DePaul University Career Center's Blog

Job Searching in the Data Science Field

By: Diane Hu, Former Career Advisor for the College of Computing & Digital Media

Job searching is a process that may involve many elements, such as building a network, applying for positions online, attending a job fair, and more. In the midst of the process, you should also consider conducting a quick Google search of your name to see what results surface. Is your online presence professional? According to the 2015 NACE Recruiting Benchmarks Survey, 78% of the respondents use social media as a recruiting tool with over 96% of these respondents using LinkedIn as the most used platform.

Jeremy Mobley (CDM’14), a data scientist at Think Big Analytics, found his job by replying to a LinkedIn message from a recruiter who had come across his impressive profile. Keeping a consistently updated presence on LinkedIn that includes the software and analytical techniques learned from studying in the Predictive Analytics program is a fantastic way to grow your professional network and display your skills to potential employers. Jeremy also maintains a personal website with his own purchased domain to showcase his portfolio of projects. Creating a personal site is another opportunity to illuminate your skills and solutions; it is all about showing your passion outside of the classroom and willingness to learn new topics and skills. Both platforms – LinkedIn and a personal website – can help you manage your personal brand.

Remember, an online presence is one piece of the puzzle when aiming to score a position. Jeremy recommends that students check out Kaggle and participate in their competitions and learn from other professionals on their forums. Kaggle competitions are opportunities to develop a personal project outside of classes and to build up a portfolio of work. Jeremy suggests that students know Python, R, and SQL, but also notes that many companies now look for knowledge of big data technologies such as Hadoop and Spark, as well. While it is easy to become discouraged while searching for jobs in this space because it is simply not possible to have a deep knowledge of all the various tools and analytical techniques out there, it is more important to focus on knowing the fundamentals gained from your degree and showing your willingness to continue to learn on the job.

What to Keep in Mind:

  • The data science field overall is relatively new and is constantly being redefined. Make sure you find a position that is true to your skills and interests
  • The class projects at DePaul that require you to present findings and answer questions about your work prepare you for the communication skills you will need in a professional setting

Studying Predictive Analytics or other degrees in the College of Computing and Digital Media, and have questions on your career path? Make an appointment with a career advisor! Appointments are also available onsite at the CDM Graduate Admissions Office; sign up on MyCDM.


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