Data Science Bootcamp or Master's Degree

Hey everyone! I will be graduating next year with an Anthropology degree, but through my studies I have grown an interest in computational anthropology and data science. From what I've seen on LinkedIn, there seems to be a stigma against bootcamps. I've reached out to a couple universities that offer one, but before I move forward would it be wiser to complete my Master's degree or enroll in a bootcamp to get a foot in the job market?

Thanks! :)

As someone who paid for a DS grad program (and the associated university name + alumni network), I have Thoughts. What it comes down to is what you're looking to get out of it. For me, my goals were two-fold: 1. Get a prestigious university with a dedicated alumni network on my CV. 2. Make a quick, mid-pandemic transition (in 2020) from bartending to a more durable, less physically demanding field.Some possible considerations: - If you're looking to upskill to go into a more technical branch of anthropology, it may be worth it to go to grad school for that specifically. In that case, you can prove your technical competence by researching the languages common to those programs (from my DS experience, linguistics is heavily Python-based) and then seeking out courses and/or bootcamps to incorporate that into your undergrad education so you're more competitive on application.- If you're looking to get a job and network, heavily research the rates of successful placement for whatever route you choose. Make sure that the numbers reference only up to three months after graduation, not longer time horizons. Any legit programs worth their salt should be crowing about their successes.- If you're looking break into DS itself and not computational anthro, there's a third option, especially if you're flexible on location: apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are a way to upskill on the job *while getting paid*. You're also placed within a tech-focused company from day one, so you may get exposure there.- If you're looking to not accumulate more student debt (my one-year program tuition was $49k, but other programs like Georgia Tech's run closer to $15k), bootcamps *that come with hiring resources, career coaches, and connections to companies*. Happy to answer any further questions directly!
Totally unrelated but I feel like you should tell us more about that pivot from bartending to data science! I can only imagine all the lessons learned, positive/negative surprises along the way + transferred skills!
tl;dr PLEASE tip your servers and bartenders, outside of living minimum wage states, they make between $2.13 and $7/hour and usually don't have health insuranceCW: trauma, references to workplace abuseOh, for sure! Some additional background: my undergrad degrees were in physics and English lit, and I tutored STEM and was a freelance writer while bartending. A lot of high-end bartenders hold secondary degrees in STEM fields, but liked bartending better.The most negative surprise is how much abuse happens on the job. The customers you get can be both extraordinarily generous and extremely entitled and shitty, sometimes in a 10-minute window. For example, in my last bar job, my manager got a complaint and a compliment within a two hour stretch -- both about my service! My last shift was the day before the COVID lockdown went into effect, and my friends who are still in the industry have reported that people have gotten even worse since then.In addition, it's a super bro-y culture. Kitchens are even worse, but some customers feel entitled to touch "what they're paying for" AKA your service, and in their eyes, your body. Deflecting unwanted sexual advances is literally part of the job. This part of things also upped my anxiety in my day-to-day because I keep waiting for my boss or the clients I work with to act similarly, which is unthinkable to them.Also, there's no PTO, financial education, or employer-sponsored health insurance. The last one is especially nuts because as a bartender, you're around glass all. the. time. Every person I've known in the service industry has worked a shift after having some sort of glass or knife-related injury. Every. single. person.The most positive is how passionate many bartenders are about what they do. They're creating drinks all the time outside of work, playing with flavors, and deepening their knowledge through certifications, conferences, and trainings. In the first year I bartended, I calculated it would've cost me over $10,000 out of pocket to try the spirits, cocktails, and liqueurs that I sampled on the job and at industry events to build my tasting skills. At the last bourbon club meeting I went to in Birmingham, the bottles on the table were worth more than $15,000, and they were all brought to share! The biggest thing that it teaches is swagger and confidence, because you *have* to perform even when someone just called you something nasty or someone is actively breaking up with you or a family member is dying and no one can take your shift (all of these happened). Your income literally depends on how well you can smile and take care of others, even when your own life is burning. In my current role, my boss has actually called out this confidence as a huge plus in a 1:1.The second biggest is how to sell. If I care at all about what I'm doing, I can find a way to pitch it that makes it irresistible.