I'm a former Network engineer, therefore, I have a good knowledge of IT. However, programming has always eluded me. I want to get into this field but due to circumstances, need to find a creative way to get there. Is OTJ a concept that a Data company would be open too here in the States? Much like the apprenticeships in Germany? Can't hurt to ask, right?
Greetings, you have a variety of options. My recommendation would be first completing some schools or courses to provide you with the basics you will need for data science. Depending on your background, I would anticipate 6 months to a year of course work to reach an entry level knowledge base.
Once you have completed some course and have worked through some actual projects (Kagggle.com is an excellent resource) you may want to consider an internship.
However, if your background is in computer science or you feel confident in your data manipulation/analysis skillset, you could entertain entry level positions.
Best of luck!
You may also read this article: Can you learn data science on the job?
On-the-job training and/or professional on-site training is alive and well in the data science industry. My organization has been offering on-site training for Fortune 100 companies for some time now and it seems we always have a need for additional resources.
From what I've seen, outside of training workshops, a lot of burgeoning DS practitioners take on pet projects that they work on in their free time using internal data and resources. The outcomes are not directly implemented in their org. (unless they really hit on something amazing). Alternatively, I've also seen parallel teams working on the same project -- one being the seasoned DS practitioners and the other being the "students." Students are mentored by experts and can compare their work with each other to learn best practices and techniques.
Hope this helps!