Hey there, congratulations on completing that data science bootcamp! I bet it wasn’t easy, but you pulled through and were able to get through the process. During that time, you likely learned a lot of valuable skills, discovered your strengths and weaknesses, and learned quite a bit about data science overall. So, what’s next? Well for most people who attend bootcamps the next step is quite simple.
It’s time to land that sweet data science job. But where to start, and what should you be doing so you maximize your time spent on the job search? Well, thankfully, we’re here to give you some solid tips on what steps you should take to help you land a job after a data science bootcamp. So get some coffee, get some notes ready, and let’s take a look.
Focus on relevant skills
Believe it or not, even though at a lot of data science bootcamps you are exposed to and learn a toolbox full of skills, that doesn’t mean you must always put them on display all of the time, and this is especially true when you’re looking for a new job. With that said, when you’re on the hunt for that job, it’s important to focus on relevant skills. This means highlighting the skills that you learned in your bootcamp that are relevant to the position you’re applying for.
One clear example is the programming languages Python and R. With many positions that you’ll apply for they most often will request that you have a specific level of knowledge with one or the other. So when you apply and it asks for experience in Python, don’t highlight your R skills. This can be applied to data visualization tools such as Power BI and others. Make sure that you’re highlighting the right skill sets so you’re noticed.
Update your resume
Now before you laugh, it is quite common for people to forget this step, but it’s pretty important. Here’s a scenario. You’re fresh out of a data science bootcamp and you’re ready to apply for your first data science jobs. Are you going to push out a resume that highlights skills that aren’t applicable? Because if you do, it’s as if you didn’t even apply at all.
So make sure you don’t neglect that resume. The truth is, your resume is one of the most important tools you have when you’re looking for a job. Often, it will determine if the cover letter is even read. So make sure to update it to reflect your new skills and experience. And remember, many skills are transferable, so don’t throw away what you developed over the years before the bootcamp. Just make sure it relates, and if you are unsure, ask around. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how friendly the data science community is.
Use what you learned as portfolio pieces
This is a big one. Resumes and cover letters just show some information. The fact of the matter is that your portfolio is a giant neon sign to employers to highlight what you know and even how you work. That’s why portfolios are still one of the best ways to show potential employers what you’re capable of. Partially, it’s a full-on display of your ability to put to action what you learned in your bootcamp. These portfolio pieces don’t need to be life-changing, but they should be able to showcase your technical skills, communication skills, logic, and reasoning.
Keep in mind, that this could include projects you worked on during the data science bootcamp or personal projects you’ve worked on since then. If you’re unsure how to put one together, there are hundreds of videos on YouTube that will walk you through the process. Even many will show you how to pull public data and come up with portfolio projects that are as unique as you are.
Network / follow up with people
I know, I know. Networking. It’s something that in the vast majority of industries, many people spend the least amount of personal mental resources dealing with. But the thing is, it’s kinda important. That’s because the data science community, though diverse and vast, still is quite tight-knit. In your career, you’ll likely meet, work, and speak with the same group of people multiple times for different reasons.
With that said, that’s why networking is a great way to find job opportunities. If someone knows that you’re able to accomplish certain tasks or have a special talent that is uncommon, that will likely get you a nice email or phone call. So don’t hold back, go out and attend industry events, and conferences, and connect with people on LinkedIn – don’t forget to add a note if you don’t know them! -, and reach out to friends and family who may be able to help you.
You’ll be surprised after a while how a good career network can help you navigate the industry.
Well believe it or not there are many other things that you can do after the data science bootcamp. Take on another course and continue your education. You can work with recruiters and/or career coaches who can give you on insight on how to best interview. And of course, you can always make sure you stay up to date on the latest data science needs, because if you want to be a data scientist, you will want to be in the know.
And of course, don’t give up. The market is weird, to say the least, and sometimes things might get bumpy, but what’s important is that you don’t give up. Take pride in the fact you competed in a data science bootcamp and are able to show off some amazing skills. So take a breath and take that first step.
As you can see, getting a job after a bootcamp is possible but does take work. Some of that work includes continuing education, networking, and keeping that resume up to date. On a good note, ODSC West this October 30th-November 2nd can help you with each of those, and more! At ODSC West, you’ll have ample opportunities to network, train through workshops and the bootcamp, and learn about the latest trends and movements in data science from those who are pioneering them.
Get your pass today, and continue your data science journey.