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4 Important Ways That Getting A Data Science Mentor Can Help You Fast Track Your Career

Data science is one of the highest searched-for terms in tech today. Just as software engineering and app development have had explosive growth, data science looks tipped to take the tech market by storm — and the numbers back it up.

While the field is still relatively new, it is expected to grow to $140.9 billion by 2024, and there has been a 29% annual increase in demand for data scientists from companies across the globe.

Those data scientists earn a $110,000 median base salary, and according to job platform Glassdoor, they have the best job satisfaction on the market. So do you fancy joining them? Here’s how a data science career mentor could help you out…

First up, what is data science?

Fueled by big data and AI, data scientists work with data analytics programs and algorithms to extract meaning from data, often using high performance computers to do so.

From predicting the possibilities of a particular event in the future, to telling self-driving cars which path to take, the astounding capabilities of data science have cemented its reputation as a hotbed for the future of tech.

However, as is nature with anything up-and-coming, there’s always room for change.

As our world becomes more digitized and companies shift to a more data-driven way of thinking, the need for accurate information is crucial. The industry and its workers will undoubtedly have to tackle many obstacles in the years to come.

The role of mentorship in career development

When you’re excited by the prospect of a career change or promotion, it’s tempting to jump right in — you buy all the training books, sign up to newsletters from all the best thought leaders, and start following industry-specific hashtags on LinkedIn and Twitter.

And that’s a great place to start. But there’s more you can do, too.

Enter: the career mentor.

Acting as your very own chaperone, a career mentor is someone who can provide you with unparalleled support throughout your career journey, whether you’re just starting out or looking to pivot.

Bounce ideas off them without embarrassment, turn to them for advice on a particular issue, or learn from their valuable and honest feedback.

Whatever your need, they are equipped with the knowledge and know-how needed to navigate new waters and champion your development.

4 ways that a data science mentorship can help fast-track your career

In a dynamic and evolving field like data science, mentors are invaluable.

While demand for data scientists soars, it’s much harder to land a job than it once was. The industry is maturing and attracting more applicants, meaning employers can afford to be picky.

But at the same time, there’s a lack of skilled data scientist applicants across the global market — arguably because it’s nearly impossible to learn the skills required to stand out, without help from an expert.

If you’re considering a data science career, this should be music to your ears. There’s opportunity if you get the right help.

But what exactly can a data science mentor do?

Improve your coding

Coding is the bread and butter of any tech job — especially data science.

Learning code on your own can get you off the ground, but it takes the supervision of an experienced developer to lift you higher, faster.

A data science career mentor will have the extensive expertise in coding and machine learning needed to make your code as clean as can be, while fast-tracking your development.

Offer constructive criticism

As your data science mentor is an experienced industry professional, they are well versed in what it takes to succeed in the field.

They’ve navigated the journey themselves, and have learned from mistakes to get to where they are. This means that you can receive an honest and expert perspective on your career trajectory.

While they may not always tell you exactly what you want to hear, constructive criticism is vital if you want to hone your skills and land the data science job you’ve been searching for. What’s more, critique — hearing it, responding to it, growing from it — hones your talent over time.

The result? A more self-aware, confident professional.

Provide continuous support

Ever had some of your most complex thoughts at 3am?

Perhaps you need an answer to a question that’s been bugging you, or advice on a project to put your mind at rest.

While we wouldn’t advise calling your mentor in the middle of the night — not if you want a happy, healthy relationship! — if you get in touch as soon as office hours open, they’ll be with you as soon as they can.

Email, call, instant message, it’s all part of the deal. Shoot them questions throughout the day, or save them for a long face-to-face meet up. Whatever works for you, they’re there to assist. And you get meaningful answers a lot faster than when reading a book, or posting on a forum.

This ongoing dialogue is a great comfort blanket for when you’re feeling daunted or by a new chapter in your career. While the main purpose of a career mentor is to offer professional advice, the ability to engage with them on a personal level adds trust and comfort to your learning process.

Open new opportunities

Mentors are the ultimate connectors.

They’ve been around the block, met the CEOs and built up a wealth of worthy contacts in data science.

Knowing people is the secret to finding job roles and opening new doors. Your data science mentor can introduce you to other people they know, match your skills to the right company and help you prep for upcoming interviews — no more browsing job boards every single morning!

Where do I find a mentor?

At MentorCruise, we have a pool of expert data science mentors just waiting to take on their next challenge.

Whether you’re fresh from college and are headed for your first data science role, or are a 40-something professional looking to shift careers, our mentors are dedicated to elevating careers and facilitating personal development — no matter what stage you’re at.

Build your data science skills and boost your confidence with industry veterans who promise to give you an enriching, career-changing support. Book an introductory call today.

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