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This article was published on July 2, 2015

    Data Incubator opens a West Coast campus to groom the next generation of data scientists

    Data Incubator opens a West Coast campus to groom the next generation of data scientists
    Nate Swanner
    Story by

    Nate Swanner

    Former Reporter, TNW

    TNW's former West Coast writer in the PNW (Portland, Oregon). Nate loves amplifying developers, and codes in Swift when he's not writing. If TNW's former West Coast writer in the PNW (Portland, Oregon). Nate loves amplifying developers, and codes in Swift when he's not writing. If you need to get in touch, Twitter is your best bet.

    Data Incubator, an East Coast fellowship program, is expanding to the West Coast with a new office in San Francisco. Its goal is to prepare highly qualified scientists and engineers for work as quants or data scientists.

    The Bay Area campus has already accepted 10 fellows for its inaugural class.

    Data Incubator takes fellow with “most of the advanced education and foundational knowledge required to pursue a professional data science role.” Those with Masters degrees or PhDs in computer science, mathematics, social science, statistics and physics are best positioned to be accepted.

    Fellows in the program study SQL, Web scraping, machine learning, graph algorithms, time series, natural language processing, support vector machines, MapReduce, Spark and Scalding, spending the bulk of their day writing code and analyzing data for the full seven week track.

    The program takes no tuition from fellows, but is selective about who gets in. Data Incubator says only 2 percent of the 3,000 applications submitted since June 2014 have been accepted, and 80 percent of applicants hold PhDs.

    Once fellows complete their program, about 90 percent are placed in jobs with companies such as eBay, Pfizer, Palantir, Etsy, Betterment, Dataminr, Capital One, AIG and The New York Times.

    “Most people applying for data science positions aren’t qualified,” Data Incubator founder Michael Li tells us. “We help filter them out so that a hiring manager is not spending the time interviewing people who don’t match their technical bar and can focus on the social fit and company-unique factors that they are most qualified to work on.”

    The San Francisco campus has already enrolled a summer cohort of 10 fellows and is now accepting applications for its fall cohort, which begins in September.

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