Is a 3 month job-centered bootcamp as bad as grad school?

What do think of quitting my boring office job to pay $12,500 for a 3-month bootcamp in Data Science? They claim people can make $90-120k after the bootcamp. I already make $120k (in a boring job) so I think they are right, but I am not qualified currently in Data Science.

I know you hate grad school, I got my masters in economics while working, but it was expensive, slow paced and I couldn’t spend that much time on it b/c I was I working at the same time.

I am taking Linear Algebra at a community college right now and I really like it. I just wish I could spend more time doing real-world projects, and then actually doing data science, but I feel unqualified for any junior data science jobs.

I can program a little and know statistics, which are the requirements to get into the bootcamp.

Are job-focused bootcamps as bad as grad school? Also, I’m in my late twenties, and I’d like to have kids in like 5 years.

14 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    Why are you having kids in five years vs now? You will be in the exact same place in five years with this plan.

    • Jessica
      Jessica says:

      Penelope, this made me smile. You are so right. I’ll probably be bored in a similar office job in five years… but if there’s a chance for me to have more engaging and satisfying work, I want to take that chance!

      I’m not having kids yet because I’m not married, and I think having children without a husband is a very dumb thing to do, to quote Charles Murray. I’ve emailed you before about my boyfriend – he is kind, thoughtful, responsible, funny, handsome, and smart.

      It’s been two years of dating and living together for one – and right now I go back and forth between yes, definitely, he’s the one and – how do I know we will be perfect for each other forever? I guess honestly, I’m also willing to take that chance, but from talking to him, he wants more time to see how we handle crises, or I don’t know, he’s a P (an ISTP I think) so I think he just needs more information than me, a J (ENFJ). But I don’t want to just wait around so pursuing a dream career seems like a good thing to do, right?

      I figure, one more year of dating, one year of engagement, one year of marriage, 9 months of pregnancy, that’s about 4 more years, with some wiggle room here and there. So I’ll be in my early thirties, that doesn’t seem too terrible.

      • Penelope Trunk
        Penelope Trunk says:

        You write: “How do I know we’ll be perfect for each other forever?” You will be an imperfect match for sure because no two people are perfect for each other. Rather they work hard at making things good between them. Marriage is picking an imperfect partner you want to do hard work with.

        It seems suspicious that your partner is still looking for data – specifically about how you deal with crisis.

        The thing ISTPs are better at than anything is crisis. They are the person who would have saved the tribe from the enemy, kept the fire from going out, killed a lion for dinner. There is no crisis an ISTP doesn’t love. Unless it’s an emotional crisis. Because ISTPs have no use for emotions.

        That said, ISTPs have little need for marriage. Also, they hate being tied down by commitments – and that’s pretty much the definition of marriage.

        So him telling you he’s not ready to get married because he needs to see what you do in a crisis is like you saying you need to wait to see what he’s like as a caregiver.

        You are incompetent in crisis compared to him. He is incompetent at understanding emotional needs compared to you. There is nothing else to learn in this regard.

        What he’s really telling you is he gains nothing by committing so he doesn’t want to.

        This is bad for you because you have nothing to do. You are in a holding pattern because you don’t like your career and you don’t have time to build a new one before you have kids. So you are making up stuff to do with yourself while you wait for him.

        If there were a good reason to wait for him I could understand. But there is not a lot of data pointing to him wanting to get married in a year because nothing will have changed.

        It strikes me as very unproductive for you to change careers at this stage of your life. You can either be getting engaged now or trying to find someone new to marry. But with the timeline you present in your email below, your second pregnancy will be high risk, even in the best case scenario.

        So waiting a year to make the ISTP make up his mind seems like time you don’t have to waste.

        • Jessica
          Jessica says:

          Penelope thank you so so much for this letter. This is heart-wrenching for me to read because I think you are right.

          You are so right about him as the protector, the one to keep the fire going and kill the lion for dinner. I find that so attractive. Like he could be driving in a snowstorm and I feel safe enough to fall asleep.

          I tried to talk to him about this yesterday, but it didn’t go very well. He told me, “I *would* marry you” – but I’m not sure what that means. He said, “I’ve known girls where everything was fine for two years and then I learned new things about them that I didn’t see. That’s why I don’t want to rush anything” and “why can’t we just be? Why do we have to put timelines on everything?” I don’t really agree with this. And, “I’ve made that mistake before, I’m not going to rush into it again.” (He was married in his early twenties- but I think he dated her for five years before that, so I don’t think they really “rushed” into it. I don’t know too many details about it.)

          I think he will marry someone again one day. He also said, tongue-in-cheek because he’s very funny, “I am not against commitment: I find commitment reliable, and therefore efficient.” But you’re right. In one year, nothing will have changed. I think he just may not want to marry me. :*(

          I think I need to move out. I wonder if I will be strong enough to do that. I will miss him so much. I also think I need to go to the bootcamp, and be open to meeting a nice person while I’m there.

          Thank you again so much Penelope for your help. I appreciate it very much.

          • Monica
            Monica says:

            This is so heartbreaking, but I’m glad P was able to help you so quickly. :( Sending love and strength your way. You are moving toward something better.

          • madeleine
            madeleine says:

            yes! definitely move out! you have to SHOW (not tell) guys what they’re losing if they are not with you. I’ve long thought men and dogs are the same: they need to be trained, and your training needs to be consistent. If you move out and he doesn’t run after you, you’ll know he doesn’t want to marry you (and lots of men live with lovely women they don’t want to marry), and if he does, well then you’ve learnt a valuable lesson about how to get him to do what you want.

  2. Hubbard
    Hubbard says:

    I like how Penelope was able to cut to the heart of the problem, which wasn’t job boot camp but whether Jessica should stay with the boyfriend who won’t commit.

    But I actually am interested in the boot camp question: are they a good idea?

    • Jenn
      Jenn says:

      I went to a coding bootcamp at 28 and met my boyfriend there too. Surprisingly, I’ve never met anyone else who this happened to so I’m glad you shared.

      Three and a half years later, I don’t even work in programming anymore but my boyfriend and I still have a thriving relationship. (I tested as an INTJ for 10+ years and even majored in science. After quitting every programming job I got, I realized I was an INFJ and now am pursuing my real callings of writing and personal training.) So for me, the bootcamp functioned more as a matchmaking service than a career service.

      Which bothered me for a while until I decided that the ways I have grown as a person since meeting this man will in time net me more than the $13K I spent meeting him.

  3. jessica
    jessica says:

    Penelope’s advice is great and being receptive to it in the way you are is even better.

    Istp’s love honesty. Stick with your plan to move out and directly explain why: You are ready for marriage and kids and you love him and want him to be that person with you (because I read this from you). He has imagined fears of history repeating itself. But now his fear should turn to losing you completely.
    Moving out and being honest as to why is the best chance you have of being assertive and respectful. He will hate it and appreciate it. Maybe he will also change his mind once you’re not in his daily reality. Does he even want kids? Not very istp to want them. I wish you well.

  4. Tina
    Tina says:

    Since the original letter writer is an ENFJ, she has great intuition about what would be good for her. Maybe it is the 3 mo boot camp, maybe it’s not. But she needs to listen to what she feels and I firmly believe that the universe will open up the right path for her, if she is willing to listen to the signs that she sees. I know a super NF idea (I’m an INFJ), but I think she will understand.

    As for the boyfriend, ISTPs really don’t want to commit. You will have to force the issue of marriage or he will be happy to leave things as they are. Not to say you should force him into getting married, but stand up for what you want. And if he can’t give that to you, move on.

    • Isabelle
      Isabelle says:

      As a fellow ENFJ, I think this is right on.

      I’m also curious about the ISTP’s feelings about kids– if he isn’t ready to get married, would he really be ready for kids in just a couple years? Kids are a MUCH MUCH bigger commitment than marriage, and kids are also a much bigger test of your relationship than marriage is. Unless he’s significantly older than you, or you are in a location like the Midwest where the norm is to have kids by your mid-30’s at the latest, then I would be wary that he’ll be ready for kids soon enough for you, even if he ends up agreeing to marriage.

  5. YesMyKidsAreSocialized
    YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

    This letter was really intense! Who knew it would end up leading to a break up?!

    • Cáit
      Cáit says:

      Yes! The surprise twists are what I like about this blog. The question is never the question.
      Jessica, remember when you were a kid, The Rules?

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