Data Scientist at Big4 or at a fast growing start-up?



Hi all!

With ~10 years career as a researcher in particle physics I decided to move to business analytics. First job was as data analyst at a multinational company.

Now, less than a year later it is quite possible to get two offers for a data scientist position.

  • The first is at a really fast growing start-up with already more than 200 employees in different cities all over the world and huge names among its investors. Open minded, research-like environment and in-depth focus on a particular business case (with many sub-problems of cource)
  • The second is at one of the big4. They are just establishing a data science team. More formal environment, with the ability to get hands-on experience on a variety of different data science projects.

I know that this is really a choice of personal preference as they are really different options. However I would like to hear some opinions focusing on what do you thing as a better option for my career taking into account that I am already at mid-30s.

Thanks a lot everyone!


I just graduated 6 months ago so please don’t take my words too seriously either. I feel it’s easier to be hired in a start-up after having been in the big 4 than the other way around. But, this highly depends on how successful the start-up is…
Also, being hired in one of the Big 4 (BTW are you talking about the consultancy big 4 or EY, Deloitte, etc ?) in your middle 30s can go both ways, it mostly depends on the level. You should ask yourself at which level the people your age who started in the big 4 are at. If you’re with people much younger than you, it seems like a bad idea.
Finally, I would say, follow your intuition and choose the environment in which you’ll thrive best. It’s all what matters in the end !
Hopes this helps a bit,