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Simply put, exclusively focusing on one discipline (and on one curriculum tied to that discipline) allows a bootcamp to provide the best resources, instructors, and experience for prospective data scientists. We should know - Metis has run bootcamp programs since 2013, and has been focused solely on data science since 2015. We pour all of our bootcamp resources into just one data science program designed to give our students the skills and connections needed to launch new careers. Meanwhile, other programs suffer from fractured focus, maintaining multiple curricula and spreading resources thinner (often due to multiple bootcamps running concurrently and having faculty who are relatively new to the data science field). Not to mention, some programs offer more than educational services, which only leads to even less time dedicated to their students.
Bootcamps have been around for a while now in various forms, but it is important to note how long a company’s data science bootcamp has been in existence. Here at Metis, we have run our bootcamp exclusively focused on data science for more than 3 years and counting. In that time, we’ve developed deep connections with hiring partners, and our career services team has established a unique understanding of how to help our alumni secure the right jobs in the data science field. We’re also proud to say we’ve graduated more than 800 students across 50+ cohorts at all campuses (as of May 2019). Other programs might have more years of experience operating bootcamps in general, but are newer to the data science industry.
Given the cost and time students dedicate to bootcamp programs, it is important to inquire about results and accountability. In an industry known for lack of regulation and pseudo-outcome reporting, Metis is the only bootcamp that voluntarily pursued accreditation as a way to be held accountable. Accreditation is an important distinction for any institution that believes and strives for quality, excellence, and a commitment to their students. Metis is proud to be the only accredited data science bootcamp in existence. Since 2014, we’ve been awarded accreditation and are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET) for all Metis data science programming. ACCET requires accredited programs to meet rigorous standards and continuously reviews the following: our data science curriculum; instructional personnel and delivery; and admissions, student, and alumni services.
Some bootcamps offer a money back guarantee as a way to entice prospective students into applying with some sense of security. However, as the old adage goes…there’s always a catch. Money back guarantees offered by bootcamps are typically riddled with contingencies to protect the company, making it nearly impossible for you to actually get your money back should you want a refund. Metis doesn’t offer a money back guarantee, and there’s a good reason why. Given our belief in our program, and our strict admissions process, we have the utmost confidence that our graduates will succeed in getting hired. Don’t take our word for it, hear what our alumni have to say about their experiences or read how our career services team ensures our students are primed for success from day one.
Your instructors’ experience working in the industry on real business problems will be crucial to your education and training. Their skills and expertise should enable you to learn theories and practical applications of the latest best practices in data science. At least that’s what we believe at Metis. That’s why we strive to hire Data Scientists with varied and extensive backgrounds; Our 13 instructors have a wide range of academic experience. Several of them hold Ph.D.s and Master’s degrees across Mathematics, Mathematical Computer Science, Statistics, Physics, Economics, Analytics, and more from top tier institutions like Cornell, Stanford, Columbia, NYU, Yale, and Boston University, just to name a few. They also come to Metis from a wide range of industries and have worked at companies like Morgan Stanley, McKinsey, Microsoft, Amazon, Booz Allen Hamilton, and MRM//McCann. Through these experiences, they impart their years of academic, technical, and practical experience into each cohort. Few other programs can boast similar team profiles and experience.
Given the increasing popularity of bootcamps, student-to-instructor ratios can make or break your experience. For some programs, maximizing enrollments is their primary concern, and thus their instructors become overwhelmed, with little time to focus on individualized attention. By contrast, Metis consistently has 2-3 Data Scientists instructing each cohort, and TAs available for larger classes, enabling our students to receive substantial 1-on-1 time as needed throughout the program. Not all bootcamps can say the same. Don’t make the mistake of finding yourself without competent support during your program due to lack of resources. Speaking of resources...
A dated curriculum can be detrimental to your experience and education, especially in a field as dynamic as data science. Metis evaluates its curriculum throughout the year. Each lesson is put through a meticulous peer review process to ensure it’s up-to-date and focused on in-demand business decision-making skills. This process allows us to revise and expand topics within our curriculum to adapt to the constantly evolving skills students need both during interviews and on the job. That wouldn’t be possible without Metis Data Science Instructors and their wealth of knowledge and industry experience. All in all, it’s important to be mindful of what type of curriculum you want shaping your experience and future.
An important thing to consider during your bootcamp research is your future after graduation. Ensuring your program offers hands-on career support is vital to helping you land that dream data scientist role. That’s why each Metis campus has a dedicated Career Advisor that works with students from the first day of the bootcamp until the day they’re hired. Having experienced Career Advisors that work solely within data science, allows our team to continuously build deep relationships with hiring managers in each local market. Additionally, those same career advisors for each bootcamp help ensure that every job search is personalized to the individual; Not a one size fits all solution for each student. That’s not always the case at other programs though, since some share career support and resources across campuses and industries. That’s not ideal when you’re trying to get hired in a specialized, competitive field like data science.
While the instructors you’re learning from in a data science bootcamp are pivotal sources of industry knowledge, there’s another crucial source for that sort of intel that you might not be considering: guest speakers. Leveraging our large network of Data Scientists, we welcome 8 to 10 speakers at each cohort, inviting industry leaders to expose our students to their projects and the real-world applications of what they’re working on. It also provides a great networking opportunity for our students.
Given that bootcamps are a considerable investment, it is understandable that potential students would be curious about placement rates. After 12 weeks of learning, testing, and enhancing your data science skill set, landing a new role is priority #1 for students. At Metis, we’ve made a conscious decision not to share placement rates since there is no standardization with how data science bootcamps share their number and outcomes. However, we have rigorous hiring standards, which are set by our accreditation - if we don’t help students get jobs, we can lose our license. It’s as simple as that. Our priority is to work with every student until they are hired. We take great pride in delivering outstanding student outcomes. In fact, as the only accredited data science bootcamp, we have to deliver on those outcomes or we can be shut down. That’s why our definition of hired is helping our graduates land a role specifically working in data science or data analytics; not just any role available, but one that will involve and require them to use what they’ve learned. Other bootcamps will proudly share their placement rates, but we recommend you dig deeper. Who’s included in those placement rates? Where are they working? What is their title? Without context, a random percentage is not helpful. At Metis, however, our career services team works with each student to ensure they’re prepared and empowered for their post-program needs. Don’t take our word for it, hear what our alumni have to say about our commitment to results.
The connections you make during your bootcamp experience could become lifelong resources for you. Meeting peers in your industry can prove invaluable as you start (or continue) your career in data science. Ask bootcamps you’re researching how they stay connected with their alumni; this will help you get a sense of how highly they value their community. Believing in the importance of a strong network, at Metis we’ve created several ways for our alumni to remain connected to each other and to us. All of our alumni are invited to a private Slack workspace, where we can interact and keep in touch throughout the years. We also like inviting our alumni back as guest speakers to our current students, and to quarterly Mix at Six alumni events for in-person connection at each campus.
Any bootcamp program worth considering should have established relationships within multiple fields and industries. It is important to constantly engage with organizations that are looking to build their data science and analytics teams. Over the years Metis alumni have landed a wide variety of data science jobs at hundreds of different companies across dozens of industries. That’s why we maintain active relationships with the majority of these companies; allowing us to establish new hiring partners every week. In addition to providing our students with support for how to stand out as an applicant, the Metis Careers Team helps them find contacts at these companies, and in many cases, make direct introductions. Check out our alumni stories to learn more about where our alumni have gone after graduation.