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Top 4 ways data scientist can stay competitive in today’s market

The IT industry is ever changing especially in times like the one we are currently living through. Data Scientists are not spared from this relentless change and are often on the forefront of this change. 

In my experience, in the past 5 years the demand for Data Scientists with certain skills has skyrocketed while others have lagged. The tech that current Data Scientists are using is constantly changing and evolving. Without learning these new technologies, you may find your skills becoming out of favor.

What could happen if you choose to not learn and develop new and necessary skills? You may find your career may start to stall and be unable to achieve the success that you were on the path for.

So what can you do right now to prepare for the future of Data Science?

From talking with CIOs, CTOs, and VPs of technology from fortune 500 companies to start ups, here are the 4 ways for Data Scientists to stay competitive and relevant in today’s market.

1. Getting published in technical journals, studies, and/or white papers

One way that data scientists can help themselves stand out of the crowd is by writing. What I mean by writing is publishing articles on sites like Towards Data Science, ML Review, Towards AI, etc. Writing and publishing material can help your career in that it increases your chances that employers or clients will come across you in job searches and when looking for people to fill specific data science roles. 
 
Being an exceptional data scientist does not come just from having great technical skills, it comes from the ability to clearly and effectively communicate to stakeholders within the organization your finds about the data. By having work published on respected websites, journals, studies, etc. you demonstrate your technical prowess and your ability to communicate your findings in a clear and concise way that others can use to make decisions or products. 

2. Leverage your education sponsor/advisor

Over the course of your education your educational sponsor can open many doors for you. Taking the time to develop a personal relationship and showing general interest and caring for their work will often lead to your sponsor wanting to help you in your career journey. Leveraging their experienced network can open doors that you may not be aware of.

3. Pick and stick with an industry that you’re passionate about

It is important early on in your data science career to hone in on a specific industry that you have the most passion for such as finance, medicine, retail, insurance, etc. We often hear from hiring managers that they want someone who is focused on their specific industry and not someone that has jumped around from one to the next. The reason for this is that they said that the candidates with the most industry specific experience are able to give the most valuable insights into the data. They have told us that many candidates have the technical know-how to do the job, but only a few have in-depth industry knowledge to provide great value to the company. For example, if a data scientist has extensive food industry experience, they are able to factor in shelf lifes and seasonality of products into determining insights into supply chain data. 

4. Have a well rounded data science background

I think this goes without saying, but from my experience I think it is essential to touch upon. It is critical to have a well rounded data science background with tangible experiences and projects using a variety of tools, languages, and algorithms. Recently hiring managers have been looking for data scientists with experience in Python, R, and Hadoop. Python has been very critical to many of the recent data science job positions our firm has worked on. Python’s rising popularity is being driven by the fact that many companies want their data scientists to be doing predictive analytics and subsequently building and maintaining the pipelines that feed their models. One way to demonstrate to future employers your proficiency with Python is working on side projects with real world data sets using python. This will give hiring managers tangible evidence of your skills.

Emerald’s advice

In our ever changing world, it is important to always be on the forefront of the technology in your profession. If you wish to stay competitive in today’s marketplace and avoid getting outsourced.

We know that there is a lot for you to learn here and it can seem overwhelming. It is important to just pick one or two aspects to focus on and apply it to your current job or a side project.

If you are interested in learning more about opportunities in the Data Science space, feel free to schedule a call with one of our recruiters using the link here.

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