Technology, and data science specifically, has changed the hiring process. Education is only the start; experience is fast becoming a priority for those looking to find a job quickly. The catch-22? How do you get experience to get hired when you need employment to gain experience? Before you lose your mind answering that question, there’s good news. You can get experience in quite a few ways before you ever set foot at your job site. Hackathons are highly visible but can take a while before you gain traction. You can volunteer, but you need training first. Tackling problems on your own can be daunting for beginners. One of the best ways to get experience right from the start is to take part in an immersive learning experience. Using immersive learning for data science will jumpstart your learning journey and provide a pathway to craft your own experience to get you hired.
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What is Immersive Learning?
In the traditional classroom, the teacher provided knowledge and instruction with students passively receiving. Not surprisingly, that’s a terrible way to learn. It was slow and easy for students to forget vital information.
Immersive learning provides hands-on experience. Students learn material and then immediately apply what they learn to practical situations. For a bootcamp, this means you can take information and use it right away to solve a problem. This simulated real-world environment provides students the chance not just to hear information, but to use it.
Your brain is brutally efficient. It categorizes information based on priority of importance. Hearing information without application often means your brain isn’t as quick to retrieve it because it’s not being used. We see this a lot in language learning, for example. You can memorize words all you want, but until you throw yourself into a conversation in your target language, you’ll have trouble retrieving the information when you need it.
Immersive Learning for Data Science
Because data science and programming are a lot like learning a new language (a lot!), you need to learn and then immediately apply what you’ve learned to help your brain categorize this new information as necessary.
So what does immersive learning look like within a boot camp context? A few things are going on here.
Python is a data science mainstay, but if you don’t have programming experience, learning a new language on your own can present a challenge. With an immersive bootcamp, you aren’t just watching someone implement Python. You’re scripting yourself under the watchful eye of an expert.
Same with SQL. You don’t have to try to work through SQL on your own. Instead, you’re able to take the first steps with someone to ask questions and get clarity. Plus, you’re in active learning mode with those around you, taking advantage of your community’s brain to work through obstacles.
Many conferences cater to more advanced topics in the field, but ODSC’s bootcamp puts you right in the thick of both advanced topics and those designed to ground you in the fundamentals. It’s the best of both worlds.
Once you’ve got the fundamentals, you get to immerse yourself in the programs data scientists use every day. Building on the core language practice you got the day before, you get to play around in the actual environment, whether it’s Scikit-Learn, Tableau, or MLFlow (among others).
Here’s the thing. You can experiment and stumble around in these programs on your own, but you’ll miss a few core concepts that can make your entire production a lot easier. Think of this as collaborating, both with your instructor and your fellow learners.
As you all begin to learn the fundamentals of your environments and frameworks, you’re able to get more familiar with what’s going on, taking advantage of the expertise of the instructor and the accidental discoveries of your fellow learners. Plus, you can share your own discoveries and get the chance to answer questions yourself.
When you attend ODSC’s bootcamp, for example, you gain world-class training from top data scientists working at the cutting edge of the field. No theory here — your learning is firmly grounded in the realities of the field.
Solving Real Problems
You’re familiar with the core basics and the frameworks. Now, you get to apply this experience to issues within data science. One common problem with learning on your own is that you learn in a vacuum. Troubleshooting when it’s your project looks very different when you add business goals and outside influence.
With an immersive boot camp, you get the chance to attend talks and workshops that address real-life issues and concerns. You get hands-on with prototyping in AI, for example, or building recommendation engines. You can learn to make machine learning faster through Kubernetes or apply ethical principles in the pursuit of data science.
It’s this final piece that helps reframe your learning and experience from something you do on your own to something valuable for future companies and research groups.
Attend a Bootcamp and Conference All in One
At ODSC East 2020, you will have a connection to experts—leaders and thinkers in the field, directing your first steps in the field. At the conclusion of this immersive experience, you gain access to the conference to niche down, explore what’s out there, and begin building your network.
This is a unique experience. Learning on your own is valuable, as is traditional schooling programs, but with an immersive boot camp leading to a conference, you learn on the bleeding edge of data science. You learn in motion.
Also at ODSC East 2020 is the AI Career Lab & Expo April 13-14. This is a great place to use all of the knowledge you learn during the course event to network with hiring companies, get your resume reviewed, and see what new skills you should focus on to get a job quickly.
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And it’s this motion that can propel you into the field with more confidence and better preparation.