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Learning Data Science in Total Immersion

ZipfianSan Francisco based Zipfian Academy approaches data science education the way some approach learning a new language – total immersion. The company offers a 12-week intensive advanced data science training program in a modern lab environment focusing on practical skills in the realms of machine learning, statistical analysis, software engineering, and big data. The company says it uses innovative education techniques, which allow students to master tough concepts in less time. Here is the program’s curriculum:

Week 1: Recommender Systems
Week 2: Statistical Inference, A/B Testing, MAB
Week 3: Regression and Regularization
Week 4: Supervised Learning Methods
Week 5: Similarity and Unsupervised Learning
Week 6: Introduction to Data Engineering
Week 7: Deep Learning, and Ensembles
Week 8: Time Series and Anomaly Detection
Week 9: Capstone Project
Week 10: Capstone Project
Week 11: Hiring Day
Week 12: Onsite Interviews

The required full-time commitment (average 10 hours in class per day with outside assignments) includes a daily regimen of code review, lecture, pair programming, breakout sessions, and events. To qualify you should have some of the following: background in a quantitative discipline, prior programming experience, excellent communication skills, comfortable with mathematics and statistics, and a child-like curiosity.

Zipfian is not an accredited academic institution and does not offer certificates or diplomas to its graduates. The cost for the bootcamp program is $16,000. There are many new and innovative educational resource popping up to help satisfy the growing demand for data scientists, which one you choose depends on many factors – amount of time you have to devote, your academic background, how quickly you need to get up to speed, how much you wish to spend, and your aptitude for the discipline .

Another similar program is offered by General Assembly ($4,000 for 11 weeks, 2 night per week) and the MOOC alternative is well-represented with the Johns Hopkins Data Science Specialization series of 9 classes on the Coursera platform (free with no certification, or $450 with certification).


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