Photo of Insight review as a data fellowship

A review of Insight as a data science fellowship

Hi, I’m Olga! I have years of experience in data science, most recently at eBay. Now I work as an industry mentor at Pathrise, helping data scientists land great jobs through technical workshops and 1-on-1s. Check out my review of Insight.

What does Insight do?

Insight is a postdoctoral fellowship that bridges the gap between academia and the tech industry. They offer tracks in data engineering, data science, artificial intelligence, decentralized consensus, dev ops engineering, health data, and security. The program is best known for its data science work, preparing data science PhDs for a career in data science tech. Due to Covd-19, their fellowship is now operating remotely. 

Their 7-week full-time programs meet Monday-Friday from 9am to 6pm. Since fellows already have a strong conceptual and academic understanding of data science, the program focuses on project-based learning, specifically working with real data sets and on-the-job tasks. Fellows work together in a collaborative environment to craft polished portfolios to impress employers.

Fellows are paired with an experienced mentor to guide them through the program and the job search. Upon graduation, fellows often interview with top hiring partners including Facebook, Amazon, and Salesforce. Insight continues to work with fellows until they land a job.

Who is Insight for?

Postdocs seeking practical training and help with the job search could benefit from the program. Applicants should have a background in physics, mathematics, statistics, neuroscience, bioinformatics, engineering, a data-based social science, or computer science. In addition, all applicants should have a PhD.

The admissions process begins with a brief written form. Depending on their chosen program, applicants may be given a take home challenge to prepare for their interview. Applicants are then given a final 30 minute interview over Zoom. Insight is a highly competitive program with over 15,000 applicants every year.

What does Insight cost? How much work is involved?

Tuition for any of their programs is $24,000. An income share agreement (ISA) option is also available, meaning fellows can pay with 12% of their income for 2 years when they land a job paying more than $100k. Fellows can also finance their tuition with Climb Credit loans. Rates and repayment plans depend on an applicant’s credit history.

Need-based scholarships are available to cover day-to-day expenses up to $1,000. In addition, Insight offers one $3,000 scholarship for people from underrepresented groups in tech. One $5,000 scholarship is available for a selected female fellow. Two $5,000 scholarships are also available to people from underrepresented groups through Data Collective. 

Ratings and reviews

Photo of Insight review

The reviews online for Insight are mostly positive. The program holds a 4.86/5 star review on Switchup and is rated 4.6/5 stars on Indeed. Graduates praise the fellowship for its collaborative environment and project-based curriculum, but some had mixed feelings about the pacing and job placement.

A fellow on Quora valued the hands-on learning style, remarking “the structure at Insight forces you to learn things that you otherwise wouldn’t have.” However, the grad was less impressed by career services, warning that “getting a job is not guaranteed.” The grad also felt the pacing could be improved, annoyed by the “inefficient use of time.” Another fellow on Quora described the program as “an incredible resource for those trying to make that transition” and appreciated the practical instruction not found at university.

A grad on Switchup appreciated the collaborative, project-based curriculum as well. They raved that “The model worked great for me, I learned a lot from my fellow fellows.” While they were satisfied overall, they did warn the program is “fast and intense” and was unsure of job placement. The fellow commented “I don’t know how accurate the 100% placement rate statistic is.” On Reddit, a fellow was impressed that “the alumni network is really active” and felt the program teaches fellows “to learn to package and sell yourself and explain stuff non-technically.”

Fellows on Indeed also appreciated that the program’s corporate network lets fellows “bypass the hurdle of submitting a resume to a company where you don’t know anyone.” However, the grad felt the program could be intense at times, remarking “you will either need to quit your current job or take a vacation or unpaid leave.” Another fellow warned that “It’s intense and a lot of work for those 7 weeks.”

Alternatives to Insight

If you decide not to enroll in Insight’s fellowship, there are a number of alternative bootcamps and resources for aspiring data scientists and data analysts.

  • The well-known bootcamp General Assembly has tracks in data science, with a focus in project-based learning. Many of their hiring partners overlap with Insight’s network, including Amazon and IBM. Read more about General Assembly in our review.
  • The Data Science Incubator is a similar fellowship program. They offer intensive full-time, 8-week data science programs, as well as part-time, 8-week courses for people with graduate degrees in data fields.
  • Similarly, people with experience who are looking to do machine learning projects as they look for jobs can consider SharpestMinds.
  • Flatiron School teaches courses on data science, software engineering, and cybersecurity analytics, and more. Like Insight, Flatiron pairs students with a career coach for 1-on-1 training.
  • The data science bootcamp Metis offers tracks in data science and data analytics. Their program is practical and immersive and students have the opportunity to build 5+ polished portfolio projects. Learn more about Metis in our review.
  • People with time constraints can consider DataCamp. This online resource has over 300 fairly short courses on data science subjects.
  • Similarly, you can consider Divergence Academy, which has part-time and full-time data science courses. Or, check out K2 Data Science, which is a part-time, online program.
  • If you prefer in-person classes, check out Magnimind, which has full-time and part-time data science courses.
More alternatives
  • Springboard is an online educational resource that helps people launch a career in data science. Students in their program build 14+ portfolio projects. If students don’t land a great data science job within 6 months of graduating, they get a full refund. Learn more about Springboard in our review.
  • Similarly, Udacity has full nanodegree programs, which teach students everything they need to know to get a job in data science. They also get access to career coach for their job search. Learn more about Udacity in our review.
  • Codecademy is one of the most popular coding programs online. They provide free courses on many different programming languages. They also offer membership options ranging from $20 to $40 per month for more course options and greater support. Learn more about Codecademy in our review.
  • Likewise, 365 Data Science is a low-cost and low commitment option to learn data fundamentals. In the same vein, FourthBrain has part-time, online machine learning courses.
  • Finally, edX is another popular online learning platform with university courses. Their self-paced courses come from top schools like Harvard and MIT, and even big tech companies like Microsoft. Students can choose to learn the fundamentals or dive deeper into specific topics, like data. Learn more about edX in our review.

How does Insight compare to Pathrise?

Insight is only available for PhD grads in the data science field. Pathrise accepts job-seekers from all education levels as long as they have some background in their chosen field. In addition, Insight is a full-time program that often requires fellows to take time off work or relocate. Our program is flexible and fully remote. There are only 4 hours of group sessions per week and Pathrise fellows can schedule 1-on-1 sessions as needed.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that helps people land their dream job in tech. Our mentors work 1-on-1 with fellows on technical and behavioral interviewing as well as resume and LinkedIn optimization, portfolio building and strengthening, cold email and reverse recruiting lessons, and negotiation.

We offer an income share agreement (ISA) so our program is free until you land a great tech job. We never require upfront payments or deposits. Fellows in Pathrise learn lifelong skills. On average, they increase their salaries by 10-20% through negotiation.

Pathrise optimizes the job search through 1-on-1 mentoring and personalized training. If you want to work with our mentors to get help with your technical and behavioral interviews or with any other aspect of the job search, join Pathrise.

Apply today.

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Alex MacPherson

Hi I'm Alex! Since graduating from UC Berkeley in 2019, I have worked on the growth team for Pathrise helping job seekers hone their skills to land their dream role through curated content on interview prep, resume building and more.

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