Learning data science is hard, but leads to career opportunities in a fast-growing field. We're confident that if you put in the work, you can land a job in data. If we cannot fulfill that promise, we'll refund your tuition.
Here’s the deal. You take and graduate from the course, and you hustle on your job search. We give you the support, direction, and accountability you need to build in-demand skills, and we guide you through your job search. We stand behind our Data Science Bootcamp because it works. Read on for details about graduation and job search requirements.
In order to graduate from Thinkful’s Data Science Bootcamp you will complete the following steps.
Build a professional portfolio.
Assemble a professional portfolio that includes three projects that have been approved by your mentor and program manager. Your mentor and program manager will approve your portfolio projects when they (1) are unique (cloned or tutorial-based projects don’t count), (2) have readable and maintainable code, (3) demonstrate proficiency with a specific data science approach, and (4) present that work in a professional way.
Earn your mentor’s recommendation.
Your mentor will recommend you for graduation once they are confident you will be a solid contributor to a data science team. Specifically, they will evaluate your technical skills through your project work, your progress through the course material, and your mentoring sessions. There are no surprises here: you’ll regularly meet with your mentor and lay out a path together to earn their recommendation. Make it a point to regularly ask your mentor and program manager if you are on track to graduate within 6 months.
Pass mock interviews.
The groundwork for a successful job search starts well before submitting a job application. To graduate you’ll need to pass at least five practice mock interviews during your enrollment in the course. Mock interviews assess skills from experimentation, supervised learning, and specialized techniques to soft skills and culture fit questions. Interviews are designed to be realistic and are administered by senior engineers from our mentor team.
Graduate within 6 months.
Changing your career is an intense process that requires sustained focus and attention. There is no shortcut for putting in the time and doing the work. The Data Science Bootcamp requires about 600 hours in total to complete. To qualify for the guaranty you must graduate within 6 months of starting the course by putting in on average 25 hours each week. Thinkful is designed to keep you moving quickly and efficiently, so reach out for help via the Slack community and attend Q&A Sessions in between sessions any time you’re stuck.
As a graduate we’ll introduce you to your career coach, an experienced tech recruiter or hiring manager, and you’ll meet with them regularly during your job search. We’ll give you the support you need, but you need to hustle to make it happen.
Before you can submit a single application, you'll need to find the right job openings. You’ll research markets, industries, and companies to find opportunities, even those that aren’t listed, in preparation for your job search. Growing your personal network also substantially increases your job search success. Once you graduate you’ll meet with your career coach each week and they will expect you to find and keep close track of local job opportunities for each session.
To a hiring manager, a well-crafted application stands out from the crowd. Your career coach will teach you how to properly research each opportunity and help you assemble application materials like cover letters and resumes. You will submit drafts of these materials and revise them together with your career coach. Once your coach signs off on your materials we expect you to submit at least seven job applications every week, unless you and your coach agree to focus instead on other areas like interviews or coding challenges.
Crush technical challenges.
Technical challenges or work samples are an increasingly popular step in the tech hiring process. We expect you to begin working on technical challenges as soon as they are assigned and to return each one to the hiring company before their assigned deadline or within three days of receiving it.
Manage your pipeline.
Successful job searches are well-organized and reply times to introductions and emails from recruiters should be prompt. We’ll give you the tools you need to track and organize your networking, outreach, and application pipeline. It’s your responsibility to update and share this pipeline with your coach each week. Attending your weekly 1-on-1 career coaching sessions is a sign that you’re taking the job search seriously and is required for the guarantee. Missing more than two of your coaching sessions disqualifies you from the guaranty.
Build your network.
Networking and becoming a part of your local data community is important to your career growth, so during your enrollment we require that you attend at least two coding meetups or other events each month and interview at least two working data professionals in your city before graduation.
We’re guiding you to your first job where your primarily responsibility is data. Not a temp job, not an unpaid internship, not a “job” TAing other students. When you put in the effort we guarantee that within 6 months of graduation, the Data Science Bootcamp will take you to a full-time (or voluntary part-time) opportunity as:
It is important to know that titles of jobs in data vary enormously from field to field and even company to company. As such, we expect you to apply to jobs suitable for your experience and background, which can include titles such as: Data Scientist, Data Engineer, Machine Learning Engineer, Data Analyst, or Business Intelligence Analyst.
Each graduate receives the same level of job search support and access to career services resources, including one on one career coaching, resume and LinkedIn review, job search strategy and networking support, and access to Thinkful’s employer network for up to six months of their job search. However, local networking is important to a successful job search and required for the job guarantee so you must live within reasonable commuting distance of one of the covered cities listed below and plan to search for work in that city. If your city isn’t included on that list you should still schedule a call with an education advisor who can vet your location on a case-by-case basis. We cannot guarantee remote work.
The following cities qualify for the guarantee:
You knew it had to be here. You must be at least 21, live in and be legally able to work in the U.S. (or Canada if you're located in Vancouver or Toronto), and be proficient in spoken and written English. You also have to have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. This guarantee applies to students enrolling in the Data Science Bootcamp after October 23, 2017.