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The Data Incubator

New York City, Washington, San Francisco

The Data Incubator

Avg Rating:4.69 ( 13 reviews )

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Recent The Data Incubator Reviews: Rating 4.69

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3 Campuses

New York City

1 Course

Course Details

Contingency Fee
Employer pays tuition upon successful hire
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Must have Master's or PhD
Placement Test
Yes

13 reviews sorted by:

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5/4/2016
Isaiah Yoo • Data Scientist
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4/28/2016
Phillip Schafer • Data Scientist • Graduate
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4/27/2016
William Groves • Data Scientist • Graduate
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4/27/2016
Andrew • Senior Financial Data Scientist • Graduate
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4/26/2016
Dan • Risk Modeling Senior • Graduate
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4/26/2016
Dorian Goldman • Dorian Goldman • Graduate
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4/25/2016
Brian Farris • Data Scientist • Graduate
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4/24/2016
Matt L • Data Scientist • Graduate
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3/29/2016
James S. • data scientist • Graduate
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3/29/2016
Xiuying • Data Scientist • Graduate
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3/29/2016
P. Singh • Data Scientist • Graduate
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8/17/2016
Anonymous • PhD
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8/11/2016
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Our latest on The Data Incubator

  • Cracking the Bootcamp Interview: The Data Incubator

    Liz Eggleston9/8/2016

    The Data Incubator is an intensive eight-week data science bootcamp which trains people with STEM backgrounds to become in-demand data scientists. With an acceptance rate of just 2%, we wanted to find out what the application process is like, and the types of applicants that The Data Incubator accepts. We asked Alyssa Thomas and The Data Incubator admissions team to answer all of our questions about how to successfully get through the application (hint: the project proposal is key!) and interview process.

    Q&A

    How long does the Data Incubator application typically take? What are the steps applicants should expect?

    The entire application process is spread out over the course of roughly six weeks. After the deadline, initial applications are reviewed and semi-finalists are selected. Semi-finalists must complete the technical challenge portion of the application. From this pool of candidates, finalists are selected and are asked to schedule admissions interviews. Admissions decisions are made after the interviews (which are typically spread out over about two weeks) and applicants are notified of final decisions within about a week of the conclusion of interviews.

    Technical Challenge

    What is the technical challenge portion of the application like? Can you give us a sample question?

    The technical challenge consists of a programming challenge and a data challenge.

    Here is a sample of one of our past challenge questions. We don’t re-use them, but this gives you an idea of what to expect:

    A chess knight piece is sitting on the "0" key of  a numeric keypad.

    1 2 3
    4 5 6
    7 8 9
      0  

     

     


    The knight makes T jumps to other keys according to its allowable moves (so that from each reachable key it has two or three allowable moves). The knight chooses amongst the allowable moves uniformly at random and keeps track of the running sum SS of keys on which it lands. We are interested in S under the modulo operator.

    After T=10T10 moves, what is the expected value of the quantity S mod 10?

    How long should the coding challenge take? Is there a time limit?

    We give applicants five days to complete the challenge (including project proposal and video submission - more about this below) but the coding challenge itself takes at minimum four hours to complete.

    In what programming language should the applicant complete the coding challenge? Does this have to be in Python?

    The coding challenge supports several different languages. C/C++, Matlab, Stata, Fortran, Perl, SQL, IDL, Python, VBA, Java, and R will all work.

    How should a student who doesn’t have a background in Python prepare for the coding challenge?

    The programming challenge can be done in just about any language, the data challenge could be done in SQL, R or possibly several other languages with a bit more work. We encourage everyone to learn Python, but if it isn’t the language you’re most comfortable with at this point there are options!

    Written Application

    What goes into the written application?

    We require short answers for each of the following:

    • Tell us about what makes you excited about data science generally.
    • Tell us about what makes you excited about The Data Incubator specifically.
    • What would you do if you were not accepted as a Fellow for The Data Incubator?
    • Tell us about your industry job search experience so far.
    • Anything else? You can write about courses you took, side projects related to data science, or anything that you are passionate about.

    We also ask for information about degree status (current/expected), educational background, work experience, programming experience, mathematical/statistical experience, industries of interest, and geographies of interest.

    Does Data Incubator require a video submission? What’s the purpose of the video submission?

    Applicants submit their video along with the technical challenge. In the video we want you to pitch your project proposal to us, tell us what would make your project unique and worthwhile!

    What is the Project Proposal?

    Towards the end of the bootcamp, Data Incubator Fellows complete a Capstone Project separate from the weekly mini projects. This Capstone Project can cover any subject you like - and we’ve seen everything from Chicago crime data to using machine learning to categorize Google images. So when you are applying, the project proposal is your chance to tell us what you’d like to work on and why it matters. The best project proposals are the ones that show off your unique perspective and explain the business relevance of the work you’re doing.

    What types of backgrounds have successful Data Incubator students had? Does everyone come from a technical background?

    We’ve had successful Fellows from almost every academic background. Of course, Physics, Engineering, and Math are popular majors, but we’ve also had Anthropologists, Political Scientists, and Marketing PhDs who were very successful in our program. Most Fellows have been coding for at least a year, but certainly not all of our Fellows came from technical backgrounds.

    What are the education requirements for a Data Incubator student?

    We require Fellowship applicants to be within a year of completing their Master’s Degree or PhD.

    Interview

    Who conducts Data Incubator interviews? Should applicants expect to be talking with a founder, an instructor, or an alumni?

    All of the above! Our founder participates in interviews, as do our instructors (some of whom are Data Incubator Alumni) and our partnerships team.

    Is there a technical component to the Data Incubator interview or are you looking for culture fit?

    We ask everyone to present their project proposal and answer a few questions about the proposal from other prospective Fellows. We’re looking for the technical ability (and potential) in the project proposals, but also paying attention to interaction with other prospective Fellows in the interview session. Our program is very hands-on and does require a lot of working together, so we’re paying attention to both cultural fit and the way applicants interact with others.

    Can you give us a sample of a Data Incubator interview question?

    “Why are you transitioning into Data Science?” It sounds simple but it tells us a lot about an applicant’s motivation for entering the program. The program isn’t easy and the most successful Fellows are the ones that are really committed to this field.

    How do you evaluate an applicant’s future potential? What qualities are you looking for?

    We want each class to bring a variety of different backgrounds and perspectives, so there isn’t any one specific thing we look for. We like to see applicants who have given serious thought to their project proposals though, and we highly value presentation skills and the ability to distil a complex subject into a format anyone can relate to. We also look for Fellows who are very motivated to enter the field of Data Science quickly and make the most of their time in the Data Incubator.

    Can applicants do the interview in-person or are all interviews conducted online?

    We conduct all of our interviews online.

    Admissions

    Are students accepted on a rolling basis?

    We don’t do rolling admissions. Fellows are accepted for one of the four sessions we hold throughout the year and will be notified of their acceptance about a month before the session is scheduled to begin.

    What is the current acceptance rate at Data Incubator?

    Right now it’s a little over 2%, but don’t let that scare you!

    Does Data Incubator accept international students? Do international students get student visas/tourist visas to do the program?

    We will accept international students, but we do not provide visa sponsorship.

    Can rejected applicants reapply to The Data Incubator? If so, how many times?

    It is a very competitive admissions process. But several of our most successful Fellows were those who applied more than once, and there isn’t a limit on how many times you are eligible to apply. Often applicants who are not admitted the first time they apply spend the time before the next admissions cycle working on their skills or improving their project proposals, which can make them even stronger candidates the next time they apply.

    Find out more and read Data Incubator reviews on Course Report. Check out The Data Incubator website.

    About The Author

    Liz pic

    Liz is the cofounder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students considering a coding bootcamp. She loves breakfast tacos and spending time getting to know bootcamp alumni and founders all over the world. Check out Liz & Course Report on Twitter, Quora, and YouTube

  • Learn to Code (for Free) at these Coding Bootcamps!

    Harry Hantel3/27/2017

    While programming bootcamps can offer a high return on investment, the average tuition at code school is ~$10,000, which is no small sacrifice. Fortunately, a number of not-for-profit and well-organized programs are able to offer free coding bootcamps. Some of these bootcamps are funded by placement and referral fees; others are fueled by community support and volunteers. Expect rigorous application processes and competitively low acceptance rates, but for the right applicants, there is so much to gain at these free coding bootcamps. 

    Continue Reading →
  • Learn Data Science at These 22 Coding Bootcamps

    Harry Hantel12/9/2016

    You don’t have to be a data scientist to read into these statistics: A McKinsey Global Institute report estimates that by 2018 the US could be facing a shortage of more than 140,000 data scientists. The field of data science is growing, and with it so does the demand for qualified data scientists. Sounds like a good time to pursue data science, right? No kidding! Data scientists make an average national salary of $118,000. If you’re looking to break into data science, or just trying to refresh and hone the skills you already have, Course Report has you covered. Check out this comprehensive list of the best data science bootcamps and programs in the U.S. and Europe for technologies like Hadoop, R, and Python.

    (updated August 2016)

    Continue Reading →
  • Founder Spotlight: Jon Ferris, Data Incubator

    Liz Eggleston9/8/2014

    The Data Incubator is a course for PhDs who want to exit academia and enter into the world of Data Science. We talk to Jon Ferris, a cofounder and Director of Partnerships at The Data Incubator, about the unique 6-week course, requirements for admittance, and how the "bootcamp" model is being applied to Data Science. 

     

    What is your role at Data Incubator? How did you get involved in the bootcamp space?

    I’ve developed a passion for big data over the past couple years, and I was brought on a few of months ago to join Michael and help create the Data Incubator.  Michael is an academic, a data scientist, and also one of our instructors. He’s focused on building the curriculum and speaking at conferences. My speciality is more around developing partnerships and growing businesses.

     

    Where is Data Incubator teaching classes?

    We’re working and teaching out of the AlleyNYC campus in Manhattan.  

     

    This will be your second course?

    Yes, and it starts on September 9th

     

    Are you all getting a lot of applications?

    We had about 1,000 for our summer fellowship, probably because it’s free for fellows. Appliants need a PhD to apply, along with coding skills, strong aptitude for math and statistics, and the ability to communicate effectively.  

     

    What kind of applicants are you looking for? The website talks about applicants needing to have 90% of data science skills already. How do you know who qualifies?

    They have to have a strong working knowledge of mathematics and statistics. They have to be able to code in at least one object-oriented language, and they have to be able to prove it; the admissions process includes a series of challenge questions, a code review, and an oral interview.  

     

    What’s the structure of the boot camp once students are there? What do you fit into those 6 weeks?

    It’s an intensive so it’s onsite, in person, in New York. The first part of the day is spent in lecture, going over best practices for a particular data science tool or technique.

    At the beginning of the 6 weeks, Fellows are asked to create a portfolio project. This is where they decide how they want to showcase their talents to employers.  The project involves manipulating a large data set to come to some sort of conclusion.  How do crop yields in Pakistan affect equity trading in Manhattan?  So we have lecture in the morning, lunch, portfolio project development in the afternoon, and then at the end of the day, every day we have an employer come in.

     

    Tell us about those employers.

    During the program we have employers come visit the Fellows every day. For example, someone from Microsoft will explain what they’re doing, some challenges they work on, what data they’re working with. And they’ll answer all of the fellows’ questions.   The fellows get great exposure to hiring companies and of course it gives the employers a sense of the Fellows, before they ever decide if they want to interview them. It kind of breaks the ice.

     

    Why are you confident that the fellowship model can be applied to data science as a subject?

    These folks are in really, really high demand right now. It’s very competitive to get them to come work for you.  But you can’t create a data scientist overnight, and certainly not in a 6-week program. So everybody we’re working with has 5 to 6 years of advanced academic training. The chance of becoming an effective data scientist is much higher.

    It doesn’t mean that there aren’t self-taught Data Scientists out there – there are. There are folks who probably don’t even have college degrees who work as data scientists because they were too smart or didn’t have the patience for an advanced degree. There are some terrific data science programs popping up around the country - just be wary of boot camps that say they can create a data scientist overnight.  

    We’ve started to see schools like Metis launch data science programs which are 12 weeks and you need to have some prior experience in Python, but you don’t have to have a PhD. What do you think about schools like that? I think the field is so broad that there’s potential at any level.  You could take an entry level business person and put them through a 12-week analytics bootcamp and they can speak knowledgeably about that subject.  

    So I think it would totally help them in their careers and help them get a job. Any education is better than no education.  There’s a real variety out there. Berkeley launched their Master’s program last year- it’s $53,000.  Then you have some bootcamps for data science that are 12 weeks that are about $15,000. And then there are $6,000 programs on Coursera. So there’s all kinds of options.  This is a great time to pursue education in this space.  

     

    Want to learn more about The Data Incubator? Check out their School Page on Course Report or their website here!