5 Tips to Build your Competencies:
There’s no denying that COVID-19 will change the face of job markets and global industries as we know them going forward in 2020. Whether you’re an aspiring fresh graduate or a skilled programmer looking for career development options, data science can indeed be your next stop. The data science industry is versatile and open to a plethora of skill sets and competencies depending on your sensibility and career path.
According to Dataconomy, data science is the third most desired job in the US in 2020, with more than 6500 publically available openings. With only 2% of employees staying with the same company for 10+ years, data science is also a dynamic industry in which you can diversify. However, how do you prepare for a career in data science in the wake of COVID-19 and its influence on the global economy?
1. Specialize Early On
As we’ve mentioned briefly, data science is a field in which analysts, engineers, programmers and visual artists alike can find a footing. That being said, it’s important to specialize in a particular data science niche early on to develop adequate competencies more easily. Some of the data science specializations you can choose to pursue include:
Programmer (primarily SQL and Python).
Machine Learning Engineer.
Business Intelligence Analyst.
Data Visualization Specialist.
Any of the above specializations can branch further, allowing you to devote time to soft skills as a project manager or hard skills like coding. However, trying to gain competencies in all fields will result in poor overall performance – choose your niche early.
2. Invest Time into Relevant Courses
One of the major changes brought on by COVID-19 is the shift toward online education. As stated by the World Economic Forum, research suggests that online learning has been shown to increase retention of information, and also take less time. With this in mind, it’s possible to learn about data science and become an expert without leaving the comfort of your home. As such, you should check out the following platforms:
Devote time to complete courses relevant to your specialization in order to enrich your resume and learn more about the industry as a whole. This will significantly increase your odds at landing a good data science position in the post-COVID future, so make sure to complete various online courses.
3. Work on Projects
Employers who are likely to hire data scientists in the post-COVID world will want to know as much as possible about their skillsets. You can use the time between now and then to create mockup projects and sample code which can showcase your skills.
A good way to do so is to establish a GitHub presence and post your code and data science ideas as representative projects. Once you apply for a data science position, embed your GitHub profile link into the resume to allow the employer to quickly gauge your competencies.
4. Build an Online Presence
There’s no denying the impact your social media presence can make for future employment prospects going forward. That means you should spruce up your social media accounts before applying for any data science positions in the near future.
Building a representative LinkedIn profile will do wonders for your employment prospects in the post-COVID future. Likewise, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can also serve as points of reference for your employers in regards to who you are as a person. Take time to edit your social media profiles and make them as professional and “you” as possible – it will work well in your favor.
5. Network with your Peers
Lastly, you should do your best to socialize and connect with like-minded individuals online in order to establish a presence in the industry. You can check out available jobs to see what types of personalities and competencies employers are looking for at any time. It’s also a good choice to network on Reddit as its community of data science specialists will undoubtedly help you with career development.
This will give you a good indication of what kind of networking you should employ in order to attract the attention of lucrative employers. Check out data science blogs, forums, and social media groups with peers both local and global. Talk them up and see what their stance is on the post-COVID future in the industry. Most importantly, be yourself and let them know what your career plans are in order to put the word out there about your availability.
Regardless of whether you present yourself as a data visualization expert or a coder, data science is a great career choice for the post-COVID future. Check out the available specializations and competencies and settle for those which suit your previous professional experience and personal ambitions. Make sure to give multiple choices a chance before you settle into a niche you consider your own.
Dorian Martin is a writer, editor and proofreader with a keen interest in writing research papers online for a variety of clients. His career portfolio is focused on data science, business development and digital marketing fields, in addition to dissertation writing services, to which he contributes to. Dorian spends free time writing content for his blog and catching up on his favorite podcasts.