Five Ways to Prepare for a Career in Data Science 

April 11, 2022

Are you exploring careers in data science? We caught up with School of Data Science board member and tech recruiter Sam Wholley who shared career-readiness tips to set you up for success in the job search. Here are five ways to prepare for a career in data science: 

1. Own your narrative: Can you articulate your "why"? 
"Why am I doing this? Why do I care about it? What do I hope to apply it to?” Spend the time upfront to really be able to tell that story. A well-crafted narrative will pave over any bumps in the road in explaining that narrative." 

2. Be a "Good" Data Scientist: Do you have an area of mastery? 
"A good Data Scientist should have one area of mastery, several areas of specialty, and several areas of curiosity. You have to be really good at something."

3. Prepare your Portfolio: Put your work in one place.
"Have a website that talks about what your interests are. They don’t have to be data science. Make it fun, put graphics, put pictures, put memes, if you really care about it make it fun." 

4. Tailor your resume: Is your work concise? 
"Mark Twain said 'I didn't have time to write a short story, so I wrote a long one.' Same thing with resumes. Definitely should be no longer than two pages, ideally one. It forces you to push concision."

5. “Update your LinkedIn”: Show off your work. 
"Put [your projects] on your LinkedIn and your resume. A short summary of what you've built/delivered-and this could be a project you’ve worked on academically- What the context was in which you did it, and what impact that had."

Sam WholleyAs a partner with Riviera Partners — a global recruiting firm specializing in the technology industry — in San Francisco, Sam Wholley is well-versed in the wide variety of applications of data science.