Moving from Science to Data Science in 6 to 9 months
Based on >500 interviews with aspiring data scientists, >100 re-written CVs, and co-operation with hiring managers & recruiters, we have derived the following roadmap on how best to move from Science to Data Science.
More specifically, we have been
- Interviewing and selecting several hundred prospective Data Scientists and Machine Learners
- Running numerous workshops supporting talents in writing an industry-relevant CV that hiring managers are looking for
- Bringing together a community of data scientists, hiring mangers, and new talents
Overall, I have worked in a variety of roles at the intersection of science, industry, and the labor market for more than 10 years.
My suggestion to you is to handle your transition to Data Science by following four steps.
- Test-drive a few online courses or select some relevant training books
- Find a Data Scientist or Machine Learning engineer in your network to interview
- Talk to specialist recruiters and boutique recruiting firms
- Interview alumni of training providers (e.g. bootcamp, online course) that have made the switch to Data Science
- Get a sense of your strength and weakness, and what to focus on to join your career switch
- Understand the Business Case for data science and machine learning
- Understand where the biggest opportunities are on the labor market (e.g. high demand, low entry barrier)
- Select preferred domains for your career entry (or shortlist several), e.g. by industry, or type of ML used
- Apply to a few suitable career openings and put your profile (e.g. CV, LinkedIn, GitHub) in front of relevant people
- Do a skills gap analysis for your preferred employment destination
- If any further training is required, consider doing it full-time, and with practitioners
- Focus on building a portfolio of projects you can show, for which several starting points are valid, i.e. problem relevance or data novelty or tool power
- Practice making the use & business case for your product
- Practice how industry interviews may be different and tougher
- Understand that network contacts, specialist recruiting firms, and direct applications are equally important to get your profile placed directly in front of hiring managers
- Look at salary surveys for data science and define your expectation, e.g. €50–60k p.a.
- Make sure you have some criteria to evaluate job offers, e.g. team, growth opportunity, location, and salary
Special tip: Start your switch as a #DataScientist by writing your industry-ready CV first. It makes your search more focused and accelerates the transition.
To find out more, come to one of the events organized by 10,000 Data Scientists for Europe — or help me organize one near you.