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Sept. 28 - Oct. 3, 2013

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Zipfian Bets on Immersive Data Science Education

Zipfian Academy, a school for data science, threw open its doors this week for its inaugural class of students, each starting a career in what has been called the “sexiest profession of the 21st century” by the Harvard Business Review.  Monday kicked off the 12-week intensive training program, where students are learning the multi-faceted craft of distilling intelligence from data.

“We’re seeing incredible demand for data science education,” says Zipfian Academy co-founder and CEO Ryan Orban. “This is one of the most sought-after careers of our time, and universities are not moving fast enough to meet the demand. Companies are ready to fight for great candidates, but there are not many academic settings that merge statistics, business analysis, and computer programming with the critical thinking skills that make a great data scientist.”

Over 220 applicants vied for just 13 spots in Zipfian Academy’s inaugural class. The hand-picked group will spend the next three months immersed in data science fundamentals in a hands-on learning environment, working full-time from a sunny, open office in San Francisco. Zipfian Academy has attracted students with quantitative backgrounds who want to jump feet-first into the emerging profession. Students in the first cohort come from academic research, consulting, and software development backgrounds, and come ready to join top tech companies or startups with their newly developed skills.

Students will learn the full stack of abilities required to be successful as a data scientist from asking the right questions to comprehensive data analysis and effective communication. This includes both critical thinking abilities and problem-solving mindset that is key to success, as well as deep dives into computer programming and statistical tools for uncovering insights from data.

The students are betting that the skills and network they develop will be more valuable than traditional routes of advanced education.

“Education is changing rapidly,” says co-founder and CTO Jonathan Dinu. “Online courses have democratized the knowledge once locked up in the halls of universities. We’re offering a hands-on experience created by data science experts that compiles the most important aspects of data science into one carefully assembled package.”

Students at Zipfian Academy have access to exclusive recruiting events with world-class companies in technology and consumer retail, and a hiring day for smaller companies and startups looking to hire their first data scientist. Negotiations are underway with a number of recruiting partners. The company will also develop its partnerships with a select handful of Silicon Valley tech startups in the months ahead.

“We’re seeing first-hand that companies cannot find the data science talent they need,” said Orban. “The companies we work with want to hire great people who can deliver valuable insights, not just a candidate that looks qualified on paper. We’re part of something here that’s really exciting: teaching our students the tools they need do amazing things with data science in a world where skills matter more and more.”

Zipfian Academy will be presenting the story behind the school on the main stage at DataWeek. They’ll also be exhibiting at the DataWeek Expo, and teaching a 1-Day Bootcamp on Data Science and Machine Learning on Monday, 9/30.

Learn more at zipfianacademy.com.

About the Company:

Zipfian Academy is a school teaching data science through an immersive 12-week course. The program helps students develop the mindset and technical skills they need to launch a data science career. Students receive access to a world-class network of data science experts, personalized instruction featuring hands-on projects, a collaborative learning space in San Francisco, and exclusive recruiting events with top-tier technology companies.   Follow on Twitter @zipfianacademy

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