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Principal Analytics Prep data science bootcamp review

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 Principal Analytics Prep.

What does Principal Analytics Prep do?

Principal Analytics Prep is a bootcamp that teaches people the practical skills they need to launch a new career as a data scientist or data analyst. Students can usually take the course part-time or full-time at the Harvard Business School Startup Studio in New York City. However, classes are currently remote due to Covid-19. Class sizes are small and include lots of personalized support. In addition, all students participate in live lectures, hands-on exercises, projects, networking events, guest lectures, and 1-on-1 coaching.

Full-time course 

The full-time course runs for 12 weeks with classes Monday through Friday from 9:30am to 4:30pm EST. Former hiring managers are the course instructors. They teach students a mix of data analytics and data science, including applied statistics, computing skills, and even some business subjects. The fast-paced curriculum covers technical data science skills like Python, R, SQL, noSQL/cloud, SAS, and machine learning. Likewise, students also learn statistical reasoning, analytics strategy, data visualization, A/B testing, data quality, and even web analytics. The comprehensive curriculum even combines data with business topics to teach mini-MBA skills, business communications, financial analysis, and more.

Part-time course

Students in the part-time course meet on Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30pm to 9:30pm EST. The curriculum takes 36 weeks to complete. Students participate in three 12-week levels. Level 1 focuses on data analytics, teaching students the fundamentals of statistical reasoning, analytics strategy, SQL, Python, and Power Excel. Then, Level 2 covers technical data science skills like machine learning, R, data quality, the cloud, A/B testing, and financial analysis. Finally, Level 3 goes into advanced topics like data visualization for business, text mining, statistical modeling, mini-MBA skills, and business communications.

Both courses include career coaching to help grads land a data science job. After completing the program, grads continue to meet with both data specialists and hiring managers who help them through each step of the job search. Grads also get access to Principal Analytics Prep’s professional network, full of experienced guest lecturers, instructors, and alumni.

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Who is Principal Analytics Prep for?

People with a little tech experience who are looking to move into data science or data analysis could benefit from Principal Analytics Prep courses. The program is especially helpful for people seeking a comprehensive data curriculum that covers data analytics, data science, and even key business skills. Moreover, the Level 1 course is a good fit for people with little or no experience, but students with some background in Python, SQL, and Excel can start at level 2.

What does Principal Analytics Prep cost? How much work is involved?

Tuition for the full-time data science bootcamp is $18,888 total, with a $5,000 deposit required upfront. Students in the 3 level part-time course pay for each level individually. Level 1 costs $4,888 and Level 2 costs $7,888. While Level 3 is not currently being offered, it usually costs about $6,000. Plus, each part-time course level requires a $2,000 deposit upfront.

The admissions process begins with a brief online application. Then, candidates move on to an aptitude test and a behavioral interview. Technically, no prior experience is required. However, students usually have a bachelor’s degree, basic computer programming experience, and at least a little familiarity with data. 

Ratings and reviews

Principal Analytics Prep has mostly positive reviews. They hold a 4.88/5 star rating on Course Report where they were listed among the 21 best data science bootcamps of 2019 and 2020. Students praised their “comprehensive coaching and career development program” which extended far beyond graduation. Similiarly, another student appreciated that “real world data is used” in the curriculum and that they teach the “most common software you are likely to find in your job.” They also praised the extensive career services and small classes with personalized support. One grad agreed that the “small, but engaging classroom environment drastically improved my learning experience.”

The program also holds a perfect 5/5 star rating on Career Karma. Students raved about the “super helpful exercises” and the practical career counseling sessions. The comprehensive curriculum was also a big hit. Overall, reviewers were very satisfied with the bootcamp’s abundant personalized support and practical learning experience. However, it’s worth noting that Principal Analytics Prep no longer offers their previously very well-received scholarships. In addition, while career coaches meet with students after graduation, there is no job guarantee or financing options.

Alternatives to Principal Analytics Prep

If you decide not to enroll in a Principal Analytics Prep course, there are many alternative bootcamps and resources that can help you land a job as a data analyst or data scientist. 

  • Metis has both introductory and more advanced data science courses with onsite & remote bootcamp options. Learn more about Metis in our review.
  • The data science bootcamp Divergence Academy also offers full-time and part-time courses in data science subjects. Like Principal Analytics Prep, their program is flexible and includes opportunities for 1-on-1 mentorship.
  • Similarly, aspiring data scientists seeking a hands-on curriculum with lots of personalized support can check out Springboard. They offer tracks in data science and data analytics with 1-on-1 mentoring. If students don’t land a job within 6 months of graduating, they get a full refund. Learn more about Springboard in our review.
  • The popular tech bootcamp, Thinkful teaches courses in data science, as well as software engineering and UX/UI design.
  • Likewise, the Menon Labs fellowship helps people learn the skills to become web developers, data scientists, and product managers.
  • Another popular bootcamp with an income share agreement (ISA) is General Assembly. They teach full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on a variety of topics like data science and analytics as well as digital marketing, software engineering, UX design, and product management. Read more about General Assembly in our review.
  • The online learning program Data Science Dream Job offers self-paced data science courses. Like Principal Analytics Prep, these programs include portfolio building and career assistance.
  • Another data science resource is DataCamp. They host 300+ courses on data science subjects that last about 4 hours each. DataCamp also has an active community forum for networking and Q&A.
More alternatives
  • For those looking for a data science community focused on project-learning learning, Kaggle can be a good choice.
  • The tech bootcamps Lambda School and Rutgers Bootcamps teach courses in data science and full stack web dev.
  • Or, consider Kal Academy, which works with women and underrepresented groups on software engineering, web dev, and data.
  • Coding Dojo can also be a good option for those looking to start a career in data science. They teach fundamental skills needed to land an entry level job as a data analyst.
  • The tech bootcamp BrainStation offers programs in data science, UX/UI design, web development, and more. Like Principal Analytics Prep, BrainStation emphasizes hands-on, practical data learning.
  • Students seeking flexible, self-paced learning can also check out Udemy. Their platform hosts thousands of affordable video courses on data science.
  • Similarly, Codecademy offers free self-paced courses on data science and many programming languages. They also have membership options ranging from $20 to $40 per month for greater course options and extra support. Learn more about Codecademy in our review.
  • For people seeking hands-on data learning on a budget, Udacity can be a good fit. Students in their nanodegree program build polished projects for their portfolios and work closely with technical and career mentors. Find out if Udacity is right for your goals in our review.
  • Students seeking university courses on a budget can check out edX. Their platform hosts 3,000+ courses from top universities like Harvard and MIT, plus big tech companies like Microsoft. Students can choose to learn the fundamentals or dive deeper into specific topics, like data visualization or business analytics. Learn more about edX 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.

How does Principal Analytics Prep compare to Pathrise?

Principal Analytics Prep teaches the fundamental skills needed to land a job in data science or analytics. Pathrise fellows already have some background in their field of interest so they can work with their technical mentors on interviewing, pair programming, and other technical challenges.

Our experienced mentors have already helped 1,000+ people land their dream by working with fellows on their resumes & portfolios, reverse recruiting and cold emails, behavioral and technical interview preparation, salary negotiation, and more. 

The Pathrise program is flexible and tailored to the needs of each fellow. Fellows only have 2-4 hours of group sessions per week and can schedule 1-on-1 sessions as needed. With our guidance, fellows see their interview scores double and their application responses triple, lending jobs in only 3-5 months on average.

While Principal Analytics Prep includes career coaching after graduation, they do not offer a job guarantee or any financing options. The Pathrise income share agreement (ISA) means that fellows don’t pay anything until they land a job they love and start working. We never require upfront payments or deposits.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that optimizes the job search through 1-on-1 mentorship and personalized training. If you are interested in working with one of our mentors to land your dream job, 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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