How to Prepare for a Data Science Diploma Program

By BrainStation December 21, 2018

Good pay, booming growth and interesting work – data jobs are in high demand and BrainStation’s full-time Data Science program helps students transform their skillset and launch a new career in data in just 12 weeks.

From learning the most in-demand data science skills to building a portfolio and making industry connections, the program is packed with hands-on learning opportunities lead by Educators with experience working in the field.     

To help students get ready for a Data Science diploma program, we asked Admissions Specialist Adriana Baiz some common questions about what to expect and how to prepare for the course.

What prerequisites do I need to take the full-time data science program?

Requirements include a post-secondary degree, however, not everyone who meets the prerequisite is suited to enter the full-time time program.

“Typically, what we see is that people who have experience either professionally or at school managing financial data, or data related to their subject matter expertise, tend to be more comfortable with navigating the program material,” says Baiz.

The full-time Data Science program is an immersive, hands-on learning experience that dives into industry-standard tools like SQL, Python, Excel and Tableau. Prospective students with limited or no programming or data knowledge can work with a learning advisor to determine if one of BrainStation’s part-time or training courses might be a better fit.

The other prerequisite, says Baiz, is the right attitude.

“You have to be mentally ready and have the right attitude towards learning. With support from BrainStation, students need to be ready to troubleshoot and problem solve. You’ve got to be comfortable stepping out of your comfort zone.”

Will there be homework?  

The short answer is: yes.

“Outside of the 40 hours in the classroom you can expect a workload of 20 hours per week, so around two to three hours every day,” says Baiz.

The full-time program is part of BrainStation’s career transformation offerings meaning that after 12 weeks immersed in the subject matter, students develop the skills and understanding of the industry needed to be able to find a junior data position.

“I always tell applicants that the full-time data science program feels like your busiest semester of post-secondary education. You go to class, you go home, and you have to review the materials and make sure you feel confident enough with the content to go back to class the next day and continue your learning experience,” says Baiz.

What tools or materials will I need?

Tuition covers everything students need except for a laptop (students can use a Mac or Windows laptop that is no more than four years old).

“You’re not required to purchase any additional textbooks. All of the teaching content and software needed is embedded in our learning portal called Synapse,” says Baiz.

Synapse is BrainStation’s data-driven student learning platform, designed to be an extension of the instructor-led learning, giving students 24-hour access to content and enabling progress tracking capabilities.

Who will my instructors be?

BrainStation Educators are industry leaders with ample experience working in the field. They know what it’s like to work in the industry and design lessons around the latest trends and tools student will need to succeed.

“Our Educators bring lessons directly from the professional setting into the classroom, in addition to the theoretical understanding from their graduate studies, which vary from Masters in science, computer science, and econometrics,” says Baiz.

What career support will I have during and after the program?

The intensive data science program is designed to get students job ready and career support is an important part of the course.

“Career support begins during the program when students have the opportunity to meet with our student success team to talk about their goals. We also focus on providing opportunities for students to understand the industry through networking, demo days, panels and guest speakers,” says Baiz.

During the course, students also do mock interviews, participate in resume and cover letter writing workshops, and begin to build a portfolio. Following graduation, alumni will receive continued career support from our Student Success team.

“Graduates who might be stuck in a particular aspect of their job hunt or want someone to take another look at their resume can access support after the program,” says Baiz.

Any final words of advice for enrolled or prospective students?

The full-time diploma program is designed to prepare students to launch a new career in an exciting industry in just 12 (very busy) weeks. Baiz advises students get ready to fully immerse themselves in the course and commit to working towards the outcome they want to achieve.

“Do your research. Think about what you want to get out of the program and the steps you’re going to take to achieve those goals. You want to make sure you’re committed to the outcome,” says Baiz.