In part two of our data science series, Python Programmer Giles McMullen-Klein shares his essential tips for kicking off a career in data science. With a background in financial journalism, medical physics, and data science, he shares his knowledge via his YouTube channel which has over 3 million views.
Here are four tips to launching your career in data science:
1) Stay plugged in
Twitter is a very good place to follow data scientists and data science firms. I find a lot of content (data science podcasts/educational materials) that I wouldn't necessarily know about. You should be constantly learning and plugged into the data science community. Learn as much as you can not just on data science methods and practices, but what's going on in the data industry at the moment.
2) Look for a supportive work environment
Find a company where there's a hierarchy of data analysts and data scientists so you can move into a role where you have expertise around you. When you get stuck or you need to ask advice from someone, that expertise is there and you're not just on your own trying to fulfill the demands of a management that doesn't even really know what they want.
3) Find a mentor in the field
Before you embark upon this big change, you have to try it out. Talk to data scientists and see what they say about working in the data science industry. Working in data science could mean many different things depending on the role. You may find data science overwhelming to begin with, but don't let that put you off.
4) Create a blog and/or portfolio of your projects
Start a blog at some point during the process, because it can be the equivalent of your portfolio. Is there a question that you’re interested in answering? Can you use the data science skills that you recently acquired to answer that question? If you have disparate data sets from various sources, stitch that data together and then do an analysis to answer the question. Then, if you can find someone that also wants to learn, you can explain what you're doing and teach that other person. When you teach others, you learn the material more yourself.
If you’re not quite sure which tech career to start: take our career quiz.