout the bootcamp.
Jun Kui Chen, 2017 graduate shared the following sentiments about his experience with NYCDSA’s online 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.”
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.
NYC Data Science Academy’s online bootcamp students benefit from a wide array of teaching resources, including access to online instructors and subject matter-focused mentors who can discuss coursework, projects, and career advice. NYCDSA created a dedicated online meeting portal where students can find and reserve a time with a mentor who specializes in the topic they require assistance 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 the NYC Data Science Academy 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 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. Chung-Hsuan Huang, a 2019 graduate and now a Data Scientist at Bayer shared; “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!”
The goal of NYC Data Science Academy’s 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 NYCDSA’s job placement support and resources, which are readily available to all 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, whereas NYC Data Science Academy’s online bootcamp is already proven, and was designed to be digital from its inception.
For two years in a row, Switchup has awarded NYC Data Science Academy’s online bootcamp the Best Online Data Science Bootcamp, indicating that courses have successfully combined the flexibility of online learning with the rigorous curriculum that is expected from a comparable 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. In the case of NYC Data Science Academy, their admissions team is readily available to answer your questions and get you started on your data science journey. Visit nycdatascience.com or book a call with the admissions team to learn how NYC Data Science Academy can help you build a rewarding career in data science!