Guide


Guide to the Best Data Science Bootcamp Prep Programs

By Jess Feldman
Last Updated August 19, 2021

Most data science bootcamps require prior knowledge – a college-level understanding of linear algebra, probability, statistics, calculus, and Python – to get accepted into their programs. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need a college degree in those subjects or that attending college is a better way to get into data science than bootcamps. You can learn these skills through online courses, and a data science bootcamp will take a fraction of the time that college would, plus lead to data science jobs shortly after. There’s never been a better time to start down this career path — Data science salaries range from $60,000-$80,000 per year after bootcamp. 

If you’re a complete beginner, you can prepare for a data science bootcamp with a bootcamp prep course or with free resources (which we’ve listed at the end of this article). Those with an academic or business background may get into a data science bootcamp by brushing up on data science foundations like linear algebra, statistics, calculus, and Python. It doesn’t hurt to attend a free bootcamp prep program no matter what background you have!

When to Enroll in a Data Science Bootcamp Prep Program

While a data science prep program may not be necessary for everyone enrolling in a data science bootcamp, prep programs often give prospective students the refresher they need to nail the bootcamp interview.

You should enroll in a data science bootcamp prep program if:

  1. You’re unsure if you want to become a data scientist, but you need hands-on experience to decide. 
  2. You have your heart set on a specific bootcamp and want to get in on the first try.
  3. You applied to a data science bootcamp but didn't get in.
  4. You've been learning data science or data analytics on your own and don't know if you're ready for a bootcamp.
  5. You're looking for a trial run, not sure if you want to do a full-time bootcamp, or you want to test how a particular bootcamp’s teaching style fits your learning style.

If any of these apply to you, keep reading for our list of great data science bootcamp prep programs! We’ve included various in-person and online programs at different price points (including free options). Most of the programs we’ve included cover Python, basic machine learning, and math fundamentals; some offer application and interview prep. Others also guarantee participants entry into a coding bootcamp, or a money-back guarantee.

The 8 Best Data Science Bootcamp Prep Programs

1. Flatiron School Data Science Bootcamp Prep

Length: Self-paced

Curriculum: Students will learn how to code in Python, receive an introduction to machine learning, and get a refresher on math fundamentals. This course covers data types, variables, and collections in Python; gradient, descent, and calculus for machine learning; and graphs and calculus. You’ll learn with two, hands-on projects using the Learn.co platform.
Guarantee: Data Science Bootcamp Prep students who apply to Flatiron School are fast-tracked through Flatiron School’s admissions process as priority applicants to the full-time Immersive Data Science Bootcamp course.
Cost: Free!

2. Metis Bootcamp Prep: Beginner Python & Math for Data Science

Length: 36 hours
Curriculum: This course is for complete beginners who want an introduction to basic Python programming skills and mathematical essentials you’ll need for entering the data science & analytics bootcamps. This real-time course is conducted via Zoom and Slack.
Guarantee: Those students who complete the prep course are prioritized through the Metis admissions process for the Metis Data Science & Analytics Bootcamps.
Cost: $750

3. Metis Bootcamp Prep: Intro to Data Science

Length: 36 hours
Curriculum: This course is for those who have a basic understanding of Python, statistics, and linear algebra. It covers the core concepts and technologies taught at data science bootcamps, including basic machine learning principles and hands-on coding. This is a real-time course that’s run via Zoom and Slack.
Guarantee: Those students who complete the prep course are prioritized through the Metis admissions process for the Metis Data Science & Analytics Bootcamps.
Cost: $750

4. Brainstation Data Science Bootcamp Prep Course

Length: 13 video lessons
Curriculum: This video prep course was created for beginners. You’ll learn how to visualize data, create a data narrative, and design a dashboard. 
Guarantee: None
Cost: Free!

5. LearningFuze Intro to Data Science Course

Length: 2 weeks, 10 hours per week (Saturdays, Mondays, and Wednesdays)
Curriculum: You’ll learn Python foundations, intro to statistics, GitHub workflow, data science foundations, and you’ll complete a project.
Guarantee: Required to prepare for the Data Science Full-Immersion at LearningFuze.
Cost: $145, free to all Info-Session attendees and students who have been accepted in the Data Science Full-Immersion program.

6. Springboard Data Science Prep Course

Length: 4-6 weeks, 10-15 hours per week
Curriculum: This course includes six 1:1 calls with a mentor. Learn how to use Python with real-world coding exercises, foundations of probability, fundamental computer science, as well as data wrangling and visualization.
Guarantee: Preferential Data Science Career Track application review and admissions fast-tracking upon course completion.
Cost: $490

7. NYC Data Science Academy Bootcamp Prep Bundle

Length: 15 days
Curriculum: This bundle of courses includes: Introductory Python, Data Science with Python: Data Analysis and Visualization, and Data Science with R: Data Analysis and Visualization. These three courses can also be purchased separately, but purchasing the bundle together gets you a discount.
Guarantee: None
Cost: $5,000 (financing through Climb Credit available)

8. General Assembly Free Intro to Data Science Class

Length: 3 hours
Curriculum: This live class is great for those who aren’t sure if they even want to embark on a data science career or prep course. It covers what data science is, how it’s used, key tools and processes, and how to get started in data science to give you an idea of how a real data scientist works.
Guarantee: None
Cost: Free!

Online Resources to Prepare for Data Science Bootcamp 

More free ways to prepare:

Subscription-based ways to learn data science:

Remember that before you start class, most data science bootcamps require you to complete pre-work. This list of bootcamp prep programs aims to help you apply for and get accepted to a bootcamp!

Further Reading:

About The Author

Jess is the Content Manager for Course Report as well as a writer and poet. As a lifelong learner, Jess is passionate about education, and loves learning and sharing content about tech bootcamps. Jess received a M.F.A. in Writing from the University of New Hampshire, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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