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I'm 25 years old

I have no work experience besides working in the family business (restaurant)
I almost finished my Business Bachelors' degree, -which in my opinion is not really valuable.

On the side, I try to lean Python and some Computer science principals and taking extra courses on coursera and EDX.
and aspire to work in the field of data science /analytics.
I want to choose for myself, instead of being mixed up in the Family business

What kind of side-job allow me to work and develop my skills, or just general life advice?

kind regards,
#career #business #indepedence

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Nicholas’s Answer

I am also 25 and I to have been taking course's through coursera, I would also recommened checking out cisco's netacademy, its free and has a lot of useful information, I would also recommended studying for some comptia certifications, they are also really big when it comes to getting jobs, in the computer field.

Depending on what you are looking for you can get some hands on experience fixing computers almost anywhere. Take to Facebook and go on the buy sell trade sites looking for electronics people dont use anymore and you can get them fairly cheap or free, and just start tinkering away. If you are looking for some self pace extracuricular learning, you could also check out cybrary that is the site I use to keep up with my sec+ cert. COMPTIA also has apps you can download to help study for their tests.

Feel free to reach out, I would be glad to answer any questions and share any of my expierences with you. Most of them are still rather fresh, and ongoing. But I have been working in the Electronic technician field for about 7 years now, and the Cybersecurity field for 5, I currently hold Security+, and am studying for CASP, as well as taking some smaller certifications through coursera, cisco's netacademy. Hang in there and just keep researching.

Hee Nicholas, Thank you for your answer, it gives me some hope and perspective that change is always possible. I have some follow-up questions though. How were you able to successfully pivot from the electronic technician field to cybersecurity? I understand it is an entire process that could take up a couple of years. But what do you think that attributed this shift e.g. networking through LinkedIn/other communities or was it accepting an entry-level position and work your way up? David H.

My Response is apparently to long so this will come in a few parts: Part 1: My case is a bit different, I am in the navy so I am still an electronic technician but I have been able to take on the role of a System admin. The tech and cyber-security world are always growing and there's always a search to fill those roles. LinkedIn is a great start, when setting up your profile I would include your interests and where you would like to see yourself one day. Include the courses you have been taking. My biggest suggestion would be start studying for some of the big certifications tests. If you can get your foot in the door take an entry level position so you can gain some of the experience. Nicholas Johnson

Part 2: I work with a lot of civilians who have some crazy back stories, most of them got started in the IT community late in life. Your business degree will be a benefit to you paired with any certifications you may obtain, or if you decide to pursue an IT degree. It will give you a paired knowledge of how any company you work for functions as well as how you fit into the picture as an IT. I am sorry that I can't offer any insight on how to transition from one job to another but I have gotten job offers through linkedIn and I am not even searching. Please feel free to ask more questions! Nicholas Johnson

That's awesome men, seems you've had quite the journey till where are right now. Thank you for putting the time in answering all my questions, really helps me to get some perspective. Is there anything you would do differently in terms of your professional career? and at the end of the day, it all boils down to discipline and keep working towards that goal, right(?). But what type of roadblocks did you stumbled upon and succeeded, and perhaps weren't a big of a deal in hindsight? David H.

HI that's awesome men seems you've had quite the journey til where you are right now. awesome to hear about it. Thank you for the time in answering my curiosities, really helps me to put things in perspective as well. At the end of the day, it all boils down to discipline and maintain focus towards the goal. Though, It feels that in attempting to pivot away from my current "paradigm" to another "paradigm" can feel overwhelming, like looking through a different camera lens What types of roadblocks did you came across and succeeded in shifting to another industry, and perhaps weren't as big of a challenge to overcome in hindsight? David H.

Those are great questions, yes you are correct, the biggest obstacle standing in your way is yourself, If you can continue to push yourself to achieve your goals, you'll do ok. My biggest challenge I faced is not believing in myself and my knowledge when I started testing for certifications, a lot of the tests are not easy and have a high fail rate and they cost a lot of money to take, so not believing in myself made me pushing things off for a bit, and almost not pursue. Switching career goals can be challenging you have already put a lot of time and effort into something and turning away from that is almost like starting over, but you want to do something you enjoy you'll be doing this the rest of your life. Nicholas Johnson

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Deepak’s Answer

Hi David, The fields of Data Science / Analytics have a bright future - If you have strong interest and are enjoying learning the Python and Computer science principles, I encourage you to work on interesting projects that would allow you to demonstrate skills and apply for relevant jobs.

Few ways I know of working on interesting projects are:

1) Explore websites of big companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple, etc that have volunteer project opportunities as students. eg https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/teals/students

2) There are Nano degree courses on Udacity that would allow you to learn at your speed and work on projects. https://www.udacity.com/nanodegree

3) There are coding schools and data science bootcamps that would offer practical training and job search help.

There is also this thread on Quora where people have offered advice on finding Data science job without a degree : https://www.quora.com/How-does-one-become-a-data-scientist-without-a-degree

Secondly, You mentioned that you almost finished Bachelors. If your situation permits going back to finish education, now in your newly found field of interest, that could open up new doors and your school might also have recruitment cell to help.

Finally, Don't be shy to reach out to people on LinkedIn or in your network asking for help. If you have genuine interest in the field and can demonstrate skill, there are many people who would take chances on you. Based on my experience there is more demand than supply in the field of data science, so you are on a right path to secure work if you are making sincere effort.

Best of Luck !


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Georgeta’s Answer

Hey David,

I strongly advise you to get a customer service oriented side job (like Starbucks or catering). This sounds ridiculous but a lot of places in your field looks at customer service jobs. Plus it helps you develop your sense of responsibility and team work.

This is helpful throughout college. When I was in college, I managed a Starbucks and it was the best thing I could've done. It set me up for interviews, work at firms and, eventually, the startup of my business.

Also a life tip: Breathe through the moment. All moments are temporary and life is too short. That all sounds so cheesy but don't forget to do it because you'll get overwhelmed and you just have to make sure you're staying level headed!

Best of luck to you

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Lisa’s Answer

Hi David, I would like to reiterate what everyone is saying here as well. Your field of choice, although you say it's boring is VERY important to many functional areas. I would look to many larger companies who have hiring events in your area - Cisco, Accenture, Deloitte, EY, Microsoft, Oracle. Those are just a few I found doing a quick search. I know they have Business Analysts in Operations busy doing run the business metrics round the clock. That's how they stay in business. Get your butt out there!!! There's money to be made.

Good Luck.


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Maissa’s Answer

Hello David, it is always good to learn and I believe it is a good thing that you're interested in Python and computer science as this is a field that is very valuable in today's business which can get you many opportunities. You need to grow you network and reach out to people either on Linkedin or other social media platform.

Also, there are many online courses that you can take, which can be very helpful as well.

good luck :)