Cyber Talk Radio: Codeup's Data Science Program

Bret Piatt, CTR Host and Maggie Giust, Codeup's Senior Data Scientist - Episode 111 of Cyber Talk Radio

This past Saturday, November 10, episode 111 of Cyber Talk Radio hit the air on 1200 WOAI and iHeartRadio streaming. I was joined by Maggie Giust, Codeup's Senior Data Scientist, to discuss the career accelerator's new data science program and the growing demand for data scientists in different industries.

What led to Codeup deciding to add a new data science program? IBM predicts demand for data scientists will soar 28% by 2020. Given this stat, we are happy that Codeup has listened to this demand and launched a data science program. The new program will kick off in February 2019 with its first cohort of 25 students. Maggie joined Codeup to specifically help create and build out the curriculum for the data science program. She has prior experience building out data science curriculum as she is also an instructor at Trinity University for the Business Analytics and Technology major in the School of Business and Technology.

Maggie talks us through what data science is and what you need to have as a pre-requisite to get accepted into the program. Data science is all about giving data a voice. People interested in becoming a data scientist need to have the right aptitude as well as problem solving, creative and logical thinking skills. If you have all of these skills, you just might have the proper recipe to become a data scientist. Codeup's data science track is an intensive 18-week program consisting of 8 hours of classwork a day. Students will be getting real, hands-on coding experience during the program including 1000+ hours. This comes in handy because many times data scientists start out by being a "data janitor" to clean up the existing data that company’s have. Once the data is cleaned up, you can then use data science to help you generate outputs as predictions or a data product enabling someone at the business to take action.

Fun Fact: What got Maggie excited and interested in data science? She loves problem solving, puzzles, mazes, and more. All of these use the skills that make up the recipe (as mentioned above) for a good data scientist.

In order to be a data scientist, there is more to it than just learning Python. Soft skills are just as important as the hard technical skills. The ability to communicate effectively is critical for data scientists to be successful at a business. You need to be able to synthesize the data findings to different audiences. Codeup’s instructors all have industry experience, which helps them teach the students the skills that they need to have to work with businesses. This is so important to Codeup that they offer a 100 percent money back guarantee if a student does not get a job within six months of graduating from the program. When looking for job positions, is there a specific department for data science at a company? Some large enterprise organizations like Facebook or LinkedIn have data science hubs within the company, other organizations have data scientists sit within a specific group or department such as marketing, product, customer support, etc. Every company and industry varies.

To close out the show, I asked Maggie to share some myths about data science. Don't get confused, data scientists are not unicorns, magicians or statisticians. Listen to the full episode replay to learn more data science myths and about Codeup's new program.

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