Can anyone learn data science? What do you need to know before you go to data science bootcamp? Do you need a quantitative degree? We asked Metis’s Chief Data Scientist, Deborah Berebichez, how to know if you’re ready for a data science bootcamp, and how to set yourself up for success before the first day of class. Watch the video or read the summary.

 

Tip 1: Understand what you’re signing up for when you join a data science bootcamp

  • Consider your options:
    • A master's or undergraduate degree takes 2-4 years
    • If your goals are to get a job in industry quickly, a bootcamp is a great option. A bootcamp is an intensive 12-week course, where you emerge with practical skills.

 

  • You’ll learn these technical skills at a data science bootcamp:
    • The basic tools of dealing with data:
      • Web scraping
      • Github
      • Where to look for data
      • How to clean data
    • Algorithms:
      • Linear regression
      • Singular value decomposition
      • Machine learning – supervised and unsupervised
      • Deep learning
      • Big data

 

  • Wondering what Data Science looks like in the real world? Here’s an example: You use Facebook every day to keep in touch with friends. But Data Scientists at Facebook are building the algorithms to place ads, engage communities, and optimize newsfeeds.

 

Tip 2: A little preparation goes a long way

  • Before a data science bootcamp, you need a college-level understanding of:

    • Linear Algebra
    • Probability
    • Statistics
    • Calculus
    • Python

 

  • That doesn’t mean you need a college degree in those subjects. You can learn on your own:
    • Take online courses
    • Use a book like Learn Python the Hard Way

 

  • Other useful attributes for data science students:
    • Curiosity
    • Practical/technical abilities
    • Be able to gather data for analysis
    • Explain a project you’re interested in

 

Tip 3:  Embrace the data science attitude

  • Students at data science bootcamps come from varied backgrounds:

    • Mathematics
    • Economics
    • Journalism
    • Marketing
    • English
    • Banking
    • Healthcare

 

“Being a good data scientist means that you can turn data into actionable insights for business.”

 

  • More important than your background is your attitude. Successful data scientists master these three areas:
    • Use a computing language such as Python or R
    • Learn the math behind algorithms
    • Communicate insights to stakeholders

 

Tip 4: Set yourself up for success

“Let me be honest: a data science bootcamp is going to be hard!”

  • You need 3 elements to succeed:
    • Curiosity to analyze data
    • Grit to keep going
    • Passion to discover the world

 

  • To get over the challenges at a data science bootcamp, success also requires:
    • Creativity
    • Hard work
    • A good attitude

 

  • Curiosity, grit, passion will get you over the initial challenges you’ll face in a data science bootcamp

 

Follow Deborah on Twitter @debbiebere. Deborah will also be a panelist at Metis’s free online conference Demystifying Data Science on September 27! Read Metis reviews on Course Report.

About The Author

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Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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