A review of SharpestMinds as a data science job search tool

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

What does SharpestMinds do?

A remote mentorship program, SharpestMinds helps current and aspiring data scientists land a job in tech. Candidates work 1-on-1 with mentors from top tech companies such as Google, Airbnb, and Spotify. The mentorship program is a part-time commitment and requires that candidates work 10+ hours per week for approximately 8-12 weeks. 

The curriculum can be tailored to students’ interests. Most people practice deploying machine learning models to product, writing clean code, cleaning data, and other related skills. Working with their mentors, candidates build a full-stack machine learning project. This takes anywhere from 4 to 16 weeks to complete. Mentors offer support through office hours, code reviews, and over Slack.

Candidates also receive 1-on-1 support and guidance on resumes, LinkedIn portfolios, interview prep, and more. They participate in mock interviews with their peers, twice-weekly job search seminars, salary negotiation workshops, webinars, and study groups. Participants have the opportunity to network with SharpestMinds hiring partners as well. 

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Who is SharpestMinds for?

SharpestMinds is for current and aspiring data scientists who are looking to secure a job in the tech industry. At minimum, candidates should have completed some data science projects or computer science courses. They also need to be able to write code in Python.

Candidates must be based in the United States or Canada. 

What does SharpestMinds cost? How much work is involved?

SharpestMinds uses an income share agreement (ISA) model. Therefore, students pay a portion of their monthly salary for 12 months if they land a technical position within 24 months of starting the program. The ISA percentage is determined by the mentor based on the amount of time they will spend with the student. Typically, mentors ask for 5% to 10% and then an additional 3% is added on, which goes to SharpestMinds.

To apply, candidates submit an online application and request to speak with a mentor. After the mentor accepts the request, SharpestMinds sets up an interview. If the mentor thinks that the candidate is a good fit, they will make them an offer, which outlines the mentor’s time commitment and fee. 

Ratings and reviews

As a relatively new program, there are not too many online reviews of SharpestMinds available. The founder has answered questions on Reddit and offered resources on GitHub

One Medium reviewer benefited from the program and noted, “Weekly check-ins allowed us to report how we were progressing on each week’s deliverable. The milestones and deliverables are clearly set at the start of the project and agreed upon by both sides, which helped us to gauge the amount of effort needed to complete the project”. However, this review is from 2017 and might not reflect the current program’s structure. 

Alternatives to SharpestMinds

If SharpestMinds does not fit your needs, there are a number of alternative programs for aspiring data scientists:

More alternatives
  • Free online resources, SoloLearn and the Mode tutorials have tracks in SQL, as well as other programming languages.
  • People interested in Python data science and web development bootcamps can consider Coding Temple and RMOTR.
  • If you prefer in-person classes, check out Magnimind, which has full-time and part-time data science courses. In the same vein, FourthBrain has part-time, online machine learning courses.
  • Udacity and Springboard are online learning platforms with courses in data science, as well as other subjects. Learn more about how Udacity and Springboard can help you in our program reviews.
  • Similarly, Coursera, Udemy, and edX are online learning tools with hundreds of courses covering a wide range of topics, including data science.
  • Finally, Codecademy is one of the most popular coding programs online. They provide free courses on many different programming languages. Learn more about Codecademy in our review.

How does SharpestMinds compare to Pathrise?

SharpestMinds is a mentorship program for data scientists with some background in their field. Candidates complete a machine learning project with the help of their mentor, as well as receive guidance on their job search.

Likewise, Pathrise fellows should also have some background in their field of interest so that they can fully benefit from our technical workshops, pair programming sessions, and 1-on-1s, which prepare people for the questions that they will likely encounter in their technical interviews.

At Pathrise, our mentors come from top tech companies, including Facebook, eBay, and Salesforce, and have years of experience on both sides of the hiring table. We provide guidance on every component of the job search, including resume & LinkedIn optimization, portfolio building, cold emailing & reverse recruiting strategies, behavioral interview prep, and salary negotiation.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. With our tips and guidance, we’ve seen our fellows interview scores double.

If you want to work with any of our mentors 1-on-1 to get help with your data science interviews or with any other aspect of the job search, become a Pathrise fellow. 

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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