San Francisco-based academy claims to turn qualified applicants into big data gurus in less than three months.
What’s the best way to become a data scientist? Well, you could earn an advanced degree from an accredited university, a process that may take several years and cost tens of thousands of dollars. Or you could go the express route: A 12-week boot camp that teaches the pragmatic skills needed to land a data science gig at a reputable business.
One such fast-track school is Zipfian Academy, a San Francisco-based facility that this week is welcoming its first class of data science students. Its goal is to teach its students what they need to know to be proficient data scientists in just 12 weeks.
Certainly the Zipfian Academy isn’t alone in this field, as a quick Web search readily demonstrates. Major universities are in on the action too. In July, for instance, the University of California at Berkeley launched its Master of Information and Data Science program, which school officials called the nation’s first online master’s degree program for data scientists.
Zipfian already has partnered with several major tech companies, including Facebook and LinkedIn, all of which need data scientists to analyze their growing big data workloads.
“A few of these companies actually reached out to us,” said Zipfian Academy cofounder and instructor Ryan Orban in a phone interview with InformationWeek. “They’re very excited about what we’re doing, and the fact that we’re a data science-, data engineering-focused academy that’s focusing on the practical skills necessary to be effective as a data scientist.”
About 220 applicants vied for just 13 spots in Zipfian’s inaugural class, which started its intensive 12-week program this week. “[The selected students] range from various quantitative backgrounds — business analysts, statisticians, PhDs, master’s degrees — and all have a general programming knowledge,” said Orban.
How does a new data science school attract candidates from students and major tech companies? Read More..
“My team at Amazon couldn’t have built its recommendation system without the foundational data mining and machine learning skills taught in this course. When contributing to the curriculum, I was careful to balance the theory with the real-world challenges of applying it to big data.”
FORMER SENIOR MANAGER, AMAZON.COM
Also See: IBM’s Big Data Education Outreach