The Million Dollar Question: How to be a Data Scientist?

Nakul Pednekar

I thought it’d be a good idea to revisit a blog I wrote in December 2016. Even though it’s been a crazy two years since in the Data Science & Analytics industry in Sydney, most of the below points still ring true! As always – if you’re open to new roles, are growing your team or would like to refer a friend ($500 referral bonuses on most roles) please contact us on Nakul@Sterning.com or 0430 327 094.

“Luckily, there’s more than just one way! The purpose of this post is to share my observations on the Data Science & Analytics (DSA) market and how to get the most out of yourself.

Firstly, it’s important to take an objective view of your employability within the Sydney DSA market. Things to consider here are – Educational background, working experience with tools such as SQL, R & Python, Visa Status  (Australian Citizen or PRs vs Holiday Visas or 457s) & communication skills. If there are areas you feel you are lacking, that’s fine. Let this be the first step to taking charge of your career.

Once you have done this, you need to address where your weaknesses lie. Don’t have a 4-year Degree telling you that you’re an expert in Maths & Stats or exposure to the newest tech? Take the initiative and sign up for an introductory course (the Data Science course with Datacamp has been heavily recommended to me). Is your Visa Status making it difficult to get Permanent employment? Look for contract opportunities to get your foot in the door (which can lead to Permanent opportunities or at least improve your chances going forward).

If you’re looking for some of the free/more affordable options then your best bets are Codecademy, Udemy and Coursera. Some of the more in-depth options are General Assembly & Master’s Degrees at UTS & Sydney Uni. You can also take part in Kaggle competitions which show your ability to problem-solve with real-life data sets & work in a team. As well as countless resources on Youtube & Google!

After you’ve spent time introducing or up-skilling yourself in the DSA market, it’s time to look at your resume. Your resume is meant to be a succinct picture of the relevant aspects of your Education & Experience to get you an interview.

My key suggestions for your resume would be to keep the length in check (3 pages MAX, 2 pages max if you’re in the first 3-4 years of your DSA career), highlight your Education (include your GPA if it was Distinction avg or above), Technical skills (ALWAYS decipher between your 3-4 key programs/technologies and others) & keep your dot points per job to a maximum of 5-7 points. Highlight your strengths, acknowledge your areas of improvement but show what you’re doing to improve on them (E.G. Strength in SQL & R, doing a Python course to be completed by x date).”


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