Photo of a review of The Data Incubator as a data science bootcamp

A review of The Data Incubator as a data science bootcamp – 2021 update

Hi, I’m Olga! I have years of experience in data science, most recently at eBay and now I work as an industry mentor at Pathrise, helping data scientists land a great role through technical workshops and 1-on-1s. Check out my review of The Data Incubator.

Updated in 2021

What does The Data Incubator do?

The Data Incubator is a data science fellowship program that offers intensive full-time, 8-week data science bootcamps, as well as part-time, 8-week courses in major tech hubs, such as New York City and San Francisco. Students can also take the courses online. The program is tailored to students who have a specific data science project in mind before applying. This is because participants will spend most of the bootcamp working on their own capstone project. In addition, only students with graduate degrees in data-centric fields can apply.

The goal of the program is to familiarize participants with the newest data science tools. Students spend their time building a portfolio under the guidance of mentors from hiring companies. By personalizing the curriculum, the program helps students find a job that matches their specific interest.

The full-time, immersive 8-week program is divided into 8 modules. Students complete weekly projects using real-world data. Throughout the program, students work towards their capstone project, which requires building a functioning website using a public data set. In addition, there are weekly sessions that address writing competitive resumes and cover letters, behavioral and technical interviews, and networking. 

Fellows can also participate in the part-time version of the program, which lasts 20 weeks. The program meets in the evenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00pm ET to 9:30pm ET, with office hours held each week.

Who is The Data Incubator for? 

The bootcamp only accepts students with significant backgrounds in data science. Data scientists who have are looking to work on their own project would benefit from this program. Applicants must have a graduate degree that includes coursework in probability, statistics, scripting, and programming and some experience working with actual scientific data in real-world scenarios. In fact, the acceptance rate is only 2%.

What does The Data Incubator cost? How much work is involved?

The Data Incubator fellowship costs $10,000. Students who are placed with a hiring partner after finishing the program receive a refund of 50% of their tuition. The Data Incubator provides full scholarships for the most exceptional candidates. For students with financial need, financing is available through Climb Credit or other lenders. Similarly, they offer an income share agreement (ISA), so fellows can delay paying until they are working at a new job.

The application consists of 5 short answer questions about the applicant’s background in data, a video in which applicants pitch their project proposal, and an interview. The admissions committee asks behavioral and technical questions about a candidate’s project proposal.

The program encourages students from nontraditional fields such as anthropology, political science, and marketing to apply, as long as they have been mainly focusing on data. In addition, most successful candidates have been coding for at least one year.

Ratings and reviews of The Data Incubator 

Photo of The Data Incubator review

Reviews for The Data Incubator fellowship are generally positive. Graduates on CourseReport found the curriculum to be helpful yet challenging, with one student explaining that it is “a great way to transition from academia to industry.” According to a Quora reviewer, the program provides students with “the ability to ramp-up your job search very quickly and take it to the next level.”

A review on Switchup said that the bootcamp is a “great way to hone your skills and position yourself as a data scientist in the industry.” When talking about the course overall, one Reddit user explains that “the capstone was the most important thing” and that the coursework and lessons were not a priority.

Because admission is so competitive, the program admits “people that already have the skill-set to create a project,” according to a reviewer on Reddit. Another Quora reviewer explains that the program “appears only interested in training people who already have a pretty good knowledge base and could possibly already get a good job in the field, based on the application process.”

Alternatives to The Data Incubator 

If you do not have the rigorous academic background needed to be accepted into The Data Incubator, you may be interested in an alternative program, such as one of the following.

  • Metis has part-time introduction courses as well as onsite and online bootcamp options. Learn more about Metis in our review.
  • Like The Data Incubator, Insight is a fellowship program for people with PhDs in data subjects who are looking to find a job in the field.
  • DataCamp, Dataquest, Promotable, Divergence Academy, and Data Science Dojo are also options for current and aspiring data scientists. They offer individual courses, as well as in-depth tracks.
  • If you are starting from scratch, you can consider the self-paced course at Data Science Dream Job. Or, check out K2 Data Science, which is a part-time, online program.
  • Similarly, 365 Data Science is a low-cost and low commitment option to learn data fundamentals.
  • For fundamentals, Coding Temple and RMOTR offer bootcamps in Python data science and web development. Similarly, QuickStart has courses in web dev and data.
  • Or, consider Kal Academy, which works with women and underrepresented groups on software engineering, web dev, and data.
  • You can check out Udacity and Springboard, which are online educational platforms that students can use to brush up on the basics or advance their current tech skills. Read more about Udacity and Springboard in our reviews.
  • edX is one of the largest online learning platforms. They have courses from top universities like Harvard and MIT as well as big tech companies like Microsoft. Learn more about edX in our review.
  • If you’re looking for free and low-cost college courses, consider Coursera. Prices range from free to $25,000. Accredited universities partner with Coursera, so many of the courses are of a high caliber. 
More alternatives
  • With over 100,000 online video courses, Udemy is an online learning platform. Students can choose from classes that cost around $10 each.
  • Similarly, Codecademy is one of the most popular coding programs online. They provide free courses on many different programming languages. They also offer membership options ranging from $20 to $40 per month for more course options and greater support. Learn more about Codecademy in our review.
  • Free online resources, SoloLearn and the Mode tutorials have tracks in SQL, as well as other programming languages.
  • One of the most well known bootcamps is General Assembly, which offers full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on a variety of topics like software engineering, data science, UX design, digital marketing, product management, and more. Read more about General Assembly in our review.
  • For those who can commit to a 9-month program, the Lambda School is an option for learning the fundamentals of data science and full-stack web dev. Similarly, Zip Code Wilmington has courses in software engineering and data science.
  • People with experience who are looking to do machine learning projects as they look for jobs can consider SharpestMinds.
  • If you prefer in-person classes, check out Magnimind, University of Arizona Bootcamps, or Principal Analytics Prep, which have full-time and part-time data science courses.
  • In the same vein, FourthBrain has part-time, online machine learning courses.

How does The Data Science Incubator compare to Pathrise?

The Data Science Incubator is for people with significant experience working in data. The program helps students create a portfolio, build cover letters and resumes, and prepare for interviews.

At Pathrise, fellows do not need to have a graduate degree, but they should have some background in their field of interest because our workshops are based around technical interview training, which requires knowledge of the fundamentals. Pathrise also provides 1-on-1 mentoring and a personalized program that addresses each fellow’s strengths and weaknesses. We work with fellows on LinkedIn and resume optimization, cold emailing, reverse recruiting, behavioral interviews, and negotiation.

Pathrise offers a flexible schedule, with just 2-4 hours of sessions per week. All workshops are recorded, so fellows can always refer back to previous material. 1-on-1 meetings with mentors can be scheduled as needed. We also offer an income share agreement (ISA), so fellows don’t need to pay until they land a job they love and start working.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that helps fellows land their dream job. Through 1-on-1 mentoring, we help maximize their personal backgrounds, experiences, and unique skill sets.

If you are interested in working with a mentor 1-on-1 to optimize your job search, become a Pathrise fellow.

Apply today.

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