Pursuing a career in Data Analytics for a non Computer Science Student

data_analytics

#1

Right now I am studying my final year (Electrical and Electronics Engineering) at a very reputed Tier 1 engineering college in chennai. Recently I got placed in Cognizant Technology Solutions Ltd. But still many core companies are coming to the campus recruitment drive and I am not at all interested in joining them(Not interested in joining Cognizant either) .I think this is the right time to steer my career towards data analytics.So at this point I have a few questions to be answered by the experts on this platform.

  1. As I am from a non CSE background i have a very little programming experience, so will it hinder my learning path of data analytics?

  2. Do I need to do any M.S Program (in data Science) from an university to officially get hired as a data analyst or self study is enough?

  3. Is it really worth leaving my core branch( But frankly saying i’m not even a bit interested in my core branch) and pursue data analytics as my career? Here in this context I am actually worried about job opportunities I get after completion of studying data analytics and gaining significant experience in the field.

  4. Where can I see myself after 10 or 15 years of long career in data science field? Will I be proud and happy at that time for taking this decision of career switching?

Thanks in advance to all the people who are going to give their valuable advices.Please answer appropriately keeping in mind the Indian data analytics industry and opportunities in India. I specially like to ask Mr.Kunal jain , Founder of Analytics Vidhya to find some precious time of his to answer my question.


#2

Dont get me wrong. But you dont like your engineering course after 4 years, you dont know programming, you dont like any companies that are coming to campus, you are from a college which we have no clue what it is.

I say you are just confused.

But for the sake of time let me take a dig at the options you have.

As I am from a non CSE background i have a very little programming experience, so will it hinder my learning path of data analytics?

It will make your learning path slightly longer as you need to get to work on tools which in turn means knowing some basic programming. I have seen students struggle with tools without programming language.

You have to be strongly oriented in statistics conceptually even trying to get to an advance level of applied statistics.

Do I need to do any M.S Program (in data Science) from an university to officially get hired as a data analyst or self study is enough?

From what you have said, it is better for you to pursue a full time MS program. You may end up not liking the program and course at the end of the program which is something you need to weigh in as well.

Is it really worth leaving my core branch( But frankly saying i’m not even a bit interested in my core branch) and pursue data analytics as my career? Here in this context I am actually worried about job opportunities I get after completion of studying data analytics and gaining significant experience in the field.

Explain what you know about data analytics and why do you like it. Is it because its the most talked subject (which is fine) or is it because you have a penchant for statistics. Job should not be a problem afterall the market is in demand for data scientists viz someone who can build reports with data and real data scientists as well.

Where can I see myself after 10 or 15 years of long career in data science field? Will I be proud and happy at that time for taking this decision of career switching?

10- 15 years you can be a master in the subject you decide to pursue or may be lost in its way. I would say you have to answer this question in a more optimistic way by saying, whatever decision i take no matter what the outcome is , I should be proud about it. Else either path you take you will have an emotional regret.

Summary-
Do masters and if possible not in India. The exposure you get for a full time 2 year masters course outside India is enormous. Get it from a reputed institute so you gain maximum exposure and interest in the subject you are pursuing. Then decide if you want to research or take a job. (you become a data scientist here based on course you decide to do)

Alternatively, you can take the job in cognizant, use the money to parallely study an executive program say after 6 months so you have a good basic programming skill, and by the end of two years you can slowly build a profile that also knows some basic data analytics tools. (you become a data analyst with good domain knowledge which is very important in current need from many companies)


#3

Thank you shivaacc for finding time and answering all my questions.Now I think I have a better picture to what to do.Thank you very much.


#4

@harshabeesai1026 : I believe you are in your final year. My advice would be instead of directly jumping into your Post grad program without any knowledge about programming tools I would recommend you take some MOOCs which are available for free. There are 100s of MOOC available online by which you can get an idea of what Data science is all about and will get your hands dirty with programming (preferably R or python ) from scratch. Any MOOC you take should not take you longer than 2 months to finish which gets your interest to start exploring more. I’m a living example having spent 2 and half years doing a shitting job in college placed IT company and now after taking MOOC and gaining knowledge I right now work as a Data scientist without any post grad. All you need is patience and spent extra time on learning about Data science. Since I have not done PG I leave the choice to you. With respect to the MOOC introduction to data analysis by Berkeley’s and Analytics Edge by MIT in edx.org are the two that helped me kick start. You can find a lot more in coursera.com Andrew NG’s course is famous


#5

Hi Harsh,

I am currently pursuing a course with praxis and i can say with no programming background students are definitely taking longer to get a grasp of basics when it comes to tools and techniques.

Also none of the programs have a programming basics included as part of say the first few weeks of the classes.

If you decide to take up such a course be sure you brush up some basic programming. Regarding your predicament my advice is for you to take the longer route. If data science is what you want to do, do a full time 2 year masters program than any of the programs offered here as it gives you time to pace up as well as exposure to dynamically changing field of data science.

Statistics and econometric are probably the two core areas that should form your base with a layer of domain added to create impact.

Engineering background should in an ideal scenario make it easy for you to get into analytical field. Depends on how you consumed engineering :slight_smile:

S.Vivek


#6

Hi @thanish1991 I find you are in a similar situation 3 years ago as I am now. Now I am strongly determined to switch to data science and I have some questions in mind which i think can be answered by you.

  1. As i heard from my seniors that working in an IT company sucks and they make you work for long hours. So in that case how did you find time to learn data science?

  2. Also can u briefly explain me your learning path of data science which includes like - Prerequisites to learn data science,Language you chose(R,Python etc),Course materials, Practice materials, Whether u did competitive programming etc.

Please include anything you think that may help me. Thanks in advance.


#7

Thank you so much @vivekps for finding time and answering my query, thanks a lot.


#8

First of all, I don’t consider the entire IT to be a shitty place to work. It all depends on one’s mindset and the kind of work. Yes I was not comfortable in IT may be because of the project I was in. We cannot generalise that IT jobs sucks in fact they provide jobs to most of Indians today. Secondly working long hours are in every company, not just IT and that even depends on the project you are in. Again we cannot generalise it because I worked only on 9 to 6 basis and once in while 1 or 2 hours extra solely depends on your project and complexity.

I have learnt python programming language for fun when I was free for most of my days during my final year engineering(2013) in edx.org and successfully completed it too. That is my first time I took a programming course and to my surprise loved coding which until then coding is something I hated he most and did not choose CS in engineering just because I did not like coding. Btw I did electronics and communication engineering also from Chennai :slight_smile: .

I started my career in 2013. 1 year into it I realised this is not the place for me. In 2014 close to August I started realising what to do next. Just like most people I did not know what to do if not this job. I felt lost and felt so low. I had a friend who was working with me quit his job to join LIBA for a business intelligence PG program. I knew nothing about it till then but I was intrigued by the word analytics. So I just googled what is my friend is going to do.

That’s when I saw there was course called ‘introduction to data analysis’ by Berkley’s which I have mentioned above. That gave me a flavour of what statistics and got me interested, even after completing the course no idea why I did it or how is it going to help me. Next came the Analytics Edge from MIT which was the best I have taken and it taught the foundation I needed to know for Machine Learning. Only after completing the course that I came to know there is a field called Data science and predictive analytics. Then I realised I was in the right path without even my knowledge and I seriously loved learning about Data science and Machine Learning. So I continued to purse 3 to 4 more MOOCs and it took me almost a year to get to know things to hunt for a job and finally I quit my IT job for a position of Data scientist in December 2015

Yes my path to data science was not bed of roses. I don’t even how I came to know about data science. Every day after office I used to reach home by 8pm and then sit down with my laptop and finish the course video, it used to go up till 11pm everyday and sometimes I got to finish my assignments before the deadline so sometimes I might go up to 1am. Did not have much of weekend outing fun with friends. Had to give up few weekends working on the course work.

For the learning path part all the courses I took was taught to me in R though I had learnt python in 2013 I lost touch. For a starter like you I would suggest you could take up some basic python course and learn the flavour of it as python is very easy to learn in terms of syntax. After that move on to the data science course with python. You can even learn R no harm. There is nothing like course material I explicitly followed, it was all the course videos and assignments that helped,I never read any books. So now I am learning Data science only by practice like participating in competitions

So all you need is patience and spend time to learn. You are lucky you realised you interest in your final year unlike me after 2 years into another job :slight_smile:


#9

Thank you very much @thanish1991 . It is very great to hear from you again with very useful information which i needed the most. I am planning to start MOOC on Edx a course named " Introduction to data analytics" and by side one more course on python on Coursera. I’m mostly free for next 7 months so I think I can manage two courses. I will be in contact with you for any further information and guidance. Thanks a lot again. Cheers.


#10

I would suggest you take one language at a time either R or Python. Trying to master both at the same time without having much control in one would only lead to confusion according to me unless you are very good multi tasker. I am trying to learn Python for data science now and having had hands on R for more than a year I’m finding it difficult to adapt to the indexing in Python which starts with 0 and for R that starts with 1. Need not be the same case with you. Anyways all the best :blush:

Regards
Thanish


#11

Thank you @thanish1991 once again and i wish i could do my best.


#12

hii i am also in same situvation. ie be 2nd year eee , but interested in data science. pls suggest me from now what i have to do. and also i did statistics in my puc 2 years.


#13

Hi @sammed,

If you are interested in data science and wants to start your career in this field, you can start with these courses:


If you want to learn these concepts practically and work on projects related to Data Science, you can enroll for this course:

This course is meant for beginners who wants to start their career in data science. It explains basics of python, statistics and finally modeling part. You will have enough amount of exercises as well through which you can learn the concepts practically. At the end of this course you will be working on 2 live projects which will help you to understand how to solve a machine learning problem.

Happy learning!!