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Jul 14, 2021

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Business Intelligence Careers

How to Choose The Best Data Analyst Bootcamp

10 min read

Jul 14, 2021

/

Business Intelligence Careers

How to Choose The Best Data Analyst Bootcamp

10 min read

Jul 14, 2021

/

Business Intelligence Careers

How to Choose The Best Data Analyst Bootcamp

10 min read

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How to Choose The Best Data Analyst Bootcamp

Are you looking to launch your analytics career?

If you are, one of the things you might be considering is enrolling in an intensive data analyst bootcamp to supercharge your analytics skills.

This can be a great move. It might be the best thing you do for your analyst career.

But, it’s also a major investment of time and money. So make sure you know what you’re getting into, and choose a program that’s the best fit for your personal goals.

Today, we’ll talk through some of the important aspects of an immersive analytics program and help you select the absolute best data analyst bootcamp for you.

First, let’s run through some important questions you should be asking when trying to find the best data analyst bootcamp…

  • Is this data analyst bootcamp a good fit for your goals?

  • Is this bootcamp at the right level for you?

  • Can you commit the time required for the bootcamp?

  • How much does the data analyst bootcamp cost?

  • How strong is the reputation of the company running the bootcamp?

  • How excited are you to work with the instructors in a particular bootcamp?

  • Will this bootcamp build a portfolio of projects to share with employers?

  • Will the bootcamp help you with resume prep, job searching, and interviewing?

Let's dig into each of these one by one...

Is this data analyst bootcamp a good fit for your goals?

This first high level question is mission critical. Think about your career goals. They have to line up with any bootcamp you consider. If they don’t, you’re in the wrong place.

Are you aiming for a career in Analytics / Business Intelligence?

Maybe you’re more interested in Data Science or Machine Learning.

Or you could be gunning for a career in software engineering.

These are the types of bootcamps we tend to see most often, for good reason - they are all great options, and any of these can make for a fun and rewarding career with tons of employment opportunities ahead of you.

Just make sure that whichever bootcamp you choose in is a great fit for whichever path you’re really interested in.

Is this data analyst bootcamp at the right level for you?

Different programs will cater to different career stages. Make sure you’re looking at bootcamps that are an awesome fit for where you’re currently at.

Are you just starting out and looking to land your first job?

Are you more senior and looking for a management-level or executive type program?

Either way, there are options out there for you.

Just make sure you’re looking at the right type of program. An entry level data analyst bootcamp focused on helping you secure your first job in analytics doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for someone who’s 10 years into a BI career. Same goes for an entry level person looking at an executive level program. Not a fit.

Make sure you’ve got the right type of program for your level and you’ll be good here.

Can you commit the time required for the bootcamp?

This is a another really important one. It’s easy to underestimate the time you’ll need to commit for a bootcamp style program.

Unlike other forms of study where you can complete the learning entirely at your own pace, intensive bootcamp programs will typically have higher expectations of your time, and often require you to be available at specific times for group projects and live instructor sessions.

In general, you can bucket bootcamps into two flavors:

1) Full-time immersive options2) Part-time “flexible” programs.

For full-time immersive programs, you’ll be expected to dedicate anywhere between 25 and 40 hours per week, depending on the program. And it’s typically assumed you don’t have a full-time job, as you’ll be on the hook to participate in live sessions and group projects at specific times. These will typically range from 8 to 16 weeks in length, but may also span as much as 6 months. So you’ll need to make sure you can commit 2-4 months, or more, to full-time dedicated study.

Part-time programs tend to be a lot more flexible, and are geared toward people who have a day job and can’t commit quite as much time. In this option, you’ll still usually be expected to be available at specific times for live sessions and to participate in some group projects. But the level of weekly commitment will be a lot lower, and the duration of the bootcamp will typically be stretched out. These may last anywhere from 3-4 months or a whole year depending on the curriculum.

How much does the data analyst bootcamp cost?

The cost of a data analyst bootcamp will vary by provider, but you should expect to pay multiple thousands of dollars ($USD).

UPDATE: I removed the graphic I had here displaying the cost of various data analyst bootcamps, because a lot of them were out of date in just 6 months (prices have jumped at most of them). Make sure to do your research about the relative costs at different bootcamps that you are interested in.

Most of the providers also offer some form of flexible payment options. They may let you pay in installments, or defer tuition until after you've landed a job. Just make sure you understand that when you use flexible payment options, the total cost you will pay is almost always higher than if you pay up front. That's the tradeoff. Make sure you read the fine print here, especially with anything that says 'deferred tuition' (they are starting to get a reputation as predatory).

Finally, keep your eyes open for opportunities to pay less than full price during certain promotional periods. Providers may offer discounts for folks who sign up during a certain time period, or for the first students who sign up for a given cohort.

For example, Maven has an Early Bird Discount of 25% off for students who apply to the upcoming April 2023 cohort before March 3rd.

You may also be able to find similar deals with other providers as well. When cost goes down, your ROI goes up. Don't pay full price if you don't have to.

How strong is the reputation of the company running the bootcamp?

This one is important too. Do your homework on any potential Data Analyst Bootcamp provider.

Ideally, you either already know their brand name, or can find information on them via a quick search.

Make sure their students are generally pretty happy with their offering. For this type of service, the training provider will be changing student's lives. A solid provider will have no trouble getting students to sing their praises. If you can’t find any happy students talking about them, that could be a bad sign.

Here are a few examples of student reviews:

DataCamp's testimonials

Maven's testimonials

Springboard's Testimonials

Again, do your homework. Make sure you can find happy students before you commit!

How excited are you to work with the instructors in a particular bootcamp?

This is something people often overlook. After thinking about the reputation of the company running the bootcamp, you need to take a look at the actual instructors who are involved in the bootcamp.

Who are the main people you’ll be learning from?

What do you think about them?

Are their skills a good fit for where you want to take your career?

Do they seem invested in your success?

Will you be excited to learn with them?

Some bootcamps are run by a small group of passionate instructors who will be invested in your success. Others are "bootcamp factories" where you might not even know who the rent-an-instructor will be until the bootcamp starts.

If you can’t figure out who the actual instructors will be, that’s a red flag. Remember, this is a major commitment of time and money on your part. The actual bootcamp experience will be largely shaped by the instructors. You don’t want some faceless factory just going for volume. You want passionate people who care, who will be there for you and who are equipped to help you succeed and launch your career.

Make sure you do your homework here and you’ll be glad you did.

Will this bootcamp build a portfolio of projects you can share with potential employers?

This one is huge. In my opinion, any data analyst bootcamp that isn’t guiding you on how to create a project portfolio, and providing you with rich, real world projects for you to work on, is missing the mark, BIGTIME.

Why do I think this one is so important?

Think about what an employer wants. They are looking to hire someone who can do a specific job.

When you’re trying to break into the analytics field, you don’t have any prior experience you can point to. Your best bet is going to be job-simulated projects that you can discuss with a potential employer to show them you know what you’re doing and can add value.

An ideal project will include some technical work (code, formulas, database tables, etc) that you can show off, data visualizations to catch the eye and show your storytelling abilities, and business recommendations you’ve made so you can demonstrate that you can translate data to insights that will drive positive impact for their business. When you have projects like this to discuss, and even send to an employer for review, you’ll really stand out above other entry level folks who can’t do the same.

The dream bootcamp will offer you multiple opportunities to create a portfolio of projects. That way, when you find a great job opportunity, and they ask “what have you worked on in the last that would help you succeed in this role?”, you’ll be able to come with a strong answer. You’ll confidently point to a deep well of job-simulated projects designed to make it easy for an employer to see the value you’re ready to add to their business.

Will the bootcamp help you with resume prep, job searching, and interviewing?

If you’re investing the time and money to enroll in a fully immersive bootcamp, it’s probably because you’re looking to land a job.

Of course you want to be learning the technical skills you’ll use on the job, but it’s equally important to learn how you can leverage those skills to actually land an opportunity.

Make sure that the bootcamp you decide to enroll in offers help securing role you’re gunning for.

Ideally they will help you prepare your resume, advise you on networking and job application strategy, and giving you live interview practice.

This part of a bootcamp could take a number of different forms, but any good bootcamp will offer these services in some way. For example, with Maven’s bootcamp, the entire final module is dedicated to this… resumes and digital profiles, networking and applying, and doing live interview practice so you’ll ace the real interviews when the time comes.

Make sure you ask about this one before you sign on the dotted line!

Wrapping Up

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading!

A data analyst bootcamp can be a great option.

Just make sure you know what you are getting into. It’s a major investment.

Pick one that’s a good fit for your goals, offered at a cost you think is reasonable, by a reputable company with instructors you want to learn from, and make sure they’ll help you do everything you need to land the job you want.

Maven's Latest Offering

If you're interested in Maven's current offering, we've created a more modular Intensive learning program, that we call cohort learning.

The idea is you focus on one tool at time, for short sprints, which include live sessions, hands-on projects, and flexible self-paced study.

You can see all the details here:

https://mavenanalytics.io/cohort-learning

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