By Roman Vyas,
A career transition is a big step, and it sure can’t happen overnight. This is especially true in the times of a global pandemic. But, that shouldn’t keep you away from making the much needed career switch. There could be many reasons for the switch, perhaps you’ve hit a dead end and seek some interesting options or maybe there are advancements in the technology that’s pushing you to make a switch to a far more lucrative career option. Speaking of lucrative career options, IBM and Burning Glass Insights have projected that job openings for data professionals have increased by 2.35 million from 2015 to 2020. This mammoth increase itself is a great indication for those thinking of a career switch.
Before making the switch be aware of early indicators, for example, If you do enjoy learning new tools, solving data problems, crunching numbers and your current job doesn’t allow that to your full potential perhaps it’s time to switch! And while there are absolutely no shortcuts and it sure is a daunting task, but, with a little help, we all can make this essential career switch effortlessly.
We made a quick list of 5 tips that will definitely help you make this career switch.
Plan: Research thoroughly
Data profession is vast. You could be a data analyst, data scientist, data engineer. Which is why it is crucial to do your research well before pinning down the new career choice. Read up on the industry and the position of interests, know everything you like or dislike about it before making a decision. This will help you pin down the industry or position you’d like to switch to, the more information the better.
You can do primary research by talking to professionals in the same field or secondary research by reading what others have been writing about your field of interest. A great way to understand the job market is to regularly check the various job posting websites to get a fair idea of what the employers are looking for in an ideal candidate.
Learn: Take up an online course
After you have done your research and know exactly which position you wish to switch your current career to, the next step is to gain knowledge. This is especially important because you are completely new in the field of data professionals and perhaps the best way to prepare yourself is by learning. There are various ways to do that, by taking up a degree course, joining bootcamps or taking an online course.
At Coding Invaders you can choose from a variety of courses in the field of data science and data analysis. The training methods are focused on teaching skills via real life simulation activities and real life cases from the potential employees. You don’t only get the flexibility of learning from anywhere, but also get the collaborative environments of a classroom education system and each student is awarded a certificate after successful completion of the course. Here at Coding Invaders special techniques are used to make the student come as close to the real-world projects as possible. This in turn will help in a smooth career transition.
Execute: Work on a small project(s)
After having learnt the desired skills, it’s best to test them out in the real world. This is a great way not only to be able to test the waters but also to gain some experience. If your current job doesn’t give you exposure to working with data or using it in order to draw conclusions, getting a small project will help you in strengthening your skills.
Use websites like Linkedin to find projects, these could last 3 months to a year. Take up what works the best for you and also help you gain the best of experience. Understand that knowledge without experience is a slippery slope. Taking up a project also ensures you practice everything you learnt day in and day out, thereby further mastering the new skill. Lastly, taking up a project gives you an upper hand in the job market over a fresher since you are better equipped in handling the challenges at work.
Showcase: Create a portfolio
By now you’ve come a long way. Right from researching which industry and position interests you the most to acquiring the right skill and practicing it. It’s time to create a portfolio. What is a portfolio? A portfolio essentially is a display of your skills in the data professional world and how you used them in various projects. It serves as evidence of your abilities. This comes to another question, why do you need one? For the simple reason to showcase your skill and ability to a prospective employer. You must update your portfolio on a regular basis so as to give your potential employer the current picture.
Network: Build connections
A crucial step in the process of career advancements, regardless of the field, is to network. Expanding your network is important to have a lasting impact on your career. Now there are a number of ways to do that. Join conversations on Linkedin or Quora to find like minded individuals in the industry, it’s a great way to expand your knowledge and also to showcase your abilities. Another great way to network is collaborative support groups, when you take up an online course at Coding Invaders you also become a part of a support group. Such groups don’t only help during the course but some connections can be maintained even after the course is over.
The connections so formed can be useful in a variety of ways. Use them to find new projects, upgrade your skills, have a meaningful conversation, stay up to date with the advancements in the data professionals field and a lot more.
Data professionals are a fast growing ecosystem and have proven to be a great career choice. If you wish to switch, now is a great time! No matter which stage of the switch you are at, the above steps will help you all the way.
(The author is VP of Marketing and co-founder at Coding Invaders by MentorsPro. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)