By Roman Vyas
A career transition is a big step, and it certainly can’t happen overnight. This is especially true in times of a global pandemic. But that shouldn’t stop you from making the much-needed career change. There could be many reasons to switch, maybe you have hit a dead end and are looking for some interesting options or maybe there are advancements in technology that push you to switch to a more lucrative career option. Speaking of lucrative career options, IBM and Burning Glass Insights predicted that job opportunities for data professionals increased by 2.35 million from 2015 to 2020. This massive increase in and of itself is a great indicator for those considering a career transition.
Before you make the switch, be aware of early pointers, for example, if you enjoy learning new tools, solving data problems, and crunching numbers, and your current job doesn’t allow it to your fullest potential, maybe it’s time to switch! And while there are absolutely no shortcuts and it’s definitely a daunting task, with a little help we can all make this essential career transition effortlessly.
We have put together a quick list of 5 tips that will definitely help you make that career transition.
The plan: search thoroughly
The data career is vast. You could be a data analyst, data scientist, data engineer. This is why it is important to do your research well before deciding on a new career option. Read about the industry and status of interests, and know everything you like or dislike about it before making any decision. This will help you decide which industry or position you would like to switch into, and the more information the better.
You can conduct primary research by talking to professionals in the same field or secondary research by reading what others have written about your area of interest. A great way to understand the job market is to regularly check different job posting sites to get a fair idea of what employers are looking for in the ideal candidate.
Learn: Take an online course
After you have completed your research and figured out what job you would like to switch your current career to, the next step is to gain knowledge. This is especially important because you are completely new to the field of data professionals and perhaps the best way to prepare yourself is to learn. There are different ways to do this, by taking a degree course, joining boot camps, or taking an online course.
At Coding Invaders, you can choose from a variety of courses in data science and data analysis. Training methods focus on teaching skills through simulated real-life activities and real-life situations from potential employees. Not only do you get the flexibility of learning from anywhere, you also get the collaborative environments of the 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 get the student as close to real world projects as possible. This, in turn, will help in a smooth career transition.
Execution: Working on a small project(s)
After learning the required skills, it is best to test them in the real world. This is a great way to not only be able to test the waters but also to gain some experience. If your current job does not give you exposure to working with data or using it to draw conclusions, getting a small project will help you enhance your skills.
Use websites like Linkedin to find projects, which can last from 3 months to a year. Eat what works best for you and also helps you gain the best experiences. Understand that knowledge without experience is a slippery slope. Accepting the project also ensures that you practice everything you have learned day in and day out, thus mastering the new skill further. Finally, accepting a project gives you the upper hand in the job market to bring it back because you are better equipped to deal with challenges at work.
Interface: Create a wallet
You’ve come a long way now. Right from researching the industry and location that interests you the most to acquiring and practicing the right skill. It’s time to create a portfolio. What is a wallet? A portfolio is basically a showcase of your skills in the data professional world and how you have used them in different projects. It serves as a testament to your abilities. This comes to another question, why do you need one? For the simple reason of showing your skills and ability to a potential employer. You should update your portfolio on a regular basis in order to give your potential employer the current picture.
Network: building connections
One of the critical steps in the career advancement process, regardless of field, is communication. Expanding your network is important to have a lasting impact on your career. There are now a number of ways to do this. Join the 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 capabilities. Another great way to connect is collaborative support groups, when you participate in an online course at Coding Invaders, you also become part of a support group. These groups not only help during the session but can maintain some connections even after the session is over.
The links formed can be useful in a number of ways. Use it to find new projects, level up your skills, have a meaningful conversation, stay current in the field of data professionals and much more.
Data professionals are a rapidly growing ecosystem and have proven to be a great career choice. If you want to switch, now is the time! No matter what stage of switching you are in, the above steps will help you all the time.
(The author is VP of Marketing and Co-Founder of Coding Invaders of MentorsPro. Opinions expressed are subjective and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online.)