Best 2021 Online Data Science Bootcamps

10 Top Schools: Rankings, Reviews, and Courses

By: The SwitchUp Team
Last Updated: September 21, 2020
2021 Best Data Science Bootcamps Badge

In today’s technology-driven economy, data scientists have become a hot commodity, which is why the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 15% bump in demand for trained data scientists over the next decade. Motivated job-seekers who have the right skills will find themselves well-positioned to fill these emerging roles. Thus, taking an online data science bootcamp can be a relatively quick and convenient way to master in-demand tools like Python, R, or SQL and to gain the kind of hands-on experience managers want to see in data science job candidates.

Since SwitchUp began ranking bootcamps in 2014, we’ve become a reliable resource for those who want to identify their best online bootcamp options. Every program on our ranked list of online data science bootcamps, below, has been thoroughly reviewed by at least 10 students, and only those that have earned a minimum 4 out of 5 stars have made the cut. Click here to see our full rankings methodology or continue reading for more information about educational and career opportunities in data science.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Data Science Bootcamps

Are online data science bootcamps worth it?

Online data science bootcamps are a fast and efficient way to learn hard skills necessary for a position in the field. Students at many bootcamps learn from industry professionals, receive career support, build portfolios, and learn how to demonstrate their abilities when interviewing for positions. These benefits are often what make it worth it for students.

There are a wide variety of online options available for those interested in data science, and enrolling in an online program enables students to earn new credentials in a convenient way. Although program costs and time commitments may vary, most intensive bootcamps that provide students with a solid foundation in data science will also be a significant financial investment. Fully immersive online data science bootcamps can cost $7,500 to $18,000 and can take up to nine months to finish. These are a great choice for those who are serious about seeking a position in the field, or who need to learn these skills for their current job. There are also shorter, more affordable options available for people looking to learn specific skills or programs within data science, or who may be interested in the field but not ready to commit to an intensive bootcamp. Prospective students weighing their options should consider their professional goals, motivations, and how much time and money they are able to commit when considering enrolling in a data science bootcamp.

Are there any free online data science bootcamps?

While there are not many free online data science bootcamps available, there are free or low-cost individual courses students can take to brush up on specific skills or programs. Some bootcamps, such as Flatiron School, offer free data science prep courses for students to get familiar with programming tools and prepare for a fully-immersive program. Other bootcamps offer Income Share Agreements, where students agree to pay a portion of their salary once they’re hired rather than pay tuition during their studies. Prospective students looking for an introduction to data science without enrolling in a bootcamp can see our guide to the best online data science courses for a list of free or low-cost courses.

What will you learn at an online data science bootcamp?

Coursework will vary depending on the program, but a comprehensive data science bootcamp will teach students how to gather and analyze data to provide insights, answer questions, and make decisions. A solid understanding of Python or R programming is essential for data science, and many programs offer introductory courses in these programming languages to prepare students for intensive bootcamps. Common program topics include machine learning, data visualization, Python programming, SQL, and statistical analysis. Students will also get the opportunity to apply their knowledge in hands-on projects throughout the program and create a portfolio of their work to use when pursuing jobs in the industry.

What jobs can you get after an online data science bootcamp?

Professionals are needed to gather and interpret data in nearly every industry. Your level of education may determine what roles you are eligible for, but many companies value experience and hard skills over formal education. Data science bootcamp graduates can seek internships or positions as data scientists, who earn $113,309 per year, or data analysts, who make $62,453 per year on average. Those with programming experience may also be interested in a position as a data engineer. While similar to data scientists, data engineers design, build, and manage data systems to ensure they work properly and are optimized for analysis. Data engineers earn $102,864 per year, on average.

SwitchUp Rankings Methodology

SwitchUp's rankings are based on over 20,000 reviews from verified students and alumni, across over 500 bootcamps in operation. Because student and alumni feedback and ratings are indicative of bootcamp quality, rankings are ordered by review score. If bootcamps have the same review score, bootcamps with more reviews are ranked higher to break the tie. The order of the ranking is based on data at the time of publishing, but the ratings and review counts will change as more reviews come in.

To be considered for the 2021 rankings, bootcamps must help students land jobs in tech through excellent instructor support, curriculum, and career resources; each review left on SwitchUp evaluates the bootcamp on all of these aspects.

All bootcamps considered for the best online data science ranking were required to meet the following criteria at the time of publication:

  • Offer an immersive or part-time data science program that is completely online
  • Have at least 10 verified reviews of online data science programs
  • For those online data science program reviews, average at least 4/5 stars

Please see our full ranking methodology to see requirements for other rankings.

Bootcamp Highlights

Looking for a school with specific qualities? We've awarded merit badges to schools in several key areas:

Available Online

Offer either part-time or immersive courses that are available online. This includes courses that are offered temporarily online due to COVID-19.

Verified Outcomes

Offer a job outcomes report that was independently verified by a third-party auditor.

Flexible Classes

Offer self-paced, part-time, or evening classes.

Job Guarantee

Offer guaranteed job placement after graduation, or the student's tuition is refunded. Visit the official school site for related terms and conditions.

GI Bill

Approved to accept GI Bill funds according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

VET TEC Provider

Approved as a VET TEC Provider according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

References

  1. Hale, J. (2019). The Most In-Demand Tech Skills for Data Scientists. [online] Towards Data Science. Available at: https://towardsdatascience.com/the-most-in-demand-tech-skills-for-data-scientists-d716d10c191d [Accessed 11 September 2020].
  2. Data Analyst Salaries. [online] Glassdoor. Available at: https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/data-analyst-salary-SRCH_KO0,12.htm [Accessed 8 Sept. 2020].
  3. Data Engineer Salaries. [online] Glassdoor. Available at: https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/data-engineer-salary-SRCH_KO0,13.htm [Accessed 8 Sept. 2020].
  4. Data Scientist Salaries. [online] Glassdoor. Available at: https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/data-scientist-salary-SRCH_KO0,14.htm [Accessed 8 Sept. 2020].
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