Data Boot Camp: Get a Look Inside From Two Alumni

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If you’re considering a career in the field of data analytics, now is a great time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that data positions will increase by 16 percent between 2018 and 2028. By 2022, jobs that require data skills are expected to be in high demand across a broad range of industries, according to a report by the World Economic Forum.

In this field, getting your foot in the door will take a lot of work, but our Data Analytics Boot Camp can be a great place to start. Before enrolling, it’s helpful to get an understanding of what you can expect throughout the program.

To help you, Trilogy Education Services, a 2U, Inc. brand, recently hosted a Q&A with Trilogy-powered Data Boot Camp alumni Gabriel Djeudeu and Gerard Tieng to discuss their data boot camp experiences and professional path after completing the program.

Listed below are some of the questions and answers addressed during the live Q&A.

Top Questions About the Data Analytics Boot Camp

1. How Should I Prepare for the Boot Camp?

Following your enrollment in our boot camp, you will receive an email with pre-work. This is essential to getting you up-to-speed and ready to get started on day one. Before Djeudeu’s start date, he admitted that he did not review the pre-work. Now, he recommends that every student take the time to complete it.

2. What Will My First Day Be Like?

Most of your first day in the data boot camp will be focused on getting settled in and prepared for success in the upcoming weeks. Tieng says, “You’re going to be coming across a lot of different concepts, a lot of different people, a brand new environment — maybe a whole new field.

3. What Support Will I Have Throughout the Program?

Djeudeu praised the boot camp for “offering a lot of support” along his journey. Much like Djeudeu, you will be supported by a dedicated career services team of experienced professionals. This support can help you build job-search skills and stand out in the data market.

4. Do You Provide Office Hours?

Shortly after the start of the program, your Career Director will host open office hours. As program completion approaches, one-on-one meetings with your Career Director will become more frequent. You’ll discuss goals and preparation for your job search. Djeudeu says “just two times a week can make a difference.”

5. What Will My Portfolio Include?

Throughout the program, you will work with real-world datasets from various industry sectors like financial services, human resources, healthcare, and government. This can help you build a portfolio of projects to showcase your new skills for potential employers. Tieng refers to the boot camp portfolio as a “calling card” and “the thing that says you’re really serious about what you’re doing.”

6. How Should I Prepare for the Job Search?

Obtaining your first job in the field is challenging, but you’re not alone. With the help of Career Services, you can amplify your job search efforts. In fact, Tieng says he met with his Career Director weekly until he found a job. He stresses that “they’re there for you, so definitely take advantage of it.”

7. Do I Need a Technical Background?

While previous work experience is helpful, no programming or data analytics expertise is required. Djeudeu says, “if you don’t have a technical background, don’t feel frustrated.” He urges students not to “try and master every single thing,” but instead “have an idea of what you want to focus on.”

8. Will I Be Able to Compete Against Data Professionals With a Degree?

For many of today’s employers, it’s no longer essential to have a degree. Instead, they often look for soft and hard skills combined with technical knowledge and real-world experience. It all depends on how you sell yourself, says Djeudeu. He emphasizes that “your boot camp is your experience.” While interviewing, Djeudeu found himself competing with professional degree holders. To impress hiring managers, he came prepared with examples of his boot camp projects. “Someone with a master’s degree wouldn’t think of something like that,” he says.

Final Thoughts

Are you ready to start your own data journey? Visit University of Richmond Data Analytics Boot Camp page to discover how you can gain the fundamentals to work in the field.

Data science professionals like Djeudeu and Tieng, who gained their skills from a data analytics boot camp, have enjoyed strong career opportunities where they are applying their expertise and using data to solve problems and make informed decisions.

To learn more about their experience, you can view a full recording of the session here. Also, don’t forget to connect with Djeudeu and Tieng on LinkedIn. You can explore their profiles below.

Gerard Tieng: Tieng is an award-winning social media strategist, data analyst, and content producer. He has 10+ years of experience in entertainment across video games, TV, and movies — including partnerships with brands such as LEGO, Star Wars, Jurassic World, The Lord of the Rings, and Marvel. He now works with Laundry Service, a media agency, as a Social Media Analyst.

Gabriel Djeudeu: In 2014, Gabriel Djeudeu began his career at the Virginia Department of Transportation as an Information Technology Specialist. Gabe then became a Data Analyst, where he uses many of the skills he acquired through the boot camp. Since he was little, Gabe wanted to become an engineer — and hasn’t given up his dream. In his spare time, he enjoys playing basketball, doing research on the Internet, and thinking about his future.

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