Principal Analytics Prep’s Certified Data Specialist is a 12- week, full-time, on-site training program based in New York City. Our mission is to train people to solve business problems using data and quantitative analyses. These skills are in heavy demand in all kinds of businesses today. CDS gives you a rock-solid foundation to start a new career in data science and business analytics.

If you have further questions, please look at the FAQ, or use the Contact Form below to get in touch with our counsellor.

  • 1. Location of Classes

    Principal Analytics Prep’s classes are run in a top-grade facility in New York City. While the exact location may change from time to time, some possible locations include Madison Square Park and Columbus Circle.
  • 2. Class Times

    Most of our classes are held during the day. The CDS is full-time, on-site educational experience. A typical day begins at 9:30 and ends at 4:30. See here for more information.
  • 3. On-line Option

    Principal Analytics Prep currently does not offer any on-line courses. All CDS students must be able to attend classes full-time in our facility in New York City. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality training, which means an in-person, high-touch, small-class-size experience.
  • 4. Part-time Option

    Principal Analytics Prep currently does not offer any part-time training programs. All CDS students must be able to attend classes full-time in our facility in New York City. If you manage a data science or analytics team, you can inquire about exclusive, limited opportunities to attend our courses on an a la carte basis.
  • 5. Accreditation

    Principal Analytics Prep is a private business created to open the doors for talented people to enter the data science and analytics field. We are not an accredited institution. On graduation, you will receive a certificate issued by Principal Analytics Prep.
  • 1 - Computer Programming

    Proficiency in computer programming is a requirement for data science and analytics jobs. Principal Analytics Prep provides training in several languages, including Python, R, SQL, and SAS. Other software packages and tools are also used in the appropriate courses.
  • 2. Relevance of curriculum

    The CDS curriculum is designed by industry veterans who have on average 10 years of work experience in the field of data science and analytics. Most of our instructors are current or past hiring managers, and understand fully the requirements of data science and analytics jobs. Many hiring managers are looking for “unicorns,” people who not only have technical skills but also business acumen and data literacy. The CDS program is designed to make unicorns.
  • 3. Guarantee

    Principal Analytics Prep does not guarantee job placement. Our program includes career coaching and guidance throughout your job search. In addition, you will be exposed to Principal Analytics Prep’s network of instructors and supporters, most of whom are hiring managers in the field.
  • 4. Class size

    Principal Analytics Prep is dedicated to offering the highest quality of training, and we believe this requires an in-person, high-touch, small-class-size experience. Each cohort is capped at 20 students. Because of the limited enrollment and rolling admissions, you are advised to apply early.
  • 1. Not a Computer Science or Statistics major

    Unlike Master degrees offered by universities or coding bootcamps, we neither require nor prefer applicants who hold degrees in Computer Science or Statistics. Our minimum requirements include a bachelor degree, exposure to basic computer programming, and past experience with data analysis. If you meet those requirements, we encourage you to apply . If you enroll, you are very likely to find classmates with diverse backgrounds.
  • 2. No computer programming skills

    If you have never written a computer program before, broadly defined to include Python, R, SQL, SAS, SPSS, HTML, Javascript, etc., you should complete one of the widely available free on-line courses to pick up basic programming skills before applying to Principal Analytics Prep. The duration of CDS is too short to give you proper training in computer programming if you are starting from scratch. You can find good courses on Coursera, EdX, Udacity, etc.
  • 3. Rejected by multiple employers

    We understand that many of you may have sent resumes to potential employers, and received rejections. Do not get discouraged. Our founder created PAP precisely to help talented individuals like you fill up gaps in your resumes, thus improving your competitiveness for the high number of open positions in data science and analytics.
  • 4. Humanities and social science Majors

    Principal Analytics Prep welcomes applicants with humanities or social science degrees. Our minimum requirements are a bachelor degree, exposure to basic computer programming, and past experience in data analysis. If you satisfy those requirements, you are encouraged to apply.
  • 5. Optimal years of work experience

    The majority of our students have two to five years of work experience. The number ranges from zero to over 20 years.
  • 6. No Work Experience

    We have accepted college graduates with exceptional backgrounds. Feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss your situation.
  • 7. International Students

    Principal Analytics Prep does not sponsor student visas for international students. If you have further questions, please contact us
  • 8. Length of Application Process

    See for a description of our application process. The process typically takes two to three weeks to complete, depending on available time slots for interviews. Admissions is processed on a rolling basis. Because of our small cohort size, you are advised to apply early.
  • 1. Cost of the Program

    The tuition for our industry-leading, intensive, 12-week, full-time program is $20,000. In the past, students have been funded by their own savings, financial help from family and friends, or loans.
  • 2. Loans

    Financial loans may be available. Once you are accepted, we will provide more information should you require financial aid.
  • 3. Deferral

    Deferrals are granted on a case-by-case basis. If deferral is granted, you must pay a non-refundable deposit to hold your spot. If the request for deferral is rejected, you can re-apply for a future cohort.
  • 4. Hold the spot

    If you are offered admission, you will have two weeks to accept the offer. If you want to hold your spot, you must pay a non-refundable deposit. You will also need to pay the non- refundable deposit if you wish to defer your admission to a future cohort, and your request is granted.
  • 5. Deferred and conditional admission

    We may offer deferred admission to the next cohort if the current cohort reaches maximum size. In some cases, we may offer admission conditional on completing an introductory course in computer programming. Applicants receiving conditional admission may be deferred to the next cohort if the condition is not satisfied before the start of the current cohort.
  • 6. Tuition Refund

    Any tuition paid minus the non-refundable deposit is fully refundable if you withdraw prior to first day of the cohort. After the first day of each cohort, tuition is not refundable, as our faculty and resources will already have been committed.
  • 7. Accommodation

    Housing is not included. New York City has plenty of options for temporary housing, and you can use Craigslist, Streeteasy, Airbnb, etc. to make your own arrangement.
  • 1. Career choices

    CDS equips you with a broad range of skills that appeal to hiring managers across a variety of industries. Most of our graduates take data science or analytics positions within business units, such as marketing, operations, sales and finance. The primary responsibility of these roles is to solve business problems using data and quantitative analyses.
  • 2. Career counselling

    The CDS program includes continuous career counselling for all our students. We use professional career counsellors with successful track records. Both group and individual counselling options are provided.
  • 3. Salary Expectations

    The average and median salary for junior data scientists, data analysts, and business intelligence managers in the New York area is between $90,000 and $120,000, as reported by sites like Payscale and Glassdoor.
  • 1. HBS Startup Studio

    HBS Startup Studio in New York City is an initiative by Harvard Business School to support its alumni in their entrepreneurial ventures. Principal Analytics Prep, founded by HBS alum Kaiser Fung, was one of the first cohort of startups selected to be part of the Startup Studio.
  • 2. Difference from Master degree in Data Science or Analytics

    A Master degree from a university typically requires a minimum of three semesters of study while CDS is an intensive program completed in 12 weeks. At a third or less of the length of a Master degree, CDS offers faster payback on your tuition, as well as a shorter break from the workforce. Most M.Sc. degrees in Data Science or Analytics are designed by STEM faculty to train technicians, software developers and statisticians. Their graduates typically work in engineering, product or research teams.
  • 3. Difference from other data science bootcamps

    The first-generation of data science or coding bootcamps utilizes a teaching model used by Master of Data Science or Analytics degrees, designed to train technicians. Thus, their graduates typically work in engineering, product or research teams. PAP offers a broad-based curriculum that appeal to hiring managers across a broad range of industries. Many of our graduates take positions within business units. Check out our curriculum and faculty 
  • 4. Feedback

    If you have feedback on our website, please use our contact form to reach us.


Principal Analytics Prep is located at the Harvard Business School Startup Studio in New York City. The HBS Startup Studio nurtures innovative startups founded by HBS alumni.

We can help you navigate your career transition into business analytics or data science, an exploding field with huge growth. Fill out the following form to schedule a free consultation with our counselor, to receive program announcements, or to request an application.

Admissions is on a rolling basis. Because of the small class size, admissions is highly selective and we encourage you to apply early.

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