Author Topic: Job Search Advice - Data Science  (Read 3957 times)

Grid

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Job Search Advice - Data Science
« on: October 06, 2014, 07:15:57 PM »
Hi fellow Mustachians,

I feel the need to drop in for some life advice.  I graduate in December, and am currently on a job hunt.  My degree will be a Master's in Computer Science (a complete turnaround from my undergrad in Biology), I've focused all of my energy on learning machine learning and data mining techniques/languages, and I've placed in a worldwide competition for the stuff, despite just learning to code last summer.  I truly enjoy the field.  I've gone to a couple job fairs in town (Indianapolis), but most companies are looking for software engineers.  I have an interview tomorrow for one of those types of positions.

My main problem:  the types of jobs I'm looking for seem to all be out of town.  And since I can't move out of town until March (out of my control) and I'd like to get started working as soon as possible, the software-type jobs here seem attractive.  I'm also afraid of the double whammy of both missing a chance to be employed and simply never finding a job doing what I love because it's harder to secure a job out of town.  Finally, I would like to leave to meet like-minded people elsewhere, but my financial situation is better here than it would be anywhere else.

Any advice would be appreciated.  I'm pretty sure the decision I make here will alter my entire life trajectory.  Of note is that I can live job-free for about a year at this point in my current situation without dipping into investments or going into debt.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 08:36:27 PM by Grid »

Beric01

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Re: Job Search Advice - Data Science
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2014, 07:20:32 PM »
Hi fellow Mustachians,

I feel the need to drop in for some life advice.  I graduate in December, and am currently on a job hunt.  My degree will be a Master's in Computer Science (a complete turnaround from my undergrad in Biology), and I've focused all of my energy on learning machine learning and data mining techniques/languages, placed in a worldwide competition for the stuff, even though I just learned to code last summer.  I truly enjoy the field.  I've gone to a couple job fairs in town (Indianapolis), but most companies are looking for software engineers.  I have an interview tomorrow for one of those types of positions.

My main problem:  the types of jobs I'm looking for seem to all be out of town.  And since I can't move out of town until March (out of my control) and I'd like to get started working as soon as possible, the software-type jobs here seem attractive.  I'm also afraid of the double whammy of both missing a chance to be employed and simply never finding a job doing what I love because it's harder to secure a job out of town.  Finally, I would like to leave to meet like-minded people elsewhere, but my financial situation is better here than it would be anywhere else.

Any advice would be appreciated.  I'm pretty sure the decision I make here will alter my entire life trajectory.  Of note is that I can live job-free for about a year at this point in my current situation without dipping into investments or going into debt.

Are you applying to out-of town jobs?

Apply to everything! Apply to out-of-town jobs, apply to in-town jobs. Get whatever you can. Just be clear when applying to out-of-town jobs that you can't start until March due to a personal situation. Most should understand.

IMO your most important task right now is to get a job - period. From there you can transition into a field more to your skills.

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Re: Job Search Advice - Data Science
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2014, 07:36:08 PM »
Hi fellow Mustachians,

I feel the need to drop in for some life advice.  I graduate in December, and am currently on a job hunt.  My degree will be a Master's in Computer Science (a complete turnaround from my undergrad in Biology), and I've focused all of my energy on learning machine learning and data mining techniques/languages, placed in a worldwide competition for the stuff, even though I just learned to code last summer.  I truly enjoy the field.  I've gone to a couple job fairs in town (Indianapolis), but most companies are looking for software engineers.  I have an interview tomorrow for one of those types of positions.

My main problem:  the types of jobs I'm looking for seem to all be out of town.  And since I can't move out of town until March (out of my control) and I'd like to get started working as soon as possible, the software-type jobs here seem attractive.  I'm also afraid of the double whammy of both missing a chance to be employed and simply never finding a job doing what I love because it's harder to secure a job out of town.  Finally, I would like to leave to meet like-minded people elsewhere, but my financial situation is better here than it would be anywhere else.

Any advice would be appreciated.  I'm pretty sure the decision I make here will alter my entire life trajectory.  Of note is that I can live job-free for about a year at this point in my current situation without dipping into investments or going into debt.

Are you applying to out-of town jobs?

Apply to everything! Apply to out-of-town jobs, apply to in-town jobs. Get whatever you can. Just be clear when applying to out-of-town jobs that you can't start until March due to a personal situation. Most should understand.

IMO your most important task right now is to get a job - period. From there you can transition into a field more to your skills.

Makes perfect sense.  I haven't been as aggressive as I should be with applying out of town, mostly due to my initial experience out of college where the only response I ever received to an application was one in-town from my future supervisor.  It could be different this time. 

Beric01

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Re: Job Search Advice - Data Science
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2014, 07:43:48 PM »
Hi fellow Mustachians,

I feel the need to drop in for some life advice.  I graduate in December, and am currently on a job hunt.  My degree will be a Master's in Computer Science (a complete turnaround from my undergrad in Biology), and I've focused all of my energy on learning machine learning and data mining techniques/languages, placed in a worldwide competition for the stuff, even though I just learned to code last summer.  I truly enjoy the field.  I've gone to a couple job fairs in town (Indianapolis), but most companies are looking for software engineers.  I have an interview tomorrow for one of those types of positions.

My main problem:  the types of jobs I'm looking for seem to all be out of town.  And since I can't move out of town until March (out of my control) and I'd like to get started working as soon as possible, the software-type jobs here seem attractive.  I'm also afraid of the double whammy of both missing a chance to be employed and simply never finding a job doing what I love because it's harder to secure a job out of town.  Finally, I would like to leave to meet like-minded people elsewhere, but my financial situation is better here than it would be anywhere else.

Any advice would be appreciated.  I'm pretty sure the decision I make here will alter my entire life trajectory.  Of note is that I can live job-free for about a year at this point in my current situation without dipping into investments or going into debt.

Are you applying to out-of town jobs?

Apply to everything! Apply to out-of-town jobs, apply to in-town jobs. Get whatever you can. Just be clear when applying to out-of-town jobs that you can't start until March due to a personal situation. Most should understand.

IMO your most important task right now is to get a job - period. From there you can transition into a field more to your skills.

Makes perfect sense.  I haven't been as aggressive as I should be with applying out of town, mostly due to my initial experience out of college where the only response I ever received to an application was one in-town from my future supervisor.  It could be different this time.

Exactly! I got an offer right out of college that was out-of-town. I tailored my resume to fit the job, and they flew me out to interview. Ultimately I decided (my current) local job was the best position for me, but it doesn't mean I didn't put my full effort into the out-of down job as well.

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Re: Job Search Advice - Data Science
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2014, 08:02:08 PM »
Thanks Beric01.  It's not my nature to just sort of let the jobs fall where they may (apply and see where it takes me, job offers coming at different times), but that's probably how I need to view the situation. 

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Chemistay

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Re: Job Search Advice - Data Science
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2014, 08:05:38 PM »
A lot of the big companies (google, apple, etc.) that employ data scientists will be recruiting at job fairs this fall for starting in June/July. Many of these companies know that the 'best' get offers quickly so they start recruiting early (they are looking for students who are still in their last year). Go to your school's job fairs! Go to any large company info session on campus! Worst case scenario, they tell you it's not going to work out.

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Re: Job Search Advice - Data Science
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2014, 08:25:50 PM »
A lot of the big companies (google, apple, etc.) that employ data scientists will be recruiting at job fairs this fall for starting in June/July. Many of these companies know that the 'best' get offers quickly so they start recruiting early (they are looking for students who are still in their last year). Go to your school's job fairs! Go to any large company info session on campus! Worst case scenario, they tell you it's not going to work out.

I have been doing those things!  Big companies do need to route you through their system usually and recruiters will ask you to apply online for jobs that aren't exactly what they are there to recruit for.  I just haven't gotten around to applying online for more than a couple companies, for reasons like being "busy", which is kind of silly in retrospect.

MountainBeard

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Re: Job Search Advice - Data Science
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2014, 12:06:08 AM »
Are you able to travel?  What language(s) do you code in?

First thing I'd do is make sure you're LinkedIn profile is up to date.  I'm in the same field, and I typically have multiple headhunters contacting me each week.  There's a shortage of skills right now, so you shouldn't run into trouble finding a good job.  I'd just make sure the modeling you'd be doing is relevant so that you're still learning new algorithmic techniques and data platforms. 

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Re: Job Search Advice - Data Science
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2014, 06:11:37 AM »
Are you able to travel?  What language(s) do you code in?

I'm able to travel after March.  I currently do any modeling in Python, MATLAB, or R (working on Torch7 for neural networks).  It sounds like I just need to cast a wider net, be patient, and keep learning the skills I'm lacking in the interim, which are data-platform heavy.  Thanks MountainBeard!

Edit:  After saying that I'm already contradicting myself from the "just get a job" mentality I had earlier up thread.  I guess this is why I'm asking the question.  :/
« Last Edit: October 07, 2014, 06:22:03 AM by Grid »

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Re: Job Search Advice - Data Science
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2014, 07:45:06 AM »
One tip, unless your possible start time comes up early, get the offer first before mentioning it.  Otherwise, you might not even get the chance to impress.  If you knock their socks off, they'll be more likely to accommodate you.

I would be more choosy early on in your search.  You don't want to take the first job that comes along.

Also, what sort jobs are you considering?  With MS in CS and skilled in those "languages", you have many more opportunities than data mining and machine learning.  I hope you are also doing searches based on those skills.  The door is pretty wide open, especially if you have any math aptitude (most with matlab and R do since they are really aimed at quick development for computational science and statistics).

With data mining, could have lots of opp in the retail marketing sector, but I'd steer you to quant finance.  Get to FIRE a lot quicker.

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Re: Job Search Advice - Data Science
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2014, 04:59:39 PM »
Thanks retired?, I will look into it.  Quantitative finance seems to jive with my mentality, and all posts so far seem to point to broadening my search horizons.