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A review of FourthBrain data science bootcamp

Hi, I’m Olga, a former lead data scientist at eBay. Now I am an industry mentor at Pathrise. I work with candidates who are looking to land great jobs in data science. Check out my review of FourthBrain.

What does FourthBrain do?

FourthBrain offers part-time data science bootcamps that teach people the skills they need to launch a career as a machine learning engineer or machine learning operations (MLOps) professional. Students should expect to work 15-20 hours per week on live sessions, individual assignments, pre-recorded video lessons, and office hours. The program is entirely remote and largely project-based.

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Machine learning engineer bootcamp

Their machine learning engineer bootcamp runs for 16 weeks. Classes meet live on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4pm to 7pm PST, as well as Saturdays from 9am to 3pm PST. The first half of the curriculum covers core machine learning skills such as algorithms, systems design, generalized linear models (GLM), the latest frameworks, and machine learning for computer vision. Students work with in-demand tools such as advanced Python, Tensorflow, Keras, pandas, Pillow, OpenCV, Matplotlib, Tensorboard, Google Cloud, Azure, and dozens of other machine learning platforms. In the second half of the course, students learn to scale and deploy models as they develop practical skills to help them get a data science job in machine learning.

MLOps and Systems bootcamp

Students in the MLOps & Systems course meet for 12 weeks with live classes on Saturdays from 9am to 3pm PST. The curriculum covers the best practices for deploying, evaluating, monitoring, and operating the production of ML systems. Students manage ML pipelines, process big data using the Apache Stack, understand the ML model drift, test productions, and draw product inferences. In addition to testing models, students learn to deploy and monitor models as well as extend existing models to new use cases.

Both bootcamps include career services. All students participate in 1-on-1 advising sessions, guest speaker events, and career workshops. Experts review students’ job search materials including portfolios, Github accounts, LinkedIn profiles, and resumes. In addition to meeting with industry experts to craft a job search plan, students practice technical interview questions with an experienced interviewer and work on algorithms geared towards their dream jobs. The course culminates in a final group capstone project that students can add to their portfolios. Students present their final projects to potential employers, who receive students’ job search materials ahead of time for streamlined networking.

Who is FourthBrain for?

People with some tech experience who want to launch a machine learning career could benefit from FourthBrain’s bootcamps. Since their curriculum covers high-level machine learning skills in depth with complex projects that mimic on-the-job tasks, it could be a good fit for students seeking a more advanced ML program. People seeking a flexible part-time program with a mix of supervised and unsupervised learning with lots of student support could also be a good match. Prospective students should have at least 1 year of coding experience, ideally in Python.

What does FourthBrain cost? How much work is involved?

Tuition for any bootcamp is $6,000, with a $500 deposit required upfront. Students who pay full tuition upfront get a $250 discount. Monthly payment plans of $2,000 are also available.

The admissions process begins with an online application. Then, some candidates move on to a 1-2 hour online technical assessment. Applicants should already have some experience with data science, software development, or IT.

Ratings and reviews

As a relatively new program, FourthBrain does not have too many online reviews. However, they have been included among Course Report’s list of 66 artificial intelligence bootcamps. One student on Course Report praised the curriculum for covering Python extensively, focusing on machine learning in-depth, and even giving him “exposure to cutting edge content in scientific research.” While the grad warned the course could be difficult at times, he felt that “live assignments were really fun” and appreciated that students were well supported with 1-on-1 advising. The grad also liked that he “connected to my peers through slack” and attended “really inspiring” guest lectures. He was also impressed with the career services, raving about the “dedicated team that focuses on outcomes and helps students land a job.” 

However, some Redditors were skeptical, commenting that “I just can’t imagine that doing a program like FourthBrain is much better than building your own ML curriculum and doing self-study with projects.”

Alternatives to FourthBrain

If you decide not to enroll in a FourthBrain course, there are many alternative bootcamps and resources that can help you land a job in machine learning. 

  • Students with some data experience can check out Metis. They host both introductory and more advanced data science courses with remote learning options. Read more about Metis in our review.
  • Another remote program with machine learning tracks is Springboard. Their courses are hands-on, include lots of personalized support, and come with a 6-month job guarantee. Learn more about Springboard in our review.
  • A more beginner-friendly program is Coding Dojo. They offer data science courses that cover fundamental skills students need to land an entry level job as a data analyst. 
  • People seeking a hands-on bootcamp with an income share agreement (ISA) can look into General Assembly. They teach full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on a variety of topics like data science with lots of machine learning content. The program features 19,000+ hiring partners, mentoring, and a job placement rate above 91.4%. Find out if General Assembly is right for your career goals in our review.
  • Another popular remote bootcamp with an ISA option is Thinkful. They teach courses in data science, as well as software engineering and UX/UI design.
  • The Menon Labs fellowship helps people learn the skills to get a job in web dev, data, and product management.
  • The data science bootcamp Divergence Academy offers full-time and part-time courses in data science subjects. Their program is flexible and includes opportunities for 1-on-1 mentorship.
  • Students seeking a self-paced course can check out Data Science Dream Job. Their program features portfolio building, career assistance, and opportunities for mentoring. 
More alternatives
  • Another online data science resource is DataCamp. They host over 300 courses on data science subjects that last about 4 hours each. DataCamp also has an active community forum for networking and Q&A.
  • Kaggle is a data science community focused on project learning. They host 19,000+ public datasets and 200,000+ public notebooks for people who are looking to get started or join a data science project to build up their skills and their portfolios.
  • An affordable and self-paced option is Udemy. Their platform hosts thousands of affordable video courses on data science and machine learning topics. Individual courses only cost around $10. 
  • Students on a budget can also check out Codecademy. They host free self-paced courses on data science and dozens of programming languages, including Python. Optional memberships range from $20 to $40 per month for greater course options and extra support. Learn more about Codecademy in our review.
  • People looking for affordable university courses can check out edX. Their platform hosts thousands of courses from top universities like Harvard and MIT, plus big tech companies like Microsoft. Students can choose to learn data science fundamentals or dive deeper into specific topics, like machine learning. Read more about edX in our review
  • Another affordable online program with hands-on machine learning courses is Udacity. Students in their nanodegree program build polished projects for their portfolios and work closely with technical and career mentors. Learn more about Udacity in our review.

How does FourthBrain compare to Pathrise?

FourthBrain teaches people the skills they need to launch a career in machine learning. The curriculum is designed for students with some past experience and covers fairly advanced technical material. Similarly, Pathrise fellows should already have some background in their field of interest so they can fully benefit from our advanced technical curriculum.

While FourthBrain offers 1-on-1 mentoring and career training, their program does not actually help grads through their job search. Pathrise mentors help fellows in our program with all phases of the job search for as long as needed. Our experienced mentors have already helped 1,000+ people land their dream by helping with resumes & portfolios, reverse recruiting and cold emails, behavioral and technical interview preparation, salary negotiation, and more. 

Like FourthBrain, the Pathrise program is flexible. Fellows only have 2-4 hours of group sessions per week and can schedule 1-on-1 sessions as needed. The curriculum is tailored to each individual fellow in our program, focusing on whatever areas they need support. With our guidance, fellows see their interview scores double and their application responses triple.

FourthBrain students pay tuition upfront or in monthly installments. Pathrise fellows get access to an income share agreement ISA, which means that fellows don’t pay anything until they land a job they love and start working. We never require any upfront payments or deposits.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that optimizes the job search through 1-on-1 mentorship and personalized training. If you are interested in working with one of our mentors to land your dream job, join Pathrise.

Apply today.

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