There's good news for data scientists. Along with a median salary approaching $120,000, professionals in this role enjoy a job outlook that should increase much faster than average. It's expected to grow 16% through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
These positive prospects don't remove the need to make the most of your job search, however. By following a few relevant pieces of advice, you can expand your options, identify the best opportunities and find the role and employer that best align with your interests, experience and plans for future career growth.
1. Put your skills on display
A presence on LinkedIn that offers details about your professional experience and educational background can help potential employers identify key skills and competencies that can ultimately help you secure a new job. However, that isn't the only way to demonstrate your capabilities as a data scientist. The nature of your career means you can create a demo or tutorial that displays a specific ability and can help you stand out among groups of candidates. Data science blog KDnuggets suggested spending no more than 10 hours on the project - it's just an example, after all - and then linking to it on your LinkedIn page in the projects section.
2. Understand the specifics of the roles you plan to apply for
Data science can mean different things to different companies. Towards Data Science, a blog focused on the profession, provided the reminder that data scientist isn't a strictly defined role. While there are limits on what a reasonable employer will ask a data scientist to do, it isn't as narrow a job description as doctor or accountant. Carefully reading job postings, and even reaching out to the company posting the listing when necessary, can help you make sure your individual skill set aligns well with the proposed role.
Similarly, you can use the job description to develop questions to ask during the interview process. You may want to discuss if the infrastructure needed to support your work is present, or how the company plans to grow its data science operations in the future.
"It is helpful to diversify your industry experience when it comes to data science," says Kristen Rodriguez, Senior Recruiting Manager for Beacon Hill's Technologies Division in Indianapolis. "Companies want candidates who can quickly understand their business and offer smart analysis and expertise. If you are coming in without industry experience, invest time into researching the industry online and through publications. Learn about current events specific to that industry. Review social media to see if there are any impending issues that you can use your skills to provide a solution for. The more knowledgeable you are about the company and their goals, the more you will stand out."
3. Recognize your role as a scientist and team member
Data scientists are hired in large part for their technical skills and expertise, but they also have to play important roles as a coworkers and members of an organization. During the interview process, much of the discussion will likely be focused on abilities related to data science skills. However, there will also be questions and conversations about more generic topics, from working with a team to time management and issues you've encountered and successfully addressed in the past. Hooked On Data recommended using the situation-behavior-outcome model, where you set the stage, identify the actions you took and discuss the results.
Working with an expert job placement group can help you identify the best data scientist opportunities for your unique skill set and background. To learn more, reach out to the professionals at Beacon Hill Staffing Group today.
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