Data Science Bootcamp Vs Master's Degree

Oct 03, 2019

This article explores data bootcamps and masters' in computer sciences degrees. It weighs the pros and cons of each program, including certification, salary, and time requirements.

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Traditional master's in computer science can take as long as three years to complete. Data boot camps can be an attractive option for students who are looking to increase their opportunities in the field of computer science in a limited amount of time. This article examines each type of program and its possible benefits.

Data Science Bootcamps and Master's in Computer Science Program Descriptions

Data Science Bootcamps

Data Bootcamps (sometimes called Data Analytics Bootcamps) can vary greatly in the coursework offered and the length of the programs. Usually, data boot camps offered by reputable universities last an average of 24 weeks. Students learn practical, hands-on skills with programs such as Python, JavaScript, Advanced Excel, SQL Databases, Html, and other applications. Programs look at front-end website visualization, business intelligence, databases, programming, and fundamental statistics. Some offer the opportunity to take professional certification tests during or after the completion of their programs, but they do not result in a degree certification and there are currently no statistics on how completing a boot camp can affect potential career prospects.

Master's in Computer Science

A master's in computer science (MCS) can take as long as three years as opposed to six to eight months. Programs vary in credit hour requirements, in the range of 32-45 credit hours. Students can also complete a master's of computer science- data science (MCS-DS) degree that focuses more an data analysis and statistics. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who possess a master's level (as opposed to a bachelor's) make 10-20k more per year. Students who complete a Master in Computer Science will cover the same topics as those attending a boot camp, but more in-depth and for longer, meaning they will more likely master the skills required for a career in this field.

Program Admittance Requirements

Data science boot camps usually require an application process including an interview. A written assessment may also be required for entry. Master's programs in computer science generally require a bachelor's of computer science (BS). Each college will have certain GPA requirements (usually at least a 3.0) and may require GRE and or TOEFL scores. Programs can be highly competitive to get into, and usually require letters of recommendation as well.

Data Bootcamps versus a Master's in Computer Science

Students might consider a data boot camp over a master's in computer science if he or she is on a condensed timeline. If a student is interested in studying part or full time at an accredited institution, both data boot camps and master's in computer science are available. However, only the master's program will culminate in holding a graduate degree and may considerably increase salary and employment opportunities. Data boot camps can offer professional certificates or can prepare students to take certification exams after completion of the boot camp, but no higher education degree is awarded. However, it can be a cost-effective way to learn hands-on skills or be a way to add to a students' resume or CV. In both courses, students get familiarized with fundamental statistics, data mining, data visualization, and machine learning. However, software engineering, cloud computing, and mathematics are all at a higher level in the master's program and a basic level in the data science boot camp.

Data boot camps and programs culminating in a Masters of Computer Science each have their own advantages. The main differences are length and the accreditation awarded at the end of the program.

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