How to land your first Data Science job
Joe H. Jo, MFA, BA, Tesl Ca, CHRP Candidate
Principal Consultant, President of Operations
Ever since big IT giants started paying attention to Data Science and Big Data, there has been a huge surge of students who want to study data science in universities. In my recent career consulting years, at least a quarter of my ‘leads’ (potential clients) are those university grads who studied Python, R, SAS, and SQL. Those students try to enter the job market, only to realize that the entry barrier is so high and that big high-profile firms only hire people who have strong work experience in data science.
Take the front-end software developers as an example. The industry still wants to use somewhat-inexperienced developers with skills because they need talent desperately. Data Science, however? Unfortunately, the job market for this sector is not as big as software development. Therefore, what are the BA career consultant’s tricks of the trade for data scientists who are fresh out of university or college?
1. Data Analyst and Data Scientist positions are not your jobs.
If you graduated from data science programs from universities, colleges, or bootcamps just now, Data Analyst and Data Scientist positions should not be your first goals. They are usually high-profile jobs and the companies which posted those jobs are offering $70K per year or above. That’s the reason why you have not been getting a lot of responses. In stead, you can find ‘Data Delivery Specialist’, ‘Planning Analyst’, and/or ‘Data Entry’ (only in the data analysis department) The pay is usually around $15 to 25 per hour and those companies do not tend to offer a yearly-salary, but you can gain entry to the corporate world. Then, you can move on to an analyst position in 6 months or a year.
2. Study ERPs
If you do not know what ERPs are, we now know why you have not gotten a job interview offer from those companies you applied to. ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. An easier way to describe ERP is simply a business software. There are a great number of ERPs, such as Oracle, SAP, MS Dynamics, Salesforce, Quickbooks, Dayforce HCM, and many more. Those companies who offer data analysts / scientists positions use ERPs because an ERP is THE system that produces such massive datasets for the data scientists to analyze. Study it starting today, or at least watch a couple of Youtube videos that explain ERPs.
3. Think about applying for Business Analysts positions
Of course, big conglomerates need data scientists who can review and analyze their datasets, and they can afford to have a data team. How about smaller firms? They also use ERPs and datasets, but often times, Business Analysts do what Data Analysts do for smaller firms. (This position can be branded as a Planning Analyst, Internal Audit, and/or Financial Analyst.) For this position, you need a background in business or business knowledge; however, it is another great way to gain entry to the corporate world.
It’s always great to have a career advisor who can coach you to land a position you’ve always wanted. Especially for a goal like being a Data Scientist, we need more delicate approaches and strategies to get there. After you land your first job, in a few years, your career track will become more stable with lots of income. Talk to us today!