How to Launch Your Career as a Data Scientist

Do you have your sights set on a career as a data scientist? Do you want to learn as much as you can about the job so that you can best position yourself to be successful? It doesn’t matter what your career goals may be; having a plan for success is always wise. At the very least, it keeps you on track and focused, which increases your odds of landing your dream job. Here are some basic tips and advice on how to launch your career as a data scientist, allowing you to create a well thought out plan.

You’ll be able to work with different companies in different industries, providing you with variety and challenges when you have fundamental data knowledge in your back pocket.

Data Scientist

Start with Schooling

There are many things employers will be looking for when hiring a data scientist, but one thing you’ll need that will ensure you are qualified for the job is proper schooling and education. You can check out options like Baylor University online which offers a Masters in Computer Science. This is exactly the kind of thing potential employers will be looking for on your resume. 

The purpose of a Masters in Science is to teach students the foundation of such things as computer science, math, data communications, software engineering, algorithms and more. It ensures you’re ready for all the responsibilities that you will be faced with, making sure you feel confident in what you can bring to the table.

Don’t forget that having your master’s degree will also mean you can demand a higher salary, something that is a huge driving factor for many.

Make a Profile for Yourself

As you get closer to graduation, it’s important that you start to create a profile for yourself. You want to highlight any projects you have worked on that you can present in a portfolio. This will prove very useful when applying for jobs. You may even wish to create a website that highlights your skills. You can even use some simple marketing techniques to help raise awareness by creating social media accounts for your business offerings. Again, showcase your skills and the work you’ve done.

It’s Time to Network

Networking is something that should never be underestimated. It is so important that it can mean the difference between landing your dream job and completely missing out. Networking is meant to broaden your professional circle, connecting you with people in the industry that may prove to be helpful down the road. They may be able to introduce you to a potential employer, a mentor or another contact that will help you with your career.

The best places to network tend to be industry events, trade shows, conferences and seminars. You’ll need to stay in the loop to hear about events like this, and a platform like LinkedIn can help you do just that.

Check Out the Job Market

Even if you aren’t ready to start applying to jobs right now, it’s never a bad idea to familiarize yourself with the job market. You can get a feel for what’s out there, as well as the average salary. It will also help you determine whether some cities/towns seem to have more openings than others.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has some interesting and helpful information regarding data scientists jobs, including the following:

  • The average salary for a data scientist is $98,230
  • The computer systems design and related services industry pays the highest whereas management, scientific and technical consulting pays the lowest
  • Some states have a higher concentration of data scientists such as California, Texas, New York, Washington and Florida
  • There is growth in the field, meaning there are jobs available

All of these factors bode well for someone who is considering pursuing a job as a data scientist. You want to know that there is a future before you commit. 

Your Resume Needs to Be Killer

Despite the fact that there are job openings and you have the kind of training and education employers are looking for, you’ll still need a killer resume to stand out. You never know how many people may be applying for the same job so you want to give yourself as much of an edge as possible.

If you feel out of your element with writing your resume, it can be worth using a professional resume service. They will also usually have some helpful advice. Here are a few key pointers to keep in mind when writing a resume:

  • Your resume should be short and to the point, so try to keep it to two pages maximum.
  • Make sure all your contact information is displayed at the top of the resume. If you have a website or professional social media accounts, you can display them too.
  • Any certificates, degrees or diplomas should be highlighted on the resume.
  • Only list skills relevant to the job.
  • Be sure to include a statement about yourself, what you bring to the table and why you want to pursue this career.
  • Include previous employers.
  • It can be smart to list one or two professional references.

Remember, the resume is meant to grab the attention of a potential employer and land you an interview. You can expand on the content during the interview process, so there’s no need to feel pressure to fit it all into two pages.

Work On Your Confidence

The final piece of the puzzle may sound simple but it can be the toughest step of all, and that’s to work on your confidence. If employers are going to believe you’ve got something to add to the team, then you need to be sure of yourself and your abilities. Confidence doesn’t mean cockiness or smugness; it just means you know what your skills and talents are and you understand how to best use them in the workplace.

Pursuing a career as a data scientist is a very exciting path, as it’s a field that is growing and constantly evolving – promising to be big in the decades to come. You’ll be able to work with different companies in different industries, providing you with variety and challenges.

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