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As a non-ComputerScience student, how can I get a job in data science?

I am a student in Geoscience with great passion in Data Science, I self-learned many data science courses in Coursera and conducted several projects. My dream job is data analyst/scientist. I am not sure how to get the 1st job/intern/part-time in the data science. Any advices?? Thank you. #career #job-search #computer-science


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Desiree’s Answer

I majored in political science and math in college, with the intention of going to law school. When I got to my senior year of college though, I decided against law school and started looking at entry level jobs that specifically noted analytical processes, because I really enjoyed learning how things worked and why they worked. A lot of those jobs did require certain majors, none of which were the ones I had, but I applied anyway - I didn't let that requirement stop me. I made sure my resume noted how political science and math both separately contributed to doing analytical thinking, research, etc. When I had my first interview, I made sure to mention explicitly how my classroom experience tied into data and analytics. And here I am - 14 years later doing data science work :) My biggest advice for anyone pursuing jobs outside the "normal" majors for that job is just use real life experiences to tie it together. I would assume a geoscience degree involves a lot of data, testing, analyzing, etc. Definitely emphasize that on your resume and during your interviews as well as anything you have self taught yourself and how you used that. Experience is always more important than what classes you took (in my opinion). When I was manager, I explicitly hired folks that were liberal art majors because sometimes they ended up being better data analysts than the ones that majored in it just because they had an aptitude for it!

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Jason’s Answer

Hi Yixuan. Taking data science courses at Coursera is a good start. This'd get yourself prepared with the knowledge necessary. Working on projects is particularly helpful since you can apply and develop what you have learned to a real situation. I'd suggest you to review what you have done in your past projects and post the interesting or relevant ones to Git. This'd allow your potential employers to know what you are capable of doing. Also, any positive reviews from peers on your Git projects can help you a lot in your future projects. Good luck in your first job hunt.

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Cynthia’s Answer

many universities have courses, minors or clubs that are focused on data science in specific fields (my former uni offers coursework for social science majors in data science both for undergrads and grad students). often internships blend multiple fields....data science as a field involves researchers, hardware, software, marketing, writing, trainers, etc...some of those paths are ideal for someone with a diverse background. some employers prefer that. go talk to the career advisors in your college. or talk to the computer science/data science advisors to see what opportunities for someone like you are known to them. join the 'data science club'....or create one....invite professionals to come talk to club members...network like crazy....do informational interviews (look this up if you are unfamiliar) with people doing the sort of work you want to do...and ask them for advice about how to get started (don't ask for a job, ask for HOW to find internships...if they have ability to offer you something they will, if not they will refer you to others and you will thank them and follow up). Ask your professors for opportunities to volunteer to help with their data crunching...just to get some experience under your belt....no one turns away free labor if you have skills and it sounds like you do. do an independent study project..find data science professor to advise you....create mini project that combines geosci and data scie....take initiative! have fun. learn what you like and don't like. good luck.

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Caitie’s Answer

There are a lot of ways to show your knowledge to a potential employer. If you have completed Coursera courses and already done some projects, you could highlight some in a portfolio or project examples using Tableau or data visualization. Github, Kaggle, and other sites companies will check out to see other areas outside of work experience you can show off your skills. A lot of Data Scientists and Analytics professionals have come from a variety of fields of study if you have the core knowledge. Joining networking groups on Linkedin or locally in your area where you can find mentors working in the field to discuss what skills they use most in their day to day and get advice on how they learned those skills.

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Sydnie’s Answer

First off, I would make sure to update your LinkedIn profile, and highlight all the courses you have taken. In your bio, write about your experience and your passion for data science and that you are working your way towards a career in it.

Next, I would make a list of all local companies in the "data" space where you might want to work. Make a list of emails or people on LinkedIn that you should reach out to, such as HR managers, recruiters etc. See if any of your LinkedIn connections are connected to any of those contacts as well. A personal connection can go a long way.

Lastly, write up a cover-letter type summary of you, your background, your passion, your experience in data and ask if they have any openings or take on any interns. This is a time to humble brag about yourself and highlight what you would bring to a company and a data role. Be sure to make this summary specific to the company you are applying too. I think the best way to send this is via LinkedIn, because that is the first place a recruiter or HR manager goes when looking up a candidate. This helps them put a face to a name.

If the answer is no, and that they don't have opportunities, thank them for their time and ask if you can connect with them on LinkedIn for future opportunities. And be sure to follow your prospective companies on social platforms and set up job notifications.

Hope this helps!

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Jessica’s Answer

You can definitely pursue data science without a degree in Comp Sci! My significant other did not major in CS but works as an analyst in data science. There are many companies that offer a transitional program in data analytics for recent graduates, where you spend the first 3 months training and building your analytical skills and then spend the next 3 quarters rotating into a department and utilizing your skills within the department (3 rotations). Liberty Mutual has this type of program as well as CVS Corporate!

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Tristan’s Answer

Aside from the advice already given above, find some (virtual) meet-ups for Data Science in your area. Try to browse companies , especially start-up companies focusing on Data Science, and they may have host some (virtual) open sessions too.

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Aneree’s Answer

That's a great question! You have already done the first step which is expanding your knowledge and skill-set within this field by taking a proactive approach of self-learning. Within this field there are many opportunities to obtain various certifications. I would start there, so you can start certifying yourself within this field. In addition, register for data science related electives/coursework if you can. The great thing about internships is that you don't necessarily have to have prior work experience in data science you just have to show that you are passionate about it and outline the steps you have taken to learn more about the field. Therefore it is important to align your resume to include the steps you have taken within the field when you are applying.

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Jessica’s Answer

You can definitely pursue data science without a degree in Comp Sci! My significant other did not major in CS but works as an analyst in data science. There are many companies that offer a transitional program in data analytics for recent graduates, where you spend the first 3 months training and building your analytical skills and then spend the next 3 quarters rotating into a department and utilizing your skills within the department (3 rotations). Liberty Mutual has this type of program as well as CVS Corporate!

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