The Dataquest Story
In 2008, Vik Paruchuri graduated college with a 2.1 GPA, a degree in American History, and no idea what he wanted to do with his life.
School had always been an uphill battle for Vik. Lectures and textbooks left him feeling demotivated and bored, so he just assumed he was bad at learning.
However, Vik had always enjoyed coding. He would write simple games, and scripts to make boring work go faster. The problem was, he didn't see it as "real" programming work, so he didn't consider turning his interest into a career.
Instead, he drifted between jobs after college, dabbling in coding only occassionally.
But then, Vik discovered machine learning.
An interest in predicting the stock market led Vik to learn more about algorithms and networks, which led him to participate in Kaggle competitions. It was then that Vik knew he had found his passion.
After competing in Kaggle competitions for about a year and learning as much as he could, Vik landed a job as a Machine Learning Engineer.
It was his first job doing work he loved — and it had taken him six years after college to find it.
Two years later, Vik launched Dataquest with a dream to make learning data science accessible and affordable to learners all over the world.
Most public education focuses on top-down curriculum — especially lectures and assessments. For some people, the structure and stability of public education works well. But for people like Vik, the pattern of "memorize-regurgitate-repeat" is boring and de-motivating.
On the other end of the spectrum, self-taught learners are often highly driven, because they've found a project or topic that deeply motivates them. But self-taught learning lack structure, so self-taught learners often get stuck and find themselves wondering, "What should I learn next?" or "Is this what I need to be learning to achieve my goal?"
At Dataquest we strive to combine the best of both worlds.
Our curriculum is built around interesting, real-world projects, so you learn how to apply skills to real problems. But we also structure the lessons so you get immediate feedback, just like in a classroom, and provide overall paths so you know you're learning the right topic.
Together, it's a powerful combination.
Diversity at Dataquest
At Dataquest, we support gender and ethnic diversity in data science because it's the right thing to do, and because we believe it will make the world a better place.
We live out our commitment to diversity through:
- Dataquest Premium Scholarships. We've given out more than 5,000 scholarships across five programs in 2019 and 2020 so far.
- Matching employee donations to racial justice organizations.
- Emphasizing diversity in our hiring, and supporting employees' diverse needs through monthly diversity meetings.
We are always looking to do better and support underrepresented communities in data science. If you know of an opportunity that might be a good fit for Dataquest, please let us know.
Ready to start learning with Dataquest?
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Want to work with us? Check out our open job postings.