Curriculum Spotlight


Inside BrainStation’s Part-Time Data Science Bootcamp

By Jess Feldman
Last Updated October 13, 2021

To support career-changers who need to continue working while learning data skills, BrainStation now offers a part-time Data Science Bootcamp. BrainStation’s CEO and Founder, Jason Field, explains how this 8-month program has been specifically designed to follow the same rigorous curriculum as the full-time bootcamp, while supporting working students. Learn what it takes to get into the part-time bootcamp, why data skills are still in demand in 2022, and how to make the most of your bootcamp at BrainStation. 

Meet the Expert: Jason Field, Founder and CEO of BrainStation

  • Jason is the Founder and CEO of BrainStation. 
  • While Jason supports the entire business, he tends to mostly focus on the product and experience at BrainStation. Jason works closely with BrainStation’s courses, product development, and Education Experience teams to ensure they continue to deliver the best courses, bootcamps, and classroom experiences.

BrainStation has been offering a full-time data science bootcamp for some time – why launch a part-time Immersive?

We recently launched part-time versions of our UX Design and Web Development bootcamps, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. We essentially discovered a new audience for our industry-leading bootcamp experiences that were otherwise unable to participate because of other life commitments. This part-time format allows students to complete one of our more popular bootcamps on evenings and weekends while they continue to work full-time or part-time.

Increasing accessibility to the skills that are fueling the economy now and into the future is so deeply rooted in everything that we do at BrainStation. This flexible learning option for our bootcamps will further facilitate career transformations for more aspiring data professionals. 

Why is data a good career path in 2022?

Even before Covid-19, demand for data skills was skyrocketing across all industries, and that has only accelerated over the last 18 months as people spend more time online and contribute to these vast data sets. Digital marketing and great user experiences are now essential, and the organizations that are truly thriving are those that collect market and user data to make data-driven decisions.

Professionals in all functions can benefit from a knowledge of data analytics and data science, and as organizations rely more and more on these skill sets, it will only open up additional career opportunities. 

What will the part-time Data Science Bootcamp curriculum cover?

The part-time Data Science Bootcamp covers everything that’s included in the full-time version of the bootcamp, but we break the program up over eight months instead of three. It is meant to prepare graduates for a new career in data while they maintain their current jobs or other life commitments. 

So, just like our full-time students, our part-time data students can expect to learn data science skills and then apply them, with their Educator providing immediate feedback. Part-time students will work on real-world projects and business problems, and collaborate with Designers, Web Developers, and Digital Marketers to deliver a real-world solution that can serve as a standout portfolio piece. 

Is there an ideal student for the part-time Data Science Bootcamp?

The ideal student for all our bootcamps, part-time or full-time, is someone really looking to change careers. While the delivery of the curriculum may be more flexible in the part-time bootcamp, it is every bit as much of a career transformation experience as the full-time version. The workload for the part-time Data Science Bootcamp is intense and it requires a real commitment. That said, we have seen an increase in companies sponsoring employees to complete this bootcamp to complete a career switch into a new functional area of their business.

Is the part-time Data Science Bootcamp suitable for beginners?

“Beginner” is not quite the word I would use for someone taking this step and trying to embark on a new career. For someone looking to dip their feet into data to see if it’s the right move for them, we have Data Analytics and Data Science certificate courses that are more conducive to that kind of career exploration.

What’s your advice for a working adult who is trying to balance the part-time bootcamp with their full-time job?

The part-time Data Science bootcamp has been designed with this type of working adult in mind, so rest assured that you will have the flexibility and time to balance your studies with your current employment. That said, the bootcamp remains a very intensive learning experience, which does require a weekly commitment to attend live classes and put in the work.

If someone is trying to decide between the part-time or full-time data science bootcamps at BrainStation, what’s your advice? 

It really comes down to a question of learning needs and personal schedules:

  • If you can manage to take a full-time bootcamp over three months, that is certainly an advantage, as it can speed up the process of finding a new career. 
  • If you are not in the position to commit to three months of full-time learning, the part-time option is made for you, delivering the same learning experience but in a much more flexible way, over eight months. 

If you’re unsure what option is best for you, I recommend speaking with one of our Learning Advisors, who can help you establish your learning and career goals, and how to achieve them. 

What can part-time Data Science Bootcamp applicants expect from the admissions process?

We do want to make sure that applicants are ready and that they’ll be able to handle the content and pace of the program. If a prospective student meets the application requirements, there are two key steps in the Admissions Process to assess for readiness for the program:

  1. An Admissions Interview with a member of the Admissions Team. This is to ensure the applicant understands what it takes to be successful in the program. We will cover the values and best practices to succeed. It is also a great opportunity for applicants to ask questions to the Admissions Team.
  2. An Admissions Challenge to gauge baseline knowledge of the subject matter. This helps the Admissions Team understand where the applicant is at, but it’s also for the applicant to assess how much they enjoy the skill set they are about to learn during the bootcamp. The Admissions Challenge is a business case where students must use SQL and a visualization tool of their choice to make business recommendations to their clients. 

We recommend that above all, connect with a Learning Advisor to discuss how you feel about completing your application. If you want to practice a particular skill set before embarking on the bootcamp program, they can also guide you to our certificate course offerings.  

Who are the Educators for the part-time Data Science Bootcamp?

BrainStation bootcamps are led by industry experts who all have experience working in the field. 

The process to select BrainStation Educators is lengthy, but it’s important for us to be thorough, and to ensure that our students are always learning from the best. We always start by looking for leaders in the industry, from the top, forward-thinking and innovative companies in the world. 

Once we’ve found a professional that really stands out, we have an interview about their most successful career accomplishments, and why they want to mentor the future wave of talent. We’ll then issue an Educator Challenge, which involves delivering a simulated lecture to our hiring committee. This is to assess if they can command the classroom, be engaging, and break down complex technical topics into easy-to-understand lessons.

What’s the difference between a software engineering vs data science career? Is there a certain type of person who is suited for each career path?

Both careers are extremely in-demand, so professionals in those fields will have the chance to work in a wide range of industries. I would say that a data science career does afford the potential to be more involved in business decisions. Even though data science may be perceived as a “numbers job,” it does require communication skills and those with that ability can really thrive in this field. 

What is your advice for students embarking on a program like this? Any tips for getting the most out of it?

Take advantage of the bootcamp and everything that it offers you. Connect with your classmates, attend guest lectures and BrainStation events, and really put in the time to work on your final project. (Hundreds of our grads have been hired right out of our Demo Day on the strength of their projects alone!) While the program itself is the main focus, the collaboration with peers and connectivity to the community at BrainStation really makes a difference. We recently welcomed the Chief Data Scientist from Etsy as well as the Executive Vice President of Data at Shopify to speak to our class, and while it wasn’t mandatory, I was certainly happy to see 100% of our students and plenty of our alumni in attendance! Opportunities like this – to hear from leaders in the space – help to develop a much more comprehensive perspective of how the technical skills we’re teaching apply to the world. Our bootcamps can really be a transformative experience, so my advice would be to really make that commitment and just go for it. 

What online resources or meetups do you recommend for aspiring data scientists?

I would recommend attending a BrainStation event to learn more about emerging fields in tech and what options are available to you. Every month, we host an online Kickstart Your Career series that looks at career paths and training options in data, design, development, marketing, and product management. These are free and hosted by BrainStation Instructors and industry experts. 

We also have an event called “Intro Day,” which actually gives attendees the chance to try our bootcamps for a day. It’s been a very popular series, featuring workshops with Educators, a chance to connect with alumni, and a panel discussion with industry experts from our network of hiring companies. 

These events were created with beginners in mind, allowing them to understand what career opportunities currently exist in tech, and how BrainStation can help them get there. 

Find out more and read Brainstation reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with Brainstation.

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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