Tomorrow’s the first day of the winter cohort at Metis Data Science Bootcamp and I’m very excited. Here I want to mention some of my data science experience and what led me to this point.
Just a few years ago, I was in graduate school studying financial engineering, but I knew that I wanted to do something in data science. It was already a hot and upcoming field, and I saw that even finance is moving toward machine learning and data mining.
So I looked around to see what my options were to learn data science. A graduate degree would take another 2 years and at least $50,000. I could take some elective classes offered in my programs. I could leverage the vast resources online and study on my own, or check out some of the new bootcamps popping up.
I started out by studying on my own. But fact is, my current experience is just a hodgepodge of skills and knowledge in data science:
- Python with programming background in Java and C++
- Worked through the John Hopkins Data Science Specialization on Coursera
- Andrew Ng’s Machine Learning course on Coursera
- Using R and Matlab in data analysis and visualization
- Interned at Rutgers University’s Athletics Department for an year, bringing data analytics to the back office of a Big-10 athletic program
- Interned at a large insurance company working on Big Data Analytics in Hadoop with Hive, Pig and Spark to perform text mining and natural language processing
- 6 years of IT work experience in system architect and project management
- Extensive analysis of data in telecom, finance, construction, web analytics, and ecommerce
I felt that these experiences still isn’t enough to be dangerous as a data scientist. I wanted to work on projects to be able to demonstrate my skills. So I took a break from my graduate program to focus my time studying data science.
I also researched several data science bootcamps in the NYC and San Francisco area. I joined their information session and went to open houses. Finally, I decided on Metis because:
- It is project based.
- It has a pretty good reputation online, and the staff and founders are answering questions and participating on Quora.
- I spoke with instructors and found them to be very knowledgable in their field
- I also spoke with alumni who all found the course rewarding and challenging
- the graduates have great job outcomes
- they provide a seemingly robust career services
And here my main goals for the upcoming few months:
- Work on and showcase real and interesting data science projects
- Network with industry experts and go to Meetups
- Dive into advanced Python programming: data structure and data analysis
Of course there are some things that I’m hesitant about bootcamps. I know some companies look for people with advanced degrees exclusively. How are companies viewing graduates from bootcamps?
I have a friend at Insight Data Science, so I’ll be comparing notes with him.
Anyway I’m looking forward to the projects and challenges at Metis.-->