“Data Science offers new opportunities for individuals with specific domain knowledge”

Aneta Stankovska Interview

The interest for a career change, especially the transfer from one domain to another, is constantly rising, mainly through the opportunities offered by the IT world. The traditional point of view of building a career in one domain is challenged by the new market needs.

Nowadays, people with working experience and knowledge in a specific domain have lots of possibilities to progress and realize their talent just by upgrading their IT knowledge.

We discussed this topic with Aneta Stankovska, Human Resources Manager at Data Masters. Through her work, she directly meets talents of different ages and domains who want to change careers and work in the field of Data Science.

 

THE TRADITIONAL POINT OF VIEW OF CAREER-BUILDING, PERCEIVED AS A CONTINUOUS PROGRESS IN ONLY ONE DOMAIN (MOST OFTEN BY CHANGING THE JOB TITLE), IS CHALLENGED BY THE NEW MARKET NEEDS. HOW DID THE IT INDUSTRY CHALLENGE THIS VIEW?

The IT industry is one of the most advanced and hyped industries at the moment. There are several reasons for this, which usually include the opportunity for personal growth and development, better financial benefit compared to other industries, the opportunity to work with reputable domestic and international companies, workplace flexibility, flexibility in terms of career path opportunities, etc.

I would say that the IT world, especially Data Science, has offered new opportunities, especially for professionals with specific domain knowledge. The unwritten rule that says that you have to stay in the place where you’ve gathered domain knowledge is no longer applicable.

For example, if you possess domain knowledge in finance or retail (especially if you work with data and reporting) by learning tools for data analysis and processing, you can work in our Business Intelligence or Data Science department.

We have examples of employees who, by upgrading their knowledge through our Data Science Academy and other training available by the Data Masters Academy, have become permanent members of Data Masters. The market needs this mix of expertise – because when you combine domain knowledge and IT skills, you get a professional who, in addition to technical knowledge, understands the business logic of the problem.

 

WHAT IS THE STARTING POINT FOR SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO MAKE A CAREER CHANGE AND WORK IN THE FIELD OF DATA SCIENCE? ARE THERE ANY DOMAINS FROM WHICH THIS CHANGE IS OFTEN MADE AND, IN GENERAL, ARE MORE SUITABLE TO MAKE A SHIFT TOWARDS DATA SCIENCE?

The starting point for anyone who wants to make a career change in IT should be the desire for change and learning. Learning and daily upgrading of knowledge are imperative in this area because this process never stops. So far, most of the people that have done retraining come from IT and other technical fields, then finance and business, health, human resources, education, marketing, etc.

Other industries and domains are not excluded, although they’re present in smaller numbers. After all, anyone who wants to make a career change is welcomed at Data Masters regardless of the domain they come from.

 

ALL OF THIS IS FOLLOWED BY THE CHANGE IN HOW WE THINK OR SEE THINGS. HOW OFTEN DO YOU MEET PEOPLE WHO HAVE MADE A CAREER CHANGE, AND WHAT IS THEIR MOTIVE TO DO SO?

I meet such people very often, most often during job interviews in Data Masters. Even if the candidate’s qualifications do not match the required qualifications for the job, I always prefer to have a joint meeting to find out why they have applied. I do this because it’s important to see if the candidate is a fit for a different job opening that might be more suitable for their work experience, professional qualifications, and knowledge.

Regarding the motive to make a career change, the most common reasons are the desire for change, learning something new, and a better income. The most common advice I give to people who want to make that change is to go out of their comfort zone and make the change they want to do.

 

WHAT IS THE MOST COMMON DILEMMA FOR PROFESSIONALS WHO WANT TO WORK IN THE FIELD OF DATA SCIENCE, EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS IN THE ASPECT OF TECHNICAL SKILLS?

The main challenge is that data science requires a different approach to problem-solving and a different way of thinking. Hence their biggest dilemma – whether and how they will cope in this area, whether they will be able to successfully pass the technical training and gain the appropriate knowledge and skills needed to work in this field.

Our free career counseling with a dedicated mentor is of great help because it gives guidance to the candidates to make the best decision for building a career and upgrading their knowledge.

This approach is part of our commitment to helping individuals who want to build a career in Business Intelligence and Data Science but aren’t sure what steps are needed.

 

IS AGE THE MOST COMMON REASON WHY PEOPLE HAVE DIFFICULTIES MAKING A CAREER CHANGE, AND WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO ARE HESITANT?

The desire for a career change is usually inversely proportional to the candidates’ age, but their age does not make them less qualified in the selection process. The selection in Data Masters is based on transparent and non-discriminatory criteria. The results of the selection process are available to the candidate at his request after the completion of the process.

We are also always available for additional feedback or advice if requested by the candidate. I would advise anyone who hesitates to contact us at the addresses listed on our official website, social media channels, or the email aneta.stankovska@datamasters.co. We will be happy to make an appointment to answer all their questions and clear their dilemmas.

 

WHAT KIND OF CAREER PROGRESS OFFERS THE FIELD OF DATA SCIENCE? ALSO, HOW’S THE ADAPTATION PROCESS FOR PROFESSIONALS THAT ARE COMING FROM OTHER DOMAINS AND ARE MAKING A CAREER CHANGE BY COMING TO DATA MASTERS?

Data Masters’ main motive is to raise awareness of the importance of data for each company and the benefits that can derive through their proper processing and interpretation. On the other hand, all predictions lean towards the increased need for professionals in Data Science, which offers countless career opportunities and advancement through specialization in individual areas within it. Because this science is relatively new, we identified the lack of qualified individuals in this field. That’s why we created the Academy, with a specific goal to offer full retraining.

There are multiple training programs available through the Academy developed to upgrade students’ knowledge. Each module is a separate whole, so there is a possibility to visit individual modules instead of the whole training program. The main advantage of our Academy is that most of the lecturers are our employees and are professionals in their field, so they can most appropriately and professionally transfer the knowledge that they apply daily to the projects they work on.

 

WHAT KIND OF TECHNOLOGIES ARE USED IN DATA MASTERS’ PROJECTS?

Data Masters uses exclusively new and modern technologies, and our expertise is primarily focused on Data Science, Big Data Concepts & Technologies, Machine Learning, Data Warehousing, Data Visualization, etc. Additionally, we constantly upgrade in developing solutions using the latest cloud technologies such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. As a partner of Microsoft, we usually do the reporting part in Power BI, but as a consulting company, our goal is to adapt to the requirements and needs of the client.

Our go-to language for doing predictive analysis is Python, which we use for data analysis, visualization, business optimization, and developing AI solutions for our clients.

 

WHAT ARE THE COMPANY’S BENEFITS FOR THOSE WHO DATA MASTERS REPRESENT A CAREER CHANGE?

If you are a beginner, Data Masters invests in you through mentoring and uses a methodology that paves the way for beginners to become consultants and work with clients. In the beginning, the work and the whole communication with the clients are done together with the mentor. Thanks to our internal methodology, in the past three years, we have educated and transformed professionals with different kinds of backgrounds.

We already have significant experience with individuals who have made the career change, some of whom we meet in the job interview process, others through our free career counseling. All those meetings enabled us to build a system for easier adaptation of those who make the change. This system consists of the following things:

 

– Full support in the transition process of the candidates

– Dedicated mentor who is responsible for the candidate’s progress and career development

– Human Resources Department that supports its personal growth and development

– A team of outstanding colleagues who help to adapt to the new work environment

– Scholarships for upgrading knowledge and skills, primarily through the Academy, but also through external training if needed.

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