Social scientist looking to make a transition into data science

maggiewolff's profile thumbnail
@DataStephanie might have some advice :)
TanyaMedukha's profile thumbnail
Thanks, Maggie! I sent Stephanie a message.
RebeccaBurWei's profile thumbnail
Hi Tanya,I've been working as a data scientist for the past few years. To answer your questions:1. Yes, since data science is a mix of stats, programming and machine learning, and you're already experienced in stats, I thinking building up some python skills is a great move for you. For many entry level positions, experience with 2 out of the 3 skills and interest in the third is enough.Besides learning python, to get through interviews, I would suggest for you:- practice telling a good data science story: starting with messy data and ending with business value- fluency in SQL comes up in almost every technical data science interview I've seen2. The workload varies a lot depending on the maturity and culture of the company. However, in my observation, data scientists tend to be less on-call than other positions like software engineers. Working on a team also reduces the workload because you can help and learn from each other.For more, here's a Q&A about data science that I maintain: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uD_vuVUkxW66Q1btkcFElSvTTcP6EJC1YZOfIYIHYMw/edit?usp=drivesdk
TanyaMedukha's profile thumbnail
Thank you for the breakdown, Rebecca, and explaining the workflow. I have a much better bigger picture now.When I look through job postings, I see a variation in skills and software required. I do not want to get scattered in my learning and overwhelmed. Do you have some guidance on how to develop a strategy on what to tackle first?
RebeccaBurWei's profile thumbnail
Hi Tanya, one way to narrow down the skills/software is to look only at data science jobs within a specific industry. For example, a data scientist position at two real-estate companies might have similar requirements, but very different requirements from a medical devices company. You could narrow down the list of skills by only looking at a few industries.If the skills/software angle feels overwhelming, another way to think about it is in terms of datasets: What sorts of datasets do you want to develop expertise in? Text corpuses, images, video, audio, time series, biometric, survey, etc? After you choose the type of data you want to work with, then you can look at which skills and software would be applicable for that type of data.
TanyaMedukha's profile thumbnail
This is great. I can definitely think in terms of datasets and that will direct me towards industries.