The Best Data Science Bootcamps in 2021

The big data market is growing exponentially—as is the demand for data scientists. If you’re thinking about joining this exciting industry, a good data science bootcamp can help you to learn the necessary skills and gain hands-on experience.

But what constitutes a “good” data science bootcamp? And can a bootcamp really equip you for such a technical field?

In this post, we’ll briefly explore the role of the data scientist and provide an overview of the data job market. We’ll also weigh up whether or not a data science bootcamp is worth your time. Last but not least, we’ll compare ten of the best data science bootcamps on the market right now. If you’re completely new to the field of data, you might want to give this free data short course a go first.

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  1. What is data science?
  2. Are data scientists in demand?
  3. Is a data science bootcamp worth it?
  4. What are the best data science bootcamps on the market right now?
  5. Key takeaways and next steps

First things first: What is data science?

1. What is data science?

In very broad terms, data science is the art (or science!) of making sense of big data. With huge volumes of data being generated all the time, it’s essential that businesses and organizations are able to leverage it—and this requires expertise in specific domains.

Perhaps the best way to define data science as a discipline is to consider what a data scientist actually does, as well as the skills and tools they utilize. Data scientists draw upon their computer science, mathematics, and business expertise to run complex, custom data analyses, to build predictive models and algorithms, and to design new processes for data modeling—to name just a few. In a nutshell, they use a variety of tools, programming languages, and machine learning principles to optimize the way companies harness and learn from their data, enabling them to make smarter business decisions.

Data science is a broad and far-reaching discipline that covers many different facets, such as data analytics and machine learning. You can learn more about data science and how it differs from data analytics and machine learning in this post. For now, though, let’s take a look at what the job market is currently like for data professionals.

2. Are data scientists in demand?

It’s estimated that the big data market will be worth a whopping $229.4 billion USD in 2025—that’s a compound annual growth rate of 10.6%. With such rapid growth, the need for data experts is continuously on the up. In their Jobs of Tomorrow report (published in 2020), the World Economic Forum identifies data and AI as one of seven high-growth emerging professions. And, of all seven domains, data and AI shows the highest growth rate at 41% per year.

As the demand for data expertise grows, many industries are facing a critical shortage of data scientists. A recent study found that there are triple the number of data science job postings compared to job searches. And, when asked to identify the areas in which they expect to face the most difficulty in finding people with the right skills, 35% of respondents said data science and analytics—making it the second most challenging area after cybersecurity (39%).

In short, the data market is booming and the demand for data scientists far outweighs the supply. If you’re thinking about becoming a data scientist, now is a great time. But can a data science bootcamp really get you there? Let’s take a look.

3. Is a data science bootcamp worth it?

Data science is a highly complex field, and there’s no denying that the data scientist role demands a varied skillset and strong technical expertise. With that in mind, you’re probably wondering if a data science bootcamp can really equip you with the necessary credentials.

The short answer is yes—a data science bootcamp can set you up for a career in the field. However, not all bootcamps are created equal, so it’s essential to find one that suits your individual needs and objectives. If you’re a complete beginner, you’ll benefit from a comprehensive, mentored bootcamp with a strong focus on career-change. If you’ve already got some experience and are looking to upskill, you’ll likely be looking for a bootcamp with a slightly different approach.

Regardless of your skill level or career goals, data science bootcamps offer many advantages. They are generally more flexible and affordable than traditional university or higher education programs, and they tend to take a more hands-on approach to learning—a major benefit for aspiring data scientists.

But do employers take them seriously? Again, the short answer is yes. With the demand for data experts on the rise—with no signs of slowing down—employers are less concerned with how you acquired your skills; as long as you’ve got them and know how to apply them. Gone are the days when traditional bricks-and-mortar institutions were viewed as superior to online programs or intensive bootcamps. As remote work increasingly becomes the “new normal,” attitudes towards education are also changing. So, if a data science bootcamp is more feasible or simply more appealing to you than a university degree, go for it! With a solid portfolio and a certification from a reputable bootcamp, you can confidently enter the data science job market.

So now to the crux of why we’re here. Which data science bootcamps are actually worth your time and money? Let’s take a look.

4. What are the best data science bootcamps on the market right now?

In this section, we’ll compare a hand-picked selection of the best data science bootcamps on the market right now. As you read through each, think about your budget, the amount of time you can realistically commit to, and your overall career goals (i.e. changing careers, upskilling, or something in between). Keeping these points in mind will help you figure out which options are best suited to you.

So without further ado, here’s our selection of the best data science bootcamps.

1. Flatiron School Online Data Science Bootcamp

  • Mode of study: Online
  • Duration: 5 months full-time, 10 months part-time or self-paced
  • Price: $15,000 USD for the full-time and part-time options, $9,600 USD for the self-paced option
  • Ideal for: Career-changers on a higher budget

Throughout this bootcamp, you’ll cover core data science topics such as Python and SQL, machine learning, big data, and natural language processing, culminating in a data science advanced project. You don’t need any prior experience to apply, but you will need to demonstrate some data science knowledge in order to be accepted onto the course. Prospective students are also required to complete a pre-work course before the bootcamp begins. In addition to a robust curriculum, Flatiron School offers extensive career support, including individual career coaching and access to a vast network of employers. This is a strong contender if you’re looking to build a career in data science and have a bigger budget to spare.

2. General Assembly Data Science Immersive Online

  • Mode of study: Online, in real-time
  • Duration: Around 3 months, full-time
  • Price: $15,950 USD
  • Ideal for: Career-changers with some existing data science knowledge

If you’re looking for an intensive, immersive learning experience, you’ll want to consider the General Assembly online data science bootcamp. You’ll connect with instructors and fellow students in real-time via the interactive classroom, delving into topics such as Python, statistical modeling, decision trees, random forests, and more. Over the course of three months, you’ll tackle five projects—building a professional data portfolio in the process. And, to help you with your career-change, you’ll work one-on-one with a career coach. It’s important to bear in mind that this is an intermediate level course with some prerequisites; it’s recommended that you already have a strong mathematical background as well as familiarity with Python.

3. Thinkful Data Science Flexible

  • Mode of study: Online
  • Duration: 6 months, part-time
  • Price: $7,990 USD
  • Ideal for: Career-changers looking for flexible study

One of the more affordable options on our list, the Thinkful data science bootcamp offers a flexible pathway into the industry. You’ll learn at your own pace on a part-time basis, building up your knowledge over the course of six months. You’ll receive one-on-one mentorship throughout, graduating with a professional data science portfolio. And, if you can’t find a job within six months of graduating, you’ll get your money back. With a range of payment options available, this is a good option if you’re keen to kick-start your career change without investing upfront.

4. BrainStation Online Data Science Bootcamp

  • Mode of study: Online
  • Duration: 12 weeks, full-time
  • Price: $15,000 USD
  • Ideal for: Career-changers looking for a collaborative learning experience

The BrainStation online bootcamp covers (almost) everything you need to start your career as a data scientist: a project-based curriculum, extensive career coaching and interview prep, as well as the opportunity to network with industry experts. You’ll attend live classes and lectures through the virtual classroom, exploring data fundamentals, machine learning techniques, and big data. This is an especially good option if you’re looking for an online bootcamp that still offers a collaborative element; as part of the course, you’ll have the opportunity to split out into breakout rooms and work together with your classmates. However, bear in mind that, despite being one of the pricier options on the market, this bootcamp doesn’t come with a job guarantee.

5. CareerFoundry Data Analytics Program

  • Mode of study: Online
  • Duration: 5 months full-time or 8 months part-time
  • Price: $6,900 USD
  • Ideal for: Career-changers with no prior experience

While this isn’t a data science bootcamp, the CareerFoundry Data Analytics Program does teach many of the fundamental concepts crucial to data science—making it a great starting point if you’re completely new to the industry. In fact, many professionals in the field start out as data analysts before transitioning to data science. You’ll start from the very beginning, learning how to prepare and analyze data, before moving on to SQL, Python, and interactive dashboards. In addition to a project-based curriculum with a strong focus on portfolio building, students benefit from a unique dual mentorship model. You’ll work with both a mentor and a tutor, as well as an expert career coach—and, if you don’t find a job within six months of graduating, you’ll get your money back. You can try a free introductory short course here.

6. Springboard Data Science Career Track

  • Mode of study: Online
  • Duration: 6 months part-time
  • Price: $7,500 USD
  • Ideal for: Career-changers with experience in statistics and programming

The Springboard Data Science Career Track spans six months on a part-time basis, promising a project-based curriculum, unlimited one-to-one mentorship, and a job guarantee (or your money back). The curriculum is split into 18 units, covering topics such as data wrangling, storytelling with data, statistics, and machine learning. Admission to the Springboard bootcamp does come with some prerequisites; you’ll need six months of coding experience under your belt, and you’ll need to be comfortable with basic probability and descriptive statistics. This is a good option for software developers and analysts looking to move into data science.

7. Dataquest Data Science Learning Path

  • Mode of study: Online
  • Duration: Flexible, self-paced
  • Price: $29 – $49 USD per month
  • Ideal for: Beginners on a budget

Unlike many of the bootcamps on our list, Dataquest works on a subscription basis, allowing you to learn affordably and flexibly at your own pace. The “Data Scientist in Python” learning path contains a variety of different courses, each teaching a crucial data science skill. Course topics include Python fundamentals, data cleaning with Python, SQL, statistics, and machine learning—to name just a few. If you’re keen to get hands-on and are happy to learn independently without the guidance of a mentor, this is a worthwhile route to consider. And, with no prior knowledge or experience necessary, you can jump straight in.

8. RMOTR Data Science Courses

  • Mode of study: Online
  • Duration: Self-paced
  • Price: $49 USD per month, or $450 per year
  • Ideal for: Flexible hands-on learning

RMOTR is best described as a content library, offering an extensive database of data science courses. Through video lessons, projects, exercises, and quizzes, you’ll get a solid introduction to data science with a heavy focus on Python. Learning is entirely self-paced, but the courses lay out a logical path for you to follow—starting with an introduction to programming with Python before moving on to topics like functional programming, scientific computing with NumPy, and data cleaning with Pandas. This is a flexible, affordable option if you want to try your hand at data science before committing to a complete career change.

9. Galvanize Data Science Immersive Bootcamp

  • Mode of study: Online
  • Duration: 13 weeks, full-time
  • Price: $17,980 USD (Income Share Agreement available)
  • Ideal for: Career-changers with a large budget

The Galvanize data science bootcamp is an immersive online course that will prep you for your new career in the short space of 13 weeks. The curriculum focuses on Python and is divided into four quarters: Python and Statistics Fundamentals, Machine Learning and Prediction, Natural Language Processing and Recommenders, and Capstone Projects and Case Studies. In the final quarter, you’ll work independently on three projects which you’ll choose based on your interests and career aspirations. While mastering the technical skills, you’ll also work with the Career Services team to develop a robust job-search strategy. If you’re set on landing a job after the course, bear in mind that there’s no job guarantee with this particular bootcamp.

10. Udemy Complete Data Science Bootcamp

  • Mode of study: Online
  • Duration: 29 hours, self-paced
  • Price: $130 USD (approx)
  • Ideal for: Complete beginners looking for a self-paced course

The Complete Data Science Bootcamp is part of the Udemy for Business collection, created by 365 careers. The course promises to provide “the entire toolbox you need to become a data scientist”—including on-demand video lessons, articles, and downloadable resources. You can work through the curriculum at your own pace, starting with a broader overview of the data science field before honing in on the specifics such as statistics, Python, and deep learning. The course has been designed for complete beginners, making it an excellent starting point if you’re looking for a flexible and affordable introduction.

5. What now?

In this post, we’ve highlighted some of the best data science bootcamps on the market right now. So what next? Hopefully you found a few options that resonate with your needs and objectives. Now it’s time to conduct further research. Find out more about what each bootcamp has to offer, read through student testimonials, and get in touch with your chosen providers to ask any questions you might have. And, if you’d like to learn more about the data industry, check out the following:

What You Should Do Now

  1. Get a hands-on introduction to data analytics with a free, 5-day data analytics short course.

  2. Take part in one of our live online data analytics events with industry experts.

  3. Talk to a program advisor to discuss career change and find out if data analytics is right for you.

  4. Discover how to become a qualified data analyst in just 4-7 months—complete with a job guarantee.