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Analytics & Big Data: Why Traditional Professionals Are Changing Careers

Analytics & Big Data
Analytics & Big Data: Changing jobs and learning new things is difficult. Especially if you want to retrain in a completely unknown field for yourself, for example, IT. The four heroes of the article – students of different courses in analytics and Data Science in Neurology – tell what it is like to leave such spheres as tourism, psychology, and construction, into something new. At the end of the article – recommendations on how to approach a new profession, how to look for vacancies, and what to look for when looking for a job.

Oleg S., a historian, taught at school and institute. In the 90s he founded a small travel agency. Moved to analytics in March 2020 – the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Your business is constant analysis, planning, and a lot of studies. During my entrepreneurial career, I had to master logistics, accounting, marketing, and advertising, but this was not enough – I wanted to learn how to evaluate the business objectively, from the outside.

This could only be done through digital analysis and visualization of large amounts of data. I thought about training. First, I considered the “big” professions – Data journalist, Data Scientist. I was stopped only by the problem of finding a job.

I started with a course on Power BI and it turned out to be very useful. Before the start, there were doubts: I am a humanitarian by education and activity, but here there are continuous tables and graphs. But my doubts were quickly dispelled: the teacher explained the complex in simple words and gave examples close to everyday life. Classmates also helped each other. Everyone’s age was different, and their preparation was different, only the desire to learn was the same. Nobody left the race, everyone received their diplomas. There were almost no difficulties in learning, it was very interesting. Yes, not everything worked out, but I tried. The rhythm was very fast. I apply the acquired knowledge in my tourism business.

I am also learning to design websites without coding and plan to take a technical administrator course for online courses. I would continue to do analytics, but there are no prospects for employment in the regions. Most employers, unfortunately, do not understand the value of analytics.

Some of my tourists were planning their first trip abroad at the age of 70, before that, they were “restricted to travel abroad” and went on vacation only in Russia. The choice fell on Italy. An elderly woman said: “If I don’t go to Italy, I’ll use the saved money to build a new greenhouse in my country house. If I go, I’ll see the Colosseum. I already have one greenhouse, but I haven’t tried the real Marinara pizza yet ”. What am I doing? To the fact that it is important to follow the dream and look for opportunities. “

Valentina U., a psychologist, worked as a nanny. Tired of educational work and chose the field of analytics according to the principle “am I weak?” She plans to retrain as a Data journalist (a specialist who analyzes data for the preparation of research and news).

“I really love children, but at one point I realized that I was starting to get tired of working with them. I had thoughts about “learning” something new, fundamentally unfamiliar, incomprehensible. I wanted to change, and it so happened that my last job as a nanny ended safely and smoothly flowed into a long-term vacation. I practically took myself weak and decided to master a new specialty.

At first, I had to combine work and study. I tried to study social media marketing, but the promotion of events on Internet sites did not interest me enough to take root in it. I was confused by the market component: to attract the attention of people in order to sell them a product. I do not have trading skills, this is what I cannot do.

I wanted to move into an area that would be interesting to me and useful to society. This is how the analyst happened to me. The analytics attracted me because they were very specific, precise, understandable, and visually digitized. Its advantage is accuracy – or at least there is a desire for accuracy. Now I’m mastering Python, Tableau, even Excel pulling up.

In the future, I want to go to Data journalism – I made this decision almost immediately, as soon as I found out about its existence. This is a very ambitious idea – to learn how to translate complex, confusing numbers into verbal, speech form, to be able to explain simply about the complex. I still sometimes think: “What if I can’t?”

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When I chose the courses, I paid attention to the demand for the online platform, people’s feedback, and the training program. I was sure that I did not have a penchant for such content, but interest and passion give rise to ability. When you see the result, even small successes in mastering programming and statistics, it inspires confidence in the chosen craft.

Of course, difficulties arise from time to time. I still have great difficulty with organizing time, I want to be on time everywhere and not miss anything important. In my studies, I resort to compromises: I look at the recordings of lectures, if I did not find the opportunity to be online, I study the material on my own as far as possible.

Mastering a profession takes time, it’s just a matter of priorities. I really like analytics, but in order to become a great specialist, there is still a lot to learn, research, read, try out. I feel the potential in myself and in the chosen area, and I am not weak. “

Olga A., 10 years of experience in tourism, was a copywriter and content manager. Leads a small travel project, but so far all processes are frozen due to the pandemic. I decided to radically change the field of activity during the decree.

“I have been working in tourism for 10 years, 3.5 years of which have been spent in the information processing department of an IT company that develops various services for the travel industry. I also had experience working as a copywriter and content manager in the marketing department of a travel company. Now I run a small travel project on Telegram and notify about discounts on tours and air tickets. The project is frozen for the duration of the pandemic.

At some point, I realized that most of all I like to analyze and look for cause-and-effect relationships: what visitors are doing on my site, what articles they read, what tools they use most and why they leave.

Everything in the aggregate influenced my decision to change profession. In 2017, I went on maternity leave, there was a respite from work. I wondered if I liked what I was doing. For three years of the decree, I tried my hand at layout, JS, Excel, read books on marketing and product development. I literally grabbed at everything that could load and train my brain, because it’s hard to stay at home with a child and not engage in intellectual activity. I was looking for myself and a process that will bring me pleasure. Then my tourist project appeared, which had to be frozen due to the quarantine.

I have two educations: economic and linguistic. At the institute, I liked doing research most of all, I have a very interesting thesis in cognitive linguistics. In general, I have a penchant for constant reflection and analytics in the global sense of the word. I am constantly on the lookout for answers, looking for causal relationships.

How did I choose analytics? To be honest: I passed the test , and the results turned out that I am an analyst. When choosing a specific direction, as a real researcher, I decided to go empirically, try everything and find out what I like to do the most. I focused on product analytics. It is product analytics that is closest to business, user psychology and what I was doing before the decree and quarantine.

Learning is not easy, you need to work out a lot of hard skills, and there is definitely nothing to do in analytics for love. Due to the fact that I am a humanitarian, my brain plows to the full, but for me this is a personal challenge. I really like that both teachers and fellow students are ready to help at any stage, in any task. A community of like-minded people has formed, with whom you can discuss where to find additional materials, courses, tasks and much more.

After the quarantine, I plan to return to my tourism project and use my knowledge. I realized what I needed to work on: analyze competitors, identify a suitable target audience, segment it, search for my niche, test different approaches to users. Before, I did all this blindly, intuitively and on my knees.

I have been looking for a job since October. The search turned out to be even more difficult than I imagined. There are practically no offers. It is very difficult to show yourself correctly on a resume and convince an employer that I will be of real benefit. I plan to turn to career specialists in Netology, work out my resume and draw up a search plan, because on my own I may be missing something.

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In the long term, I want to be useful to the business. For me, this is self-realization, the top of Maslow’s pyramid of needs. I want to see the result of my studies, my self-development in numbers, I’m an analyst 🙂 This is my personal metric, so to speak.) I want to bring millions). Whether in the end it will be someone else’s business or my own, for me it is not even so important. “

Maria, was educated in the field of industrial and civil construction. She worked as a estimator, an engineer of the PTO. I wanted to go to IT, considered the direction of testing, but became interested in analytics. Learns ETL.

“I have a higher technical education with a degree in Industrial and Civil Engineering – a kind of multi-instrumentalist-universal, after graduation I could work in almost any position in the construction industry.

I have worked in construction for almost 15 years. She was engaged in the estimate business, the implementation and verification of interest rates, took the position of an engineer and then a chief specialist with a combination of the position of head of the sales department. This is work with clients, management, legislation, the functions are different and interesting.

In the first periods of crisis, wages dropped significantly, and the once powerful stream of overtime hack dried up. The change of the company to a larger one brought results, but not for long, because the crisis period dragged on for many years, and the level of inertia of the industry did not allow many organizations to quickly rebuild and change their strategy. The last job was good in almost every respect. But after a few years I felt that I was hitting the ceiling in my position, and there was some boredom and demotivation.

After a while, a desire was formed to change something, but not the place of work, but the field of activity. My desire was multiplied by the news about the upcoming decree, and I decided that I would not go to work in the same place, but … it is not yet clear where.

I came to analytics by accident. First, I studied testing as the path of least resistance – in Belarus, the easiest way to start working in IT is with testing. I read for a long time, at the same time I realized that this is a useful and necessary skill, which I will also master for greater professional attractiveness, but this is not the most interesting occupation for me. Once I accidentally got to a free introductory webinar on Data Science and realized that it was much more interesting. I began to read literature in this direction, since three years of the Belarusian decree allow it.

There were many barriers. It was very scary to change something when you have two children. But I did not want to return to my previous place of work: I understood that it was time for me to complete my construction career, and it would be much more difficult to move to another field later. With age, we anchor in our muddy burrow more and more, and not only with age – children, parents, increasing inertia of thinking, the level of health and especially the fear of the unknown and failure.

At the initial stage, I had less support than I would like, but now it is in full, necessary for the successful development of professional skills. The husband is the smartest person, a radiophysicist, the head of the testing laboratory, after university, postgraduate and graduate studies, he always works in one place. The source of overvalued experience and the belief that there is work – well, work it, is not scattered in our time. He was lucky – he has a super-awesome team, all comfortable, non-toxic, golden leadership, directors are tacticians and strategists who take care of their staff. How can a person from such an ideal world understand the craving for change in employment the first time? ..

After leaving work on maternity leave, I started to restore my knowledge of the English language, and I already have a general intermediate. My husband was surprised that I had not yet changed my mind about moving to IT, and reminded me that I was offered the position of the head of the department. But I already had slightly different career prospects in my head, so I started my English lessons and started reading literature on testing, statistics and other subjects that turned out to be interesting.

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Besides testing and Data Analytics considered other non-digital options: baked cakes and made dumplings to order. But there was no direct royal satisfaction from the process, moreover, the household regularly attempted to eat. To do the same for their own no longer had the strength.

The IT sphere attracted me much more. The degree of mobility of an IT specialist cannot be compared with an engineering one. There is no time to get bored. It is necessary to constantly develop, learn, master new skills and tools. I did not even suspect that this process could be so exciting, and children are not a hindrance – with the advent of children, the level of self-organization and productive use of resources increased by an order of magnitude. In addition, if necessary, the ability to work from home and not interrupt the work process is a weighty argument.

I began to choose courses, on the advice of friends, I started a SQL course on and concluded that I was moving in the right direction, because I liked it. Small courses like SQL are not enough to cope with an internship, so I also chose the ETL Engineer course in Netology. As you can imagine, before that I worked only with tangible matter – everything could be measured, seen, touched, well, in extreme cases, put under the press, destroyed and see what happened. And here – just pure magic. I had a craving for signs and systematization. And there was an understanding of the physics of processes and the realization that I was on the right path. Therefore, I think that ETL engineer is not my last course. The Data Warehouse turned out to be a more complex matter, but also very interesting, the Business Intelligence block was no less exciting. And to dive even deeper,

As for future ambitions and plans, I want to become the master of SQL, learn new tools, survive the internship and become useful to the business, so that the result of my work is tangible and noticeable. For the time being, I will probably leave further goals to myself, since practice shows that the louder you declare them, the louder the universe will click on its nose. “

Analytics & Big Data: Recommendations for students and for anyone looking to move into data analytics:

  • Maria: “If you hesitate, hesitate well, until you finally hesitate, and then it will be easier to make a decision about some changes.”
  • Valentina: “If you want to change your profession and have not decided yet, make up your mind at last. Fear is phenomenal in that it is a fickle constant, as soon as you enter fear, it ceases to control you. Only actions determine a person. “
  • Olga: “Look deep into yourself, feel yourself, your calling. Chat with career counselors, psychologists. Try yourself, we live in an amazing time when you don’t need to work for 30 years at the same enterprise or plant. “
  • Valentina: “Pay attention to the sincere desire to immerse yourself in learning. If there is an interest in learning, then any obstacles are surmountable. “
  • Maria: “Study introductory webinars that detail the specifics of the profession.”
  • Oleg: “Before choosing a direction and course, study the labor market in your region. See if your knowledge will be in demand. Will you be able to work remotely, will you keep up with the rhythm and conditions of such work ”.
  • Valentina: “Pay attention to the consistency of the educational platform: its reputation, to the people (curators, tutors – accompanying assistants along the entire learning path) who work there, whether they can provide support in difficult situations, to the teaching staff and their professional suitability and competence” …
  • Olga: “Subscribe to channels and chats in Telegram in the direction of interest. Look at everything from the inside, get to know the community. This will help you see real cases, ways to solve work problems. I read channels on product analytics, Python, Excel, visualization, A / B testing. And I already feel like a part of the sphere, and the transition already seems not so painful and scary. Because one of the biggest fears that stop us from jumping to something new is the fear of the unknown. “

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