Ask an Instructor: Jumpstart Your Career in Tech

I am finishing my computer science masters with major in AI and I have about 6 years experience as a system analyst, and now I want to get into data science industry at any role just to start there. Would you suggest to apply to big companies or small startups to gain a lot of experience as quickly as possibly?

Do you think is it better to apply for a Junior Data Analyst position first and then to evolve as a Data Scientist/ML or can you start applying for a Data Science role directly?

Thank you Adam,

I will definitely look into that (internships and firms hiring in my country). Yeah, it’s not ideal but whatever it takes…

Hey! Welcome to the Codecademy forums. Thanks for your question! I think one of the best ways to stand out is to demonstrate that you are always learning. Tech is constantly evolving so continuing to familiarize yourself with new technologies and building things that incorporate your new skills will be a strong reflection on your talent and curiosity. I always recommend contributing to open source projects too. This will show initiative and help you develop some extremely valuable skills, like collaboration and navigating an existing code base, that will translate well to a production environment where you’re working on an engineering team.


Great question,

I would say the first thing you should do is be able to show and tell in your work. By that I mean, make sure your projects are strong, but also highlight what competencies you practiced in a given project, your thought process in created it, and how you overcame specific challenges. This says a lot about you as a programmer to anyone looking at your portfolio.

I would also say, just do a lot of projects. You will start in a place of feeling like your projects are unoriginal, but it takes a substantial amount of practice to get to a place where you know how to draw different skills together and create something creative. So if you feel like you are being a bit basic to start, then you are just where everyone else is when they start out!



I’d say don’t apply based on the company per se, apply for what you would do in the role. Do you feel this is a job you are well suited for? Do you feel like it is a job where you’d be able to contribute and grow professionally?

There are differences in that at a small company you may have the ability to grow faster, but on the flip side larger firms may be more stable, and help you develop good habits early in your career. So its really a matter of how well you know yourself and how you want to develop at this stage. In general though, my best advice at this stage is just get a job where you are practicing data science in a meaningful way, and go from there.

Thank you, very insightful.

I’ve worked as test analyst for 2 years in big data domain(Hadoop, hive, Unix) and from 2 months I’ve been working in a project which is on python(flask api, NLP).
If I want to switch now what roles I can Target and should I use my python exp in resume or just big data I should keep?

Thank you for your reply and advice, Adam!

I really liked the Non Technical Life Skills course on codecademy, will there be more of those in the future? :sweat_smile:

I learned the tech stack required for Data Analyst and I hv 2 years of big data testing exp. Now m trying for both data analyst roles and also ETL tester roles with same resume and skills in it but I didn’t recieve any call back from recruiters although after plenty of applied. Where I’m going wrong?