How To Develop A Custom Data Science Learning Plan

The road to data science success is a four lane, well marked, paved highway

Adam Ross Nelson
10 min readSep 21

Many of a career’s hardest decisions stem from our deepest fears and our highest hopes. Many of career’s hardest decisions challenge our identity, only to fortify who we truly are. Many of career’s hardest decisions reveal the distance between who we are and who we aspire to be.

In the process of helping mid- and late-career professionals transition their career into data science I am constantly, almost on a daily basis, engaged in helping folks decide:

  • What to study; Which books to buy; Which courses to take
  • How to study; How much to study
  • When to study; For how long to study
  • What not to study.

Many of a career’s hardest decisions aren’t about choosing the right path, but about the journey we undertake. 👣 👣 👣 Will you go this way? Or that?

Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash

This article will explore why some folks sometimes have a difficult time deciding the best path forward on the data science learning journey. It will also summarize the major topics and learning objectives from two of the world’s leading data science bootcamp providers.

While this article will provide links to other resources, the primary goal is not to advertise those resources. The primary goal is to help you strategize in developing your own customer learning plan. You should use the resources I link to here as a source of inspiration.

The main strategy I present in developing this custom learning plan is to reverse engineer other general or generic learning plans.


An important preface for this article is in at least two parts. The first part is that you really do need to develop a custom plan for yourself. One of the main drawbacks to many degree programs and also too many bootcamp programs, especially for mid- and late-career professionals, is that we have already acquired a broad range of skills and abilities.

Because we have acquired that broad range of skills and abilities, there is a high potential for a degree program or a bootcamp program to provide…

Adam Ross Nelson

Ask about my free career course. I mentor new (💫) and aspiring data scientists enter (🚪) and level up (📈) in the field.