What makes a data science boot-camp exist? — Africa Data School

Africa Data School
5 min readJan 10, 2023

First and foremost, a data science boot-camp like Africa Data School exist because traditional universities take too long. They take too long to introduce a curriculum in a field that is changing fast and often. An example of such curriculum is , data science, blockchain, quantum computing, just to name a few.

Why does is take too long

Here are several factors that can make it take more time for a new course to be approved by a university. Some of the main factors include:

  1. Curriculum review process: Universities have a rigorous process in place for reviewing and approving new courses. This process typically involves review by various committees and departments, and can take several months to complete.
  2. Alignment with existing curriculum: A new course that requires significant changes to the existing curriculum may take longer to be approved because it needs to be carefully reviewed and evaluated to ensure that it aligns with the overall goals and objectives of the program.
  3. Faculty resources: If a new course requires additional faculty resources, such as hiring new instructors or creating new materials, it may take longer to be approved because these resources need to be secured before the course can be offered.
  4. Budgetary considerations: New courses can also take longer to be approved if they require additional funding, such as for equipment or lab space. Universities need to ensure that they have the necessary budget in place to support new courses.
  5. Accreditation standards: If a new course is part of a professional program, it may take longer to be approved because it needs to be evaluated to ensure that it meets accreditation standards.
  6. Student interest and demand: In some cases, new course proposals may need to be vetted on student interest and demand, and this can add to the duration of the approval process.
  7. Compliance with the regulation and laws: A new course may need to comply with a variety of regulations and laws, and that could add additional time to the approval process.
  8. Administrative approval: Finally, new course proposal needs administrative approval and this also add time to the approval process.

Let us get into specifics

These are just some of the factors that can make it take more time for a new course to be approved by a university. The specific timeline will vary depending on the university and the particular course proposal.

It’s possible that universities take longer to introduce courses in certain emerging fields like blockchain, data science, and quantum computing because of some of the factors I mentioned earlier. For example, these fields may require significant changes to existing curriculum and aligning them with the overall goals of the program, they may also require additional faculty resources and expertise.

In the case of blockchain, it is a relatively new and rapidly evolving field, so universities may need to ensure that their course offerings are up-to-date and relevant to current industry trends. This can take time as the university may need to find the right instructor with the appropriate skills and experience, and develop the curriculum accordingly.

In the case of data science, it is a interdisciplinary field and needs the collaboration and resources of multiple departments and this could make the approval process longer.

In the case of quantum computing, since it’s a very new field, it is possible that few universities may not have the faculty resources or expertise to develop and offer courses in quantum computing. Also, developing the infrastructure and resources to support quantum computing education and research can be a significant cost and take time.

Additionally, in many cases universities may prefer to wait to see how the field develops, before they invest in developing a new course, this way they avoid offering outdated or irrelevant curriculum.

Overall, while universities may be interested in offering courses in emerging fields like blockchain, data science, and quantum computing, it can take time to develop and approve new course offerings that meet their standards and align with the overall goals of the program.

Why does a data science boot-camp exist?

Data science boot-camps exist because they provide an intensive, focused, and often fast-paced way for individuals to learn the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a career in data science. These boot-camps typically have a more hands-on, practical approach than traditional university programs, and are designed to teach students the specific skills that are in high demand in the job market.

Some of the reasons why individuals may choose to attend a data science boot-camp include:

  1. Flexibility: Data science boot-camps are often offered online or on a flexible schedule, making them a convenient option for those who are already working or have other commitments.
  2. Practical experience: Data science boot-camps place a strong emphasis on hands-on, project-based learning, allowing students to apply their new skills to real-world problems.
  3. Time-efficient: Boot-camps are often shorter than traditional degree programs, enabling students to quickly gain the skills they need and enter the job market faster.
  4. Job-focused: Data science boot-camps are designed to teach students the specific skills that are in high demand in the job market. many of them have a strong emphasis on teaching the tools and technologies that are used in the industry.
  5. Low-cost: Data science boot-camps tend to be less expensive than traditional university programs, which could make them a more accessible option for many individuals.
  6. Networking: Many boot-camps have strong connections with industry employers, which can help students find job opportunities after completing the program.
  7. Career change: Data Science Boot-camp is a way for those from different background to change their career, especially for those with a quantitative background but not specific computer science or engineering background.

These are some reasons why data science boot-camps exist, they offer a different approach than the traditional education, focusing on the specific skills, and providing a fast-track for those who want to enter the job market quickly. However, it’s important to note that boot-camps are not a replacement for a university degree, and many employers do still value formal education when hiring for data science roles.

Originally published at https://www.africadataschool.com on January 10, 2023.



Africa Data School

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