The Best Path to a Career in Data Science

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In our blog, “The Best Path To A Career In Software Development,” we looked at how bootcamps provide a more direct path to a career than traditional undergraduate CS degree programs. Today we’re here to talk to you about how bootcamps provide a more direct path to a career in data science than a Master’s Degree. 

“But don’t I need a degree to get a job as a data scientist?” As a non-traditional educational model, we hear this concern a lot. The answer is yes and no. Yes, because most jobs in data science require some form of higher education. No, because that degree doesn’t have to be in something related to data science – data scientists have degrees in many different areas of study! So if the concern that lacking a piece of paper will prevent you from accelerating your career, fear no more.

While a Master’s Degree provides a lot of value, it isn’t the most direct path for a job. With the exponential growth in data generation and the race to keep up with storing and processing that data, data science no longer sits at the fringe of an ultra-specialized workforce. Companies now need much larger teams to analyze, model, and leverage the data they’ve collected. So while the field of data science might have once only been available to those skilled in highly academic algorithm development, it’s now a playground for those with some Python skills who know how to find valuable insights in a mess of data. 

 

Now let’s get a bit more specific. If modern roles in data science demand more practical skills, why is a bootcamp a better path?

 

#1: Responsive curriculum: Barely 10 years ago nobody had heard of data science. But in that short amount of time, the tools and technologies in the field have grown exponentially. Each year sees the introduction of new packages, visualization tools, and cutting edge technologies. With such a rapidly evolving landscape, it’s hard for traditional learning environments to keep pace. With our ears tuned directly to employers, we’re able to adapt quickly and ensure we’re teaching what hiring managers need.

 

#2 Hands-on Project-Based Learning: Have you ever watched Top Chef or The Great British Bake Off? You were probably pretty entertained, but how did that seared Ahi Tuna with orange mint avocado salsa and balsamic vinegar reduced amuse-bouche turn out? The sad reality is, watching experts do their thing doesn’t make you an expert. Nor does listening to lectures. Our program is built around the concept of praxis, which is essentially the practical application of theory, or the blending of theory and practice. Half of your 670 program hours are spent actually writing code, so you develop the muscle memory and experience of programming. A career in data science is like an old-time trade, like becoming a blacksmith: you have to learn from masters and practice, practice, practice. 

 

#3 Progressive Curriculum Structure: In a traditional degree, students study by taking several classes at a time. You may begin with data structures and algorithms, then move to SQL, then take Python, and so on. But real-world data science doesn’t work so neatly. You will never face a project where you’re only working with one of those tools, so this pedagogical method is misaligned with career demands. Our program focuses on real-world deliverables at every step of the journey, while exposing you to increasingly complex problems and projects. You start off applying basic tools to simple challenges. Then, we begin varying the data sets, the way you access that data, the type of methodology you use, and the deliverable you’re responsible for. To put it simply, the structure of a traditional degree teaches you how to use a hammer, a saw, and a chisel. Codeup teaches you how to build a stool, a birdbox, and a sculpture with those tools, and when to use which. 

 

#4 Job Placement Services: If education is your goal, stop reading now. If a career is your goal, then you’re in the right place. Most graduate institutions have career service offices where you can get advice on your resume and attend job fairs. But Codeup makes you a promise: get a job after graduation or get 100% of your money back. There are no two ways about that: our singular focus is your outcome. Unlike traditional institutions, we sell jobs, not education. 

 

#5 Messy Data: This is probably the most important difference between us and traditional degrees. We use real, messy, misleading, broken data so you learn how to draw insights from the real thing. Unfortunately, that is not the norm. Because of the segmented class structure, traditional degrees have to focus on using data that teach one specific skill. At Codeup, you’re always applying your tools to a real deliverable, so we’re able to use real data sets that intersect the challenges of multiple skills. 

 

Lastly, we encourage you to think about the return on your investment in your education.

Codeup*Private Master’s
  • $27,500
  • 5 months
  • 85% graduation rate
  • 88%  employment rate
  • $67,500 median starting salary
  • $62,280
  • 18-24 months
  • 61% graduation rate
  • 72.5% employment rate
  • $59,866 median starting salary

*read more on our outcomes

 

Most importantly, the opportunity cost of pursuing a master’s degree is equal to 13-19 months of employment. At a median salary of $67,500 from Codeup, that’s between $67,500-$101,250 in foregone earnings. 

So, you want a career in data science? A career accelerator like Codeup is the path for you. Still not convinced? We’re here to hear your concerns – contact us and let’s talk it through.

Codeup’s Data Science Career Accelerator is Here!

Data Science description and diagram | Code Tech Bootcamp

The rumors are true! The time has arrived. Codeup has officially opened applications to our new Data Science career accelerator, with only 25 seats available! This immersive program is one of a kind in San Antonio, and will help you land a job in Glassdoor’s #1 Best Job in America.

Data Science is a method of providing actionable intelligence from data. The data revolution has hit San Antonio, resulting in an explosion in Data Scientist positions across companies like USAA, Accenture, Booz Allen Hamilton, and HEB. We’ve even seen UTSA invest $70 M for a Cybersecurity Center and School of Data Science. We built a program to specifically meet the growing demands of this industry.

Our program will be 18 weeks long, full-time, hands-on, and project-based. Our curriculum development and instruction is led by Senior Data Scientist, Maggie Giust, who has worked at HEB, Capital Group, and Rackspace, along with input from dozens of practitioners and hiring partners. Students will work with real data sets, realistic problems, and the entire data science pipeline from collection to deployment. They will receive professional development training in resume writing, interviewing, and continuing education to prepare for a smooth transition to the workforce.

We focus on applied data science for immediate impact and ROI in a business, which is how we can back it all up with a 6 month tuition refund guarantee – just like our existing Web Dev program. We’re focusing on Data Science with Python, SQL, and ML, covered in 14 modules: 1) Fundamentals; 2) Applied statistics; 3) SQL; 4) Python; 5) Supervised machine learning – regression; 6) Supervised machine learning – classification; 7) Unsupervised machine learning – clustering; 8) Time series analysis; 9) Anomaly detection; 10) Natural language processing; 11) Distributed machine learning; 12) Advanced topics (deep learning, NoSQL, cloud deployment, etc.); 13) Storytelling with data; and 14) Domain expertise development.

Applications are now open for Codeup’s first Data Science cohort, which will start class on February 4, 2019. Hurry – there are only 25 seats available! To further our mission of cultivating inclusive growth, scholarships will be available to women, minorities, LGBTQIA+ individuals, veterans, first responders, and people relocating to San Antonio.

If you want to learn about joining our program or hiring our graduates, email datascience@codeup.com!

ITT Tech Closes, New Model of Education Rises

ITT Tech Closes, New Model of Education Rises

A New Model of Education

The recent closure of ITT Tech highlights the time barriers, financial risk, and poor career prospects that are finally catching up with the traditional for-profit education industry. So what can students do instead?

Forbes Magazine ranked San Antonio as the American city with the 15th highest rate of job growth in 2015 – no surprise given our city’s recent swell in tech and entrepreneurship. The boom has created a mismatch between a surplus of available jobs for developers and a shortage of local technical talent. Codeup, a career accelerator for new software developers, has begun bridging that gap by training 267 developers and creating $5.8 million in new tech salaries since 2013.

Codeup is different from traditional models of continued education. Four-year universities and two-year technical schools often no longer serve students’ needs. The recent closure of ITT Tech, one of the nation’s largest for-profit educational institutions, is a great example. Tuition at schools like ITT Tech, DeVry, and Kaplan is high ($45,000 – $90,000), they have been found to use predatory lending practices, and they rank highest among colleges that leave students in the most debt. Graduates of ITT Tech San Antonio who received federal financial aid earned an average salary of only $38,400 ten years after completion, just barely above the national average for the category. Their overwhelming time commitment, high tuition fees, and limited career support make it hard for students to complete degrees and advance their careers.

ITT Tech Closes, Another Door Opens…

Given the decline of these diploma mills and a changing jobscape, other forms of education have exploded. The new reality is that the traditional college student archetype is now a minority, while demands for alternative, dynamic educational models are only increasing. Students need a better way to enter the workforce with relevant technical skills.  

As a four-month intensive career accelerator, Codeup offers something special: a place where students can find like-minded peers and launch a new career. Our classroom-based program turns non-techies into software developers. In addition to excellent technical instruction, students receive one-on-one career guidance and gain opportunities to connect with employers. If a graduate cannot find employment within 6 months, Codeup offers a tuition back guarantee. We partner with multiple reputable loan and grant partners to make financing easy, and also accepts GI benefits. Graduates have increased their salary by $17K in the first year on average.

In light of the recent closings of ITT Tech across the country, students should pause to reconsider their educational path choices. Codeup is San Antonio local, dedicated to providing students with community, professional independence, and technical literacy. Are traditional models the best option, or might Codeup offer something better?

If you want to learn more about that, call us. We’re always here to help!