Data literacy is a crucial but rare trait to have for any modern-day business. When shopping for training courses and in-person certificate programs for data science, however, you may notice a common constraint: time. Pick a random bootcamp, and chances are, it will last 8 to 12 weeks. Long-term degree programs are still ideal for job-seekers aspiring to become full-time data scientists, but for those seeking immediate application of data science, months of instruction is a hard sell. But data science, of course, is a complex field. Learning anything substantial about it must take months, right?
Actually, there's an alternative.
Short-duration bootcamps can condense the essential theories, techniques, and tools behind data science into a fraction of the instruction time. Here are 7 reasons why you should prioritize short-duration options when searching for in-person data science courses, like Data Science Dojo, which distills everything you need to get started with data science in just 5 days.
1: Escape the plight of the full-time worker
No matter how cool your employer is, few bosses will allow their employees to take an entire quarter off for training. The shorter the course is, the easier it fits into your existing work schedule. Any instructor worth their salt can cover the full data pipeline in a week, letting you return to your job without skipping a beat. Between your professional and personal obligations, aren't you already busy enough?
Don't put your life on hold to learn data science.
"I have several great ideas of how to apply these learnings at my company. I feel confident that I can put some of these concepts to use right away."
-Michelle (Garret) Scarbrough, BCA Core Estimating Data Scientist at Boeing
2: Don't hire data scientists; give data science to your hires
People are waking up to the reality that working with data science does not require becoming a data scientist.
Employees that have worked at a company for years are brimming with the domain experience needed to apply data science to their own areas of expertise. Compare an industry veteran picking up new techniques to a fresh-faced full-time data scientist that needs to play catch-up with the company they were hired to help. Short-duration training enables current employees to jump right back into the thick of things, emboldened by a newfound sense of direction. When they return to their job, they might just save the company six figures a year.
"I have never learned so much practical knowledge in a week. I can go back to work and begin adding value with these new skills immediately."
-Matt Digel, Pricing Business Analyst at Nike
3: The price of education shouldn't bankrupt you
Courses with high time investment come with high price tags. Every extra day at a bootcamp adds additional cost in ways you may not immediately notice. Labor, food, technology, venue fees, textbooks...every little facet of the education process stacks up until the price per person has ballooned to tens of thousands of dollars. You don't need to be a data scientist to do the math in this situation: one week costs less than twelve. Have mercy on your bank account and look for shorter duration options.
"Great value for money. It was great bootcamp, intense and with lots of supportive material and good instructors."
-Marcio Fernandes, Outbound Logistics at LG Electronics
4: Keep your train of thought on the rails
Have you ever studied for a final exam in a difficult class, only to realize you've completely forgotten the fundamentals learned at the start of the semester?
Human memory is remarkable, but when your stream of learning is sidelined by multiple shifts in context and topics across multiple months, no one can blame you for losing track. You can retain the fundamentals of a topic much more easily when learned over a short period of time, and in data science, the fundamentals are critical to success.
"The focus on fundamentals and foundation over specific usage was incredibly helpful, as I feel that is what is required to build intuition!"
-Ryan DeMartino, Process Engineering Manager at Exide Technologies
5: When everyone can attend, expect to network with anyone
A cheaper, shorter bootcamp is objectively more accessible to a wider range of people. As such, expect individuals from all walks of life to take the seat next to you. Data Science Dojo has instructed everyone from tech CEOs, to graphic designers, to Trader Joe's clerks, to eminent domain lawyers—and each of them has brought something new to the table. A more accessible course leads to more networking opportunities for more veterans in more industries.
"Different people can get different insights from this bootcamp. You can get an opportunity to communicate and network with people from different backgrounds."
-Yunfeng Chen, Assistant Professor at Georgia Southern University
6: Avoid getting caught in the web
The internet is a treasure trove of information, which gives it great promise as a tool for learning. In practice, however, web-based data science training simply doesn't work. Direct instruction, peer interaction, and in-person engagement are the keys to absorbing data science fundamentals in such a short time. To learn on the web what you would learn in-person, expect to stretch one week into several to truly grasp and retain that knowledge. Take your education offline and save months of effort, potentially going nowhere.
"Before the bootcamp, I went to teach myself machine learning and it didn’t so well with the time constraint. I didn’t see good explanation of fundamentals out there in internet. After attending this bootcamp, I learned a lot and it helped me to do things myself.”
-Niket Patel, Staff Developer at John Deere
7: Don't worry; this is only the beginning
A bootcamp is not the end-all, be-all of your learning. No course is so incredible that it gives you the perfect skill set to solve the problems you're interested in. Ideally, a technical training program should provide a solid foundation, and then turn you loose to start applying that foundation in the real world. To that end, don't treat your bootcamp like something it's not. Use it as a short-term stepping stone to get you where you need to go, and then explore.
"If only there are more lecturers and instructors like these – back in those days when I was still working on my degree. Thanks for enlightening my journey and it is definitely just the beginning."
-Ee Wa Tan, Associate Director at ANZ
Data Science Dojo offers a short-duration, in-person data science training program that has served over 3,100 aspiring data scientists from 550+ companies, globally. The training covers the fundamentals with the right balance of theory and practice that gets attendees started with practical data science in just five days.
As the leader in short-duration data science bootcamps, Data Science Dojo pledges to promote data science fluency without holding you back. Time, cost, and accessibility should be no barrier to knowledge.
Data science is for everyone, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
This post was sponsored by Data Science Dojo.